Category Archives: Music

Word(y) Wednesday

Bon Jovi can meet me halfway there any week. Oh yeah. How’s your week been so far? I hear Friday tiptoeing toward us.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Moanings – Post-Pawty Hangover

Elsa here. Had an amazing Gotcha Day weekend filled with ear scratches, treats and some interesting walk abouts but man, am I stuffed and worn out. Sam keeps saying I’m hungover (whatever dude) but with all the attention my peeps gave me, I think I’m a bit more than just a little tuckered out. Mom has been playing this song over and over and then giggles like crazy, so I’m beginning to think that maybe she agrees with him. What’s up with THAT?! Just wait, guys…when you least expect it….hi-yah!  xoxo, your favorite Ninja.

Hope you all had a pawsome weekend like we did. Happy Moanday.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Happiness Tuesday ~ September 13, 2016

The Happiness Tag has been making the rounds around Blogville and I was fortunate enough to be tagged by our fur-iend Skyler Braveheart yesterday (many thanks, dude!). Sam here. So I sat my mom down and we had an editor’s meeting about it. I told her she needed to help me answer the question ‘what five things make us happy?’




She said, “oh Sam, there’s so much that makes me happy, and certainly a whole lot more than just 5 things.” But I was firm (us editors are brutal like that) and said she had to pare down her 87+ happy things to just 5. Here’s what we came up with after much discussion.

Five things that make us happy (ok, we admit that we kind of stretched the numbers because we listed things that made both of us happy)
  1. I’m happiest when I’m around peeps, but especially my mom. She’s like cheese to an omelet (i.e. necessary!) and mom’s happiest when she’s around her upright family, especially her mom. Seeing my grandma smile after last year’s health scare makes us all happy. For the record, I absolutely LOVE my grandma.
  2. We are both happy when to get to go to the hospital and visit with patients, nurses and visitors. Please note, we dogs can never have too many ear scratches. Or treats. And mom loves seeing the happy looks on those peep’s faces when I make ’em smile.
  3.  We love hearing stories where pups who’ve had a tough life manage to find a happy-ending despite a rough start. My mom would rescue every single Standard Poodle she could get her paws on if she could (and probably half of ALL pups needing a fur-ever home).
  4. Little kids make me happy. I LOVE those little guys. Whenever I see a stroller, I have to say hi. Oh who am I kidding, I have to say hi to everyone but my tails goes into hyper-wag when there are miniature peeps around. I’m patient with them so they can learn the proper way to interact with us 4-legged pals which makes my mom happy. They need us smart dudes showing them how to grow up to be loving and caring pawrents for kids of all stripes.
  5. Cheese!! I can hear my mom open any cheese wrapper from a mile away. Mom gets very happy with a quality piece of chocolate and a great cup of coffee.
5 Songs That Make Us Happy

Only 5? Bummer, that just doesn’t seem fair!  Harrumph! We love music!

  1. We are big fans of Dan Fogelberg. Any of his songs make my mom smile but we especially love “Since You Asked”
  2. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by Adele
  3. “Counting Stars” by New Republic
  4. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” & “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake
  5. “100 Years” as well as “Chances” by Five for Fighting
Honorable Mentions from our playlists include:
  1. I Will Always Love You by the fabulous Whitney Houston. Oh girl…we do miss your luscious voice.
  2. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) by P!nk We love the very talented Alecia Beth Moore and not just because her birthday is near my mom’s. We 💗 Virgos.
  3. And pretty much anything by Cosby Stills & Nash and Dean Martin.
Five Blogville Friends to Tag
  1. Cupcake Speaks
  2. Dakotas Den
  3. Life with 3 Dogs
  4. Views and Mews by Coffee Kat
  5. Sand Spring Chesapeakes

We hope today finds you contemplating and appreciating all the things that make you happy.

Live, love, bark! ❤


So…as you may recall, I went to Pittsburgh these past few days to attend the wedding of my sister’s oldest son. It was a great opportunity to visit with family members I normally don’t get to see near enough since we’re kind of spread across the US from hither to yon. Fun weddings are a tradition in our family. We’ve shared many laughs at them over the years though it’s probably a good thing us siblings can no longer easily flop down and ‘Tuna’ at these kinds of events…we probably couldn’t get back up again! If you don’t know what that is, search for the Otis Day version of the song Shout from the Toga Party scene in Animal House [with apologies to anyone who saw an inappropriate ad on the YouTube link-it worked fine initially].

The “concept” of family is an extremely significant to all of us and we learned from the best, our parents who taught us the importance being true and loving to each other. It has made all the difference in the world and while we may live thousands of miles away from one another, we are close and try to come together for events like this to support one another.  Although a few were unable to make the journey, we had a large contingent in attendance and seeing everyone who was there reminded me that our family is lot like a pool with concentric circles when pebbles are dropped in it. With each new baby or spouse our circles grow outward and we are ever so much richer for those ripples. IMG_3839

From the beautiful new grand-niece I just got to meet to the niece and her family from Texas I haven’t seen in over 6 years, we are a lot like the Sister Sledge song, “We Are Family.”   Those adorably precious, polite and charming kids from Texas added so much texture and depth to our circles and kept us all entertained at the wedding. Who couldn’t love these munchkins?!










IMG_3842And while my mom was unable to partake at the actual wedding ceremony, she was at the rehearsal dinner and at the send-off breakfast the next morning for which we are ever so grateful. Her grace, style, courage and dignity has made all of us better humans throughout our lives and we cherish every. single. minute. that she continues to guide and be an amazing example for us. We snuggled with the newest member who has the classic family personality that reinforces our life circles. Miss Avery, I know you got tired of being passed around amongst all the aunties, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents, nieces and nephews, but we just can’t help ourselves. We adore you so and just want to leave lipstick marks on your sweet precious head now and forever. Know each mark and hug is given with love and hope that your life is a continuation of our family’s legacy.

To the beautiful bride, Julia and her hubby, we wish you a lifetime of love and laughter. Kudos to you for bringing joy to your grandmother’s heart at finally tying the knot, Kyle. You made her and the rest of our motley crew happy for you both and we were thrilled and grateful to share in your joy. May you always be as in love and happy as you were on this occasion. And to my dad and siblings, whether through blood or marriage, thank you all for being you and for being part of my circles in life. You make my heart smile and I’m ever so proud to call you family.


And finally there’s that fur-kid who happily welcomed me home and has barely left my side. Your Velcro-ness following any absence makes me sing and revel in gratitude.

IMG_1375Love you all, every single one of you nut-cases! 😉

Live, love, bark! ❤

Word(y) Wednesday

Looks like Spring has (finally) sprung in our neck of the woods. While out on recent morning and evening walks, it’s as if Mother Nature is saying “Lets Go Crazy” with visual tributes to the recent passing of Prince. While he wasn’t my favorite artist, I did enjoy a fair number of his songs. The past few days of world-wide adulation however has shed new light on this gifted artist and his life. His capacity to nurture aspiring new talent is unparalleled, his passion for so many causes and people and of course, those legendary guitar skills that were just wicked (remember the Super Bowl XLI performance of Purple Rain in an actual downpour?).

A Virginia Redbud tree blooming near our house showering the local street scene with “Purple Rain.”






Although I haven’t seen any “Little Red Corvettes” driving around or heard “When Doves Cry” from newly leafing out trees, all you have to do is “Stand Back” and see  there is a lot of purple being showcased. I’d like to think of it as beauty in the midst of sadness at the loss of a multi-talented artist and truly passionate human who was first and foremost, all about the music.


Where you were a fan? What’s your favorite Prince song or was it one of the many he wrote for others (i.e.  “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore“ by Alicia Keys, or “Manic Monday” by the Bangles, “Nothing Compares 2 U“ by Sinead O’Connor or “I Feel For You“ by Chaka Khan)?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Memories…light the corners of my mind…🎶

For some strange reason, the lyrics to “The Way We Were” have been playing over and over in my mind lately. Not in an obnoxious way like some songs do but no matter what, I can’t seem to purge them from my memory banks. It was just subtle enough to make me wonder about how memories work for dogs.

720108139_17013699719566836879Dogs don’t have much in the way of short-term memory (in Sam’s case, this didn’t come as any big shock to me). I’ve been putting Calendula gel on Sam’s wound and on the IV insertion point to help the healing process. He despises this daily routine (even though it has made a significant improvement) and it’s been enough of a stimulus to trigger a flight response every time I open any tube or it hand cream for myself, or whatever. He slinks away quietly and tries to make himself invisible. And yet, he conveniently ‘forgets’ and tries to lick at it every opportunity he can, regardless of how many times I correct him. A recent Stockholm University study found that while dogs do have short-term memory, it can be forgotten in a manner of moments (this underscores a lot where Sam is concerned). Dogs have specialized memories which last much longer and  allow them to remember such things as their owners, yet a passerby could be greeted in neutral terms (unless they become a frequent visitor) and will likely be forgotten quickly. I’m still trying to figure out why Sam does not put 2 + 2 together when it comes to the mailman but that’s a whole ‘nutter’ topic and might have something to do with people wearing uniforms because he’s has the same reaction to the UPS delivery guy as well (clearly that guy must also be a serial killer).

While dogs are able to ‘remember’ things, they do it in a different way. Uprights recall personal memories through episodic memory. Simply put, episodic memory is the collection of past personal experiences that occurred at a particular time and place. This is where we basically travel back in time to recall an experience. Dogs don’t have that same process-theirs is associative. Just like putting your shoes and jacket on before taking your pet for a walk, he will become excited whenever you do so because he associates that behavior with the event of going for a walk. It’s the same scenario if the catalyst is the evil vacuum cleaner. Try to recall the first time you brought out the vacuum. Your pup may have gone up to investigate and take a sniff at it. As soon as you turned it on and the infernal racket freaked the dog out, that association colors every other subsequent episode when you drag out the vacuum in the mind of your pup.

You can try to change that association however the stronger it is, the more difficult it will be. The best way is to try to take steps that create new positive associations. I know, easier said than done but worth a try, right? Till then, looks like those memories will light up the corners of my mind…now if I couldn’t only get Ms. Streisand to  vacate the premises. Maybe I should listen to a different genre of music to replace the monotonous repetition of those lyrics and create a new association that isn’t so mind-numbing. Any suggestions?

Live, love, bark! ❤

🎶 Me and my Shadow…🎶

Me and my Shadow was a popular 1927 song co-written by Al Jolson and Billy Rose and one that’s been recorded by a number of people (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., even Liberace, among many others). It was performed by James Caan in the movie Funny Lady. Since returning from California, Me and My Shadow has been more like this.

IMG_2587Notice how Sam is focused on me during a recent walk rather than on the road ahead of him? More often than not when I’m working on the laptop, his head is squarely laying on my thigh or in my lap. If I’m on the sofa, he’s right there with his head on my thigh or staring at me or laying as close to my feet as he can possibly get. He follows me throughout the day rarely leaving my side. Instinctively, I start to pet him because he’s so sweet and soft but after 5-10 minutes of petting, I’ll stop and he just stays there or he’ll settle down laying right next to me or on top of my feet.

Because his leg was vastly improved (many thanks for all the well wishes), we went back to the hospital for the first time since September (you may recall we took a leave of absence from our pet therapy work while mom was in hospice and recovering from her recent health issues).

Sam seems somewhat unsure of himself at the hospital. He kept looking to me for guidance and encouragement. He has not been particularly focused on patients. He seemed to relish the time with the nurses (perhaps a light came on in his pea brain about them always having treats to offer?) but the patients and visitors it was more of a ‘meh’ kind of reaction. Take it or leave it, he could go either way…until we encountered a young man carrying his 13-month old daughter down the hallway. Sam seemed pretty eager to check them out so I led the way. His tail was wagging furiously and the fellow was very complimentary about him. He kept asking his daughter is she wanted to pet the puppy but she was kind of nonplussed (maybe Sam’s size intimidated her) but Sam was unwilling to drop it. He started pawing at the man’s knee-something he’s NEVER done before. At last the man bent down and had his little girl touch Sam. She still wasn’t all that impressed, but Sam was happy as a clam at high tide and the guy was pleased Sam was ever so gently and sweet while she pet him.

We had another encounter in a hallway with a deaf man who had an interpreter with him. Sam was only slightly interested in him and far more interested in the interpreter but in keeping with his ethos, he zeroed in on her (perhaps she needed a visit more than the fella did?). Hard to say but I do trust Sam’s ability to decide those things even when others may think he’s not that great since he doesn’t fawn over all patients at times. Sometimes its the visitors who need his kind of attention and energy more than the patients do.

It might take some time getting back into the swing of things doing what Sam does best but I’m watching him. Till then, I’ll be humming the song…Me and My Shaad-ddow.🎶

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
For nobody’s there

Just me and my shadow
All alone and feelin’ blue

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
For nobody’s there

Songwriters: Dave Dreyer, Al Jolson, Billy Rose

Live, love, bark! ❤