Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ December 4, 2019

Hey guys, it’s me, Sam getting ready to make rounds at the hospital over the next couple of days. I’m also going to train a new member today. Woof, woof! I’m tail-wagging happy to greet a new pet therapist into the program. Fresh new dog hair blood is always a great thing and I don’t mind sharing the nurses with this new buddy, a Huskie, Lab, Shepherd mix. Wish us luck.

Make it a great day.

Dogtor Sam
“Dogtor” Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 29, 2019

We hope you didn’t eat yourself into oblivion yesterday and your celebration was civil, tasty and shared with friends and family. Because of the snow storm that dumped a foot of snow on the Ranch, ours was a quiet one, even if chilly. As we always do, we’re joining our furiends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard for this episode of the Nature Friday blog hop.

When there’s a foot of snow on the ground, traveling around to enjoy Mother Nature isn’t always easy yet the Knuckleheads still demand outside time no matter what the weather is like. Pity the fool who thinks they can assuage cabin-fevered poodles into not being complete jerks. It’s during those times when the clock seems to stand still in a poodle’s mind which can lead to episodes of mirthful mischief…and even active indoor playtime just won’t cut it. We. must. go. out. Mom. NOW! Enter technology so the huMom can safely take your Highnesses out for short walks to satiate any bored poodle minds.

Snow
Early on accumulation in the latest storm

Warm boots, Sasquatch thick gloves, down coat, wool socks with multiple layers for warmth are a mom’s weaponry in managing the elements. And coincidently, for the most part, many of those same items work to keep tender poodle toes and noses safe and warm. Not that they appreciate it mind you, they will take every opportunity to make preparations for an outing as challenging as possible. The newest weapon in taking on Mother Nature are SnowTrax™ and they proved quite suitable for staying upright on our outings. They are much better than the YakTrax™ previously used. I especially liked the Velcro straps that keep them tethered to the shoe. Nothing worse than realizing you’ve ‘lost’ one, especially when it’s way behind you, and all you want is to hurry and home to warm up.

Snow
Check out those Tungsten carbide spikes.

The first outside moments mimic some Maypole mayhem. One strike against thick gloves is you can’t easily juggle multiple leashes from behind you or poodles’ desire to not be easily corralled.

Snow
Which way, mom?

Once ‘we’ figured out that everyone had to go in one unified direction, we were off on the neighborhood Iditarod trail…otherwise known as the Tundra of unshoveled walks.

Snow
Millennials shovel your walks for crying out loud!

Packed down icy and/or deep snow can be a challenge to staying upright. The SnowTrak™ really made a difference though it may take a while to get used to how they feel (think walking barefoot on bumpy, round stones). Compared to the alternative, they beat slipping and/or falling.

I had to really try to keep the Knuckleheads from turning me into a human kite. Elsa LOVES the snow and dashes like a jack rabbit whenever she can through the deeper parts. Let’s just say she isn’t as thrilled with the way her boots worked or the dead weight on the end of her leash.

Snow boots

I can’t be sure all the dressing/undressing is worth the trouble for a quick stroll around the block when we’re used to a walking a couple of miles per outing but then it beats constant barking, extreme nose nudging and other annoying peskiness. Another storm is expected to arrive later today so we’ll try to get in some more outdoor time before it hits. Tired poodles are much nicer to be around. I’m hoping the multiple in-out preparations might burn some of the calories ingested during yesterday’s feed bag session Thanksgiving meal. I’m still full but those freshly baked cinnamon rolls sure seem to be calling my name.

Cinnamon rolls

In Elsa’s case, she prefers going au naturel in the snow even just for potty breaks. Licking off those ice balls takes time…time that she’s not pestering me to take her out again, so score one for me in the battle of wits. I’ll take a win over the Ninja any way I can.

Snow

We hope you are able to enjoy some form of nature this weekend. Hunting for for Black Friday bargains isn’t quite the same as hunting for beauty Mother Nature displays. Have a safe and happy weekend!

Snow

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

Wordy Wednesday

SnowHappy pre-Thanksgiving Day. As many of you know, Denver was hit with a gigantic storm yesterday that buried the city with a foot of snow. It prevented Sam and I from doing our hospital visits and has us pretty much confined. It did however allow me to enjoy my favorite blizzard beverage, hot chocolate. With Schnapps and whipped cream. We are warm and fine if not a bit stir crazy. It’s too cold and deep to take the dogs for their usual walks and apparently not possible for Sam to use the dog run to relieve himself beyond the occasional pee over Elsa’s spots in the freshly created pee-atio in the dog run. Elsa however could practically pee or poop on command but Sam is nothing, if not discerning about where he goes. I have to chuckle about his refusal to not poop in the run, but know if I scooped out a square over at my neighbor’s house, he’d drop a log in a heartbeat.

Snow
Where the heck will Friday’s snow go?

We wish all of our US readers a day filled with good cheer, good food and a football win tomorrow. To all of our readers, we will spend the day staying warm, cozy and being grateful for your digital friendship and good company every week. We are truly blessed you are in our lives and we thank you for our good fortune for the connection. Cheers!

Hot chocolate

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Treatful Thursday

Sam here. Look what arrived at the Ranch!! Mom decided to treat us with some new treats that she didn’t make. I love it when she makes treats for us, it’s one of the few things she does well, between you and me.  I mean the woman bathes me regularly for crying out loud, so when our favorite postwoman, Cori dropped them off a couple of days ago, Elsa and I were both pretty stoked.

Neither of us could figure out what the occasion was for this new bag of treats since we each had already celebrated birthdays and gotcha days earlier and we knew of no other ‘howliday’ were treats might be given to us good dogs.

Sam: I dunno, Ninja…I mean, I’ve been saying mom’s been losing it for a long time. Maybe she finally lost her mind completely?

Ninja: Who cares, they’re TREATS!!

Sam: Good point. You think they’re for us?

Ninja: If I have any clout around here, you better believe they’re for us! I’ll play the puppy mill survivor card if necessary.

Sam: Let’s practice our starving, soulful eyes since she never resists when we look at her like that.

Ninja: Pfft, I do just that at every meal or treat.

Sam & Elsa
Come on and give us the treat already. We’re sitting patiently for cryin’ out loud!

Sam: Let’s take a closer look at the bag. Ooh, they’re from our paw-friend Luke at Wag ‘N Woof Pets, from their Barking Dogs Organic Farms shop.  Let’s take a gander at the ingredients. Uh-oh…I see veggies and fruit. I’m not sure if I’ll like them.

Ninja: You Knucklehead…those aren’t just fruits and vegetables. Those are superfoods for super dogs!

Sam: Hmm, I’m still not convinced. Mom better beg me to try these.

Ninja: You. are. a. fool. It’s food, dummy. And look closer…there are no preservatives, just 100% organic ingredients. You love eggs, why not give ’em a try.

Sam: Well…o-kay, but only because you asked nicely. Should I wag my tail too?

Ninja: Wagging is optional but my guess is you’ll do it because they’ll be tasty. Trust me, brother.

Treats

Sam and Elsa: Nom, nom, nom. {drool, smack, gobble} “Hey, these are wagnificent!”

Elsa: See, I told you. Luke’s mom makes some tasty treats doesn’t she? Mom said it was also easy to order from their secure website. Check out Wag ‘N Woof’s shop page to order your own tasty treats. We’re not planning on sharing ours.

Sam
Can I have another?

Note: we were not compensated for our review and only share our opinion of a product we think you might like.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Remembrance Monday ~ November 11, 2019

Once again, today marks the anniversary to 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. Originally known as Armistice Day, this US holiday was signed into law on May 26, 1954 by then President Dwight Eisenhower to honor the service of all veterans who served in the Armed Forces. The grammar police (as well as the US Department of Veterans Affairs website) say the officially correct spelling is the attributive case (rather than the possessive) as the proper reference “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, but rather a day to honor all veterans. Using the apostrophe is nonetheless grammatically correct.

Today we honor the service of all U.S. military veterans, and should not be confused with May’s Memorial Day which honors those who died in military service.

Veterans DayThe Ranch hands and I salute veterans who have served their country and once again pray today brings people together as this will be a very contentious week in our nation’s capitol.  Let us remember this is a country where we all long for safety for our families and our country, where we all breathe the same air and enjoy the freedom provided by those who have served their country, and not just those with whom they agree politically. More than ever,  we urge everyone to come together as a united nation as we remember those who  served this great nation.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 1, 2019

Greetings to our favorite day of the week. It’s also a fresh new month, November. Egad…WHERE has this year gone? One day you’re welcoming tulips and the next day it seems like you’re planting new ones. W-H-A-T? Nonetheless, put me down in the “happy it’s Friday again” category while we tag along with our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard and we stroll throughout Blogville checking out the beauty of Mother Nature.

For those of you keeping track, there are 53 days to Christmas. I know, I know…but judging by the fact that we just rolled the calendar over to a new page, the heavy set guy in red will be coming down chimney in no time. With the weather being unseasonably cold this week, it got me to start working on various handmade gifts for family and friends since walk-abouts weren’t going to be possible.

Sam
Wait…why aren’t we going walking?

It was so cold and snowy this week, we really didn’t get out to check out much of what Nature offered. Everything was white anyway and I was busy shoveling an enormous corner lot (what in the world was I thinking buying a house on a corner with twice as much sidewalk as normal houses?!) and just trying to keep myself warm and the dogs occupied.

Sam & ElsaEver notice how dogs can get cabin fever much quicker than humans? Like many dogs, the Knuckleheads nap much of the day, but the naps seemed shorter with more frequent with loads of plaintive glances and relentless nose nudging to pay attention to the clearly depraved canines. One way they can pass the time away when they’re bored, is through annoying behavior.

Shoveling out a “pee-atio” area for the dogs was nearly as important as keeping their minds engaged. Poodles can be picky about their bathroom thrones and not just any spot will work for their fragile little psyches as I’ve discovered. They experience Goldilocks syndrome and everything must be just right.

Because of some uneven flagstones, it’s not an quick job shoveling out part of the dog run to keep poodle tushes from being kissed by snow during their constitutionals.  I thought I was doing the Knuckleheads a solid. Indeed…they promptly went to the opposite end where the snow depth was 10″ deep to do their business. Thanks guys. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy frostbitten fingers trying to help you out.

Dog run

One thing about Nature is how a snowstorm can change the landscape. Earlier this week I shared the photo of a gigantic icicle that formed (my friend Sorryless referred to it as a ‘support column’ and he wasn’t far off–it took a number of attempts to knock that sucker down-if you missed it, click here). Yesterday, as the snow began to melt, it seemed as if Nature was piling globs of frosting around the garden and fence line. It was beautiful and allowed me to forget the backbreaking job of shoveling it from the endless sidewalk.

Snow

Snow

But all is not lost as we wait for the full melt. On cue, the ‘Christmas cactus’ (that has coincidently never bloomed any time near its namesake) decided to wake up. That riot shock of hot pink always makes me grateful for this indoor show of beauty that Nature provides at the most unexpected times. And here I thought there wouldn’t be any foliage this week.

Cactus

Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend with the hope you manage to stumble across something beautiful out there even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Nature Friday

P.S. Don’t forget to ‘fall’ back this weekend. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

West Pines Wednesday ~ October 23, 2019

As October quickly advances toward Halloween, we’re enjoying the gorgeous autumn weather. Today we’re headed for West Pines (if you’re not familiar with WP, you can read more about West Pines in the link). Sam really enjoys visiting with the folks at this facility located just south of the hospital. From the staff to the residents, he is extra calm, patient and sweet to those whose hurts are invisible.

Sam

The outdoor grounds make for a nice place to contemplate what burdens some folks carry in their hearts and minds. So today, we raise a paw to those brave patients trying to improve their lot and to the people who help them on their journey.

We’re halfway through the week. It that Friday I hear beckoning us?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 11, 2019

SnowHappy Friday, peeps. We made it even if Mother Nature wasn’t very hospitable getting here. As always, we are joining our fur-iends and Nature Friday hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. As I mentioned earlier this week, Mother Nature decided to have her evil twin from the Arctic drop a dime on the Mile High with some snow and record-setting cold temperatures. While snow in October is not uncommon (we normally receive a storm or two in October), to have such a cold front come through was out of Ma Nature’s usual MO.

The morning thermometer worked hard to reach 20 F degrees when the pups and I went out to make our early morning pitstop. Brrrrr…even the wooly mammoth pup also known as the Ninja, made a quick dash in the dog run, peed like a racehorse and ran back as quick as a bunny. She looked at me like I was some kind of monster but then when I asked her if she’d like breakfast, her expression changed. Dramatically. You’ve have thought she’d won the Lottery.

Changing leaf colors have been slow to develop in the city with the trees on my street are still mostly green. It should be interesting to see how (or if) the storm affects the color of leaves. Speaking of changing colors, do you know why and how this happens?

One word. Photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis

What is photosynthesis, you ask? It the way nature let’s trees operate. Growing during the summer, they begin their metamorphosis into winter through the transitional season of autumn (in the northern hemisphere). As daylights wanes, trees use the shorter days as the signal by which to begin to prepare for winter. Because there isn’t enough light or water for photosynthesis in winter, trees will rest, and live off the food stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making abilities. Green chlorophyll in their cells will begin to disappear from their leaves and as that green fades, yellow and orange colors seem to magically appear. Although small amounts of those colors have been in the leaves all along, they cannot been seen in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

AutumnThe bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color.

The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves. It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year.

So there you have it. Any way you look at it, it’s beautiful. Here’s wishing you a great weekend. We’re planning on returning to pre-Arctic temps (the forecast is for mid- to upper 60’s this weekend) and enjoying a return to sanity. Otherwise known as autumn.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Paw-ty Time Highlights

Sam here. I managed to live through a pawsome day of celebration yesterday, otherwise known as my 14th birthday. Many thanks to everyone who left sweet comments wishing me loads of treats and many happy returns. I wagged my tail with appreciation.

Sam, BirthdayMom whipped up my favorite treat, a lip-smackin cake quiche (recipe is in our BarkBook if you want to make it for your own pup). Both Elsa and I love this snack and what could be better for a paw-ty than a tasty yet healthy birthday ‘cake.’ This time it was made extra special with the addition of rabbit meat (mom never has ham in the house and Elsa can’t eat it anyway due to the salt content when it’s cured which is bad for epi-warriors). But get this…I even ate the veggies! You guys  know I’m no  fan of veggies, right? But in this quiche…eggs, cheese and rabbit with those veggies, even this anti-veghead ate. every. morsel. Can you say….Y.U.M.?  It was so tasty in fact, the Ninja snarfed two of the bone-shaped mini-quiches before mom had her camera focused. #baddog

Mom took that photo of me before we were allowed to dig in (but after Elsa made like a thieving raccoon hitting garbage bins around the neighborhood). The Ninja however, absolutely refused to wear the birthday celebration hat though. Little brat…you know I’d do it for her. Oh well, she said she wanted to enjoy the game of pinning the ‘Tail on the Squirrel.’

Squirrel

So, do you think she should have been allowed to nosh on that tasty goodness?

Elsa

Thanks again for making No. 14 extra special. It was the pawfect autumn day, very sunny and bright. Mom says our forecast calls for a big freeze with the first snow by Thursday. What the dog?! Good thing I’m good with snow. So long as I don’t have to wear those stupid boots. Happy Tuesday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

Monday Musings ~ October 7, 2019

SamFourteen years ago today, a small apricot-colored curly, bundle of knuckleheaded-ness entered the world. Who knew at the time this silly boy would bring so much joy to everyone whose path crossed his way? Elsa here. Although he wouldn’t arrive at the Ranch until he was two, that photo was one of the earliest images showing his sweetness.

Sam

While he may not be quite the same pogo-stick he was when he joined mom, the boy’s still got game and continues to walk anywhere from 2-4 miles a day. Please join me in wishing him many happy returns. Come back tomorrow to see the blackmail photos highlights from his party. Happy birthday, bro! Mom and I love ya, even if you’re a goofball.

Live, love, bark! 🐾