Norman Wins An Award ~ 2022

Happy first day of Autumn, everyone!

For the second Thursday in a row, we’re sharing a post to welcome our favorite season as well as sharing highlights from a couple of events the Ranch in-house pet therapist participated in recently.

First, the Annual Pet Therapy Awards program was held last Friday (following a 2 year COVID hiatus) and then Norman joined a few other pet therapists at a nearby event, “Bark In The Park” in Arvada on Saturday. Participation in events like this to help showcase our program and demonstrate how volunteers and their pets make a positive impact in our community.

This year’s awards get together was a delightful surprise since I didn’t think we’d qualify for any recognition. Norman has only been a member of the hospital’s pet therapy program since last June yet our hero managed to qualify by having more than 20 visits during the year. Even though our program has diminished in size, it is still full of spirited and loving pet therapists and their owners. Here are a few pics from the event.

Norman
I’d like to thank my Mum, my agent, my Ninja sister, Lutheran, all my fur-pals in the program… [cue the “get off the stage now” exit music]
Before the presentation, the early birds were rapt with attention and enthusiasm with fellow teammate Janet’s seemingly endless supply of treats which she cheerfully doled out to the piglets good dogs. I think I need to bring a replacement bag of treats to her for all the ones the biggest piglet ate.

Here’s the majority of the dogs in attendance. There were a couple who are part of the program but who did not attend. It can be somewhat overwhelming and some excellent therapy dogs prefer quieter event rather than a conference room filled with lots of high energy, amped up pooches.

Pet Therapy

It’s always hilarious trying to get everyone to stay in place long enough to get a group photo. One notable missing pup, Norman’s Corgi pal Zoe, had her photo taken separately with her mom, Amy who was this year’s organizer for the event. Isn’t she just too adorable? Just look at that cute face!Corgi

Corgi
Zoe’s award ceremony bogarted by a certain sheepdog who was making sure the name was spelled correctly

For some reason, Norman seem to make it his mission to photobomb several of the presentations. Truthfully, there are enough outtake pics, that would merit their own separate post  {#oh that dog}.

Norman made sure the award was suitable for sweet Riley, an enthusiastic and sweet Golden Retriever. For the life of me, I could not keep this big oaf from getting his big fat head in nearly all the frames. I’ve never been so embarrassed by this ox-maybe Elsa has it right when she rants about his bigger than life presence around the Ranch.

Riley

At Saturday’s “Bark In The Park” event, our pet therapy program set up a booth to educate the public about our pet therapy program and to potentially recruit new members to join our team. It was a good event which also benefited the Arvada public dog park. Proceeds from the event will be used to spruce up the park and perform much needed maintenance work over the last two weeks of September so dogs and their suburban owners can continue to enjoy the large wide open space.

As you can see, personable Norman who doesn’t know a stranger, made friends with the folks in the booth next to Lutheran’s. PetWell Clinic is opening a new location for affordable and convenient walk-in vet care in the Sloan’s Lake area in November. Vet tech, Christina graciously appeared with Norman and we chatted about their expansion. We are excited about visiting them once the space opens.

Bark in the Park

All in all it was a super filled weekend but one that was super fulfilling for me and Norman. This boy is such a sport when it comes to events like these. He definitely deserved a few rejuvenating naps following both events.

Norman

Have a great autumn!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 25, 2022

Monday Musings

Norman will be visiting patients and staff this week at Lutheran and we’re hoping to be part of this kind of  ‘temporary exchange program.’  Can’t help but wonder how many laps he’ll cheer up this week. Here’s wishing you a wonderful Monday and a totally ‘pawsome’ week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 27, 2022

Since we will be visiting patients and staff this week beginning tomorrow, I thought today’s smile seemed especially appropriate. Have a terrific Monday. Here’s hoping your meds have 4 legs and a wiggly tail.

Smile

I couldn’t let today go by without congratulating the Colorado Avalanche on their Stanley Cup win last night. Well done, boys. Special congrats to Cale Makar (#8) on winning the Conn Smythe MVP trophy to go with his other hardware: the 2022 Norris trophy (best defenseman in the league) as well as winning the Calder Memorial trophy in his rookie year (2019-2020). Pretty impressive for a 23 year old.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ May 27, 2022

Happy last Friday in the month of May. As always, we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to check out what others are sharing by clicking on the link.

Ranch HandsHiya, it’s us Ranch Hands bringing spots of nature photos from this past week. Elsa: Remember not to pee on stuff, brother, ok? Norman: Tsk. I’m nothing if not a proper gentleman, Ninja.

You may recall that last week we received some snow showers on Friday and Saturday and boy did it cause some damage to several of the neighborhood trees. Elsa: Luckily it wasn’t as bad as some storms but it’s taken all week long for the cleanup. Here are a few pics from our walks.

Snow

Norman: I rather enjoyed watching it fall from the sofa while I had my ball. Elsa: Your ball? Ha, don’t you wish!

Norman

Norman: Mum dressed us up in our jackets so we could ‘enjoy’ the weather first hand. Elsa: It wasn’t that bad, you big baby. Norman: Can I help it if I don’t like wet? Elsa: {eyes rolling} Oh good grief, you’re such a wuss. When I lived at the puppy mill, I was outside all the time. This was nothing. Norman: Well, I came from a warmer climate and became used to kinder conditions. Elsa: Oh cry me a river, will ya. Let’s get on with it and show our readers some more pics, ok?

Trees

Trees

Elsa: As you can see, the amount of snow wasn’t all that much, only about 4 inches max. It melted nearly as fast as it fell but it was unusual to get snow this late in May. And we managed to not get the below the forecasted freezing temps too. Norman: Mum was happy about that; she was worried about her peonies which were just forming buds. Elsa: Yeah, she had to tarp a good deal of the garden. For a while there, it looks like a bit like Sanford & Sons but that seemed to save them and the ready-to-pop irises.

Flowers

Norman: The lupines didn’t seem to suffer all that much either. A few were a bit floppy from the weight of the snow but they are all blooming nicely.

Flowers

Elsa: We walked past some wildflowers after the storm who seemed to be thriving from the nice drink of water they  received.

Flowers

Norman: Nice one, Elsa. I took a nice long sniff at those yellow charmers. Elsa: Yeah, I remember mum trying to drag you away so you wouldn’t pee on them. Norman: {huff} Must you always bring that up? I’m required to check the canine bulletin board to see if there are any messages to pass along to you. Consider me a sort of chaperone for your delicacies. Elsa: Bwahahaha, delicacies?  Who you trying to kid, I’m about as delicate as a panther, dude. Norman: {miffed} I’m just trying to be gentlemanly about protecting my unappreciative sister. Elsa: Ok, I’ll give you that. Thanks, I think.

Norman: You’re most welcome, dear sister. So do you have any other photos people might like? Elsa: As a matter of fact I do. Mom found a new cactus plant that didn’t seem to mind the cold or snow. Norman: Yeah, mom won’t let me remotely near those plants. I prefer plants with soft leaves but it is rather pretty if I say so myself.

Flowers

 

Norman: Why not show one last photo of another iris we pass on our walks? Elsa: Happy to oblige. You know this sharing the Nature Friday thing isn’t so bad with you. You’re a good boy, Norman. Thanks for letting me have the last pic.

Flowers

Norman: Heh, heh…I’m actually going to get the last word/pics by sharing that mum received an award this week when we visited hospital staff and patients. She was quite shocked to see she’s logged over 500 hours since she embarked on being a pet therapy chauffeur. Even though the majority was with her beloved Sam, I think it still touched her. But we all know who does the real work, don’t we? Elsa: You’re going to pay for this, dude.

Norman

Pet Therapy

 

Norman: So worth it, little sister. Sooo worth it.Norman

Ranch Hands {in unison}: We hope you enjoyed our pics of Nature in all her gore and glory. She can sometime exact a heavy toll for sharing her beauty with us. We hope you make sure to get outside and enjoy some of it this Memorial Day weekend. Have a safe and happy ‘howliday’ as the unofficial start of summer begins.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ May 23, 2022

Happy Monday morning. As we prepare to make our  scheduled hospital visits today and tomorrow, Norman says “Never underestimate the therapeutic value of a wet nose.”

Norman
The Dogtor is In

We hope your encounters this week are therapeutic and allow you to feel better.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

The ‘Dogtor’ Is In ~ National Pet Therapy Edition

National Pet Therapy Day

Happy Saturday and welcome to a special post we are honored to sponsor today relating to the celebration of National Pet Therapy Day. Normally we don’t post on Saturday’s but this is a subject very near and dear to our heart. So get ready…there are a lot of pictures here so you might want to grab a cuppa of something tasty, sit back and see out how Norman celebrated his first National Pet Therapy Day. Special thanks to Ann at Zoolatry for the ‘wagnificent’ badge celebrating today.

Norman

Dogtor NormanAs a hospital ‘Dogtor’ Norman regularly visits patients and staff at a local medical center which includes a hospital, hospice and mental health center every month. We try to raise awareness by educating the public on the role therapy animals play in enhancing health and well-being of humans-be they patients or staff and bring a bit of comfort to all we encounter. A few days ago, the hospital hosted a special event in support of National Pet Therapy Day.

Various pet therapy teams assembled outside the front entrance of the hospital to meet and greet visitors and staff.The event was extra festive as the Volunteer Department provided a dog-bone shaped cake for the dogs with treat bags for them and their handlers. The cake must have been quite tasty judging by all those slurping tongues among the attendees.

Cake

Bindee
Our pal, Bindee, has the longest tongue I’ve ever seen on such a little dog.

Dogs

It was great seeing the dogs together with their owners. When Sam and I began pet therapy over eight years ago, there were more than 50 dogs. The passage of time has sadly thinned our ranks and we’re down to just over a dozen ‘Dogtors” these days. But there is a diverse variety of pure and mixed breeds in the program from tiny Chihuahua Bindee, to ginormous OES Norman along with Corgi Zoe;  miniature poodle, Roxie; Golden Retriever Rylie; yellow Lab Fiona; Italian Spinone, Bella; and agility champion Shetland Sheepdogs, Logan and Bismark. One of Norman’s favorite pals is Oreo, a sweet Shih Tzu who had been very sick earlier this year but who has recovered and returned back to work. Also in attendance were deaf dog Spanish Galgo Greyhound, Penny. Other therapy dogs not in attendance include Bellaroo, a Lab/Husky/Border Collie mix; Corgi-mix, Teagan; Coco, a retriever mix; GoldenDoodle, Dolly; and Standard Poodle, Indie. All the dogs are loved by patients and staff alike.

Fiona
Pet therapist Fiona with her handler.
Norman
Norman with Roxie, Zoe, Logan, and Bismark (L-R).

The pet therapy teams initially milled about catching up and greeting one another as well as visitors and staff before cake was served.

Norman & Oreo
Norman greets pal, Oreo.
Norman
Norman with the ‘Pawparazzi’

The ‘pawparazzi’ always show up for events like this. Not only is Norman the largest dog in the program, he’s also the furriest with a soft coat that begs to be touched.

Norman

Norman loves everyone and is always a hit with kids, young and old alike. He’s also a favorite of Kyle, the hospital valet attendant who always spoils him with lots of attention.

Norman

Norman

Cake

That cake looked tasty enough for humans to eat but was especially baked for the dogs. [Note the blue tongue from the frosting on Bindee-probably safe to say she liked it.]

Bindee
Bindee and her blue blep.
Norman
How come I got such a tiny little piece of cake, mum?
Norman & Roxie
Roxie and Norman.

Once everyone had their fill of cake, treats and attention, we had a mini-parade near the hospital entrance. Norman and Roxie were co-Grand Marshalls. Roxie, being the ultimate professional she is, followed the route perfectly. Norman, ever the gentlemen, let her lead…but I think mostly because he had to stop and visit with each photographer and well-wisher along the route. He may also have also been hunting for more treats.

Roxie

All in all it was a fun event enjoyed by all attendees. While Norman isn’t officially ‘certified’ through Alliance of Therapy Dogs or any other therapy group, I have no doubt he could easily pass any certification exam. He loves people and always seems ready to bring a smile to their face.

What about your dog…do you think he or she could be a therapy dog? To be clear, all of our therapy dogs are evaluated twice a year by board certified vets to make sure they are up for the task and each handler must pass an annual safety exam to ensure they are up to date on all hospital rules as well as all HIPAA regulations.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 21, 2022

Smiles

And just like today’s smile, Norman is heading to hospital to reduce stress in nurses and patients. We hope you get some time in the ‘Lab’ this week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 14, 2022

Pi DayToday on Monday Musings, we’re offering a bit of a pun-ish haiku pi-ku for you. Celebrated on March 14, Pi Day is the recognition of that mathematical constant known as the Greek letter ‘π,’ you know…that transcendental number where 3.14 are the first digits (but which go on indefinitely). March 14 marks Pi Day because of the numerical date and because it happens to be the same birthdate as theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, who discovered the theory of relativity.

A ‘Slice of Pi’ ~ History/Background

Founded back in 1988 by San Franciscan based physicist, curator and artist, Larry Shaw, March 14 was chosen because the numerical date (3.14) coincides with the first three digits of Pi. Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. The official U.S. designation of Pi Day began in 2009 while UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) officially proclaimed March 14 as International Day of Mathematics in 2019.

Back in high school, we all learned that Pi is the calculation of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. But did you know that Pi has been around since ancient times? Egyptians and Babylonians knew about Pi with the first known calculation made by Archimedes in 250 B.C. The earliest known use of the Greek letter ‘π’ to represent the ratio was made by Welsh mathematician, William Jones in 1706, and is thought to be some form of shorthand for the word “periphery.”

As noted, today also marks the birthdate of Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist. So for those who may prefer a different kind of tasty treat for a birthday bash (and we think Einstein just might be one of them), how about we serve up a yummy celebratory treat with this formula? Happy Birthday, Mr. Einstein.

Pi

Delicious coincidence? I think not.

Two additional, but all important questions for today then are: (1) cherry or apple and (2) with or without ice cream?

We hope your Monday is extra tasty with loads of smiles.

Pi Day

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ February 21, 2022

Today marks a national federal holiday (Presidents’ Day) in the U.S., originally implemented by Congress in 1879 to honor George Washington, the first president and ‘father’ of the country on his birthday, February 22 but subsequently switched to the third Monday in February on January 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, honoring both Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Both Ranch Hands will tip their hats to the office of the presidency today so we may be somewhat late in responding to comments or reading your posts as Norman be visiting nurses and patients this week. As usual, I am merely the designated driver.

After a weekend filled with grooming, baths and more dog hair than I could have imagined, Norman is all fluffed and spic and span clean to mark Presidents’ Day at the same time Winter decided to reappear with a vengeance with snow and bitter cold temperatures for most of the week. Tomorrow’s HIGH is only expected to be in the single digits which makes today’s smile seem all too appropriate. Guess I’d better re-locate the extra warm gloves.

Smiles

However you mark today’s holiday, we hope you’ll stay warm and snuggly. Here’s to a super Monday. And remember there’ll be no postal deliveries and bank’s will be closed.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 24, 2022

Welcome to Monday, where we salute the week with a smile. Today is also Norman’s ‘Gotcha Week’ because everyone deserves to be treated extra special for [at least] a week (his actual Gotcha Day was yesterday). Can’t believe this adorable hunka-fur has been with me two years now. The time has flown by and with each day I count my lucky stars this boy came into my life. He brings such joy to all he encounters, In fact, he’ll do so later today and tomorrow when he’s visiting folks at the hospital.

Happy Gotcha Day, sweet boy.

Norman

Now for today’s secondary smile. We can thank Vince, the Sign Guy of Indian Hills. Given the latest turn of weather, it seemed rather perfect. Stay safe, warm and keep smiling.

Smiles

Live, love, bark!  🐾