Category Archives: Rants

Game On Dude!

Normally when it’s been ‘game on’ in the past, it means I’m trying to match wits with a certain blonde knucklehead. This time however, we’re talking about a totally different game.

I’ve tried, really I have. Living in an urban setting, there is a surprisingly diverse wildlife population. Foxes, all sorts of songbirds, a couple of mangy coyotes, an owl, a pair of hawks, some raccoons and of course, squirrels. I enjoy watching them as they adapt to city life and have managed to co-habitat easily with them. That is, except…for the squirrels which seem to be some sort of spin-off from a Hell’s Angels fur gang, minus leather jackets. Lately they’ve become even more bold.

Source filched from the web

Oh sure, we all like to think of our little Sciuridae fur-iends as impossibly cute and even entertaining. Isn’t the one above just beyond adorable? Yeah right. The ones in my neighborhood are a lot more like this one. They’ve eaten screens, chewed ginormous holes in the trash and recycle bins to scrap out that lone tiny piece of stuck cheese in the discarded pizza box and left giant holes in the compost bins. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind it they stuck to the compost bins and enjoyed a strawberry hull or two, but crimmin-Italy…not the dang window screen…again!!

Source: another filched image from the Web

Less than two weeks ago, the most brazen of the 3 or 4 that have been terrorizing gracing the Ranch from large tree in the front yard chewed through the screen in the kitchen presumably to snack on some bananas. Must be offspring from the one from a few years ago that broke in through that same screen and devoured a package of brownies on the counter. Yesterday as we were returning from our early morning walk, we arrived to find a blur whiz past us. Naturally the Ninja huntress took off after it. She nearly caught him too. Sure gave him a scare as he double timed it up the utility pole just out of jaw’s reach.

Meanwhile, back at the scene of the crime, I realized we had caught him ‘screen-handed’ though by the time I retrieved Elsa from chasing him, the only thing left was yet another torn screen in the exact same spot as the prior 2 times. Little bastard. If it only happened a few times every 4 or 5 years, I probably wouldn’t be so cranky about it. But this was less than two weeks ago!! So I went out to the garage to see if I still had any rat traps. While I didn’t find a rat trap, I did find a couple of mouse traps and baited them with some peanut butter. Not 30 minutes later that same hoodlum snatched the glob of PB off one and triggered the other one from the window sill. Are you freaking kidding me??!!

Ok, pal…it’s game on now and I’m going full nuclear. I’m going full Bill Murray from “Caddyshack” and plan to catch that little rat bastard. Have you ever been victimized by a rogue gangster squirrel? While I consider myself a major animal and wildlife lover, this. has. got. to. stop. We’ll be visiting our friendly hardware store this morning to stock up on armament.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

It’s baaaack

It’s that time of year again where we arbitrarily move toward insanity spring forward. Yup, time for a Ranch PSA to let you know that Daylight Savings Time arrives this weekend for the majority of the US this Sunday. Regardless of the pending calamity adjustment, we hope your weekend arrives with the promise of fun and some rejuvenation. Enjoy your weekend and for those of you lucky enough to not have to yet start this bi-annual catastrophe, we at the Ranch are quite jealous. Happy weekend!

Any big plans on tap beyond dreading the change?

Live, love, bark!

Things that go bump in the night

Ok, picture this. It’s the middle of the night and the call of nature wakes you up. More like screams its ugly head off, but you still resist. The crisp autumn air is a definite deterrent so you roll over and think, it’ll go away soon. Twenty minutes later, your bladder continues to send messages to your brain to get up and take care of this. You’re wide awake now so you succumb to your brain’s nagging and drag your sorry butt out of bed…shivering. You quietly tiptoe past the snoring fur-kids, quietly closing the bedroom door so as not to disturb anyone, walking toward the bathroom. Then you step on one of these babies. O.U.C.H. Ever step on one of these gizmos of pure torture? We kick or walk over these things 87 times a day. Elsa drags them from one end of the house to the other and I love that both fur-kids enjoy these beef hooves, but yikes, those bad boys will make you howl like a banshee if you step on them with bare feet when you’re somewhat half asleep.

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Suddenly you’re hoping around on one foot, yelling every HBO word you’ve ever heard, kicking those hummers every which way and the racket of all that yelling combined with skittering hooves across hardwood floors crashing into walls and furniture has woken up the entire household up with you asking everyone, “Who the [blank] left these things lying around?!?!” The sleepy faces facing you just nod, mumble and shuffle back to bed. You’re left wide awake with the you-know-what scared out of you, blood pouring from a toe and too mad to pee. Why is there no justice for mom? Would I be less crabbish if I stepped on a squeaking stuffie in the middle of the night? Yeah probably not, but at least I wouldn’t have to triage my injury before getting back to sleep in the freezing dark.

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Note to self: think about getting one of those IED robots to clear these “land mines” out  before you going to bed to avoid this far too often repeated scenario.

Hope your re-entry into the work week was far less traumatic and you had a great night’s sleep following a beautiful Autumn weekend.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Summertime and the living is…noisy

dog-meeting

Ever have that one dog in the neighborhood that barks non-stop? Day and night? We’ve got one and I can’t quite pin-point its exact location but I’m so jones-ing for a ‘come to Jesus’ chat with its owner. This poor dog barks when I take out the recycling. He raises Cain if I’m working in the garden. He barks at 5:30 in the morning before the day’s cacophony begins and he barks at 12:30 at night. I’m guessing he lives outside, but with all the wooden fenced yards around, I can’t quite determine which house he lives in with exact precision.

My first reaction is to go up to the front door and (1) calmly and patiently talk with the owner about what can be done about the barking dog (I’m guessing the owner is so tuned out that they don’t realize it’s an issue to anyone) or (2) simultaneously want to take a bat with me and bash whomever answers the door and scream “would you please shut that &#@% dog up or find it a more responsible owner who will pay attention to it!” Sheesh people.

It isn’t the dog’s fault. I get that, yet still desire a bit of peace and quiet when I leave the house rather than that endless barking till I’m out of range. Yes, I realize that the weather has been hot and miserable lately. Shoot, I’d bark as well if it’d get me back in a cool house. But for the love of all that’s holy, why can’t you bring that poor creature in rather than let it suffer outdoors and disrupt the entire neighborhood? Why does he have to stay outside 365 days a year? Yup, that poor dog barks in the winter, he barks in the summer, he barks early in the morning and in the dead of night. I feel as badly for him as I do for those of us who must endure it.

Did you ever have a dog that barked incessantly and non-stop in your ‘hood? What did you do? Bonus points if you didn’t get arrested AND still managed to resolve the problem without the dog being punished.

Live, love, bark! ❤

A Monday Howliday

IMG_1938Despite the fact it is illegal to shoot off fireworks in the City and County of Denver, there still are way too many people who ignore that ordinance up to an including the July 4th ‘howliday.’ We suspect Denver isn’t the only municipality where residents illegally set off fireworks either.

Sam here. In keeping with past years, we aim to notify the appropriate authorities of illegal fireworks and spread the word to educate cretins…I mean uprights that it’s not a good idea to set them off. There are plenty of professional fireworks displays people can watch if they must, but they definitely don’t need to set them off in residential neighborhoods where the noise may be a little too close for the comfort and well being of pets, as well as a potential fire hazard. Don’t know about you, but we’re not particularly keen on any of our neighbors setting off fireworks after relentless days of hot temperatures that dried out trees, shrubs, and grass or having a spark hit a shingle on the roof.

July 3rd is the busiest day for veterinary offices (when anti-stress medications are picked up) and more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year. It breaks my mom’s heart and makes her say naughty words when they go off. Our last sheepdog, Finn nearly lost his mind when they started up in our neighborhood and none of her various remedies/strategies would ease his distress. He even got himself stuck between the box spring and the bed frame. It was all she could do to extricate him without either of them getting hurt or bitten. Mom said right then and there she’d make it her mission to keep other dogs from suffering like poor Finn. It’s ok to celebrate the 4th, just remember someone at home may not find a noisy celebration quite as much fun as you do. Dogs process those loud noises differently than uprights do.

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Here’s hoping you have a safe and happy 4th of July. Happy birthday, America 🇺🇸

Live, love, bark! ❤

Pleas for Pees

IMG_2754Every day on our walks we go through this long drawn out process and it’s time intensive. We’re talking about peeing today so if that grosses you out, well sorry, glad you at least stopped by the ‘ranch.’ I don’t think this is quite the same with female dogs as it is with males, but sheesh…dudes…why does it have to be such a freakin’ production?

Sam’s MO is to baptize every single living plant or angle he can hike his leg on, even if t’s just a drop or two. The first relieving session comes typically at the crack of dawn when it’s nice and cold as ice ‘crisp.’ If I don’t feel like dressing up like an Eskimo, I keep my fingers crossed that he goes out close to the driveway, finds the perfect spot right away and then…pees away. If he’s more inclined to wander around in the hunt for the ‘pawfect’ spot or wants to check out stuff, he’ll sniff, sniff…step his feet, circle, circle, sniff, sniff, step, step, step for several moments then ‘let ‘er rip (make that dribble away as the case may be). Obviously when the weather is temperate, it’s no big deal but when it’s cold, windy, rainy or snowy like it’s been this week, well it just means yours-truly ain’t a happy camper sporting a case of the shivers. Once he’s finished that first stream, he dashes back to the house and waits by the back door for re-entry. I have to maneuver up a slanted driveway, taking care not to slip or slide on my tuckus. He’ll look over his shoulder back at me as if to say. “Oh come on, hurry it up, it’s freezing out here!” Right! Like I didn’t know that while trying to keep on eye on you in the alley as you went merrily on recon for the ‘pawfect’ spot. Some days I just want to bean that knucklehead on his pointy little head and then he gives me his simultaneous pogo-stick bounce and hyper tail-wag. We go into the house and all is well again as we proceed with our regular morning routine (i.e. coffee, breakfast, etc.).

When we’re out on our extended walks during the day, it’s pretty much the same thing with him being on the leash.

It’s still sniff, sniff, sniff, step, step, step, circle, circle, “ahhhh.” This dog is so ritualized, I can set a clock to his activity. When some noise or other stimuli distracts him, his brain shuts down, he forgets what he’s doing and we just wasted the opportunity to pee but he’ll take it up again 10-20 steps down the street. The means, we’re on an endless loop of repeating the process, over and over till he ‘gets it just right.’ Argh!!!

In our neighborhood we have these narrow strips of landscaping on the outer side of the sidewalks before the street where trees, shrubs or flowers are planted (unless someone is crazy about grass, in which case I try to avoid those people at all costs-grass is waaaay overrated in our mountain desert climate and I just want to thump them on their forehead and say “do you realize how much water you’re wasting trying to keep that 3-1/2 x 50 ft. long section of grass alive?”… but I digress). Some people will mulch rocks around their trees. This morning, Sam absolutely had to check out the pee-mail at that tree and then as he’s taking a whiz, starts to slip and slide downward off the rocks (you may not be able to tell from the photo but there was a decided slope). When you’re a peeing tripod, this can be somewhat tricky. Bottom line, he nearly toppled over and biffed his nose. Naturally he stopped mid-stream. I, of course, being the sadistic mom I am laughed out loud at him as we walked away nearly tripping over a raised section of sidewalk (talk about karma equalizing everything!). Sam looked at me as if I’d pulled him down (but dear readers…I can assure you I did not). Then without skipping a beat, he happily caught another scent trail and that nose went straight down till he found the end point and we started the cycle all over again.

Sniff, sniff, sniff, step, step, step, circle, circle, circle, ahhhhhhh.

Does your dog have a ritual when it comes to peeing?

Live, love, bark! ❤