Category Archives: Standard Poodles

Wonder Woman…a real Hero

The action movie, Justice League was released last week and the reviews are a bit of a mixed bag, but what’s not a mixed bag is this story about real life heroes, selflessness and the importance of organ donations. No doubt many of you have the organ donor box checked on your driver’s license in the event some unforeseen accident claims your life. But how many of you just decided one day to become a living donor? This is a story about a Wonder Woman of a different kind.

You may recall some past posts about my mail carrier, Korrie. Mostly I’ve shared how first Sam, and now Elsa, lose their minds whenever the mail is delivered. Despite being the most laid back, mellow pair, for some unknown reason Sam in particular is convinced that Korrie was some sort of serial killer. He’d go full on Cujo. And so did Elsa. Well…’because my brother does it.’ Every. single. time. The rules regarding mail delivery are pretty simple: (a) see Korrie walking past the house and up the front walk. (b) Raise holy &#@% a ruckus barking at the top of their lungs. (c) Door opens to retrieve mail. (d) Dogs go from 60 to zero when they realize, “Oh yeah, it’s Korrie. Woo-hoo!! Our favorite mail carrier who always says nice things and pays attention to us.” (e) Immediately upon realization of who it is, these two knuckleheads regain their composure and begin leaning against her leg, tails furiously wagging, lovingly looking up into her eyes and enjoying every ear rub and butt scratch she gives them. It’s the same scenario very time and many days they try to head out with her on to the next house. Across the street. Awk!

You may recall, Korrie has delivered my mail for years and like most of her customers along the route, I’ve gotten to know her well and know she’s a Facebook friend to most people from the route (truth be told, she probably knows more of the neighbors than I do!). A former fire fighter in the Air Force whose heart is a big as the Rocky Mountains she loves, Korrie was a mail carrier in Hawaii where she dreamed of moving to Colorado to enjoy skiing in particular, and the great outdoors in general. Korrie is a fitness freak, often competing in Iron (Wo)Man contests and high-rise stair climbs for various causes (she ran a marathon the Monday before donating her kidney!). Everyone in the neighborhood knows her and she knows us, smiling at each person with an upbeat greeting whenever she sees us. She befriended an elderly widower and fellow veteran who lived a couple blocks away and she continued to look out for him until his passing this spring. That’s just the kind of person she is.

Wonder Women-Korrie and kidney recipient, Rachael.

18 hours out and walking!

So when she happened to mention in passing to one of her customers that she’d like info on how to donate a kidney, he mentioned that he knew someone in need…a young woman who was suffering from end stage renal disease with only 4% kidney function. After Korrie was determined to be a perfect match over the summer, she donated one of her kidneys to Rachel a couple of months ago and recently returned to work. When I saw her back on the route, she was in terrific spirits and in even better shape. Rachel is also doing great and is finally able to enjoy life after suffering from diabetes for some 20 years. The dogs sense the extraordinary specialness of Korrie too because so far they don’t seem to completely lose their minds when she makes a delivery. Sure they bark a couple of times, but now seem to understand just how lucky we are to know someone so selfless and so incredibly special.

United forever as sisters!

Korrie and Rachel

And so during this week of Thanksgiving when I reflect about all the blessings in my life,  I am all the more grateful to know Korrie, a real life hero and Wonder Woman. In this day and age of acrimony and meanness, a generous and selfless woman who loves life touches my heart and those around her. We are all richer for it and so are my fur kids.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎


Tag Team Tuesday

It’s no wonder accomplishing much of anything around here is a challenge. If one of these guys isn’t nose nudging for attention under my right arm, the other one will be peeking out from under the left one. Sometimes if I’m extra lucky  they will tag-team me like a champion WWF tag team. How did I get so lucky that these two knuckleheads love me this much?








Do your fur-kids ‘help’ you out during the day?

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! ❤︎

Monday Moanings

Not impressed with the idea of a new week? We share your pain. Hope your weekend was a good one. You adjusting to the return of standard time?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

[Post script. Another day, another shooting. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas and our country. And yet thoughts and prayers seem to do little to change this weekly phenomena. Something must be done. Any ideas?]

Reading Leaves

Today is Halloween, a universally celebrated holiday though probably observed more so in the US  than in other countries around the world. It also means Autumn is in full swing north of the Equator. Ahhh…my favorite ‘color’ and time of year. Since dressing up for the day is strictly abhorred by the fur-kids, I’ll try instead to “make sense about the scents” of this time of year before Winter sends us shivering under thick sweaters, coats and gloves. The weather is mild and the sunlight exquisitely golden. The air is crisp in the early mornings filled with earthy fragrant smells, with special scents buried deep in our brain and are often linked to childhood memories. 

Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins and richly hued leaves but bipeds and canines probably have different thoughts about them. Safe to say we probably all agree on the tastiness of pumpkins. I love the beautiful colors and can’t resist crunching leaves beneath my feet. There’s a special embrace in the changing seasons, from scrutinizing all the red, orange and gold colors of leaves to filling one’s olfactory sensors with their heady aroma.

I can’t help but wonder what Sam and Elsa think about Autumn with its earthy scents especially since they revolted about dressing up for Halloween. For me, I’m inspired to do more reflection in the beautiful light. To deeply inhale and savor harvest tastes and smells. For dogs, “making sense out of scents” is probably different.

Sam, of course, completely buries his nose into it. Even more than usual. Our normal walks take anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes, depending on our route and how many stops we make. These days it takes much longer because a certain ‘someone’ feels compelled to investigate each. and. every. single. fallen. leaf. Always the time waster ‘snoopster’ on our walks anyway busily reading pee mail like it’s a best seller, this time of year Sam must be overwhelmed with smells because he’s acting like some sort of psychic, reading tea leaves. Long, deep inhales and contemplative thoughts no doubt fill his pea brain as the leaves “speak” to him. Now if only he could tell me how long each walk is going to take. I swear that dog could inhale the scent completely out of leaves if I’d let him. *Sigh*

Elsa on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be nearly as impressed with falling leaves or their scent. Though I didn’t manage to photograph it as proof, she actually avoids walking on piles, instead preferring to wander on grass surfaces or bare spots on sidewalks, weaving back and forth to avoid as necessary. She’s not much of a sniffer on our walks anyway; she finds that one ‘spot,’  does her business in the same place, and then repeats the procedure on subsequent walks. Her thing leans toward the visual…as in ‘where is that squirrel?’ Her passion is all about checking out the scenery. She is no tassologist psychic and could care less about leaves. Give her a squirrel or rabbit trail though and then she’s all in. Nose down, tail up, weaving back and forth like a well focused hunting dog. No crunching under webbed feet for my girl but at least her antics don’t delay the walks like Sam’s.

Our three-ring circus has different reflections when it comes to Autumn. Mine lean toward the transcendental, Sam gives his inept best tea leaf reading wizard imitation and Elsa…well who can say what exactly goes on between her ears? All I can say for certain is the walks take longer, yet their enjoyment will linger as long as Mother Nature allows it before thrusting us ankle-deep into Winter.

What’s your favorite scent of the season? Happy ‘Howliween.’ 🎃

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ October 30, 2017

Greetings. Elsa and Sam here. Mom was looking for some Howliween inspiration and thought this would be fun with left over Easter egg coloring tablets.

We told her if she did that she might as well build this sign while she’s at it. We apparently convinced her of our major Cujo skills and she decided on a ‘simpler’ approach. She’ll be lucky if she gets to brush us now or add a festive collar.

Here’s hoping the week starts off with smiles and treats, not retreats. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎