Monday Musings ~ December 4, 2023

Monday smile

Here’s hoping you don’t lose your chair this week. Happy first Monday of December.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 20, 2023

Happy Monday. We’re big fans of the the Carroll County vet signs and hope this one tickles you as much as it did us.

The Ranch will be taking the rest of the week off in honor of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For our U.S. readers, we hope it’s a pawsome week where the turkey and pies are cooked to perfection. Wake us up once the food coma wears off.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 23, 2023

Monday Smiles

Let’s hope your week’s essay makes the grade. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Meet the Breed Monday ~ October 16, 2023

Today will be a two-fer. I was recently “reminded” that I’ve neglected for way too long, our “Meet The Breed” series on dog breeds but worse, there was a particular and personal oversight. To today we’ll fix that and provide our regular Monday smile.

Elsa: Yoo-hoo, oh Mom…since you turned the blog over to me, and while I don’t mean to criticize now…but you do realize you hadn’t featured poodles for the ‘Meet the Breed’ series?

The Mom: You’re absolutely right. My bad. Sorry for the omission.

Elsa: It’s about doggone time you apologized! What the dog, Mom?

The Mom: I’m truly sorry; it certainly wasn’t intentional. Let’s fix that right now, okay?

Elsa: Doggone straight you’re gonna fix that. You do realize Standards are just one of three officially recognized sizes of poodles? Sometimes called Spoos, Standards are the largest of the three, being 22-27 inches at the shoulder while Miniature Poodles are 13-15 at the shoulder and Toy Poodles are 10 inches or less at the shoulder. But in my humble opinion, Standards are one of the most handsome of all of them.

The Mom: Now, now. Let’s not get too opinionated right off the bat. Everyone thinks their dog is the best dog in the world and they’d be right. But I realize I need to make it up to you and yes, it’s true, Standards are well known for their stylish looks, superb athleticism, plus that fact that they’re eager, and intelligent.  The AKC places all poodles in the Non-Sporting Group.

Don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful

Elsa: Carried away? You’re joking, right? I can see we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this post.

The Mom: {Sheesh} Well on that note, we can agree. Although frequently associated as the national dog of France, Poodles actually originated in Germany.

Elsa:  Mais oui, er, make that, natürlich. The name comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin,” which means “to splash in the water.” In France, the breed is called “Caniche,” which is French for “duck dog.” There are however, some notable exceptions to the water aspect of our heritage.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Yes, we’ve all noticed that you avoid water like the plague which is odd since poodles have a dense curly coat of hair (instead of fur) keeping their core warm with webbed feet, allowing them to more easily swim in water when retrieving waterfowl. That coat lead to the traditional cut in non-show dogs, which is more about function than fashion. And speaking of that hypoallergenic coat, it does require regular grooming to avoid matting since their hair doesn’t shed like dogs with fur. Regular brushing is necessary, including removal of ear hair to avoid potential ear problems.

Elsa: {Pfft} I’m fashionable enough and don’t need any foo-foo puffs of hair around the joints and upper torso to protect my joints and vital organs. My fix is more pragmatic I don’t do water.

The Mom:  Uh-huh, I think we understand that you’re a water wuss. But typically, Spoos are water loving dogs.

Elsa: Um, yeah, no. And you’re not going to convince me otherwise.

The Mom: It’s said that poodles of all sizes are very active and require a lot of exercise although I’ve noticed you seem to enjoy napping with the best of them. Poodles make excellent retrievers and often enjoy a good game of fetch, as well as jogging or long walks.

Elsa: Walks are one thing but you’re wrong again…I don’t fetch and {gasp} would never retrieve. You tossed it, you go get it. I have certain agendas that may or may not coincide with yours. Heh, heh.

The Mom: {Moving along…since this is clearly a losing battle} It is said that poodles are one of the smartest breeds and their intelligence and eagerness to please make them great service dogs which have been utilized as truffle hunters due to their keen noses and by having a ‘soft mouth,’ it makes them favorites with hunters in general. They like attention and with their good looks, can you blame them? Did you know that a team of Poodles competed in Alaska’s Iditarod race back in 1988.

Elsa: I heard that story about John Suter back in 1988 tried to compete in the race. It didn’t impress officials and the rule now specifies only northern breed dogs can compete. Some of his dogs were so cold and were dropped off at various checkpoints but we proved to the mushing world that we’re gamers by finishing the race in 38th place. Plain and simple…we’re versatile and have been used for hunting, hiking, search and rescue, service dogs or, as in my case, just being the best family companion.

The Mom: Standard Poodles generally have a kind and friendly personality, but having a job to do keeps them out of mischief. They tend to be ‘problem solvers and need mental stimulation and are eager to please, making them highly trainable. Poodles do well with kids but Standards may be a bit too energetic for tiny tykes who may get easily knocked down with their active ways. In fact, they have a long history as performers in the circus and on stage because of their trainability. Additionally poodles do well learning basic obedience training rather quickly and advanced training will keep them mentally stimulated and happy. Poodles grow hair in their ear canals, predisposing them to ear problems but plucking or clipping that hair can help to prevent ear infections.

Elsa: You know lots of famous people have owned poodles.  Elvis was particularly fond of Standards and was known to gift them to girlfriends. Richard Nixon owned a Poodles and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy owned a Standard Poodle named Gaullie. There are oodles of poodles in Hollywood with celebs like Walt Disney, Patrick Swayze, Mike Tyson, Betty White, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant  among just a few who have owned poodles.

The Mom: I did not know about some those celebs and their poodles. Good research, Ninja.

Elsa: That goes without saying. My research skills are absolutely legendary, Mom.

The Mom: Now, now…no need to be cocky. We hope these factoids provide people with enough info on poodles for this episode of “Meet the Breed.” I’ve owned standards since the late 70’s and they’ve been great companions.

Elsa: Of course we’re great companions. Plus we keep you safe, don’t forget that. If I hadn’t been around, you’ve have likely been abducted by a serial killer.

The Mom: Rather than argue with you on that last comment, let’s just say I’m a big fan of Standards. One thing is certain, poodles will worm themselves into your heart and perhaps on your sofa.

Elsa on sofa

Elsa: I know that you’re not just saying that idly. I’m quite fond of you as well.

The Mom: Thanks, Ninja. And because it’s Monday, we can’t start the week without sharing a smile that I found yesterday. Seems pretty timely given that a spot of moisture a few days ago combined with some low temps have started the annual leaf drop. With my Silver Maple, I’ll likely be raking until December. Three leaves at a time. Sigh.

Monday Smile

Have a great week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 9, 2023

Seriously…it can’t be Monday already, can it? Where did the weekend go? At least we didn’t wake up in a cage and all our body parts seem to be in tact, so there’s that.

Monday smile

Wishing you and yours a great Monday with or without tin foil.

Life, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 24, 2023

It’s Monday and that means two things, (a) we need a smile to start out the week and (b) we’re gonna get our groove down at the same time.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe you need to work on improving your wag-o-meter.

Monday smile

Here’s hoping today has a great beat and your wag-o-meter is in good working order. Happy Monday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 18, 2023

Gotcha Day

While I played ‘Queen for the weekend,’ and paw-tied like it’s 1999, today is Monday which means we get to start the week out with a smile.

And by smile, I don’t mean at the one above. And if you snickered at it, I WILL find you. Mom is already on notice; you can see me plotting my revenge    .


She is not getting away unscathed for having me pose in multiple photo sessions. I will get even, despite her trying to bribe me make it up to me by making the best scrambled egg breakfast on my special day while showering me with loads of attention and tasty high-value treats all weekend. And because I’m not a complete tool, here’s your Monday smile. You’re welcome.


Here’s hoping all your ‘go’s’ are pawsome the entire week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 28, 2023

Welcome to the last Monday of August. In my water-adverse household, this kind of sampler would never be an option but it made me chuckle nonetheless. Here’s hoping today is a ‘pawsome sampler’ of a day.

Monday smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Mondays Musings ~ August 14, 2023


May all your foodables be ‘wagnificent’ this week…with no buffering or static.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 7, 2023

Monday Musings

Elsa and I recently experienced a similar question when we were out on our walk. The woman was certain that Elsa was ‘some sort of Doodle’ and imagine her reaction when I replied, “no, she’s a ‘sub-Standard.’ I always get tickled when humans give me a head tilt look. That goofy response was always more accurate when I was referring to Sam, but not especially as much with Elsa. She’s many things but sub-standard is not one of them.

Here’s wishing you a better than standard week, in fact, we hope it’s 100% pure bread.

Live, love, bark! 🐾