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.


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.’


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


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.


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! 🐾

On-Call Wednesday

Now that I got the call, I’m all spiffed up, ready and raring to go visit my friends at hospital and hospice for the next couple of days so please forgive mom if she’s a little slow in reading and responding (I think she’s forgotten how to deal with more than just leashes). We’ll plan on seeing you guys again soon once I’ve managed to make patients and nurses smile. Loads of tail wags from me, Dogtor Knucklehead.

Dogtor Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ September 23, 2019

Welcome to Monday and the first day of Autumn! Finally. While there are still warm days ahead, the early mornings are quite crisp and sweater wearing weather will arrive soon. A new season means our bandanas will look more Fall-like and nothing says Fall quite like pumpkins, wouldn’t you say? Don’t forget to check out all the bandanas in our E-Shop.

Pumpkin Sam

On this first day of Autumn, we’re going to bask in the warm golden sunlight. We have  a busy week in store this week with lots going on, including several hospital visits. What are your plans to start out the new season?

Live, love, bark! 🐾


Ahoy Mateys!

Greetings swashbucklers…today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Created in 1995 by long-time friends John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) of Oregon, who while playing a friendly game of racquetball and for reasons still somewhat unknown, began shouting pirate slang at each other. The silliness began to take on a life of its own when they decided to create a holiday celebrating ‘piratude.’ Summers has been credited with choosing the date (his ex-wife’s birthday).

For a few years, their holiday remained in relative obscurity until they happened to connect with the syndicated columnist and author, Dave Barry. With media coverage following Barry’s column about it, the event is now celebrated internationally,PirateNaturally the Knucklehead and Ninja are joining their Blogville fur-iends, Captain Da Nelly, First Mate Kismet and Swashbuckler Shoko in the merriment. So grab a bottle of beer rum and enjoy some good ole fashion pirate booty. Just make sure to watch your step if you plan on walking the plank…we hear that first step can be a dousie.


Live, love, bark!

Make a Wish Monday ~ September 16, 2019

Three years ago, a skinny, shut-down black Standard Poodle joined the pack and life hasn’t been the same ever since. Today is Elsa’s 3rd ‘Gotcha’ Day and I couldn’t be happier she found her way into my life. You can read more about her story here.


Sure it’s true, I’ve suffered from her munching of multiple pairs of reading glasses, wool socks, and other assorted household items and I’ve learned to cope with the devastating diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy, but this clever girl has truly blossomed into quite the Princess.

From a shut-down, puppy mill survivor to the spunky, hilarious Ninja of today, Elsa learned to wag her tail when she experienced joy and came to love playing with toys. She’s definitely come a long way from that fateful autumn day three years ago. The birthday girl must have realized today is a special day since she let me sleep in to 4:45 a.m. this morning (from her normal “GOOD MORNING!”  bark requesting the desire to come up on the bed rather than the usual 4:35). With this girl, I’ll happily accept those extra ten minutes and continue to enjoy those daily early morning snores snuggles.

Sam & ElsaHappy Gotcha Day, sweet Elsa. Keep making everyone around you smile and continue to thrive while bringing smiles to those who love you. Even your Knuckleheaded brother sends happy greetings.


One of the most inspiring footnotes to Elsa’s story is the fact that she has (knock on wood) remained seizure-free since last November. She continues learning how to be a ‘normal’ dog  and how to enjoy life. There’s still seems to be more room for her to grow and learn so I look forward to more continued progress, both physically and emotionally. High five, Ninja.Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Therapy Thursday ~ September 5, 2019

🎵  Scooby-doo-bee-doo…ooh baby…oops, wrong opening chorus. Hi-ya…Sam here. While I can’t sing this post, I can share some of the adventures from last week in my triumphant return to hospital and West Pines. Now that I’m finally back to 110% it was nice to get back in the saddle and visit with my friends.

ELMC, West Pines Sam

Naturally mom said I had to be spiffed up. Ugh…not a bath, mom!! Seems like the nurses like a sweet smelling boy so I didn’t mind too much when she put a blend of relaxing essential oils on me after the bath. Chicks seem to dig that and well…when there are hugs and “atta boy’s,” how can I refuse?

It only took a few nanoseconds for me to remember some of my favorite peeps who I’ve regularly visited in the past. Mom thought we should go visit the Lab and soon there was a crowd of the regulars welcoming me back. One of the managers is a favorite of mine so I spent a long time visiting with her. I sure have missed her so it was a great way to start out what would end up become a long shift.

After our swing through the Lab, we made it down to the surgical reception area for another memorable visit. I like going through this area providing comfort to peeps waiting for their loved ones to get out of surgery before moving up to their rooms. One lady with a mini-peep tagging along lit up like a candle when she saw me. She told my mom they loved us poodle-y dogs. What I loved was her mini peep…a twenty-two month old granddaughter who was exactly my height and the two of us had a great time visiting. She had this weird thing in her mouth (mom said it was a nuk) that I was kind of interested in at first but realized the chubby little hands that pet me ever so sweetly were much better than some slobbery chew toy. I spent a long time with her and her grandma was very happy for my therapy.

I had a lot of dates with nurses encounters all over the hospital and it all began to come back to me. The ladies in the gift shop were as nice as always and told me about their summer adventures. I listened and wagged my tail at all the right times. They seemed to appreciate my listening skills. They were equally impressed I remembered where the treats are stashed.

The next day we went to West Pines. The director who shepherds us around to the various buildings on campus is one of my favorite hospital peeps. When we arrived at the first building, it was like I’d never been away. A number of patients were super excited to see me. They asked me all sorts of questions…how old was I, what was I, you know, stuff like that. I was the ‘pawfect’ gentlemen and let them all hug me and tell stories about the dogs that were in their life. Then there was one woman who just sat back on the other side of the room and watched me. When mom asked her if she’d like to pet me, her face lit up with a huge smile. I pranced sauntered over and sat in front of her and looked her in the eye. She began to talk to me and that made my tail wag. Her fingers were soft and gentle on my ears as she pet me and we both relaxed like old friends. When it came time to leave, mom offered her hand to shake and wish her well but her arms withdrew and her head turned, much like a turtle. Her face grew dark as she looked away. Clearly she has issues with people and touching and it left me sad. Everyone likes my mom but the patient only had eyes for me I guess. Hopefully the staff will help her learn to trust again, in others and in herself. I liked visiting with her.

All the way home, mom just couldn’t get over that young woman. The pain in her eyes when she folded up on herself left her very sad. It seemed my therapy work wasn’t over even though we left the hospital. I wanted to give mom some therapy when we got home. I stayed with her and she pet me. Whenever my tail wagged, she’d smile and say I was the bestest boy in the world. All the attention she gave me really cheesed Elsa off but I knew mom needed cheering up. She kept whispering “but for the grace of god, there go I.” Not sure what she meant by that, but was glad I could be there for her when she needed me. Ater making her feel better, I relented played with the Ninja and then took a nice long nap. It sure felt good…both the making peeps smile part as well as the long, rejuvenating snooze. Life is good around the Ranch and this work makes us really aware of that.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Pet Therapy Thursday ~ August 29, 2019

Hi there peeps, it’s me, Sam. As you may recall, I went back to work this week but wanted to share a couple of photos from the annual award ceremony. Can I just say it felt great getting back in the saddle. It was a little weird at first and I had to rely on my super powers to remember what I was supposed to do but luckily, it comes pretty naturally for me even if it had been forever since I was last there. Although I had been sick in June and again in July, my hospital friends welcomed me back with open arms and lots of treats.

So let’s check out some photos of my fellow pals from Pet Therapy who were at the awards ceremony. Mom says it’s hard getting us all to stay in line while 87 other moms are trying to take pictures. I have no idea what she’s talking about.

Pet Therapy
Pictured: Back row, Mandy, Charlee, Akira & Logan, Little One, Kai, Dolly. Front row: Yours truly, Bindy, and Axel.

My best friend, Teddy received a special award (he’s retiring from the program). We are sure going miss him. Luckily his mom is friends with my mom so hopefully I’ll still get to hang out with him once in a while.

Teddy, Pet Therapy

With Teddy leaving our program, my newest pal is Axel, the handsome dude next to me. Axel is new to the program but already is making friends all over hospital. He’s a Black-Mouth Cur, a breed with which we weren’t familiar. He was rescued from a shelter in Texas. And everyone loves his mom who is one of the most cheerful people in the program-she always has a big smile on her face. We’re excited to have Axel and his mom join our merry little band.

Axel, Pet Therapy
Pictured: Me, Axel and Dolly

Yesterday was my first day back at West Pines. Mom is working on a special post just for that visit and always tells me “but for the grace of Dog there go I” whenever we leave that place. I’m not sure what she means by that but I’m just glad I was able to visit the medical staff and nurses again with a couple of extra special encounters with patients.

Here’s a close-up of the award I received. Who knew I’d have more than 200 visits? We’ve met so many wonderful people as a member of the pet therapy squad and hope we can continue for future special times being a part of this amazing group.

Pet Therapy

Don’t we have a great looking group? They all enjoy making peeps smile and I hope there are loads of ear rubs and treats in the future for all.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wandering Wednesday ~ August 28, 2019

SamHi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to West Pines we go.🎶 After many patient and staff visits (and more than a few ‘dates with nurses’) at hospital yesterday, Sam is off to West Pines this morning. We had loads of interaction with all sorts of folks yesterday from two year olds to eighty plus year olds including a surprising number of visits at hospice. Since it was the first time this summer that Sam has been back, I wasn’t sure how he’d do. But my boy proved he’s still got game and was only slightly off kilter. I tried to make yesterday’s shift as easy as possible and he seemed to enjoy the lighter duty. His hospital friends we always visit were very happy to see his sweet face. When I saw the smiles he put on people’s faces, I know he was back in his element despite being tuckered out once we returned home. Visits normally take a lot of energy out of him, but after a good night’s sleep, he’s raring to go today and ran toward the garage before our morning constitution.

SamHappy mid-week. May the slide toward the weekend be an easy one for you.

Live, love, bark! 🐾