By now you know who won at last night’s Oscar ceremonies. Sam here. Naturally Elsa and I walked the Red Carpet, paw in paw. I couldn’t decide if I should go understated but dashing like Bradley Cooper with a silk bow tie or something more…ahem, ‘eye-catching’ like Spike Lee and ended up wearing a flowing red scarf with a new trendy pair of Warby Parker glasses. Elsa was breathtakingly gorgeous in a pink silk off the shoulder printed scarf. She was so nervous that she thought she might pee on the carpet but I said, I’ll be here for ya, kid. We just got to our seats in time (with no accidents, I might add) for some of the lesser known categories that aren’t broadcast on TV. And guess what…I actually WON! I was nervous speaking to so many people, but then my professional therapy training kicked in and I was able to deliver a heartfelt and surprisingly ’emotional’ acceptance speech. What do you think?
We hope your favorite nominee won last night. Happy Monday to all the winners.
Over the past weekend it seemed apparent I needed some serious comedy after a weekend hospital visit to rejuvenate so I spent some time cruising through the On Demand list of comedic claptrap and came across Horrible Bosses (2011) with Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. No, I did not watch much of the Bronco game…remember I said comedic, not horribly tragic (could there be a worse team in football right now?). This fun release is 106 minutes of pretty mindless silliness that made me smile at some of the lines. Having worked for my own version of a Horrible Boss back in the day, I began to wonder if I was being a horrible boss to the Ranch hands after handing out today’s safety memo at our morning ‘Editor’s meeting.’
~ SAFETY MEMO ~
To: All Ranch Hands
FROM: Resident Horrible Boss Management
Date: October 17, 2018
It has come to the attention of management that adherence to promulgated safety concerns are being ignored. Safety of management on daily walks is paramount to the continually providing of benefits (meals, treats, romps in the snow, endless patience on potty breaks during winter weather, etc.). See New Rules and Poodle Rules for specifics.
Henceforth it would be most appreciated if (a) Sam, you didn’t walk in front of management on walks and (b) Elsa, you would not walk behind management’s back to get back into simpatico balance while Sam executes his “let’s cut in front of management” move, simultaneously.
The weather has gotten significantly cooler and gloves are now the accoutrement du jour for walks, please note it will take time getting used to holding two leashes, two poop bags, while keeping everything upright without slipping on wet leaves (or worse) with gloves. No doubt management will make the necessary adjustments with time and practice but your cooperation during the transition would be appreciated.
Please contact Management if you have any concerns or questions. Remember the door is always open to the bathroom since personal boundaries were abandoned years ago. Thank you.
The Ranch Manager
What do you think the odds are that the Ranch hands will think I’m a horrible boss and do you think there’s any chance they’ll comply with the latest safety request? Yeah, I thought the same thing. Maybe I should remind them that I’m not a dentist.
If only I could talk to the animals à la Doctor Dolittle style like Rex Harrison. Oh, what a neat achievement that would be.
Elsa ‘found’ her voice a number of months ago and then kind of let it go dormant for a while but lately she’s back in the groove coming to me every morning barking her fool head off. She’s had breakfast, had her AM walk and taken care of business so I have no idea what these musical notes mean.
Do your pups ‘talk or sing’ to you? What do they say? Have a ‘wagnificent’ Monday.
Much like the movie Freaky Friday it seems we’ve had an epic switcheroo around the Ranch. I mean when you see a post that shows a certain level of destruction, you kind of automatically think, “oh jeez, Elsa, what did you do this time,” right? Well, unlike the movie, no fortune cookies produced this furable switch. I can only surmised it may have had something to do with a touch of jealousy. You may recall Wednesday was supposed to be a bath and groom for the Ninja. It’s been one of those jam-packed weeks with something scheduled every day. I seem to have caught some sinus bug or something and have been suffering from a 4-day long headache which has robbed me of much-needed sleep to help feel better. Any who…I got going early with walks, breakfast, etc. so I could give Elsa her bath and clean up the Muppet look when, half way started, the phone starts squawking that we need to be at the vet’s to recheck Elsa’s blood levels (since we reduced her Phenobarb dosage recently we need to know if it’s going to keep her seizure free). AWK!!! I thought that was set for the next day. Ugh.
Are you kidding me? I’m not ready or cleaned up for going out of the house so like any insane person, I shift into hyper-drive, race around like a maniac and fly out of the house with Elsa in tow in record time. Bless her heart, she was up for the adventure, popped right into the car and behaved like a real champ at the vets. She didn’t react to any of the large dogs waiting to be seen and even got on the scale to be weighed without any freaking out (OMD!) or special cajoling. Amazingly, we were on time, too.
Whew, so far so good, right? So the vet tech takes her in the back, draws the blood and talks with the vet who says “um, we really need the draw as late in the day as possible to accurately gauge the Phenobarb levels, any chance they could come back again at 6 PM?” The tech brings Elsa back to me with the ‘good’ news. O-kay, yeah sure (calculating in my mind how long it will take to finish grooming, bathing, drying) . So we leave, head home and start back picking up where I left off. Elsa has a thick coat and her hair was pretty long so it took a while and it was hard bending over with the sinus headache. We finished up late in the afternoon, Elsa looked semi-presentable ok and I realized she’s one good-looking dog with that luxurious shiny black coat. I, on the other hand, looked a fright, the house had dog hair EVERYWHERE so I pop in the tub and proceeded to clean-up the bathroom which was totally trashed. She’s exhausted, I’m exhausted and we still need to go back to the vet for Round 2. During the height of rush hour.
About this time, that squawking alert on my phone goes off again. Wait, what…it’s too soon to leave for the vet, what the heck is it? Turns out I was supposed to go to a book signing on the other side of town to meet a local author. Oh man, are you kidding? By this time, I know there’s no way I can make it; so I hunt through my inbox to send a note of apology that I wouldn’t be able to attend (so bummed). The Ninja is looking at me like I’ve lost it when I glance over and see my fleece jacket on the floor with Sam hovering over it. When I go to pick it up, I realized he has chewed holes in the pocket to extricate all the treats I normally carry on walks. Who’d have thought the innocent, well-behaved Sam would have gone postal on a jacket? Could have blown me away at that thought.
He looked up at with that goofy look he so proudly wears (otherwise known as his face), tail wagging and looking like “well, you have been kind of neglectful of moi, today.” Never would I have expected him to pull something like this. Elsa, oh hell yes. But Sam, never. Talk about a Freaky Friday…I just hope they don’t continue their Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis switching of roles. I swear, those two are better than a Netflix comedy.
The weekend is nearly here and if you’re like me, you can’t wait. Any plans? I am hoping to sleep the whole time.
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.
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!!
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.
Robins have arrived around the Ranch and with their residency, a number of flowering bulbs have likewise heralded the arrival of Spring. Along with those beautiful reminders the days are getting longer and warmer, however lurk some significant potential dangers. Remember the movie Lethal Weapon? Fun movie, but yeah, we’re not talking about Mel Gibson as a potential threat. What we are talking about are those garden plants that can be plenty lethal when you own pets. Sam here. What I’m talking about now are all those plants that we all love in our gardens that can be toxic landmines for us pets.
You know how it goes…you been ‘enduring’ a lousy Winter, have a few days of sunshine and start jonesing for some garden time to redesign the perennial beds with some very cool and pretty plants. When you add pets to that formula, it can get complicated having a lush garden with beautiful perennials and keeping us fur-kids safe from potential danger.
Some of us “enjoy” four separate seasons and understand that Winter may likely do a ‘drive-by’ again over the next couple of weeks though I’m not optimistic these days. Here in the Mile High we are lacking on that front. I can’t even remember the last time I had to wear my hideous snow boots. Those of you in milder climes have probably already mowed your lawns, you lucky devils. But think for a minute, how safe is your yard? Have you ever have one of us fur-kids chew on something out in the yard only to come inside and either barf on your antique wool rug or act strangely? Maybe we got into something from this list?
Signs of poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, rapid or irregular breathing, irregular pulse and cold extremities. Remember most, if not all spring flowering bulbs, are toxic to your pets. As you plan (or dream) for your summer garden, keep in mind this pretty cool chart when planning your landscape and keep us 4 legged fur-iends in mind. It could easily save our lives unless you have a mom like mine who won’t let me look twice at anything slightly edible. She watches me like a darn hawk if I even gaze toward any of the lupines! The toxins in these plants can cause anything from mild nausea or diarrhea to all out fatal poisoning for our canine and feline fur-iends (see chart below for loads of info for both cats and dogs). Click on this comprehensive list for a better view.
Has Spring arrived in your neck of the woods? How do you keep your fur-kids safe from those garden pretties that can channel Mel Gibson as a lethal weapon by causing all sorts of problems if we manage to nosh on them?
We depart from our regularly scheduled Word(y)/Wordless or Wish you Were There Wednesday posts on this occasion to acknowledge the Ides of March. Upon doing a little background research, I discovered this date was initially observed as a religious holiday (the Feast of Anna Perenna) with picnics, drinking and revelry celebrated by common people. But then in 44 B.C. it became known more as the assassination date of Julius Caesar. Ah yes, those were the glory days in politics where Twitter hadn’t yet invaded the political discourse. Caesar’s death triggered a civil war which allowed his adopted heir Octavius (later known as Augustus) to rise to power. The Big O waited until the fourth anniversary of Caesar’s death to avenge the death by executing 300 members of those senators and knights who had opposed him. Brutal times those where. Aren’t you glad we’ve evolved? Maybe Twitter isn’t so bad after all?
Decision 2016 and its aftermath has been quite confusing. So confusing in fact, I think Mother Nature is as off kilter as I am.
While walking the dogs last night, I saw this on the outside of my garden fence. I mean aren’t poppies supposed to be spring bloomers? What the heck is this thing doing blooming now…in freaking November, no less??!! This reminds me of the scene from Ghostbusters where Bill Murray’s character (Dr. Venkman) quipped “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!” To say it’s been one very weird week is an understatement. Or is this nature’s homage to Veteran’s Day on Friday? Is it that simply?
How are you holding up after the election? Hope you’re getting and receiving loads of pup hugs while you’re sorting it out; I know I am.
We recently were invited to participate in a photo shoot for the hospital’s ongoing efforts touting our group on the website. Hi there, Sam here. Because I’m one dashing looking dude, I volunteered immediately. Here’s a collage of some of the many pics the photographer took of our group. Some of us were so excited (Fergie, the American Bull Dog never stopped wagging her tail while she was visiting with the “Dogtor.”) and others were so happy to get to lay on top of with patients. Even Pepe, the party colored Standard got to met with a cute little girl in the lobby. You should be able to click on each pic for a bigger view. So, who do you reckon is the fairest one of all? Think I’ll get the call from general casting for more closeups?
All of us enjoyed showing off ourselves, and visiting with the people and staff who helped complete our stagings. A big thank you to each and every one of the dogs and their uprights who take the time to visit patients, staff and visitors at the hospital throughout the year. You guys are the best!
Have you ever seen pet therapy at work in a hospital or at a nursing home?
P.S. Sam’s mom here. Many thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments about “Elsa’s coming out” post. One week with us and she’s doing great, has gained some weight to go with her improved confidence and has taken to liking furniture.
Uh-oh…you’re hiking along and the dog runs ahead and suddenly you hear barking or maybe a yip or two. You go to investigate and lo and behold, you catch up to your pup and realize he’s been sprayed by a skunk. Your eyes begin to water, you nearly puke from the smell and your pup wants comfort and relief and looks to you for it. “Mommy…what just happened? I thought that was a kitty!” What’s a good fur-mom supposed to do?
Although skunks are generally docile, they will definitely let you know if you’ve threatened their space. Normally they will quickly waddle away, duck under a bush or use some other flight mechanism. But sometimes a dog doesn’t quite catch the hint. The result being that distinctive make-your-eyes water-smell you cannot seem to easily get rid of from a poor pup’s furs.
While the lovable cartoon character Pepe Le Pew may be made into a big screen movie, as recently reported during the last week’s Comic-Con, we hope the furry critter stays on the big screen and does not cross our path any time soon. Fortunately, we haven’t had skunks in our ‘hood (although a very similar, though far less potent smell accompanies neighborhood foxes who happen by), we used to visit my daughter in the nearby foothills. With all manner of critters including deer, foxes, bears, skunks, rock squirrels, I always worried one of the dogs would end up being sprayed. And with Sam being the dimmest of the lot, I figured it would be him. So far we’ve been ‘lucky.’
But it occurred to me not every dog is so lucky (and I’m sure our day will come). Even though the first thing that will tip you off that your pup has been sprayed by a skunk will be the smell, there are other signs that suggest being sprayed including drooling, vomiting, red or swollen eyes, face rubbing, sneezing, temporary blindness, maybe even rolling trying to get that stench off it’s fur. If lethargy, weakness, a change in urine color or pale or brown gums appear hours or days later after being sprayed, you should take your pup to a vet right away. The components in skunk spray are definitely irritating and can result in damage to red blood cells and the last thing you need is anemia on top of the stink. Remember too that skunks may carry rabies so if your pup was bitten as well as sprayed, be sure to check with your vet.
Obviously you’ll want to bathe your pup. Sadly regular shampoo for dogs isn’t gonna cut it but a homemade mixture of 4 cups of 3% fresh hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid soap (Dawn is a decent choice here). Lather up the dog, and leave in for at least 5 minutes. Rinse. Rinse again, and rinse yet again. Repeat. The peroxide might lighten your pup’s fur so be aware but it’s not toxic. If your pup took a direct hit to the eyes, rinse out with gobs of tepid water for 20 minutes to relieve the discomfort. As this recipe from the ASPCA doesn’t store well, you should make it up fresh whenever there’s an encounter with Pepe Le Pew.
Naturally prevention is the best way to deal with skunks but if it does happen to your fur-kid, you’ll know how to take care of the problem. Remember to keep food or bird seed in well sealed containers without easy access by the black and white stinker. Keep your pet away from wood piles, limit access to underneath decks or any obvious areas where they might make a den. A motion-activated lighting system may help as skunks prefer dark areas. If you find a suspected den, sprinkle kitty liter to signal that location should not be used to set up house.
Has your pup ever had an encounter with a skunk? What did you use to get rid of the stink? Here’s wishing you a smell-free weekend. At the very least, one without skunks.