Category Archives: Holy &#@%

In Memoriam


Mouse, Mortimer J.  2014 – 2017    A spunky, urban brownish-grey mouse residing in the garden at the Ranch, “Mortie” recently passed peacefully. As a frequent and swift-moving critter in the Poodles’ garden, he took up permanent residence in the compost bins. Internment services honoring his short life were held on a recent sunny autumn day. Mortie enjoyed scaring the crap outa everyone when dashing about and crocheting nest tunnels from grass clippings in the bins. He provided much entertainment for Ranch residents.
Contributions may be made to the Denver Dumb Friends League.


We’ve had a garden mouse for the past few years that I named “Mortimer” after the first time I saw his speedy retreat into the flowers and who I enjoyed seeing whenever he would show up thereafter. Mortie was a tiny, brownish-grey little guy who was quick as a wink, even by mouse standards. Convinced he had been some Olympian competing in the mouse 40-yard dash with beady little eyes, adorably whiskers and tiny little toes, he wormed his way into my heart after dashing into the tall flowers when I wandered into the garden, not to be seen again. Well, that is, until the next time.

For the past year or so, it seemed Mortie moved up from tall flowers and ground cover to luxuriously nesting and noshing in our 3 compost bins, enjoying strawberry hulls and other bio-scraps. Elsa would make a beeline toward the compost bins first before making her way to the potty area of the dog run and I always thought she was checking for squirrels since they have been known to hit the bin too. But since the bins had been sort of squirrel-proofed recently, it’d just been Mortie enjoying morsels. Truth be told I didn’t mind, he was adorably tiny and, come on…you gotta admit pretty cotton-picking cute and I figured he was more than fast enough to elude the Ninja. The little fella reminded me of a European character known as “Uli Maus” created by German cartoonist, Uli Stein. When a dear friend’s dad introduced me to Uli years ago, I knew I had to bring one back as a souvenir of that special trip so I found a pocket-sized version that always makes me smile. See the similarity?

Come on…he’s adorably cute, isn’t he?

When Elsa catches the scent of a critter-trail around the neighborhood she repeatedly investigates that same spot over and over even if they haven’t been there in ages, convinced they were once there and will probably be again. Recently her attention has focused on one bin in particular where I had heard Mortie scurrying around on occasion. Elsa seemed to think she knew where he was too and would often chase ‘mouse shadows’ especially at night. The other day she came back in the house with something in her mouth.  When I told her to ‘drop it’ because gawd only knows what she’d eat, lo and behold, a tiny little fur ball with a long tail was promptly spit out. Holy &#@%…are you kidding me? Grateful for her compliance, I quickly scooped up the tiny lifeless body and carried him out to a permanent resting place. I doubt she was responsible especially since a few days later when I was ‘feeding’ the mouse buffet compost bin, I saw yet another casualty. No telling what caused the passing of either of these two little guys since no autopsy was performed. Perhaps they were older but it still made me just a little sad. No more skittering flashes out of the corner of my eye with just an inkling of a tail diving into cover. Unless there are other family members left behind for which I’ll be on the alert, because…well you know…survivors benefits. Elsa will not be in attendance at the reading of the will.

Mortimer J. Mouse’s BFF

Seriously, does this look like the face of a garden exterminator? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Mostly.

Innocent face or ruthless exterminator?

At any rate, let’s pause for a few moments of silence to honor the Uli look-alikes, Mortimer J. Mouse and his unnamed BFF. I hardly knew either of you but hope you lived happy lives in the compost bin. At least it was organic nibbles. Rest in peace little buddies.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Weekend Reminder

Well folks, we made it to the end of the week  which means our friend Friday is here. Can I get a double woof, woof? In addition to Friday and the weekend, another visitor arrives, er rather falls back. Yup, regular time returns. I know, some of you will be moaning over lost daylight and yes, it’s unfortunate. But if you think about it, there’s a silver lining with this darkness. In less than 60 days the days will start getting a bit longer. Personally, I think it’s nature’s way to make winter weather more tolerable, but if you’re in one of those areas where the weather is pretty nice most of the year, good for you. For some of us, it’s the price we’re willing to pay to ‘enjoy’ 4 separate seasons. You know…the “good, the definitely outstanding, the meh and are-you-freakin’ kidding-me?!”

On the plus side, returning to regular time means an extra hour of sleep on Sunday and dinner an hour earlier for the pets. So focus on the bright side and don’t forget to ‘Fall Back’ Saturday night. And for heaven’s sake, please make it a great weekend!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Thoughts for Thursday

I don’t know what it is about small little dogs but they really, really despise my dogs. For instance, take last night. We were able to take a nice evening constitution in daylight since the temperature had cooled off enough to make it comfortable for everyone. Ok, so far so good. We were on the last stretch of our 2+ mile walk when we encountered a guy with a couple little Chihuahuas. I spied them about half a block away. I could also see the much larger 3 dogs at the opposite corner we were approaching so I decided to take the high road, otherwise known as walking in the street between the two opposing dog camps. The smallest of the two Chihuahuas started snarling and carrying on like a possessed beast, screeching like a banshee being pulled through a knothole. How  is it that 5 pounds of fur turns into 100 pounds of noise and fury? Rather than a couple quick leash correction tugs, what does the brave guy walking this pint-sized hellion do? He picks up the noisy offender and holds him out chest high as if it’s some sort of radio-active soiled diaper or something.

Can anyone tell me why little dogs much like this one below, who looks remarkably like the one we encountered, loathe my dogs? Anyone, Buehler? I mean sure, both of them have their moments in the ‘today I’m going to be a jerk’ category, but sheesh, we were just out for an evening walk for crying out loud, minding our own business.

Grrr!

Sam looked at me. Even Elsa looked at me. Then they both looked at the snarling handful. They both seemed to echo a “what the…heck look?” I rolled my eyes and we walked on through but I swear both dogs shook their heads in disbelief. I dunno…maybe it was the eery sunset from all the smoke drifting in from the West Coast fires that made the little monster pup go off.

Apologies for the crappy image from the phone-it really was much more reddish-orange in real life. Note the smokey sky? I miss our blue skies which we haven’t seen for days. Then again, I shouldn’t complain since Colorado isn’t on fire like the West Coast has been this summer. Knock on wood.

Do tiny demons dogs react that way around your pups? You think it’s the Napoleon complex? I don’t think either of my knuckleheads are threatening, but then I’m not a tiny little dog. If anything they’d beat someone to death with tail wags.

Tomorrow I leave town to attend my…gulp…50th high school class reunion so there won’t be a post this Friday. How in the world does a 50th anniversary sneak up on you? Rest assured our good friend Friday will be showing up with wine (or beer for you malted suds lovers) so please enjoy one, especially after a short week that seemed extra long. Right now I have to go lose 15 lbs. quick between I drop in on my fellow geezers classmates this weekend. This. ought. to. be. interesting.

Live love, bark! ❤︎

 

Game On Dude!

Normally when it’s been ‘game on’ in the past, it means I’m trying to match wits with a certain blonde knucklehead. This time however, we’re talking about a totally different game.

I’ve tried, really I have. Living in an urban setting, there is a surprisingly diverse wildlife population. Foxes, all sorts of songbirds, a couple of mangy coyotes, an owl, a pair of hawks, some raccoons and of course, squirrels. I enjoy watching them as they adapt to city life and have managed to co-habitat easily with them. That is, except…for the squirrels which seem to be some sort of spin-off from a Hell’s Angels fur gang, minus leather jackets. Lately they’ve become even more bold.

Source filched from the web

Oh sure, we all like to think of our little Sciuridae fur-iends as impossibly cute and even entertaining. Isn’t the one above just beyond adorable? Yeah right. The ones in my neighborhood are a lot more like this one. They’ve eaten screens, chewed ginormous holes in the trash and recycle bins to scrap out that lone tiny piece of stuck cheese in the discarded pizza box and left giant holes in the compost bins. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind it they stuck to the compost bins and enjoyed a strawberry hull or two, but crimmin-Italy…not the dang window screen…again!!

Source: another filched image from the Web

Less than two weeks ago, the most brazen of the 3 or 4 that have been terrorizing gracing the Ranch from large tree in the front yard chewed through the screen in the kitchen presumably to snack on some bananas. Must be offspring from the one from a few years ago that broke in through that same screen and devoured a package of brownies on the counter. Yesterday as we were returning from our early morning walk, we arrived to find a blur whiz past us. Naturally the Ninja huntress took off after it. She nearly caught him too. Sure gave him a scare as he double timed it up the utility pole just out of jaw’s reach.

Meanwhile, back at the scene of the crime, I realized we had caught him ‘screen-handed’ though by the time I retrieved Elsa from chasing him, the only thing left was yet another torn screen in the exact same spot as the prior 2 times. Little bastard. If it only happened a few times every 4 or 5 years, I probably wouldn’t be so cranky about it. But this was less than two weeks ago!! So I went out to the garage to see if I still had any rat traps. While I didn’t find a rat trap, I did find a couple of mouse traps and baited them with some peanut butter. Not 30 minutes later that same hoodlum snatched the glob of PB off one and triggered the other one from the window sill. Are you freaking kidding me??!!

Ok, pal…it’s game on now and I’m going full nuclear. I’m going full Bill Murray from “Caddyshack” and plan to catch that little rat bastard. Have you ever been victimized by a rogue gangster squirrel? While I consider myself a major animal and wildlife lover, this. has. got. to. stop. We’ll be visiting our friendly hardware store this morning to stock up on armament.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday

Even though he may be a bit long in the tooth (though not half bad for an almost 55-year-old dude), the teasers for the latest Tom Cruise modern day reboot of The Mummy kind of took me by surprise (how does he stay that buff). I found this PG meme which seemed to kind of play off the ‘other side’ part, with a smile for those who prefer to NOT be scared to pieces by CG monsters.

But…if you do feel compelled to have the living know-know-what scared out of you, watch the extended trailer here.

Do you like action-adventure horror films, Tom Cruise and remakes or do you just like a pleasant summer afternoon in a nicely air-conditioned theater with popcorn?

Happy mid-week.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Innocent or Naughty?

A recent discovery has forced me to employ some special Sherlock Holmes powers of deduction and observation while try to solve a mystery concerning Elsa. Oh sure, she looks the picture of innocence…all snuggled up in a tight curled ball. Sleeping so serenely. But is that really what’s going on in this case?

A bit of background on this little girl. Almost from the time she was rescued, she would ‘dig’ at her bed. Not just a couple of paw scratches to create some kind of nest, but some seriously digging. Like she was digging to China. She paws, scratches and digs with her front paws, then circles around the heap and flops down. It’s entertaining as all get out, but bizarrely weird since I’ve never had a dog that dug like that so intensely. She goes full-on excavator for several minutes.

A couple of days ago in an early morn pit stop in the backyard, my sweet girl went to relieve herself like a good girl. I was still kind of asleep and it was barely light so nothing out of the ordinary registered in my still sleepy brain. And then we went out again following breakfast (now fully awake) and I’m aghast to see ‘something’ odd and rather indescribable in the pile left earlier. Clearly it was something not exactly typical. OMD…it looked like a piece of fabric! I just shook my head. What the heck had she eaten now?

Notice anything unusual from the above picture of innocence to this full frame photo? Like that hole? While ‘digging toward China’ in the studio, I discovered there was something missing from the blanket that the dogs take turns laying on. It always makes me smile when they switch places on the blanket. First Sam, then Elsa. But when I saw Elsa next to it, I realized there was something unusual about it.

Yup, seems my…ahem…sweet little Ninja apparently ate part of the blanket. I think that what I saw in the back yard might have been that piece of missing fabric although I still can’t say with 100% certainty that it’s not something else. with this girl. Guess I better check the toys closely, my sock drawer, and anything else not nailed down.  Oh. That. Dog.

So you tell me…the picture of innocence or mischievously naughty? Either way – yikes!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Theft Tuesday

Hello, is this the police department? It’s me, Elsa, the Ninja. I wish to report a theft. Over the weekend there was a conspiracy with my mom to steal my furs! Mom has been saying that I looked like a Muppet but she never said they would steal my furs!

Police Dispatcher: Um, ma’am…we don’t handle that kind of theft. I think you better take it up with your mom.

Me: Well I never! Maybe you guys can tell me what to do about this highway robbery?!

Since mom brought me home 8 months ago, she’s been trying to keep my luxurious coat looking it’s best. I let her trim me up a couple of times but it just isn’t my cup of kibble to have the water works, clipper and hairdryer so mom has been using scissors lately, but I’m so over her feeble attempts.

Luckily my big brother told me what to expect since he donated his furs earlier in the week so he could work at the hospital. He’s used to it and both mom and the groomer say he’s a good boy at it. Pfft! Good boy, ha…that’s laughable. He’s so dumb he just doesn’t know any better. Resist, I say!!

Should have figured out there was something rotten in Denmark going on since I got to go for a ride by myself. So here I am with Rebecca (Sam’s groomer when mom doesn’t spiff him up). She nice and all and I liked her, but I mean, criminy…she seems a bit too happy making me nekked with scissors, clippers and a hair drying that sounded like it was going to take off Yikes!! Oh sure, she  seems all nice and everything, but people…come on…she’s stealing my filthy beautiful furs! What does she need them for, I ask? They don’t keep her warm. And they don’t go with her red hair. I think my expression say it all  (even if you can’t  see my eyes for all the fur).

There was a girl who had ‘a little curl…right in the middle of her forehead’

But it got worse. I had to endure water on top of the theft! I was willing to drip dry, then Rebecca said we should ‘just try the dryer out’ to see how I’d do. I’ll tell you how I’d do. I’d freaked out…that’s how I’d do. But actually, truth be told, I didn’t do too badly according to Rebecca who let mom stay with me just in case I had a seizure from the stress. She talked nicely to both me and mom and said I was a good girl and only got upset when the dryer was close to my ears.

After the drying, Rebecca finished up the detail work and spiffed me up nicely. She even removed that little curl in the middle of my forehead. Her and mom couldn’t stop laughing about that. Wish I sure knew what was so dang funny about it? More stolen fur if you ask me!

All and all it wasn’t the worst thing to happen and I do smell really good now if I say so myself and mom can’t stop hugging on me. Even my dimwit brother has been checking me out, catching a sniff here and there. Mom got a new bandana out and said hot pink went pawfectly with the new shiny trimmed furs. Waddu think? Look, I even have eyeballs!

I’m still keeping the police on speed dial, just in case we have to go through this theft business again any time soon. At least my toys comforted me. Have you been a victim of this kind of crime?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎