Nature Friday ~ September 16, 2022

Well, well, well…looky here…we managed to reach Friday without hurting anyone or anything so now it’s time to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop where folks share some slices of nature. Make sure you check out the link of all those who participate.

Hopefully (and without jinxing myself), dare I say it feels like we’re in what’s known as Indian Summer around these parts. With just a mere 6 days until the official arrival of autumn, the temps have moderated and to those of you who think I complain focus too much on the extreme high and low ends of the thermometer, am happy to provide a Goldilocks approach this week and say things have been just right. Warm days and cool nights. And not having to run the AC all day long makes for good sinus health. A real win-win.

A recent walk to Sloan’s Lake rewarded me with a few interesting pics. The morning threatened to shower, but only managed to provide some great clouds and reflections over the lake. This is a slightly different view that I normally share-near the park bathrooms and maintenance building and where the Dragon Boat races bivouac. The ducks take advantage of this spot frequently.

Sloan's Lake

One thing I noticed as I meandered around the lake is one area in particular is closed off so the grass can be restored. Notice the winged “Gen Z’ers” that once again demonstrate the rules don’t seem to apply to them just liked their human counterparts.

Sloan's Lake

One thing we’ve noticed walking around gardens of the ‘Hood are the ripening squash and pumpkins. Just in time for that favorite season of many consumers, ‘pumpkin spice’ fill-in-the-blank.


Pollinators are quite busy doing their thing in anticipation of the end of the summer season. This is a community garden I often walk past and it’s chock-full of fresh produce.

Bees in the garden

Sunflowers are blooming and spreading happiness before the first frost. I’m particularly mesmerized by these bronze varieties along the ubiquitous tiny strip between street and sidewalk. The perfect autumnal colors, wouldn’t you say?


Outdoor decor is reflecting the upcoming season as well. Porches are beginning to display buckets of pumpkins and gourds as well as another autumn favorite, that member of the aster family known as Chrysanthemums.



It’s going to be another lovely weekend and Norman and I will be doing some pet therapy events and hopefully all three of us will get a chance to see some more of the fabulous offerings of Indian Summer. Anything special scheduled for your weekend? Whatever you do, we hope you are able to get out and enjoy this special time of year where the light is magic and golden.

Live, love, bark! ūüźĺ

Editor’s Meeting ~ June 12, 2018

Sam: Oh moooom. ¬†I’m calling an editor’s meeting to discuss equity and fairness.

Mom: Umm, what part of “I’m the boss of the Ranch hands” do you not understand? I’m the one who calls these meetings.

Sam:¬†Umm, we both know who runs this show but if you want to think it’s you, fine by me. Whatever gets you through the night, but I wouldn’t mention that to Elsa though.

Elsa: What…did someone call me?

Sam: I’m calling an editor’s meeting to discuss the issue of equitable treatment around here, or inequitable as the case may be.

Elsa:¬† Wait, what…there’s some sort of inequality going on? As the one calling the shots around her, I want to get to the bottom of this. Yes, let’s have a meeting!

Sam: See, what’d I tell you?

Mom: There is no inequity around here. Sam was just trying to be clever.

Elsa: Clever, schmlever. Ok, bro…I’ll bite. What are you talking about?

Sam:¬† I think mom may actually be giving you more treats than me on our walks so I’m registering a complaint.

Mom: You know I give positive reinforcement to Elsa so she doesn’t go nuts when we encounter another dog on our walks. And yes, I give her a treat to help her focus on me rather than going all Cujo on some neighborhood dog.

Sam: See I knew it! How come I don’t get one, huh?

Elsa: Look Knucklehead, I’m making up for lost time learning how to be a dog after all those years in the puppy mill prison. Those treats remind me that I’m loved and well taken care of and help me bond with my mom. They’re building my confidence.

Sam: “Our mom,” but I digress.¬†[Displaying pitiful look on face]¬†I just want to know why you get a treat and I don’t.

Elsa: ¬†Well, I’m the one doing all the learning here. You’re just along for the ride. I didn’t realize wingmen needed treats.

Mom:¬†Now, now…the treats are rewards and positive reinforcement. When you’re good, you get a reward.

Sam:¬†Yeah, but…

Elsa: Oh put a sock on it, dude. I’m the star here. And I’m learning as quick as I can. It ain’t easy when you’ve never had exposure to dogs and people and strollers and…SQUIRRELS!!!

Mom: I don’t think we’re resolving anything thing. Maybe we should check in with Blogville and see what they have to say about this issue.

Sam:  Oh you mean let all my fans decided this. Hell, yeah!

Elsa‚Ķ Let’s hold on to our top knots here, kids. As the resident Ranch baby and aggrieved puppy mill survivor, I think I should be getting treats all the time. For just being me.

Mom: Treats are given with good performance, Elsa. When you act appropriately and calmly, you are rewarded. We’re trying to teach you that life can be good and is not always a DEFCON¬†5 alert. It’s possible that you can walk nicely without going off the reservation whenever you see another dog out for a walk.

Elsa: I can…with the right treat.

Sam:¬†See, I’m doomed here.

As a parent, you wouldn’t show favoritism with your 2-legged children, but what are the rules regarding the 4-legged ones? Are the rules the same? Is it possible that dogs know the difference, especially the more ‘simple-minded’ ones?

Has Sam suddenly learned to count and is now calculating that Elsa is receiving more treats that he is? Should he be afforded the same number/same high value treats? He looks at me like I’m some sort of cretin with such a pitiful expression as to induce guilt. I swear that dog must have been a travel agent in a previous life since he is so successful at sending me on those guilt trips.

So where do you fall on this issue? Am I being a monster if I don’t treat him? Remember we’re dealing with a¬†very simple mind and yet, I feel like maybe there’s some merit with his case. Do dogs understand the notion of equality?

Live, love, bark! ūüźĺ

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 ūüźĺ

3 Day Quote – James Thurber

One of my all time favorite cartoonists, authors, playwrights, and general all around wits, James Thurber is today’s quote for the 3-day challenge. I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment. Definitely these 3 will enter the pearly gates¬†for sure, but am not¬†as certain about me (especially that short-haired version of me-what was I thinking?!).¬†image

‚ÄúIf I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.‚ÄĚ ¬†‚ÄĒ¬†James Thurber

Do you think your pups will make it to heaven?

As part of the challenge, I was supposed to nominate 3 people (actually I was supposed to nominate 3 peeps each day but if anything, I’m all about breaking rules). Those kinds of guidelines seem almost like the proverbial chain letter where doom and gloom will come to anyone who breaks the chain and I rather despise that aspect¬†so I’m not nominating anyone specifically but encourage you all to participate. It actually was fun to find quotes and I loved reading all your comments. So I say…give it a go!

Live, love, bark! <3

If Only the World Wouldn’t Get in the Way

Recall recently I reiterated the rules for winter leash walking to Sam¬†here. Seems like I need to have that discussion repeatedly with that numbskull dog because during today’s morning constitution, he thought that going from 0 to 60 on the ice to greet another dog out walking was a good idea. That, or I used my indoor voice which clearly he didn’t understand or hear. Having fallen down and gone boom on Friday, I said out loud, “uh…yeah, NOOOOOO!” Listen you screwball mutt, I’m the boss¬†in this here relationship, not just ballast at the end of a leash.

The other aspect of my previous convo with Sam was that ‘we are walking, not sniffing.’ And yet, he’s pulling like a maniac with tail up like a flag, nose to the ground checking pee-mail messages from his neighborhood BFF’s. It got me to thinking, what if I could get him¬†enrolled in a bona fide nose work program? Sure…and what if pigs flew? ¬†But with his long schnoz, you’d think he would be a shoe-in. Alas, the working part of his brain is no doubt the size of a pea because we have this conversation twice a day while we’re walking. I tried to take a picture of him this morning as he’s¬†dragging¬†pulling my sorry self around in the cold, ¬†but I was just lucky to hang on for dear life and stay upright, let alone try to play photographer. Dang, that dog is strong, even with a harness!

Sam would be the perfect candidate for doing nose work. Though I really don’t know all the in’s and out’s of it, I do know you’re supposed to start out with something the dog absolutely loves.¬†Dolefully¬†that just wouldn’t work on Sam because what he loves absolutely the most is just sniffing-doesn’t matter for what. I’d probably get thrown out of class if I asked, “How do you box up pee-mail?” It’s too bad too, because I mean, just look at the size of that thing!! Is that proboscis perfect for detecting¬†scents or what?

Photo on 4-19-15 at 11.56 AM #4

Instead think something more like The Fox and the Hound movie. Yup, that dog is definitely a hound dog!

Live, love, bark! <3


A New Year…but the Same Old Rules


Dear Sam:

Happy New Year buddy. 2016 looks to hold even more promise than ever. For starters, you know I’ll be staying at home now, right? How cool will that be? You will no longer be a latch key fur-kid. You, me and dad will get to hang out and have such great adventures every day. While much of the country is experiencing uncommonly warmer temps, I thought it might be prudent to go over and reiterate the same old winter rules we’ve had since…forever about leash walking in Colorado.

  1. I know the cold temps make you extra frisky but please understand I don’t necessarily feel that exact same friskiness, especially when it’s still dark out on winter morning and night walks (though truth be told, with the lack of a work schedule in the very near future, I will no doubt adjust the time when we get started. Fingers crossed that I can be trained to not wake up before 5:00 AM in retirement.
  2. You may have 4 legs to help keep you reasonably balanced on icy sidewalks but alas I have only 2 and don’t possess quite the same navigational prowess that you possess. Please. walk. slowly.
  3. Zero to 60 in a nanosecond, especially at 5:30 AM make for a real challenge for this upright to stay…namely upright. See above rule about the number of legs necessary to reinforce that steady but slow pace. Not to mention icy sidewalks are dangerous for mommy, quick starts will also make her crabbish. And trust me when I say I don’t fancy looking like a new-born colt with legs splayed out in multiple directions, or worse, landing bottom side up.¬†The fall down…go boom factor is definitely unwelcome.
  4. Please don’t suddenly stop behind me while we are moving at a steady pace making me have to yank on your leash and pull my shoulder out of its socket. My joints and bones are cold and stiff in winter weather (ha…who am I kidding…they are cold and stiff all the time!) and again sudden movements get mommy’s balance out of torque.
  5. Jack-rabbit loping is strictly forbidden. May I remind you that you are not competing in the Iditarod? You shouldn’t need to feel like mushing at break-neck speeds. Just saying.
  6. Finding the darkest, most inaccessible spot to take a dump is frowned upon, i.e. the deepest spot of snow that you can find. You should know by now that I hate fishing out little brown nuggets from deep snow. The little flashlight on your collar only allows others to see you, but not enough light for me to see your ‘presents.’ Carrying a hand torch is difficult since my fingers don’t seem to be able to hold on to anything while wearing thick winter gloves.
  7. When trying to see said poop to pick¬†up, please don’t scamper around behind me and wrap your leash around my legs. This feeble attempt to ‘get out of the way’ falls flat on its face as will I once we resume our meanderings.
  8. Most mornings the temperatures are in the low-teens or single digits and we’re out for a walk…walk being the operative word. It isn’t known as “hey, we’re going for a sniff.” A moving¬†pace assures a healthy walk for both of us. When you dally, it makes me crazy. Please remember… we’re out walking¬†not sniffing or reading pee-mail and we’ll be golden and toasty warm without any aggravating delays.
  9. It is not necessary for you to develop Popeye-strength neck muscles each winter. See Rules 2 and 4 above for review and know that pulling makes mommy crabbish and we don’t want a crabbish mommy, now do we?
  10. Finally, it would be most appreciated if those early morning pee outings don’t go 3/4’s of the way down the alley. Remember, I’m not really dressed for the extreme cold temps when I let you out first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night and get totally irritated¬†fret¬†when you take off on one of your “I have to find the absolute perfect spot 87 blocks away to leave pee-mail.”

So here’s wishing my sweet, goofy fur-kid all the best 2016 can offer. Oh, and feel free to resume writing posts whenever your little pea brain desires-I think I’d like to sleep in later in retirement now. ūüėČ
Love ya loads,

Live, Love, Bark! <3

Sam’s 2015 Resolutions

Sam and I did a lot of reflecting over the New Year’s weekend and we discussed some of his recent behavior of late and the need for, let’s just call them ‘adjustments’ with certain ones. Here’s the list of items he has agreed to work on¬†this year. Some of these are probably impossible to hope for, but you know the saying: hope springs eternal.

  • I will stop trying to find the few clean area rugs in the house when I am about to throw up.
  • I will not eat my own vomit.
  • I will not roll on dead birds & squirrels or geese poop, etc. at the park.
  • I will not lick my upright’s face after eating goose¬†poop.
  • I will not dig food bits or egg shells out¬†of¬†the compost bins.
  • I will not leave¬†my elk antlers strewn over the living or dining room floors. [I’ve nearly gone lame stepping on the little one in the middle of the night!]
  • I will try not to hog the entire bed/sofa and ‘burrito’ the blankets around Mom¬†so she can’t move or turn over. [if he can do this even just a few¬†times this year, I’d be happy] ūüėČ
  • I will not chew crayons, pens or markers, especially the red ones so my upright doesn’t think I’m hemorrhaging.
  • I will not try to stealth¬†or push¬†my way into the passenger front seat so I can lay my head/body across the gear shift into her lap for moral support.
  • Likewise, I will stop fogging up all the side windows with my anxious breath in the car.
  • I will not drop kibbles stuck to my face¬†in Mom’s underwear¬†when she¬†is sitting on the toilet. [also see rule about face towels/napkins below]
  • I will not play tug-o-war with Mom’s underwear or pants when she is on the toilet.
  • I will not bark each and every time I hear a doorbell on TV.
  • I will not sniff at taller dogs while they are peeing.
  • The sofa is not a face towel or napkin, neither is Mom’s leg or lap. [this one might¬†make it to the middle of February…if I’m super lucky] ūüôĀ
  • My head does not belong in the frig or freezer.
  • I will not bark or growl at a police officer when he reaches for Mom’s driver’s license and registration.
  • I do not need to suddenly stand up straight when I’m lying under¬†a¬†dining room chair.
  • I will not go racing through the French doors at Grandma’s house when they are closed. [I think he’s still recovering from a concussion received over Christmas]
  • I will not roll my elk antlers underneath the media center and whine and pace back and forth when I can’t reach them.
  • The mail lady is not trying to steal our stuff-she pets you and gives good ear scratches and loves you.
  • I must shake all rainwater or snow off my fur BEFORE entering the house and finally…
  • I will not chew, eat or disembowel any leather accessory I¬†just¬†‘happen’ to come across on beds or tables. [just to be clear, I am especially¬†resolved to keep those items at eye level–my eye level that is and completely out of his reach!]

Did you make any resolutions for 2015? Anything you’re hoping to change in either you or your dog’s behavior?¬†Now if only I can reduce the number of the dozens and dozens of post edits, then all will be good. ūüôā

Live, love, bark <3

Sleeping dogs cause no problems
Sleeping dogs cause no problems