Category Archives: #ohthatdog!

Monday Moanings

[An open letter to the dogs on a Monday from a questioning huMom]

Dear Canoids,

Is it just because you’re ‘canoids‘ or because you’re too smart for your own good poodle selves that makes you do things in a contrary way designed to negatively impact the Ranch upright?

“W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R more are talking about?” said two innocent-looking faces. Umm, how about Exhibits A and B. We received about 6-9 inches of snow. In our mountain desert (aka Denver) snowfall is always calculated in a range of inches. Why? It’s called wind. Not the Wizard of Oz kind, but definitely the kind that can impact the measurement of snow. And in keeping with those ‘flexible’ numbers, you guys seem to take matters in your own paws. As in where you like to poop…you know in the deepest possible snow. Oh…and as far away from the sidewalk as possible. Usually just a few inches past the leash length which requires hiking out to the ‘dumping’ grounds. Snow in that mound is nearly always double in-depth and often the most desirable location for the 4-pawed tribe. Note previous tracks checking it out by the Ranch crew.

EXHIBIT A ~ Apart from the depth, this spot would have actually worked compared to Exhibit B.

But no, that wasn’t good enough for my sweet dogs who manage to take it to a ‘nother level, aka Exhibit B. They seem to assume there are extra points for doing it in places that are next to impossibly difficult for an upright to get in and responsibly clean up after. Seriously, Elsa…do you really have to go into the area where there are the lowest possible hanging limbs or shrub rose branches to stab me in the head and/or legs? Trust me when I say there. are. no. extra. points!! Demerit points, yes.

Exhibit B ~ Otherwise known as the bestest dumping ground.

Do I look like a 3-foot tall Hobbit who wears armadillo like armor?! Don’t answer that.

And what’s with this thing about ALWAYS having to scamper around behind my back after I’ve picked up after you, crossing the streams a la Ghostbusters style twisting the leashes, stretching the bum shoulder and providing way too many close calls at toppling the not-as-flexible as Gumby upright as she extracts herself from the dwarf forest? Do you know how hard it is to keep the leashes untangled in gloves with hands that are freezing, trying to hold on to some semblance of order, all the while juggling a poop bag whose smell could raise the dead that needs to be off loaded in a trash bin ASAP? Seriously, you never seem to have a problem with crossing in FRONT of me inside the house. WTH?!

Your loving huMom

Do your guys go ‘contrarian’ on you when it comes to conducting their number 2 business?

Live, love, bark❣

2018 Resolutions

Because mom was so preoccupied with multiple trips to see my grandma during her multi-week hospitalization, Elsa and I decided to take matters into our paws on the resolution front. Sam here. Mom doesn’t generally do resolutions thinking they usually aren’t kept for long and are a waste of time. We, on the other hand, are all about resolutions because we know we can keep them. Too bad mom doesn’t have enough discipline like us brilliant poodles.

Knowing that mom worked in the legal field for 87 years, we thought we’d codify our resolutions in a nice legal-beagle kind of way. That way she’ll be sure to understand where we’re coming from, right? Here are our resolutions for 2018.

Sam’s 2018 Resolutions

I, Yosemite Sam, chief knucklehead at the Ranch (the “Knucklehead”) do hereby swear, affirm and warrant to keep the following resolutions as they relate to making life interesting for our mom (the “Upright”). Therefor…


BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead resolves to continue his bad leash manners, especially during the winter months. This means I reaffirm to wrap the leash behind her legs as soon as she prepares to clean up after me on all walks at every opportunity and to poop in the deepest possible pile of snow presuming we ever get any;


BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead agrees to continue to stretch the leash as far away as possible from Upright’s bad shoulder by splaying toes for better balance and digging in with strong legs. Knucklehead further resolves to resist any leash correction while sniffing on walks;


BE IT RESOLVED, as a male who must show dominance at all times, Knucklehead affirms he will continue to hover over his sister whenever she tries to pee on the off-chance said Knucklehead might get away with peeing on her; and finally


BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead, in accordance with the terms of the Poodle Doctrine, affirms and resolves to abandon all previous training with respect to leash pulling during all sniffing sessions. There will be no loose leash walking for said Knucklehead in those areas where there is no sidewalk to safely walk. Said Knucklehead plays a mean game of chicken and is not a wuss and is clever enough to try to walk in front of cars because it freaks out Upright despite knowing said Upright repeatedly threatens to rip off head of Knucklehead when he moves too far away from Upright’s side.

Subscribed and sworn to this 16th day of January, 2018.

   Yosemite Sam 🐾                           

Elsa’s 2018 Resolutions

I, Elsa, Fearless Ninja at the Ranch (the “Ninja”) do hereby swear, affirm and warrant to keep the following resolutions as they relate to making life interesting for our mom (the “Upright”). Therefor…


BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will continue to be a scrappy girl whenever a runner approaches us, especially when said runner is running with a dog and will always keep Upright guessing as to how I will react when encountering another dog on any walk;


BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will continue to look for non-edible edibles, i.e. reading glasses and items from the pantry shelves and reminds Upright to make allowances as Ninja was a puppy mill dog for years and doesn’t know better.


BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will take every opportunity to cross leashes and always walk behind Upright’s back on walks because it makes Upright grumble with HBO words while getting twisted up; and finally


BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja affirms and warrants she will continue to be a twirling dervish as Upright attempts to hitch up the harness for walks. Ninja knows Upright enjoys it given all of her giggling which seems to encourage Ninja’s tail wagging and weaving through legs.

Subscribed and sworn to this 16th day of January, 2018.

   Elsa, the Fearless Ninja 🐾                

Did you or your pup make any resolutions for 2018?

[Mom here with a comment. Now I know why Lady Justice is blind; she had poodles too.] On the plus side, they always manage to resolve to be adorable and sweet without trying.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎


Epilepsy Awareness Month

Even though it’s the last day of the month and I admit to being remiss about noting that November is Epilepsy Awareness Month before now, I did want to bring attention to it on this last day of November. Purple is the color for Epilepsy Awareness and we’ve been wearing our purple bandana all month in support of canine Epi-Warriors.

As you may know, canine epilepsy hit very close to home for me. The beautiful black standard poodle, affectionately known as the ‘Ninja’ aka Elsa, came into my life last September. Two weeks after her adoption, this beautiful girl started having seizures. She was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy which means the vet isn’t sure what is the cause. A strong factor as to why she started seizing most likely would be genetic as she was a puppy mill survivor and her lineage is uncertain. Initially it was a little tricky getting the right dosage of anti-seizure medication with CBD oil but I am happy to report that she has been seizure free since late May {knock on wood}. Having a dog with seizures can be a terrifying thing to witness.  Even with treatment it’s no picnic in the park and I knew there would be some challenging days. Despite a few hiccups along the way this past year, Elsa is living a full and normal life (just ask her brother who it seems she just loves to torture. Sam: “Mom she’s touching me again!”) Her treatment is specific, can be expensive at times and must be administered at the same time twice a day but it’s been totally worth it for the joy she brings.

Elsa’s condition has inspired me to learn as much as I can about canine epilepsy and I am grateful for loads of online information from our friends at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and Five Sibes who provide amazing resources. Remember epilepsy is not a death sentence by any means and having the right information is critical in treating it. There are various epilepsy websites including Canine-Epilepsy as well as generalized info found at the Epilepsy Foundation for educating oneself if it ever happens to you or your pet. I’ve certainly learned a lot since that first seizure and hope, with proper nutrition and the right balance of medication, the Ninja can live a long and happy life. If chewing on eyewear is any indication of happiness, she’s in hog heaven since another pair bit the dust earlier this week. #OhThatDog!

Still I love her to pieces and every day I can witness her enjoying a happy life makes me smile. I know, hard to believe this innocent face is such a pill!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

Every try to exercise with dogs? This was pretty much me trying to do yoga after the Thanksgiving food coma. I eventually had to barricade the miscreants out from the studio while I ohm’d my way to bliss and {hopefully} burned off a few extra calories in the process. Nothing like trying to keep one’s focus while you’re trying to not topple over doing Tree Pose while a certain Ninja barked her head off.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

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! ❤︎

Low Wattage Day

With this week’s little snow storm crispness in weather (thankfully it’s back in the 70’s – yay for Indian Summer) I thought it’d be nice to enjoy some fresh-baked bread with tonight’s dinner. Cue the bread making machine. It started up doing it’s usual whir, whir noise as it blended the ingredients. No biggie, right?

Unless you’re a puppy mill dog who has never been exposed to such racket noise. You’d have thought there was a burglar trying to break into the house by the way Elsa went nuts barking, growling and running from end to end trying to locate the source of the offending sound. Once she realized it, she tentatively walked up to it to give it a sniff, but not before numerous treats were dispensed to cajole her it was ok to come into the kitchen where the sound came from.

I often times forget there are things this girl hasn’t experienced. But then again, even Sam wasn’t sure about it and had to be coerced with treats. After I nearly had to rub his nose in them. It was hard to believe it took so long for him to realize there was a treat in it for his investigative work. Hilarious especially since he recently got caught standing up on his hind legs filching taste-tasting a slice of hot pizza. Sometimes that dog is low-wattage when it comes to a functioning brain.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Another One Bites the Dust

The 4-pawed demolition squad, otherwise known as the Ninja, has struck again. One of Elsa’s favorite toys that she plays with frequently unceremoniously bit the dust. I thought it only fitting it had the pawfect funeral requiem before it goes to the toy graveyard mending basket.

Hard to believe this innocent looking poodle is so treacherous when it comes to toys. Early on I learned the cute toys with adorable arms, legs and noses that uprights favored were fair game when introduced to this munching machine. I have tried to keep toys without angles, edges or appendages, preferring rounded shapes so as to keep the jaws of death less likely to inflict the special death she foists on them.

Here’s just a tiny sampling of toys that once had ears, fins, and other protruding parts before my ‘Jaws’ eating machine got ahold of them. It always cracks me up how she’ll play nice and then all of a sudden WHAM! Something possesses her mind and she must then eviscerate the ever-loving stuffing out of it.

Sadly many of her stuffies have not been able to be saved, despite valiant attempts by the resident seamstress. Frankly, some were so chewed up, not even the ‘Doctors of TV‘ could put them back together. I think poor ‘Nemo’ here is just about on his last fin. The smiley ball used to have long floppy ears now only sports nubs (I’m surprised she hasn’t eaten the tag). And yet, it makes me happy to see her cart them in her mouth to the back door waiting to go on a walk with a half chewed stuffie in her mouth. Which is why whenever the fabric store has a coupon, I try to find remnants to stock up on for future projects. Looks like I’ll be visiting again soon and trying to whip up something clever that she’ll destuff enjoy even if only for a short time. She seems to enjoy the bone and heart shapes made earlier this year, so maybe Santa will make more of those.

Do you have a Kraken who destroys toys chewer who enjoys the stuffing a little too much?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎