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! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 26, 2019

Dogs

Happy Monday and Happy National Dog Day. NDD celebrates all dogs, whether mixed breed or purebred. That includes celebrating Knuckleheads of all stripes and which I’m especially celebrating a certain Knucklehead who was presented an award this past weekend for having ‘pawticipated’ in more than 200 hospital visits. I couldn’t be more proud of this silly goofball who demonstrates pure loving attention to all he greets. Even when he faces the wrong way during the awards photo, he steals the show.

Sam

There will be more photos and a special post later this week but for now, please join me in saying, “attaboy, Sam.” Way to go, dude.Sam

No resting on our laurels now though. Tomorrow we return to hospital to bring more smiles to patients and staff.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 23, 2019

Welcome to another Friday where we join our fur-iends and Nature Friday hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s [still] hot in the Mile High. A small shower with more thunder and lightning than rain blew through Wednesday evening which did help cool things down. The dogs have decided they are not fans of thunderstorms which is strange since nothing used to bother Sam but in his golden years, has become visibly distressed the moment he hears any thunder. This storm was a loud one so he was most verklempt.

Sun and heat loving perennials continue to take center stage around the hood. Come along one of my early morning walks where I came across an enormous trumpet vine that had fully covered an entire utility pole. Passing by, it was literally abuzz with bees and wasps enjoying the sweet nectar so I had to stay a comfortable distance away from them but I still just had to stop and take it all in.

Flowers

Flowers

For some reason, the sunflowers have been very prolific this summer, popping up across gardens throughout the neighborhood. My own garden is being taken over by them. It’ll be an interesting fight between the Lupines and the Sunflowers to see who takes over. I’m hoping they can learn to share the space since both are so pretty.

Flowers

Continuing along on the walk, I came across a beautiful, deep red Rose of Sharon shrub who was showing off. Such a pretty plant, but quite toxic to pets. The spent blooms are especially enticing to dogs so care should be exercised when incorporating this beauty in the garden landscape.

Flowers

Maybe Mother Nature’s way to warn us of its toxicity are the spikes surrounding the closed bud?

Flowers

One of the neighbors whose garden I enjoy walking past recently installed a new glass ornament with its whimsical look made me smile.

Falmingo

That’s about it for me. Tomorrow Sam and I will be attending the annual awards luncheon for pet therapy members and their dogs. It’ll be nice seeing the gang again since we’ve been absent this summer after Sam’s illness and recovery during June and July. I’m looking forward to meeting the newest members who have joined our ranks and for celebrating some of the program’s superstars. Are you doing anything fun this weekend? Whatever you have planned, I hope it’s a ‘pawsome’ weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 19, 2019

Welcome to Monday, August 19, 2019. School districts all over the country are starting up the fall session which means we better keep our eyes open for little sprouts heading back to “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic.” Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend and are ready to take on a fresh new week. Pass It On

Hope today’s meme resonates as much with you and it did with me. Here’s to making a difference.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ August 16, 2019

Is it just me or is August flying by? Seems like only yesterday that it was the 4th of July. At any rate, we’ve breezed through to another Friday. And if it’s Friday, that means we’re joining our fur-iends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard.

WaterlilyThis week is all about waterlilies. A recent trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens proved this is prime time for viewing these plants. Frenchman Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac (1830-1911) often considered the father of hardy waterlily hybridizing, creating over 100 hybrids in a rainbow of colors using species from around the world, including North America, as parent plants. Until the introduction of these hybrids, most people in Europe were only familiar with their native white-flowering hardy waterlily, Nymphaea alba.

WaterlilyIn 1889, Latour-Marliac displayed many of his new waterlilies at the World Fair in Paris, where they won first prize and caught the attention of one Claude Monet. Monet placed an order with Latour-Marliac’s nursery (which still operates to this day in Le Temple-sur-Lot, France) and soon thereafter, planted them in his new garden in Giverny. The rest is history.

WaterlilyThe Botanic Gardens’ collection includes twenty of Latour-Marliac’s historically significant hybrids in its own “Monet Pool” that were originally introduced in the gardens in the early 1900’s.

Waterlily

The day was sunny and bright (not the best for picture taking) but the reflections were stunning on the still water. The ducks were actively skimming the sides of the pool for whatever it is that ducks eat and dragonflies flitted about enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures.

Waterlily

Hope you enjoyed strolling through one of my favorite areas at the Denver Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a fabulous weekend and don’t forget to enjoy some nature yourself.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ August 12, 2019

Happy Monday, peeps! Hope you had a terrific weekend. We were busy at the Ranch putting the final touches on the new BarkBook making it ready for downloading in the shop. To wet your good pup’s taste buds, here’s a sample of some of the delicious (and easy to make) treats from it.

🦴 Cheesy Applesauce Bites

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup applesauce

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/cup oatmeal

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375º F.  Combine cheddar, applesauce and water in a small bowl. Combine flour and oatmeal in a large bowl. Blend cheese-applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead into a dough and turn onto a floured surface. Roll dough to 1/4-1/2” thickness and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cut with cookie cutters (or use a pizza cutter and cut into small squares). Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 mins. (longer if biscuits are thicker).

Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator and consume in 1 week or freeze for up to 3 weeks.

And because every Monday should start out with a smile, how about a little poodle food to remind you to smile and eat your veggies? Happy Monday.

Poodle food

BarkBook

Live, love, bark!

Nature Friday ~ August 9, 2019

Let’s hear it for the arrival of Friday! If it’s Friday, that means it’s not only our most welcomed friend, but it’s also a time when we stroll around Blogville checking out the beauty of Mother Nature. As usual, we are joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows along with our whinging antics, but it’s been hot. I mean, H-O-T. With temperatures in the upper 90’s a fair part of this week and little moisture in our ‘hood, you’d think there wouldn’t be much to look at. Wrong! It’s Rudbeckia season. Often referred to as Black-eyed Susan’s, this beautifully colorful perennial is a herbaceous flower belonging to the aster family. Growing throughout the US, the Black-eyed Susans is actually the state flower of Maryland and a symbol of horse-racing’s Preakness race.

Black-eyed Susans grow to between 12 to 40-inches in height, and 18 to 12-inches in width across the petals. Its stem is hardy and covered with tiny stiff hairs. This plant is fairly resistant to the wind and the elements, making it easy to grow in all conditions. It’s probably why you see it often along highways and in meadows.

The leaves arrange themselves in rosette form around the “bee,” with the plants shooting leaves from the stem in the second season. The leaves have a toothed edge with a rough texture. The plant produces a flower heads consisting of 8 to 20 orange-yellow florets that cluster into a cone-shape and turn dark toward the center. They are part of the coneflower family.

Flowers

Ever wonder how this garden favorite got its name? The scientific classification actually comes from Sweden. Born in Västerås, Olaus Rudbeck was a famous botanist and professor of medicine at Uppsala University. Black-eyed Susans garner its scientific name, “Rudbeckia,” from the Swedish scientist although Rudbeck didn’t name the flower himself. Botanist Carl Linnaeus, who studied under Rudbeck’s son, named the plant in loving memory of Rudbeck and his son. The Black-eyed Susan belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes other coneflower species.

Flowers

We hope you are able to get outside and enjoy a lovely summer weekend and check out all the beauty Mother Nature offers. Like this pretty sunrise from this morning.

Sunrise

* * * Exciting News * * *

Recently I mentioned there’s be some exciting news coming and now I can share it with you. For some time now I’ve been working on writing a collection of treat recipes in a cookbook BarkBook. After exploring numerous publishing options, I decided to ‘publish’ it in our e-shop in the form of a download with a portion of sales benefitting local pet rescue groups. With lots of starts and stops (including a catastrophic disappearance somewhere in the Cloud) requiring me to lose my mind a total rewrite, this baby is now done. I’ll be beta-testing the download process over the next few days but wanted to give you advance notice that it’s coming soon. Finally. I feels like I’ve birthed an elephant. Stay tuned for the official arrival ( hopefully next week). In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the e-shop for bandanas, hand-painted greeting cards and (now) another new item, “Scrubbies” (which work great as an exfoliator for uprights or work hard cleaning your veggies-we use ours all around the house for cleaning too). Check them out!

BarkBook logo

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Was There Wednesday ~ August 7, 2019

On a day when the forecast is calling for temperatures in the upper 90’s, I wish I were back at Blaue Haus Café , a charming 100 year old house located in Oberstaufen, Germany (Bavaria) where the folkart was whimsical, the coffee and cake delicious and the garden charming and peaceful. How about you?

GermanyLive, love, bark! 🐾