Thankful Thursday ~ January 16, 2020

As you might expect, yesterday was a very emotional and overwhelming day. So emotional in fact, I was unable respond to all of the touching comments and well wishes you left about Sam’s last day as a pet therapy dog. To say I was a basketcase as I read each of your sweet notes is more than an understatement. Please know I am ever so grateful for your support and kindness as we begin to write a new chapter in life as we learn how to cope with a new reality in the days ahead.

To say that Sam left it all on the field yesterday is an understatement. Not only did he see more patients at West Pines than we have ever visited with before, he was sweetly patient and attentive as loads of people showered him with loving praise. As usual, he had to sniff out all the go-cups of coffee (don’t know what it is about coffee-he wouldn’t drink it but loves sniffing at their cups), and performed his ‘licking his chops on command’ trick for everyone. It’s the only trick he has ever performed (it’s his belief that performance art is beneath him) and managed to visit with each and every person we encountered. Naturally he spent a  extra moments with several people, all who clearly needed the love of a sweet dog sent to put a smile on their face and in their heart. And yes, there were some tears shed by more than one patient at this wonderful dog’s ability to read what people need.

As I tear up just writing this post, I can honestly say I’ve never been more proud of this silly Knucklehead. The staff was touched by him and more than a few tears fell at the thought it was Sam’s last visit. Because we’ve met so many wonderful, caring folks in the nearly seven years of visiting the hospital, I decided we’d also swing by the main hospital to bid our favorites a fond farewell. Once people realized it was our last visit, we were surrounded by folks (many who were new to us) to praise Sam’s efforts. This silly, sweet ‘Dogtor’ has chalked up 219 visits over the years, reaching out to hundreds if not thousands of people extolling the virtues of pet therapists everywhere. I didn’t check to see how many hours he’s logged, but I can guarantee it’s been loads.

As a final act of doing what this boy does best, we went to say goodbye to our friends in the hospital lab. When we arrived, there was quite the commotion going on in the waiting room. A baby was wailing his head off much to his mother’s chagrin. She was unsuccessful at  comforting the little tyke but once he saw Sam he blinked through tears, babbled something I couldn’t decipher as Sam stopped dead in his tracks. There was one more person to comfort before saying goodbye. He walked up to the little guy who patted his back with chubby little hands. Then the little boy kissed Sam on his fluffy back and head. Repeatedly. Sam stood here relishing the attention and stuck his nose in the little boy’s face, as if to say, “there, there, little man…it’ll all be good. With tears dried up, the little boy began to smile and continued to simultaneously pat and kiss him as he tottered around Sam on wobbly legs. I nearly lost it at this point especially when people commented on how sweet the whole scene was.

Certainly that small chance encounter was emblematic of what we’ve experienced over the years but this one was an extra sweet experience and one that will remain in my heart for a long, long time.

We finished our goodbyes to those who had been ever so gracious and kind over the years with vows of staying in touch. As I sat in the car ready to head home, I had to spend several minutes composing myself. Once again, the hospital gave us more than we left. I am truly blessed to have experienced such camaraderie over the years to both me and to Dogtor Sam. What a community of people, those we visit and those who visit us, here as well in person. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of you following us, leaving such special comments over the years and supporting our efforts to make this world a bit better than we found it. Mere words of thanks don’t seem sufficient for all you’ve given us but please know I feel profoundly blessed and grateful for each and every one of you.

Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 6, 2020

Good happy Monday, everyone. Elsa here. We hope you had a swell weekend. I kind of got into a spot of trouble yesterday by stealing some chicken jerky for us off the counter (it was on top of that jar you can barely see in the upper left corner) while mom had her back to us for a second. It was just sitting there at the back of the counter as she turned to put away the container. Well, that’s practically an engraved invitation to try so I did what any poodle would do…I jumped up and snarfed both pieces. Sam of course, ratted me out. Doggone brother!

Sam & Elsa
Busted!

On my afternoon walk, mom put this contraption on me and said, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” I guess that means I now have to pack my own lunch.

Elsa
Working for my lunch

We hope you have a great week. Now that the holidays are over, mom says things will go back to ‘normal.’ What exactly is normal for poodles?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 23, 2019

Happy Monday peeps and pets. The big day is almost here…are you ready? Today is Monday and we always like to start the week out with a smile.

You may recall that last week Sam worked at hospital and West Pines bringing relief and smiles to staff and patients alike. We’ll share some details of a couple of those visits soon.

As we were leaving West Pines, for some odd reason, Sam was mesmerized by the fish tank in the lobby. In the past he’s never paid any attention to it, we’ve walked past it a jillion times. Yet, this time he just couldn’t stop watching one of the large angelfish and seemed to be captivated by this swimming creature following his every turn, from one side of the tank to the other.

Fish

Sam seemed to be wondering if Santa visits those fish. The funny thing is that fish followed him as much as Sam followed the fish. Maybe he needed some pet therapy too?

Here’s hoping the smiles are plentiful this week and you are filled with the love, joy and peace of the season. We will be taking a few days off from posting and wish you all  Happy “Howlidays!”

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday

SnowHappy pre-Thanksgiving Day. As many of you know, Denver was hit with a gigantic storm yesterday that buried the city with a foot of snow. It prevented Sam and I from doing our hospital visits and has us pretty much confined. It did however allow me to enjoy my favorite blizzard beverage, hot chocolate. With Schnapps and whipped cream. We are warm and fine if not a bit stir crazy. It’s too cold and deep to take the dogs for their usual walks and apparently not possible for Sam to use the dog run to relieve himself beyond the occasional pee over Elsa’s spots in the freshly created pee-atio in the dog run. Elsa however could practically pee or poop on command but Sam is nothing, if not discerning about where he goes. I have to chuckle about his refusal to not poop in the run, but know if I scooped out a square over at my neighbor’s house, he’d drop a log in a heartbeat.

Snow
Where the heck will Friday’s snow go?

We wish all of our US readers a day filled with good cheer, good food and a football win tomorrow. To all of our readers, we will spend the day staying warm, cozy and being grateful for your digital friendship and good company every week. We are truly blessed you are in our lives and we thank you for our good fortune for the connection. Cheers!

Hot chocolate

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 25, 2019

It’s almost here, the eat-yourself-stupid ‘howliday’ that dogs all over America howling their approval. Sam gave his sister the “talk” about how it goes down.

Thanksgiving

But before Thanksgiving arrives, Sam and I will be working at the hospital the next couple of days bringing cheer to patients and staff at the hospital. We will also be training a new therapy team who is joining our ranks. Woof woof! Let’s just hope Sam doesn’t give the new guy a similar Thanksgiving “talk.” Our hospital visits may limit our ability to post or comment much this week but we will do our level best.

Mother Nature plans to factor into the holiday with a winter storm watch being issued with up to 10″ of snow expected to start arriving later today. We’re keeping our fingers crossed it doesn’t impact travel plans.

We hope you have a safe and happy ‘howliday’ and Elsa in particular, is wishing you drop a few peas or gravy drippings for the 4-legged visitors. Remember though, turkey skin is bad for dogs but sweet potatoes/yams are good if you’re sharing any bounty.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Paw-ty Time Highlights

Sam here. I managed to live through a pawsome day of celebration yesterday, otherwise known as my 14th birthday. Many thanks to everyone who left sweet comments wishing me loads of treats and many happy returns. I wagged my tail with appreciation.

Sam, BirthdayMom whipped up my favorite treat, a lip-smackin cake quiche (recipe is in our BarkBook if you want to make it for your own pup). Both Elsa and I love this snack and what could be better for a paw-ty than a tasty yet healthy birthday ‘cake.’ This time it was made extra special with the addition of rabbit meat (mom never has ham in the house and Elsa can’t eat it anyway due to the salt content when it’s cured which is bad for epi-warriors). But get this…I even ate the veggies! You guys  know I’m no  fan of veggies, right? But in this quiche…eggs, cheese and rabbit with those veggies, even this anti-veghead ate. every. morsel. Can you say….Y.U.M.?  It was so tasty in fact, the Ninja snarfed two of the bone-shaped mini-quiches before mom had her camera focused. #baddog

Mom took that photo of me before we were allowed to dig in (but after Elsa made like a thieving raccoon hitting garbage bins around the neighborhood). The Ninja however, absolutely refused to wear the birthday celebration hat though. Little brat…you know I’d do it for her. Oh well, she said she wanted to enjoy the game of pinning the ‘Tail on the Squirrel.’

Squirrel

So, do you think she should have been allowed to nosh on that tasty goodness?

Elsa

Thanks again for making No. 14 extra special. It was the pawfect autumn day, very sunny and bright. Mom says our forecast calls for a big freeze with the first snow by Thursday. What the dog?! Good thing I’m good with snow. So long as I don’t have to wear those stupid boots. Happy Tuesday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

Monday Musings ~ August 26, 2019

Dogs

Happy Monday and Happy National Dog Day. NDD celebrates all dogs, whether mixed breed or purebred. That includes celebrating Knuckleheads of all stripes and which I’m especially celebrating a certain Knucklehead who was presented an award this past weekend for having ‘pawticipated’ in more than 200 hospital visits. I couldn’t be more proud of this silly goofball who demonstrates pure loving attention to all he greets. Even when he faces the wrong way during the awards photo, he steals the show.

Sam

There will be more photos and a special post later this week but for now, please join me in saying, “attaboy, Sam.” Way to go, dude.Sam

No resting on our laurels now though. Tomorrow we return to hospital to bring more smiles to patients and staff.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 15, 2019

If you own a dog are owned by a dog, you probably have this same conversation on a regular basis. These guys seem to think they’re some kind of legal dream team.

Sam & Elsa

Wishing you a week of successful negotiating.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 1, 2019

It’s a brand new week, month, and a fresh Monday-whoa…how’d that happen? You may have noticed our conspicuous absence last week. We were supposed to visit the hospital and West Pines but by Monday evening, it became clear that Sam was too sick to do any visits and needed to see the vet. Happy to report he has begun to rejoin the canine-race after a very rough week; this despite steadfastly holding on to the notion that he must be catered to every waking moment of the day. The boy has come to expect an on-call short-order cook now and someone to hand feed him.

Sleeping dogFor a few days, he refused to eat or drink anything, requiring subcutaneous fluids from the vet. By Thursday, he would only eat a couple of small (and I do mean s-m-a-l-l pieces of freshly cooked chicken breasts. If…mind you, they were hand fed to him. By late Friday, Little Lord Fauntleroy decided that chicken breasts were far too Plebeian for his tastes and with sad puppy eyes moved on to other heretofore unknown preferences, finally accepting venison and buffalo as a suitable meal fit for his Lordship. Elsa naturally stepped up offering to eat any chicken (or any other food her brother refused to eat) as her contribution toward helping out. She did seem to know something was up with her older brother and tried sitting on sleeping next to him all week long, which made him more than slightly adverse to the close quarters but too weak to move out of the way. Can you say gun-shy of the Ninja? What can I say about these two other than I’m very grateful things are mostly back to normal now for all of us. I no longer have to sleep with multiple rolls of paper towels and cleaning supplies at the ready and my bank account can finally take a deep breath after all the vet visits.

I still wonder however why, when you’ve only had 2 hours of sleep because of a sick dog, why the damn smoke alarm feels compelled to start chirping at 2:00 AM. Any explanations on that one? No…well then let’s just chalk it up to the universe’s many unexplained weirdness and instead start out the new week and month with a silly pun, probably spoken with a heavy Southern accent. Since we kind of went from chilly temps to broil, we can only hope you’re not sweltering too much and hope it’s a great week.

Cheese

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 1, 2019

Holy cow, it’s April…how did that happen? April is the pretty month, sweet and full of springtime promises. Today also happens to be my baby sister’s birthday so I’m sending her oodles of poodles of digital birthday greetings. Happy birthday, sweet sis! Can’t wait to give her birthday hugs in person later this month.

The Knuckleheads celebrated her birthday over the weekend with Elsa making confetti for the occasion.

We hope you had a wonderful weekend and today offers a fresh new slate for exciting adventures this week. No doubt these two are planning more ‘pawsome’ fun. I can hardly wait.

Live, love, bark! 🐾