Welcome to Monday but today is not just any Monday. Today we honor two giants of humanity, Martin Luther King (MLK) and Betty White. Around the country, parades are being held with an emphasis on the participants honoring the civil rights leader through a day of national service. Since 1994, the day of service is being coordinated nationally by AmeriCorps, a federal agency which provides grants to organizations coordinating service activities on MLK Day. The only other national day of service in the U.S. officially designated by the government, is September 11th’s National Day of Service (9/11 Day).
Today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Fans of the “Golden Girls” star who passed away recently, have created a virtual event asking for donations of $5 be made to animal rescues or shelters in her name. White was a big animal lover and well known for her efforts of saving endangered species. She helped fix conditions at the Los Angeles Zoo.
In addition to her efforts at the LA Zoo, White was also a big supporter of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo’s entrance to the “Heart of Africa Exhibit” was named Betty White Way in 2014 in her honor.
We typically use Monday’s for sharing a smile, but today we also support of the efforts of both of these legendary Americans. Everyone at the Ranch supports the essence of MLK Day as well as the remarkable work of Betty White and hope you’ll participate in a meaningful way to honor both of these special people. May your Monday be the beginning of a good week filled with smiles and positive actions, just go easy on the mice, okay?
Happy Monday! Welcome to the busiest and most wonderful time of the year according to many folks. When you work in the ‘pet therapy business,’ you sometimes see a slightly different side as folks try to maneuver through some of the retail madness. This cartoon made me smile as I thought how Santa and the gang might feel about it.
However you handle the stresses of the holiday season, we hope you are able to take a moment and smile. And please be kind to those trying to help you with your holiday preparations. A smile and a bit of patience go a long way to making things ‘merry and bright.’ Make it a terrific week!
Came across this chap on my walk who refused to move for fear of losing his prized meal. Maybe squirrel Thanksgiving is this week? Anyway, he kept giving me the stink eye the whole time I positioned myself around the tree limbs to try to capture his pic. He must have thought it was rude to stare while he was noshing.
Here’s hoping your week is stink-eyed free with tasty treats galore. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
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.
Taking my welcoming duties seriously I posed at the entrance making sure everyone knew where the fun was.
Here’s my pal Yogi who got the award for best dressed sheepdog.
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.
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.’
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.
My pal Sully knew just what to do.
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).
Lots of peeps got into the spirit at the Kissing Booth, even mum and I.
The baskets were given a good once (or three times) over for all the amazing items that were donated.
And consultations were held on bidding strategies.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Welcome 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.
You 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.