A Synopsis of Gertie’s Hugging Expedition Today

Work, Emmi, an incident with Gracie (don’t worry John, she’s fine) were already enough to keep me in non-regular-blog mode. The Cutest Pet Contest we entered Gertie in sucked up the rest of the time.

Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to keep up with sharing contest entries on social media?  I even took a foray into Craig’s List, Backpage and a few other less than desirable sites on this!  Thank goodness it’s only a 10 day contest!

The result:  We’re in the lead by 100, contest ends tomorrow.   Gertie just may grace the cover of the May issue of 85086 Magazine and gain publicity for 1,000 Hugs for Gertie yet!

A truly awesome result:  The publicity Gertie is getting for her campaign is incredible!  Though they don’t count toward Gert’s goal of 1,000 physical hugs, she has received virtual hugs from as far away as Italy, Russia, Spain, and Japan, to name a few.  Many of these virtual hugs being accompanied by photos of elder dog family members of the hugger.  If Gertie’s mission accomplishes nothing else, it has provided a forum for people to strut their senior dogs.  That’s a pretty good accomplishment if you ask me!

Anyway, this week is Arizona Bike Week.  Gertie had great luck collecting hugs from bikers in the past, so we decided to try again.  It was going to be less than 80 degrees outside, and Cave Creek, a biker hot spot, is very close.

Heather, hug #16, introduced Gertie to several of her friends in the Desert Souls Brotherhood at the Roadrunner back in December.  I should have realized then that bikers are the best huggers.

So off we went, at 11:30 am this morning:

Gertie knows when she’s loaded up and her vest is near, good things are on the horizon!


You’re never too old to hang your head out the window!  Sorry about the water spots on the mirror.
First parking location.  Can you hear the crickets?  The place looked completely abandoned.

Cave Creek is not known for it’s reasonable parking accommodations on a good day.  On a day with hundreds, possibly thousands of bikes, we knew it would be especially problematic.  The original plan was to park at the Post Office after it closed, then walk to the festivities.    The Barkista Mobile was as big a flag as we could wave to Facebook people who went to Cave Creek to hug Gertie.  See the car, know we’re here.  Want to find us?  My phone number is on the front corner panel.  Just call me and we’ll find each other. Also, the Waggin’ Wagon isn’t as nimble as the Barkista Mobile.  If parking was at a premium we needed nimble!

2 problems with this original plan:

1)  Despite living here for 20 years, AND at one time being the Assistant to the Town Engineer of Cave Creek, I was clueless as to the distance from point A to B.  It was too far for Gertie to walk.

and, even if Gertie could go the distance

2) There was a sheriff deputy posted nearby to make sure no one interloped on the Post Office Parking lot.

So we went right into the belly of the beast, parking in Gateway Park, with a relatively short walk to the festivities.

And then were were there:

This was just the eastern edge of motorcycle parking.  They went forever!

Gertie got her first hug within seconds of walking into the vendor area, then her second, then her 3rd.

Gertie made a canine friend, the beautiful …  I’d tell you her name if I could read my own writing!  It starts with an M and ends with an “a” or a “u”.  My bad!

By hug 6, minutes after arriving, we realized we had a problem:  Too much heat was radiating from the pavement and it was quickly taking it’s toll on Gertie.

So she lay down in the shade of one of the trailers, and the hugs kept coming

Hug # 50, Vonda at Bike Week, 4/9/16

In the shade of another trailer came more hugs.  Under the shade of a booth, yet more!

Group Hug!  Ashley (r) was hug # 55.  This is hug # 55.5 and 56, with Small  Block.  Is this not a great pic?

At this point only 15 to 20 minutes had passed, and I don’t think we had made it 100 feet since entering the vendor area, but we had to call it quits.

Gertie had no problem with the crowd.  Actually, I honestly think she would have preferred we took the leash off so she could mingle more freely.

The motorcycle and other loud noises were not an issue either – keep in mind, Gertie is completely deaf!

The problem was, despite it being less than 80 degrees, so much heat was bouncing off the pavement, Gertie was uncomfortable and not having fun.  Remember, the most important part of these expeditions is that Gertie have fun.

So we had to turn around, which is when we met Eric, Hug #60.

We ran out of water within 5 minutes due to the heat effect.  Eric gave Gertie a bottle on the way out.
Which lead to a great wet spot to lay in!

The exit was just on the other side of this trailer.  We found a tree to sit under for a few minutes to help Gertie cool down a little more, then we did the only rational next move.

A stop at Dairy Queen for a little more cooling therapy

Where we met

Linda, Hug #61 at Dairy Queen.

All told, Gertie collected 19 hugs in, at most, a 1/2 hour at the Bike Week Vendor area.  If the heat hadn’t gotten to her so bad and so quickly, I have no doubt we could have collected 100 easily, probably more.  But Gertie’s comfort is more important than hug count.

Weather permitting (there’s a storm coming in), I may try to see if I can take her back tomorrow morning when it’s cooler.  I don’t have to work, so I can get there earlier.

Both from the experience at The Roadrunner back in December, and the hug collecting expedition of this morning, I can honestly say, bikers by far are the most open and welcoming huggers. Bike week only comes once a year, and it would be very disappointing to lose so many hugging opportunities.  Cross fingers conditions tomorrow allow for more hugs.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who hugged Gertie this morning.  You made an old lady very happy.

My personal favorite:

Duchess, hug # 58.  She kept on hugging Gertie long after the camera was put away.  Gertie would have stayed in her arms all day, if not for the heat.
I’ll be ready for more hugs after a nap, Ma!  Can we go again?  Huh?  Can we?

To see all of Gertie’s collected hugs, go to The Photo Album on her Facebook page.  I’ve set it to public so non-Facebook users should be able to see them.



Hell Has Frozen Over

Look who decided to permit me to take a picture without giving you, the viewer, the impression we hang him by his toenails for fun.

Shouldn’t Pablo’s level of cuteness be illegal?

Pictures don’t always tell the truth.  What you see here is a freakishly adorable, completely innocent looking creature.

Make no mistake!  You’re actually looking at Satan’s Cheeewawa!  But we wouldn’t have him any other way.  Innocent and sweet isn’t as fun.

I really need to buckle down and write Pablo’s bio for you.  It’s been almost 2 years already.

January 3, 2016 – It FINALLY Happened!

Marcy gave her Dad a hug. 

So shocked were we over this event that Crabby was afraid to move lest he scare Marcy off.  It was only by dumb luck I was in position with the camera on.


Eventually, she sort of snuggles in.  Notice Crabby hasn’t moved his head and his hands are pretty much where they were when the hug started.  Like I said, he was afraid to move!

It only took 3 years.

This event is almost as special as the first time Emmi peed off property several months after she moved in.  Yup, we got a picture of that too!



Sarah’s Got Mail!

Sarah received her first piece of mail…

Sare Bear was so excited to get mail of her own!
Sare Bear was so excited to get mail of her own!

Hearing the sad tale of poor Sarah being forced to wear padded sports bras, Run A Muck Ranch fan Yanina of Texas came to her aid, sending Sare Bear not 1 but 2 UNpadded XXL sports bras!

The grey formal bra.
The grey formal bra.
The blue firty bra.  Marcy wants one!
The blue firty bra. Marcy wants one!

Thank you Yanina from Sarah and Run A Muck Ranch!  Sarah can step out with pride now!

The Evolution of Office Space

There wasn’t enough room on my old desk to do anything but play on the computer.

There was nowhere else in the house I could do work – school, research, administrative work for The Barkista, etc. No matter where I went, a pack of mutts was sure to follow to, at least in their opinions, “help” me with whatever I was doing.

The bed was the only place I could spread out my books. As you can see, the conditions are not 'ideal', at least for work purposes.
The bed was the only place I could spread out my books. As you can see, the conditions were not ‘ideal’, at least for work purposes.

Shutting the door against The Horde was not a consideration lest I wanted to cause various stress related life threatening conditions.  Keep in mind, I haven’t been able to close the bathroom door since, I think 2010…2011 for sure.

With the constant research required for staying on top of recent research into dog nutrition, as well as cross referencing and cross checking against previously recorded data, I was at a loss.  My only option was to go to a library (none close) and spread out over a table.  Unfortunately, that took me away from home and dogs.   I’m gone all day at work – the kids don’t want me gone again in the evenings!

Crabby sought to rectify the situation.  He scored on some surplus office furniture and re-did the office.

Now, not only do I have a place ON the desk for my computer and monitor, but the printer too, with significant space to spare – on that one side.  At a right angle to that portion of the desk I have a return with plenty of room to spread out, and a chair that doesn’t tweak my back!

Can you say AWESOME!

Perhaps you speak too soon.

New Desk, Night 1:


New Desk, Day 3:


New Desk, Night 4:


At my feet, at this very moment, I’m dealing with this

Put me up Mom, put me up!
Put me up Mom, put me up!

And this:

Pllleeeeeze put me up Ma!
Pllleeeeeze put me up Ma!

I’m never going to win, am I?

Laying Down New Couch Laws

Hence, heretofore, forthwith:

No more than 2 (two) creatures of the species

Canis familiaris, aka “dog”

shall be allowed on the couches at any time.  

It is written and therefore it shall be LAW.


I guess the language of the Law should have included a provision that the 2 dogs on the couch had to leave room for at least 1 human.

Foiled again!

Where Is The Justice?

I reported to you earlier that we finally broke down and bought a new couch.  Well, actually we bought 2. They were on sale.

Our intent was to designate 1 couch (plus the old love seat) to the dogs, leaving the second one for human lounging purposes.  The 1 couch/1 love seat arrangement oft lead to the humans of Run A Muck Ranch being kicked to the floor.  2 couches + 1 love seat could accommodate multiple dogs and 2 people.

It’s been a brutal few weeks.  Just now, and I mean literally just now, I finished all of my office work and intended to join Crabby for a little TV watching for the first time in a long time, sitting on a couch that doesn’t swallow me up.

So much for intentions.

The gap between Crabby and Franky had previously been occupied by Hector and Pablo. When I went for the camera they followed me. When I got done taking pictures, Slugger had taken the available real estate.
The gap between Crabby and Franky had previously been occupied by Hector and Pablo. When I went for the camera they followed me. When I got done taking pictures, Slugger had taken the available real estate.

Looks like I’m still sitting on the floor.  Where’s the justice?????