The Value of Big Brothers

We had a pretty nasty storm on Sunday.

Marcy doesn’t like storms.

When a particularly loud clap of thunder rattled the house, I went looking for her.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one ready to comfort the visibly trembling Marcy.   Someone beat me to it.

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Big brother Vito to the rescue

Vito stayed with Marcy, licking her eyes, resting his head on her neck, and comforting her until the storm passed.

How lucky is Marcy to  have a big brother who cares so much about her?

Curing New Couch Woes

Anyone who’s had the honor of sharing their lives with a member of the pit bull tribe will agree; you can take away a pitty’s eyes, ears, legs, relatively non-essential organs and/or any other body part, and the dog can still live a  happy life.  But take away the couch and a pit bull has no reason to live.

Our Sarah is no different.  Long are the hours she spends snuggled up to the north arm of her Beloved.

Run A Muck Ranch recently euthanized it’s ancient couch and replaced it with a new one.   Sarah didn’t spend long grieving the loss of her old Love, and seemed quite excited to bond with a newer version.  But there was a problem:  The new couch had all its stuffing, making it higher than the old one.  Sarah couldn’t get on it by herself.

With her new Beloved so near and yet so far, all Sarah could do was stand there, staring at it, crying until Crabby or I picked her up and put her on her preferred north arm.  The knowledge that once she got off, she could not get back on unless assistance was close at hand made Sarah reluctant to part with her Beloved under any circumstances.  It didn’t help that those extra few inches in height were enough that Sarah lost control on the dismount and went crashing to the floor.

We considered dog stairs, but determined they would not be strong enough to handle Sarah’s weight and instability.  I looked at horse mounting blocks, but thought they were too  narrow and too easy for Sarah to fall off of.  We considered building a ramp but in the end decided it would have all the negatives of both dog stairs and mounting blocks, so that idea was discarded as well.

Crabby put on his thinking cap, and came up with this:

Low enough Sarah can't fall off of, high enough to give Sarah the boost she needs to get on and off the couch herself. Reinforced cross beams add strength and an attached carpet runner adds traction.
Long, low and wide enough Sarah can’t fall off of, high enough to give Sarah the boost she needs to get on and off the couch herself. Reinforced cross beams add strength and an attached carpet runner adds traction.

Crabby showed Sarah how to use it once and she became an immediate expert.

Excuse the pitiful expression. Sarah had just returned from her evening walk in temperatures exceeding 83 degrees. Oh, the horror!
Excuse the pitiful expression. Sarah had just returned from her evening walk in temperatures exceeding 83 degrees. Oh, the horror!
Actually, the carpet runner on the block appears to give Sarah better back end traction than the runners we put on the floor for her!
Actually, the carpet runner on the block appears to give Sarah better back-end traction than the runners we put on the floor for her!
One giant step for pitbull kind!
One giant step for pit bull kind!
Because of her physical issues, Sarah can't make a hard left turn. Instead, she straightens up going to the right....
Because of her physical issues, Sarah can’t make a hard left turn. Instead, she straightens up going to the right….
Then turns back south.
Then turns back north.
Ahh! Sweet Relief!
Ahh! Sweet Relief!
Nothing can ever come betwen Sarah and her Beloved ever again!
Nothing can ever come between Sarah and her Beloved ever again!

Extreme kudos goes out to Crabby for building not just ‘a’ Sarah Booster, but the PERFECT Sarah Booster!

Crabby Puts His Foot Down on Another Rescue

An innocent creature in need presented himself in our driveway this evening and I’m ashamed to say Crabby strongly refused to offer refuge to this latest wayward soul.

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Poor little guy, it's December but it hasn't gotten cold.
Poor little guy, it’s December and he’s still out in the big bad world.

 

The unseasonably warm weather is confusing the snakes.  The temperatures are keeping them awake, but it isn’t warm enough for them to move around at peak snake speed, making them easy pickings for predators and heartless humans.   Additionally, if the weather does decide to turn cold, the snakes above ground will die.   This little guy was very slow, probably on the gravel trying to get warm.

 

He was too heat deprived to defend himself.
He was too heat deprived to defend himself.

 

My original intent, given 1 very cold night could kill him, was to see if we had a ‘habitat’ to put him in, inside the house, where he could be safe from the elements, at least until it was safe to release him – sometime in the spring.

But Crabby is mean, and locked the gates of Run A Muck Ranch against the critter (and me, lest I try to smuggle the little guy in the house).

In the end, I moved the little snake to a shrub that I hoped would provide at least some comfort in his time of need.

 

Slowly inching under a jojoba bush.
Slowly inching under a jojoba bush.

 

After a thorough frisking to insure I wasn’t smuggling in anything slithery, Crabby allowed me back in the house.

Bummer is, the little snake looked like a Larry to me.  As you know, I really want a Larry.

News About Gertie

Beautiful Gertie wasn't feeling very well.
Beautiful Gertie wasn’t feeling very well.

Without getting into too many details, Gertie was at the vet today for GI issues.  A physical was done and x-rays taken.

The vet threw out the “C” word as a potential diagnoses and recommended an ultrasound.

It took a couple months, but Gertie finally learned the benefits of the couch.
It took a couple months, but Gertie finally learned the benefits of the couch.

Given Gertie’s age and physical condition, she is not a very good candidate for invasive abdominal surgery, the treatment if a tumor exists, be it benign or malignant.

Yup, Gertie has become quite accustomed to the accomodations.
Yup, Gertie has become quite accustomed to the accommodations.

This news leaves us with only one option:

Today Gertie got her promise that Run A Muck Ranch is her forever home.

Gertie even has someone to cuddle up to.
Gertie even has someone to cuddle up to.

Our mission is to keep Gertie happy and comfortable for as long as she’ll let us.

Hey Mom, if this is a permanent arrangment, we're going to have to lay down some rules.  Let's start with you not  chasing me around with a camera when I'm trying to get my nap on!
Hey Mom, if this is a permanent arrangement, we’re going to have to lay down some rules. Let’s start with you not chasing me around with a camera when I’m trying to get my nap on!

We are very blessed that the stars aligned to bring Gertie to us.

PS: There were some, shall we say, ‘things’ about Gertie discovered in today’s visit that have my mind spinning right now.  I dared not voice my thoughts out loud to the vet lest I get the “eye roll”.  Cross fingers that this ‘irrational’ hunch pans out and that Gertie will not only be better, but thrive.   I may be wrong, but there’s always hope, right?

On Forgiveness

Poor Willy.  Gertie has been picking on him lately.  Despite what Willy thinks of himself, he’s a bit of a pansy.  Getting put down by Gertie, an old lady no less, has really taken a bite out of Willy’s Muttly Man Card.

To add insult to injury, to hurry his fall shed along, I gave him a bath today.

How could you Mom?
How could you, Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me?

After his bath, Willy ignored me.  Actually, he went into the office by himself to pout.

No one loves me :(
No one loves me 😦

He stayed in the office, alone, and wouldn’t come out.  Not even for people dinner.    I checked on him several times, and even tried to get him to come out to the living room to sit with me on the couch.  But he wouldn’t even look at me.

No, Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me, I do not want to come out.  Bad things happen to me outside this room.  I'm just going to stay here until I die.
No, Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me, I do not want to come out. Bad things happen to me outside this room. I’m just going to stay here until I die.

I had to resort to drastic measures to bring Willy out of his funk, and to hopefully get him to forgive me for a) not sending Gertie to the pound like he asked, and b) giving him a bath.

THE LEASH!!!!!.... I mean, (sigh) I can't fight you if you drag me out...
THE LEASH!!!!!…. I mean, (sigh) I can’t fight you if you drag me out…
You really caused me a lot of angst Mo...  I mean Female Human Person Who I Thought Loved Me.  Perhaps a stop at the Circle K for a Slim Jim will help me see you in a more positive light.
You really caused me a lot of angst Mo… I mean Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me. Perhaps a stop at the Circle K for a Slim Jim will help me see you in a more positive light.
Just so you know, I reserve the right to still be mad at you even after our little outing.
To be clear:  I reserve the right to still be mad at you even after our little outing.
Enough with the pictures already, CAN WE JUST GO!!!!!
Enough with the pictures already, CAN WE JUST GO!!!!!
Seriously, your taking pictures of me in the rear view WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING?!?!? (Just so you know...We were still on the easement where we live - I wouldn't have done this on a real road!)
Seriously? You’re taking pictures of me in the rear view WHILE YOU’RE DRIVING?!?!?
(We were still on the easement where we live – I wouldn’t have done this on a real road!)
On the desert, just Willy and me.
On the desert, just Willy and me.
Just so you know, Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me, I'm still mad at you!
Just so you know, Female Human Who I Thought Loved Me, I’m still mad at you!
Attitude improving!
Attitude improving!
Listening to the call of the wild.
Listening to the call of the wild.
Great find!
Great find!
For the Willy Fans:  Willy just recently learned to sniff.  Here's proof!
For the Willy Fans: He just recently learned to sniff. Here’s proof!
Willy found a bone, so we took a sit down so he could chew it.
Willy found a bone, so we took a sit down so he could chew it.
I got a bo-one!
I got a bo-one!

When Willy was done with his bone, he said it was OK to go home.

I forgive you... Mom.
I forgive you… Mom.

I love all the dogs the same, honestly I do.  But there’s something about Willy.  I can’t bear having him mad at me.   The problem is, he knows it and uses it against me.

It’s A Hard Life at Run A Muck Ranch

I was washing dog bed covers when I happened to notice this: 

There are many dog beds on the floor, but Morty chose the pad I put on the people bed while the cover was being washed.
There are many dog beds on the floor, but Morty chose the pad I put on the people bed while the cover was being washed.

Marcy, Slugger, Emmi, Willy and Morty.  It never ceases to amaze me how the ones who started life without “civilized luxuries” always seen to find a way to one up on what is perfectly acceptable to dogs brought up in homes. 

Do you suppose it’s because they feel they have catching up to do?

 

 

http://www.tfund.com/runamuckranch

 

 

 

 

My How Things Have Changed…

Remember when Marcy was but a feral waif, afraid to move?  Wherever we placed her is where she stayed, until we moved her to another location. We started calling her “The Paper Weight”.

As she started to relax, under the people bed became her cave of safety.  Eventually, she did venture out into the big bad house, and came to learn the advantages of having a home.  Still, having missed human contact in all of her imprint periods, to this day, Marcy still uses ‘defensive’ sleeping positions.

Well, except for one place.  Right up there with Morty, water, and regular food, the people bed has a prominent place on Marcy’s Favorites List.

At first, Marcy tried to take up as much space as she could.  Note completely relaxed posture.

 

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Then she started slightly re-arranging the comforter to her liking.   Where curled in a ball, nose tightly tucked to tail (defensive) is the norm for nervous dogs, Marcy included (anywhere else in the house),  Marcy strives to do the same move in reverse on the people bed.

 

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Then she started giving me the “What-everrrr!” look when I asked her to move so I could fix the bed covers.

 

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Now she just burrows in.   This is what she did this morning.

 

You don't really intend to make me move, do you Mother???
You don’t really intend to make me move, do you Mother???

 

45  minutes later, just before I punted her lazy buttocks out of bed.  I didn’t get to sleep in, why should Marcy?!  We had a lot to do before Crabby and Morty got back from their camping trip!

 

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The overall rearranging Marcy did so make the people bed more to her liking.   Yes, I had already made it!  How could one little dog wreak so much havoc?

 

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I look back fondly on those days when Marcy was too afraid to assert herself!

Kitchen Nightmares at Run A Muck Ranch

You might find this hard to believe, but spending hours every week cooking for the kids is not as fun as it sounds.  Not to mention what the house smells like during, and for an extended time after, each cook.

I decided to attempt a marathon cook.  My mission: To prepare an entire month’s worth of food as quickly as possible.  By quickly, we’re talking about the 4 Day plan, every day, after work.

I guess I got a little tired on Day 3 because it all went to Hell in a hand basket.  This is the result: