2021 OES Picnic Recap

It’s unusual for us to post on Tuesday but Norman ‘insisted’ we post a recap about the weekend’s OES Rescue Picnic and Fundraiser so I’ll let him take it from here.

Norman:  Over the weekend, mum and I went to quite the event. We’ve been visiting our sheepie friends, Clifford and his  brother, Sully helping put together a bunch of gift baskets so had no idea what this adventure would be like. I always enjoy seeing Clifford and Sully since they have the BEST toys that I take full advantage of when we visit. Sometimes, mum has to take them away from me. But this event had so much space and so many sniffs to investigate, I could have cared less about toys.

I now think I’m in love. Check out this gorgeous girl! Mum said I’m a bit of a cad since I didn’t get her phone number (or name sadly). I told mum she was in charge of names since she has the thumbs to write those things down but she apologized saying she was too busy checking everyone in and keeping the water bowls filled. It was a gorgeous but warm day and if you know sheepdogs, we like to party and can drink like fish.

OES
Isn’t she gorgeous? Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Taking my welcoming duties seriously I posed at the entrance making sure everyone knew where the fun was.

Norman

Here’s my pal Yogi who got the award for best dressed sheepdog.

OES Picnic
Well dressed ‘Yogi’ Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Once folks came inside the party area, they checked in at the registration table. Notice those ‘welcome bags’ on the right? They each contained an OES fridge magnet, either a photo frame or collapsible dog bowl as well as a donated product from our pals at Licks. Everyone who attended received one.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Let’s check out all the amazing gift baskets! There were all sorts of cool things including donated pro-sports tickets and athlete autographs, brewery/spirits tours, bandanas, hand made sweaters, knit hats, dog treats, original artwork, and dog-related items. Bids were made on various baskets raising funds for the rescue with some folks engaged in ‘bidding wars.’

OES Picnic
I want No. 7, no, that one’s mine! Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

There were loads of sniffs to be had, games of chase, corn hole, golf cart rides around the neighborhood, a kissing booth, a BBQ for peeps with some special sweet treats.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

My pal Sully knew just what to do.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

And look at these adorable ‘kids,’ our pals, Anastacia and Dave with Clifford and Sully (along with doggie friend, Gracie, owned by the owner of the home that held the event).

OES Picnic

Lots of peeps got into the spirit at the Kissing Booth, even  mum and I.

OES Picnic
Mwah!
OES Picnic
I give the best kisses.

The baskets were given a good once (or three times) over for all the amazing items that were donated.

OES Picnic

And consultations were held on bidding strategies.

OES Picnic
Did you see Basket No. 12?!

Everyone was well behaved, enjoyed one another’s company and had a great time. We sheepdogs come in all shapes, sizes and shades of grey but we all have one thing in common. We 💙  peeps.

OES Picnic
Yes, I am a lap dog. Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue.

Don’t you wish you could have attended? Join us tomorrow when we’ll report how much was raised to benefit the Colorado Old English Sheepdog Rescue.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 26, 2021

Monday

I am not self-medicating with chocolate. The nice lady at the shop wrote me a prescription. Well, she called it a receipt…but whatever.

Here’s to the good kind of self-medication. May all your meds this week be sweet.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 2, 2021

TDIF…our favorite day of the week where we join those adorable Pacific Northwest ‘fur-pals,’ Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Be sure to check out what other bloggers have shared by clicking on the highlighted link.

Welcome to the month of July where summer ramps up with gorgeous flowers and hot temps. While the Mile High is not suffering like our friends in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, we have been keeping an eye on news reports and shaking our heads at all those staggering temperatures. Please keep all those suffering with high temps in your thoughts and pray that Nature takes a deep breath and calms down by returning to a kinder, gentler version of its bad self.

So let’s take a look at what’s happening around the 303. This is the time of year where our garden blooms are for the most part fairly spent. While the yarrow has started blooming and Red Hot Pokers are beginning to send their orange spikes upward, the garden is in a bit of a transition right now as it’s more late spring blooming. This week’s highlighted superstars from our neighborhood are a gorgeous butterfly and a blooming food source for it and other flying insects.

Milkweed (Asclepias) is actually a kind of wildflower named for their milky substance, which provides a nice nosh for butterflies and other pollinators. Four species of native milkweed are found in most states in the U.S. and southern Canada (Common Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, and Butterfly Weed) and thrive in a wide range of garden/meadow habitats from the U.S. eastern seaboard to the Rocky Mountains. Milkweed has had a long history of medicinal, every day, and military use in the U.S. (milkweed contains about 2% latex and attempts were made to use it as a natural substitute for rubber during WWII, though no large-scale success was documented).

Milkweed

Milkweed flowers are some of the most complex plants in the plant kingdom rivaling orchids with their complexity. Notice the five petals above as they reflex backwards exposing the staminal crown which is surrounded by a five-membrane corona in the center. That corona acts as a sheath for the inner horn with glands holding pollen sacs are located between the hoods. Milkweed provides an important source of food for Monarch butterflies which sadly aren’t seen often in my urban neighborhood with sightings of this week’s ‘critter,’ the Swallowtail flitting around it far more common.

Butterflies

Swallowtails are large, colorful butterflies who throw down the winged-gauntlet for Norman and Elsa to try to follow their flight patterns (unsuccessfully I might add). These “birdwing butterflies,” so named due to their exceptional size, angular wings, and birdlike flight, include over 550 species. Although the majority are tropical, members of the family inhabit every continent except Antarctica.

Butterfly

Did you know many states honor Swallowtails by naming them as their state insect? Oregon, Virginia, Georgia, Delaware, and South Carolina are among them and the Black Swallowtail is listed as Oklahoma’s state butterfly.

It’s a long holiday weekend in the Northern Hemisphere with the U.S. celebrating Independence Day on Monday and Canada Day on July 1. This year, Canada Day has been marred with the recent finding of hundreds of children’s remains at residential schools in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Celebrations have been muted as the country reckons with its treatment of indigenous peoples. We bow our heads to the memory of those victims and hope investigations will reveal how this ever happened.

Do you have big plans for the long weekend? Whatever you do, stay safe, hydrated and wear sunscreen but take time to admire  the simple sights Nature provides us. As an outspoken critic of fireworks, we hope you’ll be considerate of our furry friends and those who suffer from PTSD who frequent struggle during this noisy time of year.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ June 30, 2021

Smile

Hoping things are cooling for anyone who’s been broiling under the heat dome.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 14, 2021

Whether you fall in the master or minion camp, we hope your Monday and the entire week is full of joy and happiness. Stay cool but make it a pawsome day!

Smiles

Live, love, bark!🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ February 17, 2020

Wordless Wednesday
Near the Heceta Lighthouse~Siuslaw National Forest, Florence, OR

Live, love, bark!  🐾

International Epilepsy Day ~ 2021

EpilepsyWelcome to Monday where I usually share a smile but since today is International Epilepsy Day (a joint initiative created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy), I wanted to shed awareness on the condition since epilepsy has personally touched the Ranch  and to encourage everyone to advocate for legislation guaranteeing the rights of all those who suffer from epilepsy. International Epilepsy Day is a global event which is celebrated annually on the 2nd Monday of February. It’s also the day when those who live with epilepsy share their experience with a global audience and encourage and remind anyone who lives with this condition to live life to their fullest potential.

ElsaYou may recall that shortly after adopting Elsa (read her adoption story here or another post about some of the trials and tribulations here) from the puppy mill she had been in, she started initially having severe life threatening Grand Mal seizures. The diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy was personally devastating, however I was determined to make her life better after all she’d already endured. Epilepsy can be managed. Elsa’s on anti-seizure medication as well as receiving multiple doses of CBD, spread throughout the day. It has taken many months to get the dosage for both appropriate in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of the seizures. With epilepsy there can be lots of trial and error. Once the anti-seizure medication dose seemed appropriate, her vet recommended adding CBD. Initially, she continued to experience seizures at the rate of about every 6-9 weeks although the intensity was reduced. After switching to a locally sourced organic CBD, her seizures came far less frequent and were minor in their intensity.

Once a year Elsa has her blood levels tested to determine the impact of the medication on her liver. While reducing the number of seizures, CBD is metabolized the same way in the liver as anti-seizure meds so her blood is monitored closely. For the most part, they’re fairly good and she had been been seizure free for 15 months but then suffered a minor seizure last month so the clock restarts but the vet is reasonably pleased with her progress. We’re working on her diet to help her shed a few pounds and to reduce slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Overall she’s doing well, giving her brother a run for his money and bringing joy to me with her sweet ways and always entertaining behavior with toys where she frequently stands over them, barks and then pounces, as if trying to cow them into submission.

Elsa is the second dog I’ve owned as an adult who suffered from seizures and while I’ve  learned a lot since adopting her, I certainly don’t have all the answers. Luckily there are many online resources and forums available to help epi-warriors’ families with ongoing questions and tips.

Did you know one in every 100 dogs is affected by epilepsy? Idiopathic epilepsy (the most common cause of seizures in dogs), is an inherited disorder, yet its exact cause is unknown. Other causes may include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, or toxins. Onset in dogs usually begins sometime between 2-6 years. Elsa’s first episodes were quite severe, life threatening in fact that required emergency vet intervention but are now mostly well managed. Her life is relatively normal, all things considered and when the epi-monster hits, I know how to proceed to treat her. Do you know  anyone who is epileptic?

In honor of International Epilepsy Day, I hope you’ll wear something purple today to honor and support anyone who suffers from this condition, be they two or four legged.

Elsa

A partial list of resources:

Canine Epilepsy Network (http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html)
The Wally Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/thewallyfoundation/)
The Epilepsy Foundation (https://www.epilepsy.com)
AKC Canine Health Foundation (https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/top-health-concerns/epilepsy/

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 28, 2020

MomWelcome to the last week of the dumpster fire also known as 2020. We hope you had a blessed and Merry Christmas. Christmas this year marked an extra special occasion, marking the 90th birthday for my mom. My Mom has lived through some pretty horrific times. She survived the bombing of Frankfurt during World War II as child as well as through some pretty intense health issues over the past few years. I wrote a bit about it back in 2016 here, after Angel Sam spent a week on her bed at hospice care following an ER doctor’s prognosis giving her 48 hours to live. Long story short, she “flunked out of hospice” then. In 2017 she ended up back in hospital for 4 weeks, with a number of days in ICU. Another surgery was performed where more of her colon was removed for an obstruction but she managed to eventually bounce back once again.  These days we affectionately refer to her as a ‘semi-colon.’ So yeah, this was a very special Christmas birthday. I’m so incredibly grateful to have been able to celebrated it. Happy 90th to my spunky, special Mom who has defied the odds in numerous ways.

Like everyone else, we’re hoping 2021 provides a path toward normalcy. It won’t come overnight (especially if ‘mask holes’ continue to not wear masks and congregating in large groups) and pray the recently approved vaccines provide a way back toward the ‘good ole days.’  The world has so much healing needed to embark upon and pray that 2021 is the beginning of that process.

2020

We look forward to waving goodbye to 2020 while remaining upbeat that 2021 provides more smiles and joy for our COVID weary hearts. To 2020, we say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

So how was your Christmas?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

A Midweek Introduction

Hello friends, I’m a bit late to this party, I could not let an opportunity to share the news of someone who’s been a good friend of the Ranch and introduce you to his new blog despite being tardy. Let me just say this seasoned blogger knows how to serve up a tasty post.

Allow me to dish up the inaugural post from our friend, Frank, he of the former “AFrankAngle fame.” Frank thought he was done blogging but then realized he had another voice where he could showcase his “Beach Walk Reflections” posts on a new blog. His insight and thoughtful prose is definitely worth a check out, so please drop by. Frank also has some of the cleverest followers and everyone will leave you with a good feeling with thoughtful observations at a time when we need it the most. Very best wishes, Frank…may you experience continued success my friend. I know I am looking forward to this new batch of thoughtful posts, lovely images and videos and smart followers. So check it out at and see why the Ranch hands gives this new puppy their 4 out of 4 paws endorsement:  Keep up the good work, Frank! https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com

Pawprints

Live, love, bark! 🐾

We’re Back…sort of

Hi there, remember us? You know, that merry band of misfits consisting of two dogs and an upright who thinks she runs things but let’s face it, we all know Norman and Elsa are the real brains around the Ranch. Sorry we’ve been AWOL. A series of life events tripped us up pretty hard and took the wind out of my sails with little to no bandwidth remaining in the tank to do any kind of job at blogging. I began to sink in mental mud rather than focus on much of anything else.

Flowers

Although we were served a large crap sandwich, I realized when I ran into a nearby neighbor couple this morning that life can easily serve a bountiful meal as well. They were loading their newborn baby boy into the car (egad, I hadn’t even been aware they were expecting)!  What a beautiful and reaffirming sight to see their new son peeking out over dad’s shoulder gazing at the world while the two fur beasts and I observed this blessing from a more than social distance. The realization that a new life joined the rest of us in 2020 had an impact on my psyche and that made me realize I absolutely needed to begin to post.

In the ‘more good news’ category, the hospital recently contacted the pet therapy teams to see if we were interested in participating in some form of hybrid form of pet therapy visits. While visiting patients and staff in the hospital would not be possible (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future given the recent uptick in cases in the Mile High City), they worked on creating a new way to bring smiles at least to the staff of the Emergency Department. Norman is scheduled to visit their parking lot venue for greeting doctors and nurses (today is our first day and we’re wiggling with excitement and will report back on just how it goes so wish us luck). Norman is all spiffed up having survived the water torture and is now ready to make his first appearance spreading a little joy later this morning.

Pet Therapy

Please know we’ve missed you all and hope to pick up where we left off with new adventures to share. I’ve continued to visit your blogs and left a few microscopic comments but you’ve all been in my heart. It appears the summer has been good to the fair majority of you and we hope autumn continues in that vein. Until the next time where we update you on how Norman’s inaugural entry into the world of pet therapy goes, remember…

Live, love, bark! 🐾