Nature Friday ~ March 1, 2019

Nature FridayIt’s Friday which means we are joining our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop. Be sure to click on the link to check out nature around Blogville.

Mother Nature seems to be very confused judging by the bizarro weather she’s dishing out. Severe rain on the West Coast, tons of snow on the East Coast with warm temps followed by bitter cold and snow in the Rocky Mountains. I can’t remember when I experienced such yoyo conditions.

When we were out on our afternoon walk yesterday, we discovered positive signs that Spring really is around the corner. Check out Exhibit A.

Irises

These blue beauties are called reticulated irises. Growing only to about 4-5 inches tall, as early blooming Spring bulbs they provide the promise that Spring really is being worked on for a soon-to-be roll out. Reticulated irises are hardy down to USDA planting zone 4a (with temps as low as -34.4 °C/-30 °F). Beware though, they are toxic if ingested and should not  be planted where pets could inadvertently snack on them.

Reticulated irises are a huge favorite of mine, yet my eagle eye always scans the landscape for my other early blooming Spring crush, crocuses. These striking tiny gems caught my eye and for good reason…they are fabulous.

Purple crocus

Seeing these lovely blooms gives me hope that Spring will arrive soon, despite a winter storm watch for our region. I hope they don’t mind being dumped on by the white stuff. Ignorance is truly bliss, isn’t it?

Have a great weekend, especially celebrating National Read Across America Day, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday tomorrow, March 2.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Was There Wednesday ~ February 27, 2019

Italy

Venice

Life, love, bark! 🐾

Red Carpet Monday ~ February 25, 2019

By now you know who won at last night’s Oscar ceremonies. Sam here. Naturally Elsa and I walked the Red Carpet, paw in paw. I couldn’t decide if I should go understated but dashing like Bradley Cooper with a silk bow tie or something more…ahem, ‘eye-catching’ like Spike Lee and ended up wearing a flowing red scarf with a new trendy pair of Warby Parker glasses. Elsa was breathtakingly gorgeous in a pink silk off the shoulder printed scarf. She was so nervous that she thought she might pee on the carpet but I said, I’ll be here for ya, kid. We just got to our seats in time (with no accidents, I might add) for some of the lesser known categories that aren’t broadcast on TV. And guess what…I actually WON! I was nervous speaking to so many people, but then my professional therapy training kicked in and I was able to deliver a heartfelt and surprisingly ’emotional’ acceptance speech. What do you think?

The Oscars

We hope your favorite nominee won last night. Happy Monday to all the winners.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ February 22, 2019

Nature FridayHi guys, Sam here. Today we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop. Be sure to click on the link to check out nature around Blogville.

Mother Nature decided to take a detour away from Spring, beginning last weekend. It’s been c-o-l-d with a couple of dustings of the white stuff.

FlowersLast Friday we saw these crocuses blooming. Their cheerful blooms brightened our spirits and *POOF* just like that, Mother Nature decided to snow on their sweet little heads. We haven’t walked past them again to see how they fared since it’s been too cold to walk that far. We hope they are hanging in there. Mom looked out this morning under some dead leaves in our garden to see if there was any action there and lo and behold…these little heads were checking to see if it’s safe to come out through patches of snow. Woohoo, guess maybe Spring really is planning on arriving. At some point.

Flowers

There’s a chance of snow again today so I guess I’d better go outside and cover those babies up so they stay safe and warm. Next week should be warmer so we expect the garden to make us look forward to warmer springtime days. We hope you have a fun weekend.

Live, love bark! 🐾

Spreading the Love Thursday

Last week we visited hospice and hospital over Valentine’s Day and experienced some of our best visits. Ever. Sam was especially extra patient and loving on both days.

Sam spreading the love

We typically make a swing through the surgical waiting area before heading up to our assigned floor to visit with family and friends waiting for their loved ones and this week was no exception. Sam seemed to sense the first group needed extra attention. They included a husband, wife and another friend of the family’s. The husband’s face lit up as we came around the corner and Sam made a beeline for him. His wife squealed when she turned around, but Sam was determined to say hello first to him. His tail was wagging like a wound up metronome as he gazed into the guy’s eyes, so deeply in fact his wife commented on it. Sam turned toward her and she melted under his hypnotic spell, then he turned his gaze back to toward the man again. We spent several minutes chatting, learned he retired from being a police officer for over 40 years. Retirement wasn’t exactly his jam so he started working part-time at Home Depot for a while and shared several photos of pups who came in with their owners and said how much he appreciated it when people brought their 4-legged ‘handyman’ in to provide TLC with employees. He was totally in Sam’s paws, so much so, that he began leaning against the guy’s leg. Sam laid down next to him knowing he needed to chat and share stories of how much he enjoyed that job with those pooch encounters.

It became clear we could have spent loads of time visiting with this couple and learning more about them and their own dog at home but saw several other groups in the waiting area so we began to wrap it up. As we prepared to leave for the next family, the man asked me to say a prayer for his 91-year-old mother-in-law. Bless her heart, she was having a serious procedure done and worried about her long-term prognosis. Now I completely understood why Sam spent so much time with him. Sam knew his visit was what the doctor ordered for this family.

Sam spreading the love

We moved on to the next family whose elderly mom was the patient, Sam gave and received loads of kisses and hugs from the two sisters and aunts and uncles waiting to hear how their loved one fared in surgery. It’s always touching seeing this knucklehead spreading pure joy among people whose hearts are heavy as their family faces uncertain times. He seems to know who to visit first and for how long. Ironic considering when I try to get him to do something along our daily walks, he looks at me like I’m speaking in tongues.

Following the hospital visits, we went over to hospice where the nurses in particular needed Sam’s loving presence. Overnight, 5 patients had passed away, something that’s extremely rare for one day, and the staff needed some puppy love from a sweet loving therapy dog. While we were there, the last body was removed and as noted before they perform a Tibetan bowl ceremony while the body is removed. It’s a beautiful ceremony and Sam sat solemnly next to the line of nurses lined up watching as the body is removed from the building. Once the body was removed and everyone went back to work, he spent extra time with each one of the nurses on the floor. They needed his special attention and tail wags and they all expressed gratitude for his visit. While we’d just been visiting a couple of weeks earlier, I was particularly glad we answered the call to help them deal with the loss on what was a probably an extra difficult day at work.

This silly, goofy dog had the perfect touch for our Valentine’s Day visits and I couldn’t be prouder of this boy for doing what he does best. Making people smile and feel better, even if just for a few moments. While I know his days may be numbered as part of the pet therapy program, I know he will always give it his all.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ February 20, 2019

Germany

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ February 18, 2019

Let’s start the week out with a smile but not the kind of smile Mother Nature is giving us today. After seeing the first batch of crocuses blooming on Friday, she apparently took a left turn, put a down payment back on winter and dropped a couple of inches of white stuff. She isn’t funny at all. She’s cold and sadistic. The temperature is only 10º F.

Sprinkler smile

Have a great week and don’t forget to smile.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ February 15, 2019 (updated 2/16)

Nature Friday
Editor’s Note: Apparently our scheduled post didn’t publish yesterday. We apologize for that.

Once again we are joining our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of Nature Friday Blog Hop.

It’s been a super busy week with commitments scheduled every day and today is no exception (we’ll have more to share about the adventures next week). While Sam and I had some very lovely visits at West Pines, hospital and hospice we still managed to get our walks in around the neighborhood. We couldn’t help but do a double take when we saw these little babies. Daffodils! Maybe the Groundhog’s prediction a couple of weeks ago is right for a change.

Bulbs

Further along on that same walk, we found more evidence that some tulips are planning on making an appearance soon.Tulips

February provided us with more snow over the past two weeks than we’ve received all year but we are looking forward to the arrival of Spring and sharing of more floral scenes in the coming weeks.

One more day of volunteering and then I’m kicking back and enjoying a nice quiet weekend with the Knuckleheads. How ’bout you, any fun plans on the horizon?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

A Valentine’s Day PSA

 

Live, love, bark! 🐾

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

We’re off to the hospital and West Pines these next few days but we’ll try to catch up by the weekend. Till then hope you enjoy this (Almost) Wordless Wednesday photo. Come quickly Spring…I need more beautiful flowers with gorgeous colors.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Sam’s E-Shop here. There’s a new luscious bath sugar scrub ‘pawfect’ for winter skin that can plague uprights this time of year.