Nature Friday ~ July 24, 2020

Nature FridayWelcome to Friday! Elsa here, ready to dish up some interesting bits of urban nature from around the Ranch. Despite yet another week of 90’s, we managed to survive the miserable heat and, as always, join our weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link, to see what the Gang and others around Blogville have shared this week. So let’s get started, ‘kay?

Elsa
Hibiscus

On our walks, we notice lots of crawly things, even encountering some real whoppers. Mom almost stepped on this one and thought it was some kind of cicada. It was nearly 3 inches long and as she bent down to look closer, its legs started wiggling which made me think it wanted to play. A swift tug on my harness by the upright made me think I may have misjudged the situation. Us dogs tend to like windup toys like that but mom was pretty emphatic about moving along once it started moving. Whatever. I thought it was pretty fascinating to watch. Just look at those silver eyeballs!

Bug

Annuals like these vining petunias are enjoying the hot weather to which I say, they can have it. These sunny days are way too intense for a Ninja like me.

Flowers

Some of our neighbors have interesting yard art that both my dolt of a brother and I have to check out. I get the sense that this little mushroom village attracts a lot of visitors. Look how colorful these glass babies are!

Flowers

On the other side of their front walkway, they had an important message for passersby. With all the anxiety peeps are experiencing during the pandemic, we hope they heed messages like this and stop complaining about having to wear a mask.

Signs

On our return route, we encountered some colorful poppy mallow. Mom really likes their bright color and vows to plant some saying they’ll make a nice ground cover to fill in some of open spaces in our side garden and the cup shaped blooms are really pretty.

Flowers

Around the corner from the Ranch one of the neighbors always plants a few pumpkins in the strip of ground between the street and the sidewalk. We stop to check out the pollinators and see how well the pumpkins are doing. We may not have trick-or-treaters this year but I think there’ll be plenty of pumpkin treats. That buzzy thing inside the flower took a bit of offense to my closer look so we had to move along quickly.

Pumpkin

With more hot weather still in the forecast, we can’t help but be a bit excited by the countdown clock. Did you know there are just 59 days until autumn officially arrives? I know some of you groaned when you read that and others of you gave a collective sigh of relief.

Well, that’s about it for sharing photos of nature from around here. We hope you have a great weekend and take the time to see what nature readily provides us. Who knows, you may have more luck finding a windup toy laying on the sidewalk, just waiting for a playmate. Without the proverbial helicopter huMom hoovering close by to drag you away.

Lie, love, bark! 🐾

Conversation with an Angel

Ahem…you-hoo?

Elsa: Huh? Wha…

Psst…Elsa…you awake?

Elsa: {yawn, stretches, shakes head looking around} Sam??? Is that you?

Norman: Hello there, mate.

Sam: Hi guys, good to see you.

Elsa: Wait…what are you doing here? I thought you crossed the Bridge?

Sam: I did, but I watch over you guys, especially mom. She still seems so sad that I asked the powers to be if I could drop in and have a chat to see if we could make her feel better.

Elsa: Yeah, she is pretty sad; there’s waterworks nearly every day thinking about you. She really misses you.

Norman: We do try our level best to make her feel better, but I think you must have had an extra special place in her heart.

Sam: Yeah, I was her heart and soul dog and miss her too. Ours was a special bond and I feel so badly she’s hurting now. But let’s see if, by working together, we can make her feel better. You guys in?

Elsa and Norman: {in two-part harmony} Woof, woof! Let’s do it.

Sam: Cool. Ok, first we have to take care of a few matters from my estate which was settled in probate court.

Elsa: Estate? Probate? Dude, what in the world are you talking about-you don’t own anything.

Sam: Um…that’s not entirely accurate, Ninja. I’m here to read my Last Will and Testament dividing all my worldly goods between you and uh…the new guy, what’s his name?

Norman: Uh…sir, for the record, it’s Norman.

Sam: Oh yeah, right. Where were we?

Elsa: Never mind, already taken care of it…its all mine.

Norman: She’s right, you know. She pretty much owns everything around here and is especially not very keen about sharing any of it.

Sam: Well, my Last Will and Testament will take care of that. Legally anyway. Let’s begin the reading, ‘kay?

Last Will and Testament

Elsa: If it makes you feel better, but know everything is still mine.

Sam: {eyes rolling} Ahem…”I, Yosemite Sam McDonald, veteran Pet Therapist and all around Good Dog, being of sound mind do hereby leave the following personal effects to my survivors. To my sister, I leave my comfy bed from the living room, who I note for the record, bogarted it frequently while I was still around, despite having her own large comfy sofabed.

Norman: Yeah, she did kind of take over your spot, mate…although mum swears she’s seen you out of the corner of her eye sleeping in it a couple of times when the golden afternoon sunlight shines on it.

Sam: Oh good, I’m kind of new to this whole angel thing of how to send signs letting her know I’m still with her. Yup, that was me. As a Bridge newbie, I haven’t had a lot of training yet as to how to send signs to your loved ones but I have managed to pick up some tricks from watching others.

Elsa: Someone is trying to train you? Hahaha…this should be a hoot. Hope they have better luck than mom did. She always did say you were either stupid or stubborn. Personally, I always had my own suspicions but that’s another story. Either way, it’s probably a fine line in your case.

Sam: {clears throat} Well, I see you haven’t changed much, have you? Anywho…let’s get on with the rest of the worldly possessions.

Norman: Yes, please do…was wondering if there are any bits and bobs you might have for me?

Sam: Yes, bro…I thought of you as well. I hereby bequeath all my toys to you.

Norman: Jolly good, dear brother! But being a proper British bloke, I confess, I did kind of help myself to the toy basket. The little sister was none too happy with me because apparently I didn’t recognize which ones were her favorites and hers alone.

Toys

Sam: Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that before. You definitely want to avoid that hot pink slipper. And anything that squeaks. Those are her favorites and trust me dude, she’ll kick your tailless tush if you try to take any.

Norman: Right-o sir…I discovered that…the hard way. I say, good chap…who knew such a sweet face could be so…vicious?!

Sam: Yeah, you do want to stay on her good side. That’s just one of the reasons why we call her a Ninja Warrior.

Elsa: You both got that right and if you try to take my slipper I’ll chew you a new one. Got that, you gigantic British dolt?

Norman: I say, dear sister. There’s no need for name calling. I’m just trying to fit into the Ranch bunk house by familiarizing myself with stuff and (so far) I haven’t destroyed any toys, even though my jaws are quite able to tear the stuffing out of any of them or you should I so desire.

Elsa: {Gasp!} You better pray you don’t destroy any of my toys, pal! Although that’s rather laughable…you might be big, but remember that I’m a Ninja so don’t even think twice about it, chump!

Sam: Okay, okay, look I don’t have all day here and I didn’t come down here to host Mixed Martial Arts. Now that we’ve taken care of the physical property, let’s get on with my lasting legacy.

Elsa and Norman: Legacy? Are you joking?

Sam: Nope, I was thinking the best way to make mom smile again is for you guys to channel my very best enduring behavior so she’ll know I’m still with her, even if it’s just in spirit. See, I was thinking…

Elsa and Norman: {in unison} You were…thinking? {raucous laughter} How could we possible replicate your most annoying enduring behavior? Mom said you were one of a kind.

Sam: I’ll have you know was a model citizen on our walks, in fact everywhere…I just displayed certain “skills” that mom found particularly enduring when she needed a smile…or something.

Elsa: “Something’ is right! I suppose you mean something like moving as far away from her when pooping…oh…and bonus points if it’s in the absolutely deepest snow you could find.

Sam: P.r.e.c.i.s.e.l.y. I know she muttered some HBO words but I knew perfectly well she thought it was ‘charming’ and know for a fact that she. loved. it, okay?

Norman: Oh mate…that’s a load of tosh! She specifically told me NOT to ever do that (among other things you used to do). Like make sure I don’t poop in front of someone’s sidewalk leading up to their front door. She was especially specific about that one.

Sam: Nonsense Norman, she loved that about me. Why do you think I did that every chance I could? Now Elsa, if you could just stretch the leash as far away from her whenever you’re crossing a street. I’ve noticed she isn’t doing enough upper body workouts and that way she’ll have to bench press you closer to her to work those puny biceps. Sheesh, I’m gone three months and the woman’s let herself go to pot.

Elsa: Hmm, I guess I could do that. I do want to do my part making her feel better so if that means channeling some of you, I’ll do it.

Norman: Right Gov…I’ll raise my leg on all your favorite spots and try to do my part on the poop parade…per your instructions.

Sam: {eyes rolling} Umm, yeah, we don’t say ‘Gov’ around the Ranch, Norman. We just say…

Live, love bark! 🐾

Angel Sam

Some Bunny Loves You

Whether you celebrated Passover yesterday or Easter this Sunday, the Ranch hands send their best ‘howliday’ wishes to everyone. With social distancing/stay in place mandates, please remember some “bunny” in Denver loves you and sends their best virtual greetings. While we may not be able to physically touch or hug, we still want you to know that we’re thinking of you at this time of year (with a-pawlogies for being a day late on Passover greetings).

Easter

Chag Sameach, Happy Easter!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Pet Safe Soap & Natural Sanitizers for Your Pet

As a subscriber to Vet Dr. Andrew Jones’ YouTube channel, I was delighted to see his latest video where he shared his recipe for keeping pets safe and protected during the pandemic. Would you like to make a pet-safe soap or hand sanitizer that won’t harm your pets and can also be effectively used by peeps as well? Check out these easy-to-make products for yourself. I plan on making some sanitizer once I can get my hands on some aloe vera gel. I was lucky having a bottle of the rubbing alcohol on hand prior to panic-buyers wiping out most store supplies.

Have you made any sanitizer yet? What was your experience? Sit, stay, remain healthy, observe social distancing rules, wash those hands and most of all, keep smiling. The Ranch-hands insist on it.

Elsa & Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Purple Day ~ March 26, 2020

EpilepsyToday is Purple Day,® a global grassroots event created to increase worldwide awareness of epilepsy and to dispel common myths and fears of this neurological disorder. Purple Day® attempts to reduce the social stigmas associated by the many individuals afflicted and provides assurance and advocacy to those living with epilepsy by letting them know that they are not alone. This day occurs annually every March 26 in honor of all epi-warriors, whether they are 2 or 4-legged. Once again, we proudly support this event by wearing purple. As you may know, Elsa, as a puppy mill survivor with unknown lineage, was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy shortly after she was rescued nearly 4 years ago (you can read her story here). Supporting epilepsy awareness and education is a no-brainer and I’m committed to learning as much as possible about this condition and how to effectively manage it while providing a safe and loving home for this pill of a dog. I can {knock on wood} report Elsa has been mostly seizure-free for almost two years through a combination of anti-seizure medication and organic, locally sourced CBD oil.

Elsa
You woke me up for this?

So on this year’s “Purple Day®“, we invite you to wear purple today. If you or anyone in your family are impacted by epilepsy, check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s website or check the “About” tab at PurpleDay.org website for valuable information.

Word Cloud

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ January 6, 2020

Good happy Monday, everyone. Elsa here. We hope you had a swell weekend. I kind of got into a spot of trouble yesterday by stealing some chicken jerky for us off the counter (it was on top of that jar you can barely see in the upper left corner) while mom had her back to us for a second. It was just sitting there at the back of the counter as she turned to put away the container. Well, that’s practically an engraved invitation to try so I did what any poodle would do…I jumped up and snarfed both pieces. Sam of course, ratted me out. Doggone brother!

Sam & Elsa
Busted!

On my afternoon walk, mom put this contraption on me and said, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” I guess that means I now have to pack my own lunch.

Elsa
Working for my lunch

We hope you have a great week. Now that the holidays are over, mom says things will go back to ‘normal.’ What exactly is normal for poodles?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 3, 2020

Welcome to the first Friday of 2020. We’re joining our furry friends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday blog hop.  Don’t forget to check out other blogs when you click on the link.

January is typically the coldest and driest month of the year. While we didn’t have a white Christmas, a snow storm arrived on the 27th throughout most of the state. It made driving conditions treacherous and I deliberately made sure to arrange my return home accordingly after a lovely Christmas visit with the family.

Pikes Peak

As you can see looking at Pikes Peak from near my mom’s house, nature is pretty typical for this time of year, i.e. somewhat bland and brown. Pikes Peak with its snow capped summit rises above the Plains like a beacon. Situated just West of Colorado Springs, it’s a view that travels from the metro area to Pueblo often experience on those trademark Colorado clear blue sky days.

Once back home it was just 36 hours when a nice 4-6″ deep storm covered the neighborhood. And it was windy and chilly. For a few days, the temperature barely rose past the 20’s. This week has been moving toward the 40’s and close to 50 on New Year’s  day and while some of you may shiver at that thought, trust me…January in the 40’s is a heat spell in Denver. The National Western Stock Show nearly always ushers in frigid temperatures and it starts January 11th. I’m shivering just thinking about it since the arrival will mandate several extra layers just to stay semi-comfortable, much less warm.

While nature has been a bit bland around the Ranch, Elsa experienced an ‘interesting’ adventure yesterday. Welcome the newest neighbor to our hood, Wally, a rescued Great Pyrenees who moved across the street from us. We met yesterday. Elsa was not amused in the slightest bit. Umm, let’s just say Wally’s manners need some work around the ladies. A sweet boy who’s lived his entire 2-year life on an Indiana farm so far, socialization with other dogs is slim to next to nothing and slim left town last week.

Elsa's Friend
He’s a handsome chap, but a bit camera shy.

The hope is that Wally and Elsa will learn to enjoy one another’s company and have some fun playing ‘catch me if you can’ at get-togethers. Once he stops being a cad, that is, if you get my drift. His size is probably prohibitive for play dates with Sam who is also not much of a player. He’ll stand there wagging his tail furiously but at 14+, he really isn’t much into the game of chase. Not that he ever was. A few dance steps, some serious tail wagging and then a yawn with  a retreat to take a nap. That boy has always known how to conserve energy.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend. While the NFL Playoffs begin tomorrow, we hope you’ll enjoy some outdoor playtime. I plan to go outside and wander about the ‘hood in the nearly 60 F degrees forecast tomorrow. Now where are those mud boots?

Nature Friday

Live, love bark! 🐾

Throwback Thursday ~ January 2, 2020

It felt strange to type 2020 for this post but I suspect it’ll get easier as we write our ‘best-seller’ this year. The past reflection through images as well as thoughts about last year brought this photo up and one of those that is aw-worthy in integrating Elsa into the family pack. Taken just a couple months after she was adopted and after several trips to the vet before we managed to get control of her seizures, it’s apparent she loved her brother almost as much as she loved stuffed toys. Knowing that her first few years were devoid of love and toys, I’ve always been touched by this scene.

Sam & Elsa

My heart is full of gratitude when I see Sam acquiesce the dog bed in the studio to his recovering sister and comfortable enough to let her lay close to him. Seeing scenes like this sets the stage for focusing on the more ‘pawsitive’ moments that will happen this year.

We hope you safely survived any New Year’s celebrations and the many of the college football bowls (is it me or are there far too many?). How ’bout that Rose Bowl game? Congrats to the Oregon Ducks on the comeback win.

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

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! 🐾