Category Archives: Movies

Toxic Tuesday

Robins have arrived around the Ranch and with their residency, a number of flowering bulbs have likewise heralded the arrival of Spring. Along with those beautiful reminders the days are getting longer and warmer, however lurk some significant potential dangers. Remember the movie Lethal Weapon? Fun movie, but yeah, we’re not talking about Mel Gibson as a potential threat. What we are talking about are those garden plants that can be plenty lethal when you own pets. Sam here. What I’m talking about now are all those plants that we all love in our gardens that can be toxic landmines for us pets.

Just posing, not noshing.

You know how it goes…you been ‘enduring’ a lousy Winter, have a few days of sunshine and start jonesing for some garden time to redesign the perennial beds with some very cool and pretty plants. When you add pets to that formula, it can get complicated having a lush garden with beautiful perennials and keeping us fur-kids safe from potential danger.

Some of us “enjoy” four separate seasons and understand that Winter may likely do a ‘drive-by’ again over the next couple of weeks though I’m not optimistic these days. Here in the Mile High we are lacking on that front. I can’t even remember the last time I had to wear my hideous snow boots. Those of you in milder climes have probably already mowed your lawns, you lucky devils. But think for a minute, how safe is your yard? Have you ever have one of us fur-kids chew on something out in the yard only to come inside and either barf on your antique wool rug or act strangely? Maybe we got into something from this list?

Signs of poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, rapid or irregular breathing, irregular pulse and cold extremities. Remember most, if not all spring flowering bulbs, are toxic to your pets. As you plan (or dream) for your summer garden, keep in mind this pretty cool chart when planning your landscape and keep us 4 legged fur-iends in mind. It could easily save our lives unless you have a mom like mine who won’t let me look twice at anything slightly edible. She watches me like a darn hawk if I even gaze toward any of the lupines! The toxins in these plants can cause anything from mild nausea or diarrhea to all out fatal poisoning for our canine and feline fur-iends (see chart below for loads of info for both cats and dogs). Click on this comprehensive list for a better view.

Has Spring arrived in your neck of the woods? How do you keep your fur-kids safe from those garden pretties that can channel Mel Gibson as a lethal weapon by causing all sorts of problems if we manage to nosh on them?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Ides of March Wednesday

We depart from our regularly scheduled Word(y)/Wordless or Wish you Were There Wednesday posts on this occasion to acknowledge the Ides of March. Upon doing a little background research, I discovered this date was initially observed as a religious holiday (the Feast of Anna Perenna) with picnics, drinking and revelry celebrated by common people. But then in 44 B.C. it became known more as the assassination date of Julius Caesar.  Ah yes, those were the glory days in politics where Twitter hadn’t yet invaded the political discourse. Caesar’s death triggered a civil war which allowed his adopted heir Octavius (later known as Augustus) to rise to power. The Big O waited until the fourth anniversary of Caesar’s death to avenge the death by executing 300 members of those senators and knights who had opposed him. Brutal times those where. Aren’t you glad we’ve evolved? Maybe Twitter isn’t so bad after all?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

It’s a Confusing World

Decision 2016 and its aftermath has been quite confusing. So confusing in fact, I think Mother Nature is as off kilter as I am.

While walking the dogs last night, I saw this on the outside of my garden fence. I mean aren’t poppies supposed to be spring bloomers? What the heck is this thing doing blooming now…in freaking November, no less??!! This reminds me of the scene from Ghostbusters where Bill Murray’s character (Dr. Venkman) quipped “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!” To say it’s been one very weird week is an understatement. Or is this nature’s homage to Veteran’s Day on Friday? Is it that simply?

 

img_4021How are you holding up after the election? Hope you’re getting and receiving loads of pup hugs while you’re sorting it out; I know I am.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup

We recently were invited to participate in a photo shoot for the hospital’s ongoing efforts touting our group on the website. Hi there, Sam here. Because I’m one dashing looking dude, I volunteered immediately. Here’s a collage of some of the many pics the photographer took of our group. Some of us were so excited (Fergie, the American Bull Dog never stopped wagging her tail while she was visiting with the “Dogtor.”) and others were so happy to get to lay on top of with patients. Even Pepe, the party colored Standard got to met with a cute little girl in the lobby. You should be able to click on each pic for a bigger view. So, who do you reckon is the fairest one of all? Think I’ll get the call from general casting for more closeups?

collage-with-title

All of us enjoyed showing off ourselves, and visiting with the people and staff who helped complete our stagings. A big thank you to each and every one of the dogs and their uprights who take the time to visit patients, staff and visitors at the hospital throughout the year. You guys are the best!

Have you ever seen pet therapy at work in a hospital or at a nursing home?

 

P.S. Sam’s mom here. Many thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments about “Elsa’s coming out” post. One week with us and she’s doing great, has gained some weight to go with her improved confidence and has taken to liking furniture.

img_3933

Live, love, bark! ❤

 

Well that Stinks…

skunk-tall-tailUh-oh…you’re hiking along and the dog runs ahead and suddenly you hear barking or maybe a yip or two. You go to investigate and lo and behold, you catch up to your pup and realize he’s been sprayed by a skunk. Your eyes begin to water, you nearly puke from the smell and your pup wants comfort and relief and looks to you for it. “Mommy…what just happened?  I thought that was a kitty!” What’s a good fur-mom supposed to do?

Although skunks are generally docile, they will definitely let you know if you’ve threatened their space. Normally they will quickly waddle away, duck under a bush or use some other flight mechanism. But sometimes a dog doesn’t quite catch the hint. The result being that distinctive make-your-eyes water-smell you cannot seem to easily get rid of from a poor pup’s furs.

looney1While the lovable cartoon character Pepe Le Pew may be made into a big screen movie, as recently reported during the last week’s Comic-Con, we hope the furry critter stays on the big screen and does not cross our path any time soon. Fortunately, we haven’t had skunks in our ‘hood (although a very similar, though far less potent smell accompanies neighborhood foxes who happen by), we used to visit my daughter in the nearby foothills. With all manner of critters including deer, foxes, bears, skunks, rock squirrels, I always worried one of the dogs would end up being sprayed. And with Sam being the dimmest of the lot, I figured it would be him. So far we’ve been ‘lucky.’

But it occurred to me not every dog is so lucky (and I’m sure our day will come). Even though the first thing that will tip you off that your pup has been sprayed by a skunk will be the smell, there are other signs that suggest being sprayed including drooling, vomiting, red or swollen eyes, face rubbing, sneezing, temporary blindness, maybe even rolling trying to get that stench off it’s fur. If lethargy, weakness, a change in urine color or pale or brown gums appear hours or days later after being sprayed, you should take your pup to a vet right away. The components in skunk spray are definitely irritating and can result in damage to red blood cells and the last thing you need is anemia on top of the stink. Remember too that skunks may carry rabies so if your pup was bitten as well as sprayed, be sure to check with your vet.

Obviously you’ll want to bathe your pup. Sadly regular shampoo for dogs isn’t gonna cut it but a homemade mixture of 4 cups of 3% fresh hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid soap (Dawn is a decent choice here). Lather up the dog, and leave in for at least 5 minutes. Rinse. Rinse again, and rinse yet again. Repeat. The peroxide might lighten your pup’s fur so be aware but it’s not toxic. If your pup took a direct hit to the eyes, rinse out with gobs of tepid water for 20 minutes to relieve the discomfort. As this recipe from the ASPCA doesn’t store well, you should make it up fresh whenever there’s an encounter with Pepe Le Pew.

Naturally prevention is the best way to deal with skunks but if it does happen to your fur-kid, you’ll know how to take care of the problem. Remember to keep food or bird seed in well sealed containers without easy access by the black and white stinker. Keep your pet away from wood piles, limit access to underneath decks or any obvious areas where they might make a den. A motion-activated lighting system may help as skunks prefer dark areas. If you find a suspected den, sprinkle kitty liter to signal that location should not be used to set up house.

Has your pup ever had an encounter with a skunk? What did you use to get rid of the stink? Here’s wishing you a smell-free weekend. At the very least, one without skunks.

Live, love, bark! ❤

How Can We Miss You if You Won’t Go Away

Humor

Dear Old Man Winter,

Not to be disrespectful to an elder but…please go away. Your sweet sister, Spring was here earlier this week with her lovely sunshine and warm temps breathing new life into a tired brown landscape, waking up tender blooms and even more tired uprights and pups sick of your constant returns to remind us how much we despise your all-to-long-of-a presence. After 87 visits to us over the past 6 weeks, we beg you to go gently into the night though immediately would be better and leave us the hell alone until next year. And take that stupid groundhog with you. You are both on the short list right now. Him for toying with us saying we’d have an early Spring and you for repeated arrivals as an unannounced guest much like Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie from the movie, Christmas Vacation who drinks all the beer and generally makes the house look like a FEMA disaster zone. We’re done with both of you. We long for those 60 and 70 degree days with sunshine, blue skies, and soft breezes where she coaxed pretty tulips and perfectly scented lilacs to dazzle us. You, your snow mixed with a chilling rain and your lousy 30 degree temperatures with limited visibility can go away now and stop tormenting us. Please!

cousineddie

Signed,
Two tormented souls shivering in Denver, one of whom needs to pee badly and won’t do it in the chilly rain/snow nonsense you keep tossing at us.

Hope wherever you are that you are enjoying a real Spring that coincidently matches with the calendar.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Back to the Future

150102-back-to-the-future-mn-850_6c1cc5c2a0c7767b593e1bf9054a4d0f.nbcnews-fp-1200-800We all remember Doc Brown and his pal Marty McFly with the infamous flux capacitor which allowed them to go Back to the Future. It occurred to me recently there’s a bit of that whole ‘Back to the Future” thing going on around the Ranch.

Even though he’s rounding the corner quickly toward 11, Sam has suddenly readopted some definitely ‘Back to the Future’ behavior. Playtime, toys and puppy pouncing.

Sam has never been much into toys. Years ago when the sheep dogs were still with us, I collected a bunch of those Audubon stuffed birds with the realistic bird chirps and squawks. Frankly I adored them as much if not more than the dogs did; the memories from those days still elicit smiles recalling when they would proudly strut around tossing their heads with the birds in their mouths…but conveniently just out of my reach. It was as though they were taunting me to engage in a game of keep-away which I happily did. Recently I discovered the basket they have been stashed in while organizing my studio. I did a quick inventory of what still had its chirper in tact when Sam came in and promptly pulled a couple out of the room. I figured he’d probably go for the eyes and eviscerate them ASAP which has been his MO in the past. To my surprise he carried them off to the living room to toss in the air and then do a very puppy-like pounce on top of them, often making them squeak or chirp. The noise startled him and he looked quite puzzled at the noise but he’d toss it again and re-pounce and slap paws on the hardwood floors. Clearly this pup has figured out he is quite a wizard to make those long forgotten slobber-infested toys make such a strange but wonderful sound. It was hilarious particularly since he’s never expressed any interest in playing with toys before. His favorites seem to be a stuffed kitty, an adorable hedgehog and the Audubon chickadee.

final
Sam has been pouncing and playing with them often during the day now so maybe…just like Doc and Marty, this pup went Back to the Future too in suddenly liking toys. Has your “one point twenty-one jigowatt” pup discovered some lost toy and taken an interest in it?

Live, love, bark! ❤