We humans are a strange lot. We love to celebrate even the smallest events from birthdays to anniversaries annually and indeed, sometimes events even more frequently. It gives our lives texture and activates serotonin centers in the brain when those celebrations and anniversaries memorialize happy times. Today was supposed to be one of those days where I slip head first into mushy celebration of an anniversary of sorts.
Six months ago today a strange, shy little blank slate of a Ninja came into the my life. Elsa, the puppy mill survivor touched a special spot in my heart and I knew I needed to bring her home with me. She held so much promise. Little did I know what that promise would entail.
It would have been two months ago to the day that Elsa suffered her last seizure, even though it a very small one that was stemmed quickly with a healthy dose of Valium. Naturally as soon as I drafted this post, what happened? She has another small seizure over the weekend that I was once again able to stem with the administering of Valium and ice packs. *Heavy sigh*
Still, despite this recent set-back, she continues to bring smiles to my face and tugs at my heartstrings. Here are just a few of the things that make me grateful this little NInja wormed her way on to the Ranch and into my heart on this date 6 months ago.
- The way your tail is beginning to wag more often which tells me you’re learning to be a happy dog. The fact that you’ll never be able to compete with a certain Knucklehead is of no concern. You are your own adorable pup who is deeply loved for her own individual distinctiveness.
- I love it when you go out first thing in the morning and bounce like a Springbok antelope in the dog run. Your exuberance makes me giggle like a school girl. And I’m secretly cheering you on when you give the nasty next door Akitas the what-for through the fence. You go girl!
Springbok imitating Elsa
- The way you stand perfectly motionless over a toy with front paws spread and then simultaneously pounce and utter the strangest high-pitched yip directly at said toy. I can hear you anywhere in the house and it ALWAYS makes me smile and laugh. I can’t help but wonder what it is you’re saying to that toy.
- The way you lower your head and creep like a stealthy panther when you spot a squirrel 20 feet ahead of us then rapidly move race toward it like you were fired from a slingshot. Silly girl, you cannot climb the tree after it but you try every. single. time. frequently making me your unwilling kite.
- And who can forget your organizational skills moving toys and bones from room to room?
- Your persistent and never subtle nose nudges ‘informing’ me that no, in fact, I am not done petting you.
- Your snoring that’s guaranteed to wake the dead. You do know you’re not one of the brachycephalic breeds, right?
- And while I complain I can never see your eyes against your dark fur, you made me realize in this picture when you decided I needed a face wipe against my thigh that you do in fact, have lovely brown eyes without a special app. P.S. Thank you for the dog slobbers and whisker tidbits. I live for those on my pants. Truly.
And so my dear sweet fur-child, happy 6 months ‘half-iversary.’ The serotonin you provide is alive and well in this upright.
Do you celebrate events as often as possible?
Live, love, bark! ❤︎
After yesterday’s post where I shared the sweet potato chew recipe, I was asked by a number of you whether or not the dogs liked them. Can I just say they were quite keen on them? However, had I know that a certain little Ninja would have happily noshed away at the raw version after she broke into the panty and snagged a raw one, I might have avoided a certain injury.
Oh that dog!
Ok, I’ll admit her tongue is only partially out. I’ve heard of going ‘raw’ but seriously? Come on, Elsa!!
Live, love, bark! ❤︎
Hello everyone, it’s me Elsa…fabulous Ninja sister to Sam. I stole the blog from my naive brother by flipping a coin for it. Unfortunately he lost. I won (nah, nah, nah, nah, nah). Anyway, even though I won the coin flip
gotta love those two sided coins, I promised it would only be a short post.
complains says I’m too hard to photograph because I’m a black dog. Even in a well lite location my gorgeous facial features disappear especially if my fur is a little long. So after she whined about not being able to see my face yet again when I was chillin’ yesterday, I told her I would fix it. Well, what do you think?
The cross black dogs must bear
As you can tell we had a nice relaxing weekend, how about you? Do anything exciting?
Live, love, bark! ❤
A quick look on the calendar and you realize it’s the middle of winter but let me assure you that does not mean migrations don’t continue to trek across the landscape.
In this case though, the migration takes place at my house. Several times a day there is a migration of toys from their spot in the living room to the kitchen, courtesy of one silly Ninja.
They start out looking like this…don’t they look all nice in a pile?
Yeah…not ten minutes later, this.
Not sure if Elsa’s migrating them away from Sam, hoarding them in the kitchen or just bringing ‘her stuff’ to the room where there’s radiant heat under the tile. #cozyheat
We’ll play this game countless times throughout the course of the day. And each and every time, it cracks me up. I’ll see her carry one hoof in, then another, and of course every girl has to have toys with her hooves, right, so in comes a couple of toys. It’s like watching those circus elephants make the same path round and round in the center ring.
Any ‘migration’ going on in your neck of the woods? A little more than a 100 miles away my mom said she was visited by a Robin so hopefully that welcome sign of spring will arrive here shortly. Hate to break the bad news to him but typically the snowiest months are yet to come in the Mile High City, but maybe he’s yet another transplant from far away regions fresh to the Front Range. Goodness knows we can always accommodate one more, right? As long as they don’t have a car, I’m ok with that.
Live, love, bark! ❤
Finally. It’s the end of a long and difficult year for many of us pet loving pawrents. We lost far too many pawsome pups and kitties, not to mention a political campaign that never seemed to end, and experienced celebrity losses I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I for one am totally looking forward to the bright promise of a new slate, otherwise known as 2017. Can I get an “Amen, preacher?” So with a final adieu to 2016, let me just say…don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ok?!
With the new year ahead, and because there was a new addition to the Ranch, I thought it prudent to revisit the Dog Rules that I shared with
the resident knucklehead Sam at the beginning of 2016, adding some specific rules and observations specifically for the newest addition…Ms. Elsa after a rebroadcast I wrote for Sam’s benefit since his reading skills seem to be a bit on the ‘lite’ side.
- Sure, I realize it’s cold out there but those chilly temps don’t require you to be so cotton-pickin’ frisky. Even though I’m retired now and don’t have to wake up at “oh-dark-thirty” to get in our morning constitution before going off to slay work dragons, I don’t particularly feel that same draw to being frisky, especially when I haven’t had my daily coffee ration. On the bright side, we have postponed those early and late night winter walks by adjusting the time when we go out. Waiting for a few extra degrees of sunshine makes a big difference on our aging joints, doesn’t it buddy?
- Your 4 legs manage to keep you reasonably balanced on icy sidewalks but alas I still only have 2 and don’t possess quite the same navigational stability that you do so PLEASE. please. walk. slowly.
- Zero to 60 in a nanosecond, makes for a real challenge for this 2-legged upright to stay in fact, upright. See above rule about the number of legs necessary to reinforce that steady but slow pace. Factor in clueless neighbors who think they don’t need to shovel walks and I hope you realize that quick starts will make Mommy crabbish. And trust me when I say I don’t fancy looking like a new-born colt with legs splayed out in multiple directions, or worse, landing bottom side up. The fall down…go boom factor is definitely unwelcome and not to mention, mom’s in a heap are very unattractive.
- Please don’t suddenly stop behind me while we are moving at a steady pace forcing me to yank on your leash and pull my thumb or shoulder out of their sockets. My joints and bones are cold in winter (ha…who am I kidding…they are cold all the time!) and again sudden movements get mommy’s balance out of torque. Besides, it jars my brain and we can’t have that, now can we? Think of shaken baby syndrome. For adults.
- Jack-rabbit loping is a definite no-no. We don’t live in Alaska (though some days I might dispute that when Siri tells me the outside ‘ambient’ temperature). Therefore, loping as if you in the Iditarod isn’t necessary or appreciated. May I remind you that we live in Central Denver and mushing is rarely necessary. Just saying.
- Finding the deepest snow at the farthest point from the end of the leash is completely frowned upon. Having my boots fill up because I’m fishing out little brown nuggets from deep snow is at the top of my short list for things to NOT do. Trying to corral both you and the squirrel hunter, maintaining my balance, trying to unfurl a duty bag in subzero temps, picking up after you while trying to hang on to the glove I had to remove to unfurl said bag…well it’s all just a little too much, ok?
- And for dog’s sake, PLEASE DO NOT try to scamper around behind me, wrapping your leash around my legs or around your sister. This feeble attempt to ‘get out of the way’ falls flat on its face as will I once we resume our meanderings. Besides, your sister isn’t nicknamed the “Sniper Ninja” for nothing. She will punish you if you get in her face. Guaranteed.
- Most mornings the temperatures are in the low-teens or single digits during the winter and we’re out for a walk…walk being the operative speed, got it? Also this time isn’t referred to as the “hey, we’re going for a sniff.” Like a travel guide, I will be moving along at a reasonable pace, so keep up, pal! A moving pace assures a healthy walk for all of us. When you dally, it makes me
irritated crazy. Please remember… we’re walking not sniffing or reading pee-mail every 27 inches and we’ll be golden and toasty warm without those aggravating delays.
- Oh, let me remind you, you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger so it is not necessary to develop bodybuilder strength neck muscles every winter. See Rules 2 and 4 above for review and understand that pulling makes me crabbish and we wouldn’t want a crabbish mommy, now would we?
- It would be most appreciated if your back yard pee outings didn’t involve hovering over or near Ms. Elsa when she’s squatting, with your intent to pee over her pee. Your aim frankly sucks and she and I will be really cheesed off if I have to bathe her because of your mis-aim.
- Finally could you step it up when we’re on our walks to pee only a couple of times rather than the 87 stops now? Trust me…no one is interested in what you’re saying in those pee mails, you’ve said it 8700 times before. You’re just repeating yourself.
And now for dear sweet Elsa.
All the above rules go for you too, sweetie. It’s vital you comprehend that. For yours and my safety. But additionally, please take note…
- Even though your leash manners have dramatically improved over the past 3 1/2 months (thank you very much!), it is still extra critical to not fly out of the shoot at the sight of every single squirrel we encounter. Same goes for all those blowing leaves that you obviously ‘think’ are a squirrel. My shoulder would be ever so grateful. I could sue you for whiplash, you know?
- And when you see a pup along our walk, it really isn’t necessary to bounce like a yoyo and then woof at them on top of your exuberance. Sometimes you flat scare little dogs and the big dogs don’t realize you just want to play. They think you might be questioning their male hood. As one female to another, I realize you could probably kick all their butts, though there just is no need to tempt fate. We’re above that. And more cerebral.
- When we come back from a walk, trust me, it’s not necessary to freeze as soon as you get inside. I’m right behind you and I will walk in. But not when you’re in the way.
- At night when we go to bed, would you not dig like a coal miner rearranging the new bed. Trust me, it doesn’t have any lumps (yet) and that scratching sound for several minutes is not conducive to my getting a good night’s sleep. This isn’t the Princess and the Pea story, ‘kay?
I know there are no doubt loads of other rules that will (or should apply to you, sweet Elsa). I just thought I’d kind of familiarize you with the more important ones since we kind of got off to a rough start with the seizures and all which have been our first focus. We are thrilled you’ve joined our merry little band of knuckleheads and hope you can maybe teach Sam a thing or two. Other than that eye-glass munching skill you have mastered so well. Ear scratches and belly rubs for you both!
Do you go over the rules with your pup each New Year?
Live, love, bark! ❤
Three months ago today, a beautiful little Ninja came home to live at the Ranch. This little girl was a puppy mill survivor and needed a whole boat-load of socialization and instruction on how to become a dog. Luckily, she had a good teacher, nope not me, but instead Sam, the best big brother a novice dog could have to show her the ropes. Although the process has been ongoing and we often take two steps forward and one step back, the little girl who must not be named (Sam insisted I continue to refer to her in those terms though I think he may come around to actually referring to her by her name at some point soon), is definitely bringing joy and laughter to the Ranch.
Some of the more salient observations are:
- She who must remain not be named is affectionate in her own way. She obviously took good notes when learning the efficacy of the Standard Poodle trademark nose nudge whereby the upright’s arm appears to be flailing around like a whirling dervish. And she is never dissuaded to stop nudging until it supports her timetable.
- Even though she is still as quiet as a Ninja warrior, she is becoming more vocal and definitely discovering her voice. “I am Elsa, hear me roar!” She has taken to given the Akita dogs next door the ‘what for’ whenever she goes out to pee despite both of them being much larger and more dog aggressive. She will stand next to the fence and let both of them have it for several moments then suddenly and without warning, merrily bounce toward her spot and quickly squat. It’s as though she’s mocking them over her shoulder. “Oh yeah. well take THAT, you stupid fur-ball Bozo heads, up yours!” Love this new-found canine confidence that likewise is assisting her when she meets dogs on our walks.
- Her tail is becoming more animated with each passing week which provides my heart a warm, gentle hug. I love it when it wags as she greets me. And while she will never compete on the same level with Mr. Happy himself, the fact that she’s doing it more and more is progress and reassuring.
- I love how this little girl can plop on top of a freshly folded pile of laundry without a care in the world and fall fast asleep in a nano-second, but when she retires for the night, she must dig and scratch like a Chilean miner at her bed for as long as 5 minutes. Uh…hel-lo…we’re trying to sleep knucklehead (whereas Sam just circles 87 times and then plops down and lets out a huge sigh)! This “Princess and the Pea routine” makes me happy. When she drifts off to sleep and snores like a Maine woodsman, I smile even though it may keep me awake. She’s demonstrating a level of comfortableness in her own fur, with her pack and that’s progress in learning how to become a dog. There are no late night stress induced heavy panting sessions in Elsa’s world [shhhh, don’t tell Sam I said her name].
- Knowing that the medication she is taking to control seizures is probably responsible for certain odd reactions, it amuses me to see her stand stone silent for moments on end and then without warning, inexplicably bursting into a frenetic zoomie. The joy she clearly and suddenly experiences when she tries to turn me into her very own human kite as she races down the street on early morning walks making me giggle like a breathless school girl. Way to love the moment, kiddo!
These are just a few of the many subtle things I’ve noticed about this little girl’s progress into life around the Ranch. No doubt, the list will grow as she refines what it means for her to be a real dog and not a puppy mill producer. I only hope the next 3 months are as interesting and smile inducing as the first 3 were. Smile inducing, except for that whole munching of multiple eyeglasses thing. We can do without any more of those moments.
As an additional note of progress on her ‘wagiversary’ timeline, she is now two months seizure free. Stay strong and keep making progress, little Ninja.
Live, love, bark! ❤