Can Dogs Be Religious?

It seems like maybe my dog might just be a Catholic…he sure seems very religious lately. If he starts following Pope Francis on Twitter, I’ll know for sure. I mean, he seems to be trying to baptize every living thing in sight these days. It goes something like this:

Find every possible tree or shrub and then sniff (pray), pee (baptize), repeat. Heavy emphasis on the pray and repeat parts. Most of the time, the baptize part is just a few drops. Gawd, I love male dogs. For the record he walked around that particularly tree twice and then circled back in the opposite direction once more before the ‘blessing.’ My neighbors are soo lucky he’s such a religious guy.




So far he hasn’t done too much damage to the garden but I’m holding my breath. There’s so much material to work with, so I’m sure there’ll be some collateral damage at some point. On the plus side, the climbing rose near the front door has NEVER bloomed that much before.


Is your dog ‘religious?’

Live, love, bark! <3


Garden of Life

IMG_1895While we generally avoid vegetable gardening (the squirrels make it far to difficult for any reasonable success), our recent quarterly Pet Therapy newsletter included this recipe for planting a successful ‘life’ garden that we thought we’d share.

Recipe for the Garden of Life

Plant Three Rows of Peas:

  • Peace of Mind
  • Peace of Heart
  • Peace of Soul

Plant Four Rows of Squash:

  • Squash Gossip
  • Squash Indifference
  • Squash Grumbling
  • Squash Selfishness

Plant Four Rows of Lettuce:

  • Lettuce be Faithful
  • Lettuce be Kind
  • Lettuce be Patient
  • Lettuce Really Love One Another

No Garden is Complete Without Turnips:

  • Turnip for Meetings
  • Turnip for Service
  • Turnip to Help One Another

To Conclude the Garden, We Must Have Thyme:

  • Thyme for Each Other
  • Thyme for Family
  • Thyme for Friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

imageHere’s hoping  your garden is exactly what you cultivated and sowed.

Live, love, bark! <3


As Sam hijacked the blog earlier this week, I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents worth today regarding our trip. Oh what a difference 981 miles makes on geography and the gardening soul.  Although we uprights have been working hard on clearing out storage units, I must say I’m savoring our walks around the neighborhood where Wayne used to live before we head over to the units every day. Having lived in Colorado for nearly a 100 years, I do double takes whenever I’m somewhere where gardens look markedly different. Trees and plants here in California are so unusual to my Rocky Mountain eyes. Italian cypruses, lemon trees, evergreen (but not pine) trees, deciduous trees with leaves (in February no less!) AND of course, the ubiquitous palm tree thrown in for good measure simply make my head spin. Where I would normally see plants like these on table tops, you’ll see them outside in gardens around here. IMG_2526


In the Sacramento area where we’re staying, there are tons of sweet gum trees that have prickly seed pods. They are everywhere and one can only imagine how the trees look when in bloom. Right now the pods are all over yards, patios and sidewalks. How’d you like to step on one of these puppies retrieving the newspaper in the early morning? Yeah, me neither. Even Sam has started looking where he walks in the backyard (though he still runs into the patio door with some regularity-dingbat dog). 😉

Am planning on taking a bag of these land mines gum tree pods back home with me–think they could be spray painted and turned into a real showy door wreath with a little creativity. Time will tell…that and whether or not they continue to hurt like the dickens while being handled. O-u-c-h!!

Sweetgum tree seed pod

Live, love, bark! <3

May Showers Bring…

DSC00531It’s been since March when the temperatures reached the 80’s (I know, crazy right? I mean that’s still technically winter). Finally in the past couple days though, we started experiencing some of our gorgeous Rocky Mountain spring weather and the forecast for this week will be right back there. For the past 4 days, we’ve actually woken up to trademark glorious blue skies and I for one couldn’t be happier. Maybe finally we can get the complainers to shut up and quit fussing about grey skies and rain (in 6 weeks, those same folks will be grumbling about the dog days of summer and the whining mantra will be “it’s toooooo hot and dry” to which I can only say:  please go back to wherever it was where you came from but that’s for a totally different rant post). While I didn’t mind the rain too much, the idea of having to keep the furnace running in May was not cool but thankfully here we are now…fabulous sunshine and…wait for it…glorious gardens.

Though just on the other side of all those lovely lupines lies the vast wasteland former grassy area I refer to as the not-so Great Plains (otherwise known as dirt). Said wasteland was removed late last Autumn and is slowly being replaced with ground cover and perennials. And to think all those lovelies came from only 2 plants–talk about prolific re-seeders! The bees have been very busy pollinating as this is the first year that I’ve ever seen a red lupine. Usually there’s just purple and pink.

Sam loves it when I garden; it allows him to spend time in the yard and welcome the passing world of strollers, dog-walkers and neighbors out and about. Here’s where Mr. Canine Concierge is in his total element. A master of social skills, no one is allowed to pass by without the Swiffer tail wagging or a bouncing dash along the fence line to check out who exactly is in that stroller. “Wait, that’s got to be my bestest buddy ever that I absolutely have to check out” (even though I’ve never seen them before). And if I don’t give him the amount of attention he thinks he deserves, he’ll come by, lick my face and pester me till I stop what I’m doing and dote on him. That dog can be very persuasive a pest at times. Needless to say, it always takes longer to do yard work with him around. 😉

So this weekend Sam decided to ‘help’ me even though he’s short on thumbs. Note the scratching out of a couple of nasty Sumac tree seeds. One of our neighbors has one of those bad-boys bastards that send those disgusting seeds EVERYWHERE all year long that if the tree doesn’t sucker, will sprout babies wherever they land (I’ve had one try to sprout between bricks at the corner of the house a few rows up from actual soil–and yes I’ll admit, I totally went nuclear with vinegar on that one and am delighted to report it is quite dead). Everyone despises those disgusting trees-they have a most foul scent plus the fact that they are so cotton pickin’ invasive puts them at the top of the short list for 99.99% of us who live around here (the .01% being that neighbor who considers that tree wonderful “because it’s very tall and has a lovely branching appearance and provides wonderful shade”). Blech, gag me-that tree is in league with the devil and I rip those seedlings out whenever I spy them and ash-can the seeds! For the record in case you couldn’t tell, I am very OCD when it comes to removing all traces of the nasty Sumac.



Sam’s way of helping out though consists of laying in the middle of wherever I’m working at which makes gardening a lot like trying to vacuum around him. He always manages to be right in the way but it gives him the perfect spot to check out the neighborhood goings-on and still be within paw’s reach of me. When I ask him what he thinks he’s doing he gives me either that ‘come hither” look with furious tail wagging or the ‘yeah, I’m in the way…so…you gonna make something out of it?’ look. Ironic how a New Jersey attitude is cute on a poodle even if incongruent and makes me smile. 🙂

I just wish he had thumbs and could rake or at the very least, pick up and haul off weeds, Sumac leaves and sproutlings, but apparently that’s asking for the moon. So I guess I’ll just be content with the benefit of his company and leave it at that which isn’t the worst thing when you’re gardening–finding Sumac seeds will fill that role. 🙂

Live, love, bark! <3



Our ‘Fursday’ Dream

784 We continue to dream of a day soon when the lupine are blooming and we’re not shoveling snow…again! Argh.