Category Archives: Sam Sez

A dog’s view of the world plus treats and recipes Sam gives his “paw of approval”

Mission Impawsible

The call came in on Tuesday. Sam here. Our elite covert operations IMF unit needed to carry out a highly sensitive, feel good mission at West Pines, ASAP. The assignment was critical to carry out since one of the regular pet therapy dogs that visit West Pines recently passed away and with it being summertime and many of our volunteers on vacation, the therapy coordinator was desperate for someone to cover West Pines this month. We were just there 12 days ago but I jumped at the chance to visit my friends again. “Mom…they need us. Let’s do it!” Luckily for us our out-of-town company arrives after our mission is over. Whew! While our missions aren’t the typical ‘secret anonymous covert missions’ like the TV series or the ramped up Hollywood blockbusters, we don’t need to unmask criminals or rescue hostages but we knew it was vital to step in and help the whole team out. So the team leader asked if we could do Wednesday’s visits and we agreed.  One thing is vital on one of these last-minute Impawsible Missions: the mission must be carried out and the only high-tech equipment we can use involve treats in mom’s magic pocket. So we agreed to do Wednesday’s shift. That’s what teammates do, right?

But first…I fur-got about the dreaded bath preparation before I could go to West Pines. Eek…what was I thinking when I signed up for this gig?

Ever see anything so pitiful?

The only good thing (if ANYTHING good can be said about baths) to come from this water torture is it’s been so warm, mom didn’t have to use the gawd awful wind machine hair dryer on me. Man, I hate that thing! The clippers are bad enough. And for some reason this time, mom drove me cray-cray struggled with trimming up my feet. I don’t like ANYONE touching my feet anyway so it took her a whole lot longer. I was keeping my paws crossed she’d give up and let me go on the mission, Muppet style. Note to self: moms never give up. *Ugh*

We arrived early so I hung out in the main reception area waiting to spring into action. I can spread my therapy skills over peeps wherever I’m at and luckily the waiting visitors and staff cruising through periodically, obliged while we waited.  have been making loads of friends with the staff and they always offer me treats. Did I mention how much I love the staff? Nom, nom.One fellow who was waiting to check in had owned a couple of Standards years ago spent a lot of time with me. He teared up at the thought his beloved dogs were gone, but was very grateful for my visit.

When Donna, the facilitator was able to fetch us, off we went. It started out a little on the slow side. Not too many of the staff were able to run their fingers through my luxuriously soft furs. Dang…you mean I endured a…a….%#*@ bloody bath and no one was around now to escort me to the patient areas? What the heck is up with that? Eventually we were able to visit the various areas where there were plenty of patients gathered and boy, did I make up for lost time. Men, women. They all came rushing over to me. The first guy was a huge hulking man and I was a bit nervous he might squash me, but he gently sat down beside me and stroked my head and ears. He was super eager to spend as much time as possible and kept telling me how much he loved dogs. Another lady who knew about us poodles decided to get her therapy fix next. When she stopped petting me, I plopped down right next her and was prepared to stay all morning since I liked her energy.

Unfortunately we needed to move on to see the rest of the patients who have a regimented schedule and she bid me a sad farewell. Many others came by too to say hi and tell me stories about their own pets. Visiting with the mental health patients has become quite an adventure. Mom is struck by the number of people who need my therapy skills and how raw their emotions can sometimes be. It’s easy for me to calm them and sooth their tears. I sit patiently and look deeply into their eyes, studying their faces where I see the pain they carry. I hope I can erase some of that discomfort, even if just for a few minutes.

Our next stop was at a group session where they were practicing yoga. They all perked up when they saw me and I showed them I can bust a downward facing dog move with the best of ’em. One girl in particular especially seemed to need my attention so I laid on her yoga mat and we exchanged zen energy. I kept wagging my tail back at her when we had to leave and she smiled broadly from ear to ear. I hope I made her day…she sure made mine.

Although we’re usually only there for an hour or so, the whole experience wears me out. Being on a IMF mission, while I don’t self-destruct like TV’s Mission Impossible, does tend to wear me out so I’ll be spending the rest of the day like this till tomorrow when this IMF team goes back to hospice and the Senior Behavioral unit. Pfft, Mr. Phelp’s got nothing over me. 💤

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

A hunting we will go…

It is a well-known fact that poodles are great hunting dogs. Just ask my sister, Elsa. Sam here. She ‘hunts’ everything she can wrap her teeth around. I guess I shouldn’t cast negative aspersions since I’ve eviscerated my fair share of leather goods over the years. But she’s taken the whole hunting dog mantel to a whole new level.

First off, can I say she goes bonkers whenever a squirrel is within 87 feet of our house? We can be out for a nice leisurely walk with mom and she’ll see one of the bushy-tailed rats and will try to turn mom into a kite and climb up the tree after it. I’ll admit that girl has some wheels. Twice now she’s come within a whisker’s length of catching the two that terrorize her live in our big tree and raid the trash and recycle bins. One of these days guys…she’s gonna catch you. Just saying.

We were walking early the other morning and guess what we came across? A cute ‘widdle wabbit.’

File photo-not the actual rabbit-there was no way to get close enough without scaring the stuffing outa the poor lil-guy.

Once we realized what it was, our poodle genes kicked into action overdrive. Say whaaat?! (spoken in ascending falsetto voice)

Just look at that pointing form of my sister! I was still trying to figure out just what the heck it is but she knew it was something not squirrel-like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom could barely pull us away we were so mesmerized. Now every time we pass by this little mini-park, we start looking for Bugs Bunny. Mom said I look like Elmer Fudd when I’m searching, but I’m not sure what she meant by that. No doubt she was trying to be funny. To which I say, ‘don’t quit the day job.’ She’s no comedian, trust me on that. And she’s no great photographer either, as evidenced by all the cross light-beams. She apologizes for the crummy i-Phone pics but couldn’t hold two leashes, two pulling dogs amazing hunters, a bag of poop and the phone at the same time. I say she just wasn’t quite awake yet. She said sometimes, you just have to take the shot regardless of the position of the sun and objects. I say, ‘whatever.’

[Mom here…sorry about the crummy lighting, even editing wouldn’t improve them enough without those hideous light beams/overexposure. You should have seen the raw photos-eek]

So…do you have wabbits in your ‘hood? Are you a world-class hunter? Did you take classes to learn to hunt or does it come natural for you?

Happy Friday. Woo-hoo, how did we manage to get here so quickly? Oh yeah, that extra long ‘howliday’ weekend the other day sure made a difference, didn’t it? Have a wagnificent weekend.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

#TBT ~ June 22, 2017

It’s Throwback Thursday time. Sam here. Mom was going through some photos the other day for another project she was working on and came across this photo and turned to me and shook her head. She actually had the nerve to say out loud, “remember that day you were supposed to be watching the Ninja Elsa when she vandalized munched that brand new skein of yarn?!” Wait…what? Do I look like a freaking babysitter? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Woman, how’s about you just not being so wrapped up in crafting next time. Besides, I kept looking at you-can I help it if you didn’t pay attention to my silent eye daggers? Do I look like Lassie barking my fool head off about Timmy falling down the well? You need to get with it and ‘hear’ me better.

The week is rushing toward our best friend, Friday. Hope everyone is either staying cool or dry from the rain that skipped us. Whichever…hope all is well in your world.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Treachery Tuesday

Greetings sports fans. Well the Stanley Cup has been decided, as has the NBA championship last night. Sam here. Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Golden State Warriors for some great sports. But that’s not relevant to my taking over the blog today. I just like sports and want to keep you all current on the latest. But if you’re looking for play-by-play for baseball…homey don’t go there.

It seems that despite all my best poodle efforts with training sessions, the Ninja is at it again. Our toys have been reduced to earless, toeless, and in some cases, armless/legless versions of their previous selves.

 

If I’ve told that crazy goat-imitating sister of mine once, I’ve told her 87,000 times. Stop eating the toys!! Note the missing arm here? Yeah, that. Mom looked up from doing some online work to find little puffs of stuffing strewn all over. She quickly had to scoop it all up before it ended up being completely swallowed. The arm remains completely missing but expect it to show up at some point…ahem…in the back yard if you know what I mean. Remember all those cute little toys mom made a few months ago? Here is the small one now. She already devoured munched the larger one.

Seems like she ate the arm and gnawed down the other one to a smallish stump. Mom is thinking of making new toys that are either circular in design or with a frowny face.

Oh sure, she looks totally innocent because she hadn’t devoured the blue thing yet though she chews on it regularly because it squeaks loudly. It seems to be the equivalent of an auditory vitamin she wants needs, because she tosses in the air and then pounces on the poor, unsuspecting thing. Between you and me, I think its days are numbered.

But in the good news department, she isn’t chewing on me as often mostly because I usually run and hide behind mom.  It’s easy for mom to laugh at her antics; she doesn’t have the jaws of death locked on the end of an ear, though I heard her squeal say something like “let go of my hair!!” Sunday morning. I think mom is just grateful no more reading glasses have been devoured or any more socks eaten. Guess we take those little victories where we can, right?

Mom has been thinking of creating a new category called ‘toy munching by the resident goat.’ What do you think?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Bone Jour

Welcome to our first co-authored experiment! Hi there, Sam and Elsa here.

Sam: You already know me, I’m that handsome pet therapy dude.

Elsa: Well yes, true enough. Now me…well, I’m the smart one.

Sam: Hey…I’m smart too, sister.

Elsa: Right…whatever gets you through the night, bro. Anyway…we wanted to share a new recipe mom found from Rachel Ray recently. You know Rachel and how much she lovvves her doggies!

Sam and Elsa together in 2-part harmony: So without further adieu, let’s ‘Unleash the Quiche!’

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Mini-Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pup Mini Quiche from Rachel Ray’s Kitchen*

Sam: Ok kids, let’s get started. First thing, preheat your oven to 350º and find your mini-muffin tins. Elsa, did you find those muffin tins yet?

Elsa: Got ’em! You’ll need to spray your muffin tins to keep them from sticking (or use paper cups to line). I’d do it, but I don’t have a thumb. Ooooh Mo-mmm, we need your help!

Sam: After your mom sprays the tins, combine in a small bowl these ingredients, mix 2 TBSP each of chopped ham, grated Swiss cheese and thawed drained frozen spinach, dividing equally among the muffin cups.

Elsa: Um, you know Mom is a vegetarian, right brother? Where we gonna find ham around the Ranch?

Sam: Mom will modify the recipe to account for the fact that she has no ham. We’re sharing the recipe with ham for everyone else. Maybe one day she’ll make an exception and pick up a small piece of ham steak for us. Paws crossed…hint, hint, mom.

Elsa:  It’s ok for me, I love veggies. Maybe she’ll add my favorite…green beans. Then in a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs with 1/4 cup milk. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the cups.

Sam: Bake until golden brown and cook through, about 20 minutes depending on the size of your tins. Makes about 12 mini’s.

Elsa: How easy is that? Now ‘ham it up’ brother and let’s go dig our paws into this tasty brunch meal!

Mom here interrupting this co-authored post by making a cameo appearance: If you make this up, let us know what you think. Our version will be slightly modified since, as noted by the ‘smart one,’ meat is an unknown commodity around our vegetarian lifestyle Ranch.

[* The recipe was reviewed by the ASPCA. Every pet is different so be sure to check with your veterinary professional to make sure the recipe is suitable in your case.]

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday

Sam here. Have you noticed any houseflies now that the weather is getting a tad warmer (despite our 6″ of snow on Saturday)? There was one in the studio the other day that provided some hilarious entertainment for mom. She said she had no idea where that nasty little bugger came from and Elsa was too busy tracking it to care. I was dreamily gazing outside at life passing by the Ranch.

Do you like ‘flying raisins?’

 

 

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

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! ❤︎