Category Archives: Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the US and on this national ‘howliday,’ we ‘paws’ and give thanks to all our family and fur-iends. Wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Just remember the operative word today. Woof!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday ~ November 1, 2017

Dias de los Muertos, otherwise known as Day of the Dead began yesterday and goes through November 2 coinciding with the Christian celebrations of All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. The weekend parade in Mexico City was led by a gigantic raised fist made with helmets, pick-axes and rubble. You may recall the raised fist was used by rescuers as a sign requesting silence so they could hear if anyone was trapped under the rubble from September’s devastating earthquakes and pays tribute to the rescuers as well as the victims. It seems like a powerful statement to open the festival this year.

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed some images from a recent visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens commemorating the festival. While generally associated with Central and South America, Day of the Dead is fast becoming a staple in Halloween celebrations in the US. It also celebrated in Europe, the Philippines, and even some cities in Australia, Fiji and Indonesia and it seems there’s a whole cottage industry dedicated to make-up and costumes. I even noticed a number of trick-or-treaters in full Day of the Dead garb around my ‘hood. 

How was your Halloween? Is Day of the Dead a big deal in your neck of the woods?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Reading Leaves

Today is Halloween, a universally celebrated holiday though probably observed more so in the US  than in other countries around the world. It also means Autumn is in full swing north of the Equator. Ahhh…my favorite ‘color’ and time of year. Since dressing up for the day is strictly abhorred by the fur-kids, I’ll try instead to “make sense about the scents” of this time of year before Winter sends us shivering under thick sweaters, coats and gloves. The weather is mild and the sunlight exquisitely golden. The air is crisp in the early mornings filled with earthy fragrant smells, with special scents buried deep in our brain and are often linked to childhood memories. 

Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins and richly hued leaves but bipeds and canines probably have different thoughts about them. Safe to say we probably all agree on the tastiness of pumpkins. I love the beautiful colors and can’t resist crunching leaves beneath my feet. There’s a special embrace in the changing seasons, from scrutinizing all the red, orange and gold colors of leaves to filling one’s olfactory sensors with their heady aroma.

I can’t help but wonder what Sam and Elsa think about Autumn with its earthy scents especially since they revolted about dressing up for Halloween. For me, I’m inspired to do more reflection in the beautiful light. To deeply inhale and savor harvest tastes and smells. For dogs, “making sense out of scents” is probably different.

Sam, of course, completely buries his nose into it. Even more than usual. Our normal walks take anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes, depending on our route and how many stops we make. These days it takes much longer because a certain ‘someone’ feels compelled to investigate each. and. every. single. fallen. leaf. Always the time waster ‘snoopster’ on our walks anyway busily reading pee mail like it’s a best seller, this time of year Sam must be overwhelmed with smells because he’s acting like some sort of psychic, reading tea leaves. Long, deep inhales and contemplative thoughts no doubt fill his pea brain as the leaves “speak” to him. Now if only he could tell me how long each walk is going to take. I swear that dog could inhale the scent completely out of leaves if I’d let him. *Sigh*

Elsa on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be nearly as impressed with falling leaves or their scent. Though I didn’t manage to photograph it as proof, she actually avoids walking on piles, instead preferring to wander on grass surfaces or bare spots on sidewalks, weaving back and forth to avoid as necessary. She’s not much of a sniffer on our walks anyway; she finds that one ‘spot,’  does her business in the same place, and then repeats the procedure on subsequent walks. Her thing leans toward the visual…as in ‘where is that squirrel?’ Her passion is all about checking out the scenery. She is no tassologist psychic and could care less about leaves. Give her a squirrel or rabbit trail though and then she’s all in. Nose down, tail up, weaving back and forth like a well focused hunting dog. No crunching under webbed feet for my girl but at least her antics don’t delay the walks like Sam’s.

Our three-ring circus has different reflections when it comes to Autumn. Mine lean toward the transcendental, Sam gives his inept best tea leaf reading wizard imitation and Elsa…well who can say what exactly goes on between her ears? All I can say for certain is the walks take longer, yet their enjoyment will linger as long as Mother Nature allows it before thrusting us ankle-deep into Winter.

What’s your favorite scent of the season? Happy ‘Howliween.’ 🎃

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Labor Day 2017

Happy Labor Day! Today is the last ‘unofficial’ day of summer when swimming pools and amusement parks generally close, the list of the summer concerts and festivals wrap up the season, and it’s often a time to put away our summer clothes in favor of more autumnal fashion (though I expect Californians and West Coasters are still wearing as little as legally possible with their recent days of ungodly heat – you have my sympathies). While school has started in some areas, many school districts often start the new year the day after Labor Day. Some of us may take in a retail sales event or binge on our favorite TV programs re-airing in anticipation of the soon to be upcoming new season (can the next season of The Walking Dead come soon enough). We may have welcomed the beginning of football season over the weekend (hope your team did well). But today is a celebration of labor and union movements and their role in history. Last year I posted a brief history of the origins of Labor Day which you can read here.

Nothing exciting going on around the Ranch today so we’ll just reflect on the contributions American workers made possible to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country with particular thoughts for all those workers and volunteers trying to help with the clean-up after Hurricane Harvey. God bless you! Have a safe and Happy Labor Day and please remember how this 3-day holiday was made possible. It’s not all about backyard BBQ’s and camping trips before the first snows fly.

Got any special plans before you have to get back to work?

Live love, bark! ❤︎

In Dog We Trust

Happy July 4th. From all of us…to all of you.

Here’s hoping it’s a safe one.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Summertime Howlidays

With our hospital work this week, we’ve been a bit light on posts so we’re posting a Saturday PSA. Summer is officially here which means this weekend we will be enjoying a long weekend in the US. Here at the Ranch we want to wish effuryone a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend. 🇺🇸

Did you know that more pets are lost during this weekend than at any other time during the year?

With that in mind, Sam and Elsa offer the following red, white and blue tips for keeping your furry friends safe.


It’s best not to take your fur-friend with you to the neighborhood pawty. All those extra strangers, loud noises and inappropriate food coupled with fireworks make for a sure-fire guaranty for misery on your pet’s part. Leave them at home. Dogs and cats aren’t all that keen on the loud noises that come with fireworks AND crowds so creating a room with darkened windows, adding some white noise or leaving the TV turned on with a safe, crated retreat can go a long way toward keeping them at ease. Let them experience this space a few days before the fireworks start-up to get them used to it before it all starts. 


Provide their favorite treats and give them freely prior to the days leading up to the 4th to make them feel a bit more comfortable the next time there is a loud bang. 


Sound masking is a great way to cover up loud noises from fireworks. Music – whichever genre – can help them relax and feel a bit more at ease.  It is best to play what they are already familiar with so that association to the new music is not made with loud scary fireworks.


When you know your pet is extra anxious during fireworks, the use of anti-anxiety helpers like Pet Releaf (a safe and effective CBD oil), use of a ThunderShirt, or LICKS Pill-Free ZEN supplements can help even the most stressed pet relax. Lavender essential oil can work wonders on their bed or collar and go a long way toward inducing relaxation.

It’s especially impawtant for us uprights to take the necessary steps to keep our fur-babies safe. Knowing they will likely react to all the loud noises, whatever can be done to make them feel safe and secure is in their long-term best interests. Don’t forget to make sure they are wearing a current ID tag, especially if they aren’t microchipped.  Better to play it safe and make sure they are wearing their collar all the time but especially this weekend.

Enjoy the howliday, but be safe!  What clever tricks do you use to keep your babies safe and sound?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Memorial Day Monday

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a national ‘howliday’ where we remember all those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Originally known as Decoration Day back in the years after the Civil War (when Union and Confederate soldiers honored their dead by decorating their graves with flowers), it has morphed into the current form honoring all Americans who died serving their country.

Today is also the ‘unofficial’ beginning of the summer vacation season and as too often the case here, has been co-opted into a shopping frenzy with Memorial Day sales. It will be a quiet day of reflection at the Ranch, especially given the turbulent climate around the world. Today we honor those in our family who served their country and say a special prayer for the 4-legged who have also served this nation with distinction.

What plans do you have for this 3-day howliday?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎