Birthday Monday ~ October 8, 2018

Yesterday was a big day around the Ranch. We had a little celebration going on for our favorite Knucklehead who officially became a ‘teenager.’ That’s right, Sam turned 13 yesterday and celebrated like all ‘teens’ do, with a more active social media presence. If you missed his pics, you can see them here on Instagram. Then there were Greenies. Lots of Greenies.

He and I took a walk over to our neighborhood pup shop “Taj Mutt Hal” for his birthday treat and then hung out for a bit in Highlands Square letting him  be the center of attraction at the shops. It was nice spending time alone with him without a certain little Ninja trying to bogart his spotlight.  I guess in dog years, Sam would be around 79 which is probably why he’s been asking when his Social Security check will arrive. 

Elsa did get in on the afternoon celebration and offered her ‘design’ skills to rearrange a favorite toy I made for her last year. Unlike his sister, Sam doesn’t mind appendages. I think she’s been texting our favorite pair of Weimaraners for tips on how to make confetti. She’s a novice compared to the “Overlook Twins” but can sub in at any time if you have a deconstruction project. Having already eviscerated the one arm, perhaps she decided it needed to be balanced. At least she’s not a Picasso-type designer, right? Any have odds on how long the legs will stay intact now?

At any rate, both pups enjoyed a few extra treats yesterday and we managed to get some training time in using them.

“Wait” is a hard lesson to learn when chicken treats are used

Hope you had a great weekend. It sure seemed to have gone by extra quickly for us. For those of you who acknowledge it, have a Happy Columbus Day. We’ll use this day to reflect on the plight of indigenous people while waiting for mail that won’t arrive until tomorrow. Enjoy a short work week presuming you have today off.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

It’s been just one week, buddy…you still have a few days to go. Sorry Rip Van Winkle.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

We’re off to see the Wizard

Umm, not exactly sweet Sam. When I said we were off…you interrupted and finished the sentence with…the wizard. We’re actually going to see the vet to get your teeth cleaned.

Sam: Wait, we’re not going to see a wizard? What the dog? My teeth are just fine, thank you very much.

Mom:  Well, not exactly…you have a little build up of tartar and keeping your teeth clear of that will keep you healthy.

Sam:  Yeah well, I’ll go, but put me down as an official no to the whole idea.

Mom: I thought you liked the vet and all the nice vet techs? You sure wag your tail a lot when you see them.

Sam:  Ooh, come to think of it, I do like those techs. Ok, I’m in.

Mom: {thinking to herself} As if you had a choice here, pal.

So we head out to the vet and they happy to see Sam and he was happy to see them. Since he also had a tiny little tag on his lip and a tiny little bump on his nose that I discovered when he was groomed over the weekend, the vet said neither would be a problem to remove and they’d take care of them while he was under. His pre-surgical blood work was good and I could pick him up mid afternoon. As I turned to leave, Sam gave me that “Wait…you’re leaving me” look? It nearly broke my heart to see his crestfallen face. “I’ll be back buddy, be a good boy and I’ll see you soon.” I’m not sure he was convinced but he trotted back toward the surgery area with the tech, tail wagging.

~ 87 hours go by ~

At the appointed time, I arrived at the vet’s to pick up a wobbly pup. Sam was confused about where he was but the tech assured me he’d be fine once the anesthesia was fully out of his system. She gave me post-op orders, a prescription anti-inflammatory and said to let him convalescence for a few days. And with that the tail begin to wag so I knew my boy was fine and would recover nicely. They used a couple of stitches when the tiny bump was removed and they will need to be removed in about 10 days. All I could say was, “cool Sam…you know chicks dig scars, right?” Sam gave me an “if-you-say-so look with a big tail wag.” HIs procedure might have slowed him down but it couldn’t corral that tail. Gosh, I adore this knucklehead! 

~ The Convalescence Begins ~

Arriving home, I could see that Sam was pretty wobbly. When he sat, he listed to one side. And his eyes didn’t seem focused. He had no interest in water or food. He just wanted to be left alone rest. Nurse Ninja could sense something was off and wanted to pester tend to him.

This is the closest these two have been in fur-ever!

Yesterday Sam stayed pretty sedentary, mostly resting, and whenever he went outside to pee, he seemed disoriented. Patience and time were going to be the watch words while the little man recovered. He refused to eat the chicken and rice unless he was hand fed. By the end of the day he finally ate a small amount from a bowl…so long as I held it. My little boy needed reassurance with some good old-fashioned mom TLC.

By the end of the evening, the old Sam began return. He was still not 100% but I could see improvement in his overall demeanor. At the 30 hour mark following the procedure, he hopped up on the sofa late last night owning it like a king. So different from a few hours earlier.

As of this morning, he had a little spring in his step and took a very short walk. When we got back to the house, he asked “If chicks dig scars, mom…do you think they’ll go crazy if I get a tattoo?”

O.u.c.h. The scar will probably be bigger than the actual little bump was.

We expect to be back to 100% by tomorrow. I’m hoping that includes normal eating without catering to little Lord Fauntleroy.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings

We’re trying a new cleaning tool around the Ranch…this one’s aim is a bit off target most of the time but works mostly as well as the commercial Swiffer version. When that tail gets going, boy the dust ends up…going, going, gone!

Sam and I ‘pawticipated’ at the hospital’s annual Heroes of Hope benefit race/walk for cancer survivor’s over the weekend. We hope to have a post chronicling our adventures soon. Let’s just say Sam is still a competitor, even if he has to stop along the route to administer therapy to all the well wishers and course volunteers. Knuckleheaded dog.

Hope you had as ‘wagnificent’  a weekend we did. Here’s to a ‘pawsome’ week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Clean Up Tuesday

You can tell once spring has definitely arrived. The fair-weather peeps come out after hibernating in front of fireplaces all winter long and start to take their pups for walks now. They are out in full force in my ‘hood these days but many of them seemed to have left a couple of very important things back at home. Their consideration and their dog bags. 

As our friend Jodi from Heart Like a Dog so aptly refers to them, the DADOs (dumb a$$ dog owners) are out in full force now that spring has finally sprung. What the heck people…were you raised by wolves? No, of course you weren’t. Wolves are raised in highly social and respectful packs. Growl!

Are the DADO’s without poop bags out in force in your ‘hood?

Life, love, bark! 🐾

Poodle Rules ~ A Dialogue

 If you’ve followed us for any length of time (and thank you very much by the way) you know I grouse about share examples of how the Knuckleheads tend to interpret the rules they know all too well. Here’s our latest conversation.

Mom: So guys, after our latest walk, I thought we should (once) again review the Ranch’s Poodle Rules about certain behavior on our walks.

Sam: Oh dog…here. she. goes. again.

Elsa: H…u…h?

Mom: You know how it cheeses my toast when you guys pull on our walks, especially when Sam pulls on my rotator cuff injured shoulder when he is bound and determined wants to sniff something.

Sam: Hey, I gotta life AND a social media presence. I’m just checking out my InstaPaw feed.

Elsa: I don’t know what you’re talking about; I’m a model citizen when it comes to walking.

Mom: Umm…Elsa…you kind of get a bit reactive around some dogs.

Elsa: I’m just letting the neighborhood know I’m no shrinking violet. I am a Ninja!!

Mom: Yes, but I never said you were supposed to be so ‘spirited‘ when a dog comes to say hello. We all know you’re a Ninja and could easily whip them with one paw tied behind your tail if need be.

Elsa:[ blushing with pride] Yeah I am one tough chick, aren’t I?

Mom:  Please remember you’re supposed to behave yourself, not act like Cujo.

Elsa: Well sometimes, I just get caught up in the moment. What about Sam?

Sam: [Looking up and yawning] What do you mean, “what about Sam?” I never rumble. I’m a lover, not a fighter.

Elsa: But you almost always use my potty break catching up on pee mails as an opportunity to go in the opposite direction, pulling mom from limb to limb as if you think it’s the Spanish Inquisition again. That and trying to pee on me.

Sam: Au contraire, my little sister. I am simply proofreading your messages. You need a lot of help with punctuation. Do you not understand the difference between a comma and a semi-colon?

Mom: Enough! It’s called “we’re going for a walk,” not we’re going to pee on sisters or suddenly dash in the opposite direction of each other. Got it?

Sam and Elsa: [In 2 part harmony] Whatev.

Mom: Lost this debate again, haven’t I?

Sam & Elsa: [Harmonizing but somewhat sarcastically] Oh mom, you know we live to serve, {snickering under their breaths}.

Mom: Sigh. Well how about I leave the magic pocket chock-full of the tasty treats I bring for pawsitive training purposes at home? How you like them apples, Knuckleheads?

Sam & Elsa: [shrieking in unison]! Ok, ok…we’ll be better. Paws crossed. We’ll try real hard, mom, honest.

Mom: Good. I’m so glad we had this discussion. Was that so hard?

Sam turning to Elsa:  You know we’re doing our usual thing, right?

Elsa: Damn straight, bro. We’re poodles, not debaters. And we rule. Period.

Sam: I knew you’d see it my way.

Elsa: Dont push your luck, Dude. I still hate it when you hover practically on top of me when I pee. Give a girl some peeing breathing room.

Do the pets in your house follow the rules or do they rule the house?

Live, love, bark 🐾

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?!

Signed,
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…

RESOLUTION 1

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;

RESOLUTION 2

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;

RESOLUTION 3

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

RESOLUTION 4

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…

RESOLUTION 1

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;

RESOLUTION 2

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.

RESOLUTION 3

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

RESOLUTION 4

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! ❤︎