Happy Birthday, Colorado

Today’s post is for history buffs as we celebrate our state’s birthday. Colorado became the 38th state in August 1, 1876 having been a territory from 1861. At the western entrance to the capitol building, carved into the 15th step is the inscription “One Mile Above Sea Level” which explains, Denver’s Mile High City moniker. Although later determined to be off due to inaccurate measuring techniques at the time, a marker now rests at the 13th step with is exactly one mile high. Originally plated  with 200 ounces of 24-karat gold leaf as a nod to the state’s gold rush days and to all those who helped build and settle Colorado, the dome received a fresh reapplication of 65 ounces of .999 pure Colorado mined gold three years ago. It truly sparkles in the Rocky Mountain sun. Modern day settlers are seeking another kind of rush…marijuana and a booming economy with thousands moving to the state every year. There are now over 5.4 million people in Colorado.

Designed by Elijah E. Myers in a neoclassical design, the capitol was built in the 1890’s from Colorado white granite and opened in 1894. The interior has copious amounts of rare Colorado Rose Onyx marble with the main entrance hall open to the top of the dome and as tall as an 18-story building. The capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of Denver’s Civic Center area.

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Happy 140th, Colorado. You’re still looking good. How old is your state?

Live, love, bark! <3

Wordless Wednesday

Mountain splendor-wish we were there again enjoying the cool morning air and beauty of it all.

morning reflection

Live, love, bark! <3

Happy Father’s Day

image Happy Father’s Day to dads of both two and four-legged kiddos. Sam and I went to southern Colorado to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents and Sam is living the high life with his grand ‘pawrents.’ They love him as much as he loves them. A special Father’s Day greeting for my Dad who has been my lifelong inspiration and rock.  I am very blessed with this amazing man as my moral compass and life guide. Thanks, Dad!  Love ya so much.

imageWhen I come down to see my folks I realize Sam reverts back to his earlier life of living in the country where he transforms back into a scent-searching Bloodhound. My parents have a home on the far western edge of Pueblo West, a bedroom community due west of Pueblo about a 100+ miles south of Denver.  This vistas of the Greenhorn Mountains to the west and Pikes Peak to the north are beautiful and wide open. Far to the south and directly behind the Greenhorns, the Sangre de Cristos rise. If you need to get away from the hustle and bustle for some outstanding vacation options, these are fabulous places. The views are incredibly spectacular and I totally understand why they live here and why it’s always good to ‘come home.’

There are loads of little critters around that intrigue Sam. Even though he makes himself at home here settling in like he owns the place, he could give a whit about the amazing variety of birds, most notably the little ‘Bobwhite’ quail with the cutest little head tuft feathers pointing upward like exclamation points. They are noisy little cheepers and scurry around in winding little paths every bit as much as they fly but he gives them no notice whatsoever. They are so entertaining to watch when they scurry hither and fro with babies in tow following behind them in a single line. The adorbs factor is definitely high when you see a line of babies following their moms. Then there are the songstress Meadowlarks, my favorite Great Plains bird. Their yellow chests and soothing song melt just away the week’s aggravations and sooth the soul. I love waking up to their sweet early morning refrain.

View of the Sangre  de Christo Mountains
View of the Greenhorn Mountains

What Sam does take a huge interest in are all the rabbits and this year there seem to be jillions of them. Big fat rabbits with their tiny adorable bunny offspring; their scent is apparently pure nirvana to Sam’s big nose. He acts like a total Bloodhound and would go crazy (if allowed off leash) tracking back and forth across the paths of these little fluff ball creatures. Because there are also snakes around, he is not allowed free range and shows displeasure at me with the ‘look’ when I jerk the leash to get him closer toward me and the road. You know that look, the disapproving one that says “sheesh, can’t you let a guy have a little fun stop being such a helicopter mom!” He has a really tough life doesn’t he? 😉

Here’s hoping your Father’s Day is celebrated with loads of love and smiles with your Dad and family. How did you celebrate the day with dear old Dad?

Live, love, bark! <3

 

Rain, rain, go away…

come again another day. NEVER thought I’d be singing that playground rhyme around here. Most of the time I’d be thrilled for the moisture. Denver is located at the western edge of the great plains at the base of the Rocky Mountains, we are semi arid and currently at 60% of normal precipitation for this time of year. Trust me, come August when it’s day after day of 90-100 degrees, and humidity in the 8-15% range, I’ll be hoping whining for this rain.

Rain, rain...go away, come again another day!
Rain, rain…go away, come again another day!

But lately we seem to be in some sort of unusual holding pattern in the Mile High and despite the Chamber of Commerce mantra of 300 days of sunshine a year, the weather has been uncharacteristically grey and wet for several days in a row. You can imagine how ecstatic everyone was when the sun came out for about 30 minutes late yesterday afternoon. Some people at my office took off work early to run home and mow their hay fields lawns before they turned into jungles which was promptly followed by clouds and an extended shower later on in the evening. So imagine how  the conversation went this morning.

Before I recount this morning’s conversation, let me set the stage here. First, it’s pee-o’clock (otherwise know at 5:00 am), the sun isn’t quite up yet and it’s raining fairly hard. Here’s how it went down.

Me: “Ok, ok, I’m getting my shoes on, just hang on to your whiskers!”

Sam: “Oh yay, oh yay, I love this time of day!!” [bounce, bounce, bounce]

Me [opening door and Sam bursting out like he’d been shot out of canon]. Sam slamming on his brakes and skidding to the end of the covered patio. Screeeeeeech!!

Sam: “Wait, what…it’s raining. Uh, yeah…I think I’ll just stand under the eve of the house and watch.”

Me: “Come on, let’s go pee!” [spoken in an encouraging voice]

Sam: “But um…it’s wet out there. You can’t possible expect me to go stand out there and pee in the rain? Nope, not doing it. I’m going back into the house” [whereby he runs along the house under the eves so as to not get wet until he hits the covered patio and makes a mad dash to the back door.

Me:  “Oh, for heaven’s sake, you aren’t going to melt you dimwitted fur ball!” [waking back to the back door and being greeted by a tail-wagging doofus with the “Hey, I’m sure I can hold it” look on his face]. I swear, this dog has the drama down pat like a character from a Mozart opera.

I had to laugh out loud at the whole scene and we go in. I figure I’ll make some coffee to warm up and start to get ready and then we’ll go on our walk once the rain has subsided. Five minutes in and he’s bouncing up and down like a pogo stick, “Oh my god, I have to pee, I.have.to.go.pee!”

Me: “Oh, all right!” So I head toward the back door and he continues to bounce up and down like he’s about to explode. I grab his snow coat because it’s fairly waterproof. He’s wagging his whole back-end and I can’t get the buckles connected so he doesn’t pee on them and he keeps licking my face as I’m bending over trying to get him to stand still for a couple of seconds so I can hitch him all up. No sooner than I get everything all connected, he goes bouncing outside and screeches to a halt again as soon as he sees the rain which by now has diminished to a steady sprinkle now.

Sam: “Um, you know it’s still raining…you expect me to go out in that?”

Me: “GO PEE!!!”

Sam: “Well, when you put it like that, I suppose I could. I’ll check out along the fence line and then just wander down the alley a couple of houses because I don’t like the fence line spot. There’s no pee-mail to read so I can’t possible pee there.” He starts sniffing and circling, then more sniffing and circling.

And then quick like a bunny, he dashes down the alley, near a neighbor’s car and proceeds to relieve himself on a tire. Oh Gawd, I’m horrified and quickly look around to make sure no one sees him.  I catch up with him just about the time he’s finished but not before I see that contented look of relief on his face. Soon as he sees me, he breaks for the back door again. Dashing back I go to the door, let him in and he has this smug satisfied look on his face. Ha, ha, ha. Brat! 🙂

Sam: “Aren’t I a good boy?!” Tail wag.

Where did I go wrong? So…again I say, rain, rain, go away, come again another day but preferably after 6:30 in the morning so I don’t have to stand in the rain to make sure that knot-head doesn’t run after some early morning critter or stand around getting drenched in tee-shirt and PJ bottoms freezing my tukhus off and soaking my sueded slippers while I shiver in the rain waiting for him to stop being such a sissy boy.

So guess what the forecast is for this weekend? Get this…according to the National Weather Service, ‘heavy thunderstorms passing through metro area – Severe storms today, snow on Sunday.  Saturday will be an encore performance of wet and cool weather in Denver with highs staying in the mid-50s. To the west, expect snow to fall in the northern and central mountains — perhaps a foot or two.  A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for the Northern and Central Mountains above 9,000 feet for Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.’

Yup, you read that right, snow on Mother’s Day! Looks like I’d better drag out the snow shovel.

Live, love, bark! <3

We’re famous!

Beautiful Smith Lake at Wash Park
Beautiful Smith Lake at Wash Park

Okay, maybe we’re not exactly famous but we are very well-known. Uh yeah…that too is probably a stretch, but Sam is beginning to make his presence known and during this election season, I’m doing what everybody else does…I’m hanging on to a real winner’s coattails.

I recently had the opportunity to have a local pet photographer take photographs of Sam for next year’s hospital pet therapy calendar and while we were there, she graciously took a few snaps of us together as well. Can I just say having my picture taken is the pits? I mean I’d rather set my hair on fire than pose for a camera. Photos of me are always disappointing and usually come off contrived or downright funky. I really do want them to turn out nice, but it’s super awkward for me to look at a camera and feel relaxed or confident even with a great sidekick like Sam. Yeah, it’s true, I have no photo mojo but have always admired those who seem to look so effortlessly fabulous in photos.  The truth is, I’m kind of jealous of them, too.  How do they do that so easily?!  And why is that so hard for me?  Talk about self-conscious angst. Ugh.

Well, I have to say I am over the moon thrilled with the results! Ariane from DelaFoto: Elegant Pet Photography did an amazing job with our photo shoot at Denver’s famous Washington Park and featured us on her blog! “Wash Park” as it is more commonly referred to is one of Denver’s most beautiful parks with gorgeous trees, well manicured flower beds, oodles of bike and running paths, wide open grass areas, a gorgeous lake and boathouse and we were there on one of those fabulous picture-perfect Colorado autumn days.  The light was beautifully golden and really captured Sam in all his glory.

So check it out at Ariane’s blog.  Thanks again for doing a fabulous job, Ariane! You even made me look good, and that’s no an easy task. Now the trick will be picking out the best ones. 🙂

Have you ever had professional photos taken of your fur-baby?  Did you love ’em?  How did the shoot go? Do you think Sam will become famous after his ‘glamour’ shots?

There’s no such thing as a Poop Fairy

Credit: Boulder Daily Camera
Photo Credit: Boulder Daily Camera

Originally this post was entitled “The Scoop on Poop” and was going to be a rant about people who don’t pick up after their pet but after seeing this article in the Boulder Daily Camera online edition, I thought this was a better way to describe an aggravating phenomena people face all the time.

While I pretty much abhor dressing up pets, I do support the idea of installing collection waste receptacles for a bio-waste compost system on trail heads particularly since we’re so fond of hiking in Colorado.  If  that means hosting a contest showing our pets dressed ridiculously, then I guess taking one for the team is a small price to pay as a solution to a nasty problem. Pet waste is not a topic we like to think about let alone deal with (ugh, handling the bag and not getting any on your hands…yikes!), but a reality that needs to be dealt with in a practical and innovative way.  The idea of keeping anywhere from 400-500 lbs. of pet waste a week from favorite hiking trails and parks in Boulder (but more importantly from landfills) and turning it into potting soil seems like a pretty cool idea to me.

The City of Boulder is known as a bastion of liberal regulation in Colorado and more often than not, people preface their comments, “only in Boulder,” but stay with me on this idea for a minute.  Removal of pet waste is already required in cities, parks, trails, anyway (though many in my own hipster neighborhood are serious scofflaws at times–I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve picked up a big pile directly in front of the waste bag dispenser I supply in front of my house for those who run out of bags or forgot to being one…grr–but that’s not the point here today lest I veer off into a rant and I really want to stay away from that energy today).

There’s nothing worse than “stepping in it” when you’re out hiking with your fur-iend and you’re miles from anything with which to remove it.  Apart from the ick factor, there are health issues to people, pets and the environment by leaving it along the way.  Using a bio-waste compost program also takes care of methane production that accompanies waste breakdown in landfills.

While it’s only a pilot program, I hope it ends up wildly successful and spreads to Denver and all over.  It could be a very cool and innovative way to deal with an unpleasant but necessary part of the responsibilities of pet ownership.  Sorry that dogs are being dressed up to promote it-seems like everything nowadays needs some sort of hook rather than plain old common sense or consideration. I say “only in Boulder,” but then add a big “Bravo!” to the end of that sentiment.

Does your municipality have a similar program?  What do you think?