Category Archives: #ohthatdog!

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! ❤︎

Weekend Shenanigans

Woo-hoo…it’s the weekend. Elsa here. Mom didn’t post yesterday because her youngest sister was in town from Texas and her family got together again. She was celebrating her 40th anniversary but I’m not sure what an anniversary is exactly. A day is just a day for us dogs. I politely asked stole the blog so I could share life as I see it. While that goofball brother was slacking off in the living room, I snuck back in the bedroom before mom had a chance to make her bed. Sure, I heard her calling me and looking all over but decided I needed a few more 💤. Besides, I’m a Standard Poodle and have my own agenda. Getting up early on Saturday wasn’t on it.

Why she giggled at me, I have no idea. Sometimes mom is as silly as Sam. Maybe he gets his dopiness from her? Anyway, we hope you all have a ‘furbulous’ weekend!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Moanings

Thief, thief…I’ve been robbed…again!

No, the hoodlum neighborhood gang of squirrels didn’t break in the kitchen window. Remember how I waxed on about the Ninja a few days ago on her terrific socialization progress was going? Fast forward a few days and now I can safely say I have a juvenile delinquent.

So the story goes like this: We were running low on dog food. No problem, I can swing by the pet food store and pick up a bag. Nothing unusual there, right? While running around I thought, I’ll swing by the grocery store too since, well, we were out of EVERYTHING. Again no problem on its surface. Let me set the scene. It was one of the many days the weather was in the mid-90’s and traffic was the pits. I finally got home, a total hot mess and sweating like stuffed pig. After carrying in several grocery bags and the dog food in the house, I thought I’d take 5 to hydrate with some iced lemonade. The dogs greeted me like they always do, I sat down and began sipping the beverage and life returned to normal. Or did it? All of a sudden I realize I’m missing a dog. Cue the spooky music.

So I go into the kitchen and see the Ninja with her head deep in that shopping bag and notice the box of croissants is semi-open with one minor detail. Only two of the buttery delectables out of a dozen remained. I took the box out and put it on the floor to re-create the crime scene since I couldn’t open the cellphone fast enough to catch the actual proof. But I did capture where she was licking up errant crumbs from the floor.

WTH, Elsa?! Those weren’t quite the actual words I said out loud (think creatively) for which this face stared back at me.

 

As if it was no big deal. Well, I guess a girl’s gotta have her pastries, I know I sure enjoy them at breakfast. I chuckled and just chocked it up to yet one more thing on the ever-growing list of things this dog has eaten and didn’t think much else about it.

The next day I was preparing dinner, I pulled this out of the oven piping hot and turned around to grab the pizza slicer and looked back to see that thieving little brat on her two hind legs standing with her front paws on the stove (something she has NEVER done since her hips are a tad wonky and always assumed it’s uncomfortable to jump up) taking a bite out of the edge. 

I hollered at her and she scurried out of the kitchen and then quick as a wink, Sam reaches up to try the same thing! Are you freaking kidding me? “Dude, you are supposed to be teaching her how to be a dog, not some waif-like pickpocket character from Oliver Twist!” *Ugh*

 

While Standard Poodles originated in Germany, I think my little urchin appears to be identifying more with the commonly thought of origination country, France for which I don’t blame her. But 10 croissants in a lightning quick moment? Dang girl! Maybe she is a distant relative of our favorite French fur-iend, Phenny and channelling her heritage?

Bottom line…I think we need to schedule a refresher training session for Sam and as far as Elsa goes, I don’t even know where to begin. Looks like someone needs a summer job to stay outa juvenile detention and maybe a DNA test to put pedigree to rest.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎