Ever have one of those weekends where the dog is unusually clingy? It seems to coincide when you have something of import to accomplish.
Exhibit A – both dogs were not pleased with my attempts to do some spring cleanup and upgrading the backyard by reinstalling the flagstones after spending more than a week leveling the area and weeding. Both barked loudly when left indoors while I tried to work as quickly as possible and then stared at me with disdain when I brought them outside with me. Norman in particular has discovered that using his rather large body laying in the most inopportune spot is quite effective as he tries to derail my work than doesn’t revolve around him. I won’t even comment on the Ninja’s attempt at scratching dirt into furrows after I’d spent days leveling and smoothing the area flat.
While I know at some point I’ll miss any annoying attempts to derail my attention on activities that aren’t 100% focused on them, once they’re gone. You have to give dogs credit for being in the moment and I’m actually pretty envious they can do that instead of like us peering into the future and seeing how it might benefit their comfort but I’d really appreciate it if dear Norman and sweet Elsa would realized the backyard area isn’t going to finish itself for just a few more hours. Luckily for them (as well as my back) today will be a makeup day since the forecast is calling for a bit of moisture (fingers crossed). Here’s to having a ‘pawsome’ week.
The Leprechaun Ranch Hand sends his best Irish wishes to you. ☘️ Erin go bragh! ☘️
Meanwhile the Celtic Sluagh…aka The Ninja, seems to be [once again] preparing to hunt down my soul. If there’s anything to that adage, ‘luck of the Irish,’ now would be a good time for it. Then again, she could just as easily be channeling the Celtic goddess of evil magic, “Carman” who, as a destructive witch, roamed around with her three evil sons: Dub (“darkness” in Irish), Dother (“evil”) and Dain (“violence”), destroying anything or anyone in their path.
It was thought that Carman was responsible for cursing Ireland’s crops until the Tuatha De Danann (peoples of the goddess Danu) used their magic to fight and defeat her.
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at the Ranch. Slainte!
Welcome to the last day of the shortest month of the year. Being on the cusp of multiple seasons that happen this time of year (winter/spring, mud/spring/winter), comfort food in particular tends to take center stage around the Ranch. But beware of leaving your plate unattended for too long, otherwise you may become an unwilling victim like today’s smile.
A bowl of popcorn made over the weekend stayed surprisingly untouched although I did notice a few more drool spots on the ottoman. Such earnest innocence in those faces.
Welcome to 2022 where we’re starting with a fresh new and hopeful slate. We hope you had a safe and happy New Year. Now comes that time of year when people often make resolutions to address any bad habits we may have slipped into or seek to enhance what we’ve been doing, especially some of those slip ups which often occur during the holiday season. If anyone needs some help, Elsa has offered to step in and do what she can with your list.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Or do you just take note of areas where you want/need to improve such as with eating habits/diets, getting more exercise, go ‘dry-January,’ and stuff like that?
Today the U.S., Canada and Europe mark the anniversary of the end of World War I where major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Historically speaking, this holiday was signed into law in the U.S. by President Dwight Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 honoring all veterans who served in the Armed Forces. Europe celebrates today as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. When major U.S. veteran organizations urged renaming the day to “Veterans Day,” Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and has been known as Veterans Day ever since. (BTW the attributive case as opposed to the possessive is the officially correct spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, but rather a day to honor all veterans). For Grammarians, using the apostrophe is however grammatically appropriate.
Today we honor and celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans, while May’s Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.
And because she’s a little pill and absolutely refused to participate in a joint photo session with Norman, the Ninja posed separately. #ohthatdog!
Nevertheless, both Ranch hands and I tip our hats to all veterans who have served their country.
On this date in 2005, a reddish-blonde knucklehead entered the world. Officially christened “Brians Yosemite Sam” with the American Kennel Club, he was simply known as “Sam” to his owners. For you newer readers, Sam was the inspiration behind this blog.
For years, Sam was a proverbial pogo stick. Bouncing straight up and down to express excitement with life, he bounced straight into my heart. Sam was the most unfocused dog I’d ever met, long after his puppy years. Most dogs grow out of that puppy exuberance, but Sam didn’t seem to recognize it was the natural progression of acting more dignified as he aged and was actually normal. When I brought him home, he quickly burrowed deep into my soul and made his second best friend my Old English Sheepdog, Puck. For his entire life, he adored her and even after she passed, he would always do double takes whenever we encountered one, thinking it was his long lost pal.
In 2015, Sam graciously and lovingly welcomed a very feral Ninja. He seemed to realize Elsa needed extra gentle loving and slowly earned her trust. Though never great pals like he was with Puck, he patiently and selflessly taught her how to be a dog instead of a shut down puppy-mill survivor.
Despite his buoyant personality or maybe because of it, it was hard not to just love on this goofball. I just needed to find out what his job in life should be, beyond being an absolute treasure of a companion.
It was clear early on that Sam had a special knack for bringing joy and smiles to all he met. He was the neighborhood concierge, greeting every two and four legged inhabitant walking past the yard with an infectiously charming personality. Everyone loved him and he made them all feel special. It seemed only natural to share his gift with others and thus began the process of training for pet therapy work. For weeks I was convinced he would fail since he just couldn’t seem to stay focused on even simple tasks. Sam’s mantra in life was “oooh, a kitten…look a butterfly…ahh…shiny object!!” More than once I nearly abandoned the notion of getting through classes. When the time came for the test, not only did he perform flawlessly, he outshined all his classmates. I was stunned but ever so grateful to be able to share his gift of love with others.
We began visiting patients and in no time, Sam became a beloved rock star at hospital but especially with mental health patients. He would calmly allow them to hug him (which most dogs would not appreciate) and patiently waited while they petted him. His crush on all nurses was legendary and he often had eight or more surrounding him, oohing and ahhing over those soulful brown eyes, soft fur and Swiffer-like tail that was constantly in hyper-motion whenever people were around him.
Sam brought such joy and happiness to everyone at pet therapy but especially to me. While I have Norman to carry on in Sam’s pawprints at hospital and the Ninja to remind me that “still waters run deep,” Sam will always hold an extra special place in my heart.
On his Sweet Sixteenth birthday, I send my very best birthday wishes to my heart dog. Happy birthday, Knucklehead. I miss you every. single. day. You’ll always be in my heart and soul. Love and miss ya, buddy!
1 – The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first.
2 – Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries. 3 – The shin bone is a device for finding furniture. 4 – A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. 5 – It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats. 6 – Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens. 7 – I wished the buck stopped here, as I could use a few. 8 – I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it. 9 – You know things are bad when you dip into long ago drafts you forgot about so you don’t have to pull out what few hairs you have remaining from trying to craft a post from a cell phone.
We’re limping along without the laptop but hope it gets released from the ‘puter hospital soon. My patience is beginning to rival that number of remaining hair strands.
It’s been a long standing fact around the Ranch that Elsa will eat pretty much ANYthing (in case you missed some of the more memorable posts, click here, here or here). I’m still convinced she thinks wool socks are their own food group. To administer Elsa’s anti-seizure meds I make pill pockets with a peanut butter base and she’s always taken them like a good girl. Recently though, she’s apparently decided that they aren’t quite up to gastronomic snuff. She will either sniff at the offering then walk away completely unamused, or she’ll take it, and then spit it out as soon as I’m not looking. I’ve taken to coating them in various grated cheeses for her to even consider them remotely adequate.
Not sure what has prompted this discriminating behavior lately given her past history of eating pretty much ANYthing; but I can only surmise she’s begun to channel her inner Gordon Ramsay, the notoriously critical TV chef. Perhaps like Ramsay, she considers herself a perfectionist and feels pill pockets are falling woefully inadequate on the taste front. Oh. That. Dog.
Do you live with a canine food critic? Regardless of what you’re currently noshing, we hope your Monday is tasty.