Bringing On The Crazy

People like to think that when a wrong is occurring, their internal moral compass will direct them to do the right thing, despite the possible ramifications.

Though I always thought I would step up in circumstances where others would run, my belief in myself was never put to the test – until today.

People do horrible things.  Since we’ve lived at The Ranch (1996), we’ve stumbled upon far too many examples. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to.  I’ll just leave it with saying not all animals abandoned on the desert are left alive.  Gracy, Franky and Morty were some of the fortunate ones who were.

Franky was dumped.  We’re ashamed to say we don’t know how long ago.  Maybe 5 years?
Gracie was dumped 8 years ago.
Morty the day he wandered into The Ranch in 2012.  Who knows how long he had to fend for himself after he was dumped.

Morty, Willy, Franky and Slugger were my 1st group out for Sunday Desert Walk.  Crabby was still in bed. Toward the end of the walk I watched a man in a pickup park on a trail in an area off limits to motor vehicles.  He pulled a rifle out of  his cab, and then wrestled a bag out of his truck bed.  He was too far away to tell if the bag was moving or not.

The man kept looking over his shoulder at me as he went down a trail.

Morty and Willy originally ran in his direction to greet him, but stopped short and ran back to my side, before I even had a chance to call them. That’s not normal.

The bells went off in my head – but I could not confront a man with a gun when I had the boys with me.  I rushed them home and returned to the scene, deliberately driving onto the desert parking behind the man’s truck.

I began walking in the direction the man had walked.  I went maybe a few hundred yards when I heard the scream – the scream of a dog in agony.  My walk became a sprint, leaving the trail and charging in what I could best determine was a straight line towards the source of the scream.

When I heard the second scream, still running,  I dialed 911.

I continued running, falling often on the rocky, uneven desert while alternating between screaming into the phone at the 911 operator and shrieking to the top of my lungs, that I had called the police, hoping the man would release the dog and run.

I crested 1 more ridge.  I fell again, dropping my phone, cutting off the 911 operator.  I looked around desperately for the dog being tortured.

Instead, I saw a very befuddled looking man peeking from behind the protection of a boulder.

“Is there a problem lady?” he asked with a shaky voice.

“You let that dog go!” I shouted, “I’ve called the police!”.

“Umm…  look behind you” he said.

And when I did, the sound of the tortured dog was nearly at my feet – coming from a speaker.

{This is NOT the same sound I heard earlier today, but I post the video  link to give you an idea of the type and loudness of the sound I heard.  You may want to turn your volume down before listening:

A variation of a coyote bait call

Now tell me, can you really blame me for my reaction?!?!?!}

Apparently, someone in their infinite wisdom decided that blaring the sounds of wounded animals from speakers was a nifty way to lure coyotes during coyote hunting season.  This unfortunate hunter in HIS infinite wisdom decided to use the sounds of wounded dogs as his sound of choice – in the very same area where locals, including this Crazy Dog Lady, walk their dogs regularly.

Seeing an upper middle aged woman barreling over the ridge, hair sticking out in all directions, entangled with various debris picked up from many falls,  body covered in cholla, while screaming up a storm apparently alarmed the hunter a wee bit because he then, with great desperation in his voice, informed me that he loves dogs, has 2 of his own and asked if I wanted to see their pictures.

When the armed man was convinced the unarmed crazy lady wasn’t going to hurt him, he quickly packed up his hunting gear and with great haste made his way back to his truck, I think we can all assume, never to return.

I learned something about myself today:

Apparently I WILL run head long, alone and unarmed, at a psyco with a loaded gun to help a dog.

While that may be all well and good, Crabby has requested that I refrain from doing so again in the future.

I can’t make any promises.

Go ahead!  Try and harm a hair on my head! My Mommy will DROP you!



It’s Not Raining

Though the weather forecast called for a chance of showers today, Crabby insisted that wouldn’t be the case.

The usual after dinner ritual is such that as each group finishes eating, they are escorted outside.  This evening they were reluctant to do so.  Though Crabby said it wouldn’t rain, The Horde was pretty sure they saw rain falling from the sky.  Every dog knows, even dogs who love to splash in rancid desert water holes, rain has the ability to completely dissolve any member of the species Canis familiaris. Once dissolved, said dog will be blinked out of existence, never to return.

When the last group was punted out the door escorted outside, I set about the after dinner ritual of washing dog bowls and setting tomorrow’s food to thaw.  I wasn’t concerned about The Horde because it wasn’t raining.

I wish I had the camera with me when I first went to the back door, or that when I did take the camera I had the memory card installed, because if I did, you would have seen a photo of 14 of the most pathetic dogs you have ever seen.  Instead, since I went to the door twice before actually being able to take the photo, 5 braved Satan’s Tears and made a dash for the back door.  Pablo was in the process of making run for it, and the rest went from vestiges of the neglected to faces of hope.

Still, I think you can get the gist.  Where Crabby is adamant that it isn’t raining, The Beasts of Run A Muck Ranch clearly disagree.

C'mon Ma! Let us in!  We don't care what Pa says, it IS raining!
C’mon Ma! Let us in! We don’t care what Pa says, it IS raining!


Yesterday, it rained on and off all day.  Of course I had to work outside in it.  Let me tell you:  Cold (we were in the low 70’s) temperatures + arthritis in a manual labor job does not = a good day.  I ended up running the hot water heater empty in the shower trying to get my joints functional to partake in my at-home manual labor work.

I know, I’m whining when I shouldn’t be.  After all, there are many who have it worse.

Take, for example Franky and Pablo.

While yesterday the windows were closed, and the respirations of 14 dogs were enough to keep the house bearably warm, today I deliberately opened the windows before I left for work.

How cruel of me!  I don’t think we even reached 70 today, and with the windows open there was no way The Horde could properly ‘self heat’ the house!

I came home to the pitiful sight of Franky and Pablo, shivering uncontrollably.  Franky was near death, crying from the cold.  (For the record, that was a couple hours ago, and as of the writing of this, the outside temperature is 60 as the sun is going down).

So what if Mom has to work in unholy weather conditions ranging from 100+ degrees in the blazing sun in the summer to barely 32 degrees with occasional misty rain in the winter, what is MORE important is that the boys are comfortable!

Looks like we'll need to take Pablo clothes shopping to get something that fits him better.
How could you leave the windows open Mom!  We almost froze to death!

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!


As you know, Sarah is gimpy.  We’ve never gotten a true cause for her wobble.  We just work around it.

Sarah's handicap is directly responsible for her downright adorable manner of running.
Sarah’s handicap is directly responsible for her downright adorable manner of running.

Over the last several months, Sare Bear’s clumsiness has increased, partly due to Hairy Paw (someone remind me to update you on that!), partly due to the probable degeneration of her condition over all.  Stepping up or down without assistance often results in face plants and it doesn’t take much of a bump anymore to turn an upright Sarah into a Sarah version of a plastic Breyer horse laying on its side.

Try as we might, we aren’t always able to catch her as she falls and when we do it usually results in a pulled something or a flare up of an already sore body part on either Crabby or me.

Additionally, for reasons we can’t understand, Gertie has decided she absolutely MUST lay right outside the back door.  While the other kids have just gotten into the habit of jumping over her when they need to pass, Sarah is stuck, and so are we:

Do we shoo away the uber elderly arthritic dog to make it easier for the younger, gimpy dog to pass?

Pa-lease!  This is Run A Muck Ranch, where there are 2 humans serving 14 furry overlords!  Rather than disturb Gertie, we assist Sarah in an out the door in such a manner as to be gentle on Sarah while not disturbing Gertie.

In doing so, however, I am oft spending the night sleeping flat on my back on Sarah’s couch mounting platform with my feet on the couch as it is the only way I can get relief from my own pain.  Do you realize just how hard and physically straining it is to move a 78 pound Sarah past a 90 pound immovable Gertie?

My back, shoulder and wrists finally gave out.  Remember back when Sarah hurt her leg and we had to support her front end for her?

A simple sports bra made supporting Sarah in her time of need so much easier on all of us!
A simple sports bra made supporting Sarah in her time of need so much easier on all of us!

The sports bra worked so well back then, it seems only logical that we make it a permanent fixture.  It would be so much easier, and less painful on all of us if we had an easier way to assist Sarah.

I already share outer wear with Crabby.  How pathetic would it be if I could honestly say I share underwear with my dog?

Today, you guessed it, I went bra shopping for Sarah. Truth be told, and I don’t know how to take this, but Sarah really needs a larger size than me…

I haven’t shopped for a bra in years.  Yup, pretty pathetic.  Apparently it’s been too long because in the near or distant past, the purpose of a sports bra went from simply holding the girls firmly in place to holding them firmly in place while simultaneously making them look bigger.  Yes sports fans, it is impossible to find an un-padded sports bra.  I checked several places and got the same answer.   The fact that sports bras now ‘enhance’ breast size for women who, by definition of the purpose of the bra itself, will be sweating profusely is very logical.  According to the sales ladies, that I was shopping for a bra for my dog was downright strange. But my back couldn’t take it any more.  I had no choice but to buy Sara a padded sports bra.

Now we have a dilemma.

How exactly do we explain this when we take Sarah out in public???

Yes, Sarah has a woman's rack on her back.
Yes, Sarah has a woman’s rack on her back.
What would you think if you saw this coming at you?
What would you think if you saw this coming at you?
We're hoping the padding eventually 'deflates'.
We’re hoping the padding eventually ‘deflates’.

Poor Gracie Had A Bad Day

Today Gracie went to the dentist.

This time she lost 3 teeth:  2 molars, 1 incisor.

T’was not a good day at all.

If I could see, I'm sure I'd see a bunch of pretty lights right now!
If I could see, I’m sure I’d see a bunch of pretty lights right now!

I’m kind of wondering if we should just ask the vet to remove all teeth from Gracie and Pablo.  Losing teeth every cleaning is getting very frustrating!