Making it up to Morty While Clearing Some Freezer Space

Poor Morty, Crabby hasn’t taken him hiking or camping as much as usual this summer. It sucks to have an aging Pa.

Due not to expense, but time, Morty, Slugger and Willy were put back on (gasp!) commercial dog food.   The 3 of them eat as much as most of the others combined, and I already spend hours cooking just to keep up with the other 10.  Return to home made would be based on seniority (arrival at The Ranch), Slugger, then Willy, with Morty last.  Not good for Morty.

Worse still, with the addition of 2 more  K9’s to Run A Muck Ranch, Morty lost even his promised one day a week homemade meals.  His 1 day feeds Pablo for a week!  While it was hoped Pablo and Gertie would be temporary, with each passing day, we are all surrendering just a little more to our fate of having to find a place to put  2 more stickers on the Waggin’ Wagon.

To add insult to injury, Pablo is yet one more Chihuahua mix who picks on Morty.   Morty’s feelings get hurt very easily.

All in all, Morty World sucks right now.


Poor Morty :(  He's feeling low.
Poor Morty.  He’s feeling low.


In an attempt to keep costs down with the home made dog food, I’ve started buying in bulk.  My grocery store meat manager scored me, what we thought was 30 pounds of chicken hearts and gizzards, at a smoking price, if I would buy it in restaurant packaging rather than grocery packs.

It was a smoking price, it was restaraunt packaging, but it was 40 pounds.  Do you have any idea what 40 pounds of chicken hearts and gizards looks like?  Now you do:




With the offal I got in last week, plus the food already made, there wasn’t enough room in the freezer to store it!

What to do, what to do…

Refer back to pitiful Morty.


I need a little extra love, please!
I need a little extra love, please!


It seemed there was only one way to solve both problems:



The first ever batch of Chicken Hearts and Gizzards Run A Munchies Dog Treats.
The first ever batch of Chicken Hearts and Gizzards Run A Munchies Dog Treats.


5 pounds of hearts and gizzards were converted into several sheets of the newest flavor of Run A Munchies.  I haven’t made treats for the kids in ages – I spend too much time cooking their food!  But that wasn’t the best part.




All of them belong to Morty.

All is better in Morty World now.  At least until his treats run out.





Pablo has stage 4 gingivitis and will need, at least, 2 teeth extracted.  Total cost of first stage treatment: around $700, assuming only 2 teeth are removed.   Un-anesthetized, nippy, little dogs aren’t the easiest to control when trying to examine their teeth.

Chances of any rescue financially taking him on now:  Slim to none.  Sizable vet bill, even with a rescue discount, already assured.  How long the vet bills will pile up?  Unknown.




Chances of any vet helping us out with this:  Slim to none.  We’re not a rescue.    I think the last time we ever got so much as a free physical  for a foundling was the late ’90’s.  This despite the business we provided with our own dogs, and the referrals I made to the clinics.  Indeed, my  most favorite encounter was the vet who showed me a brochure of the boat he was buying with the money we, with only 7 dogs of our own at the time, were buying for him!




If we have to pay $700 in vet bills for a dog who isn’t ours, only to give him away, well, ain’t going to happen.   We spent thousands of personal funds on Emmi and Slugger and took a lot of flack, both from those interested in, and to a significantly lesser extent, the rescues who ‘represented’ them, that a re-home fee was irrational given they both still had Valley Fever.  It left a really bad taste in my mouth that we couldn’t fix our roof (to this day, incidentally), but had to discount the rescue’s adoption fee of $125 for a woman who just returned from holiday in Europe!   If someone with the financial ability to pay an adoption fee without even blinking balks at ‘paying full price’, what are the chances that same person will care for the kid(s) in an emergency?  We’re not willing to finance a great rescue story for someone else, especially when that person makes it known early on, cost is a consideration.

One option to save the money would be  to say we will surrender Pablo to anyone who will get him taken care of.   That boat didn’t float for Sarah when we found out taking care of her issues would cost significantly more than we could even hope to earn, even if I worked 24/7.   In Sarah’s case, at least she didn’t bite!  Pablo likes the taste of human flesh, at least when he first meets a person.   Not thinking there’s a benevolent wealthy person out there who loves feisty, nippy chihuahua mixes, especially one who’s about 6 years old.




The final option would be to surrender Pablo to MCACC, the 2nd highest kill shelter in the United States,  Pitbulls and Chihuahuas dying the most. Pablo’s fear biting would probably cause MCACC to immediately put him down rather than waste time posting him to the e-list.  Of course I would get him shared on Facebook stating that if no one takes him by tomorrow at 4:30 pm, he will go to the pound.  I hope you, reader, know me better than that.   Crabby didn’t cut Pablo away from that tree, only to throw him away due to the pickle we’re in.  None of this is Pablo’s fault.

So, without further adieu, unless a rescue or individual, willing to get Pablo taken care of, and to whom I will willingly surrender him, falls from the sky before he becomes a very expensive kid, I present to you Pablo of Run A Muck Ranch.




As you can see from his photos, he’ll probably have no objections to the arrangement.

For my part, I’ll open myself up to exploitation on Craig’s list, offering discounted landscape services to raise money for Pablo’s bills.   It may take a few months, and, as a result, he may lose an extra tooth or 2, but he’ll be OK.  He isn’t in any pain.  He can still chew a serious bone.  The discomfort is on anyone within range of his breath, what we’ve been calling The Breath of Death.

Instead of offering your congratulations on #13, please give me your hopes and prayers that the possible foster home for Gertie comes through.

Truth be known, and please don’t tell Pablo:  Between the 2, Gertie is the one I kind of hoped we’d get ‘stuck’ with.  She brings Maude back to us with her old lady needs and ways.


Maude, Emmi and Morty demonstrating proper space saving sleep arrangment.
Maude, Emmi and Morty demonstrating proper space saving sleep arrangement.



When I saw this, I teared up a little.  Gertie knows how to sleep in the Run A Muck Ranch way.
When I saw this, I teared up a little.  I swear it was Maude with Slugger for just a split second. Gertie knows how to sleep in the Run A Muck Ranch way.  

The Unveiling of the New Sticker

We never did update the blog banner with the 13th sticker, representing Marcy’s promise that Run A Muck Ranch was her permanent home.  Then our Queen Maude passed away, bringing us back to 12.

The existing stickers were already showing wear from our harsh desert environs, and replacing them with the same ones proved not as easy as it sounded.

I aged yet another year older recently, and Crabby gave me the most wonderful gift:  A new and custom sticker for the Waggin’ Wagon.

What do you think?

If you happen to count, there are still 13 dogs.  Crabby says the 12 stand alones represent our 12 kids.  The little one attached to 'me' represents all the ones who blessed us during their lives, and are forever in our hearts.
If you happen to count, there are still 13 dogs. Crabby says the 12 stand alones represent our 12 kids. The little one attached to ‘me’ represents all the ones who blessed us during their lives, and are forever in our hearts.


If you look really close you will see there is no more room for any more stickers.  That translates to we are at our limit for dogs.

Getting Gertie and Pablo to understand that, well, that will be a trick.

Do I Have a Future in Dog Grooming?

Yes, Gertie and Pablo are still here.

Gertie really takes umbrage with the heat . She will go only the minimal distance out the back door, do her business, and immediately return to the comforts of air conditioning.  Pretty soon, we’ll open the door, she will stick her butt out, do her thing, then go back down the hall, never actually leaving the house!

Even inside, she never seems to cool off.  Tonight I took steps to make her more comfortable:


Do you think I have a future in dog grooming?
Do you think I have a future in dog grooming?
Is it me, or does Willy appear to be laughing at Gertie?
Is it me, or does Willy appear to be laughing at Gertie?


Gertie was pretty messy when Crabby cut her away from the tree she and Pablo were tied to.  She had a bath that very same night, and I’ve been brushing her sporadically since.   Hey, there are 14 (fourteen) dogs here right now, can you blame me for not brushing ‘regularly’?

Despite our efforts, we never could get all the mats out.  Shaving her, even using  a #9 blade, I couldn’t cut through some areas.  Since the blade was getting hot, and I was working so close to the skin, I stopped.  Another bath will help loosen up what’s left, and another cut will make her look a little more presentable.

Worry not you desert dwellers who know the dangers of shaving a dog.  Gertie is never, even when we do our evening walks, outside long enough for the heat to get to her.   If anything, the close shave might require a blanket for her when she’s inside.

Why Not?

I shut down my personal Facebook page last month.  Too much weird stuff going on.  The existing page was frozen in time, but still appeared in order that the Run A Muck Ranch page could remain.  No one could tag, post, private message, nothing.  It was just an empty shell.  Until last weekend that is.  Something happened, I had to share a link  for a cause, and I guess people thought I came back from the dead.  The result:  When I got home from work today, I was tagged 4 times.  Twice for cats, twice for dogs.

As I was going through, removing tags and getting ready to shut down my personal page again, I with great stupidity, clicked on one of the tag notifications.  My bad.

Apparently 2 dogs were left abandoned, tied to a tree, at a McDonalds, in today’s 107 degree heat.  It would have been easy to close the screen and forget.  But we are Run A Muck Ranch.

Gertie does not appear long for this world.  She is very old.  Her hips are very bad, her teeth worse.  Who’s going to want her?

I blame her for all of this!  Then again, in her condition, she couldn’t very well have walked to Run A Muck Ranch, now could she?  Finding a round about way for Crabby to give her a ride was a pretty clever idea on her part.  She must be one of Marcy’s kin.

Never a dull moment at Run A Muck Ranch.

I Saved a Life Today

For reasons I still can’t figure out, I got done early from work today.

When I got home, I decided to water my garden.  It’s a small garden, consisting of a mix of dead, live and mutilated herbs, geraniums, roses and jasmines.  In the winter, it’s beautiful.  In the summer it’s a buffet table for anything with over sized incisors.

I don’t remember the last time I watered, and things were pretty dry, so I had the hose on full-bore, filling each pot to capacity, then doing it again, several times.

It was when I was watering the Angel Wing Jasmine that, from the recesses of what I thought was a crack caused by soil dryness, a Kangaroo Rat floated to the surface.  He was in what appeared to be convulsions, then he was still.  So very still.


Not the actual critter, but one of his kindred.
Not the actual critter, but one of his kindred.


I realized, to my horror, that I had drowned an innocent Kangaroo Rat.  But death was only seconds ago!  There was still time to bring him back!

I’m not sure exactly why I decided inside the house was the best place to perform heroic measures, but inside I went, passing The Hoard, most notably, Mortimer, who looked at me with imploring eyes, as if to say, “Hey Ma, can I have that?”.


I'm here to help Mom!
I’m here to help Mom!


I held the little patient upside down over a towel on the counter, and stroked his sides to help drain any ingested water.  I then laid him on his side, performing a much smaller and gentler CPR than would be used on dogs.  There was no response.  I felt no pulse.

Now, Reader, keep in mind, this little Kangaroo Rat wasn’t hurting anyone.  He was simply hanging out at home when I came by and drowned him.    I  was responsible for the death of another being.  I felt horrible.  The tears were welling in my eyes.  Morty was jumping up and down on the back door reminding me that he would be more than happy to take care of disposal of the tiny body.  I was a mess.  And I went to a very dark place.

Yes, I performed mouth to mouse resuscitation, on a Kangaroo Rat.


Mock me all you want folks, but after about 10 seconds, there was movement in my hands.  Upon feeling the movement, I gently laid the little patient on the towel I set on the counter.  That was also the point I realized bringing the Kangaroo Rat inside the house was probably not the best of ideas.

Turns out, Kangaroo Rats brought back from the dead recover pretty fast.  The little bugger made it to the sink, over the counter, and using the freezer as a spring-board, was behind the love seat in an instant.

A loose Kangaroo Rat in the house, to The Hoard, would make me the Best Mom Everrrr!  To Crabby, well, I’m not so sure he would even come in the house if he knew a rodent was about.

About a half hour later, Kangaroo Rat caught, I returned him to his hole in my Angel Wing jasmine pot, with the suggestion that he move into the Geranium tub.  The Geraniums had been decimated by the rabbits long ago, and their tub was a safer location for any Kangaroo Rat seeking shelter since there’s no point in watering dead plants.

I saved a life today.  That I was the one that snuffed that life… well…  all’s well that ends well!

Be safe Run A Muck Ranch Kangaroo Rat!  Live Long and Prosper!



We Missed Morty’s Mortiversary!

I’m such a lousy Mom! Morty’s Mortiversary went by and we didn’t even celebrate!

For those who don’t know the story, here it is:

In the wee hours of May 27, 2012, while Crabby remained in his slumber, I was preparing to take Group 1 out for Sunday Family Desert Walk.  When I and the group reached the driveway, we found this:


Photo of Morty, the day he knocked at the gates of Run A Muck Ranch and demanded entry.
Photo of Morty taken for his “Found” flier, the day he knocked at the gates of Run A Muck Ranch and demanded entry.


I had never seen this creature before, but that didn’t mean he didn’t live somewhere nearby.   Chances are, he would just go home if left alone, so I took Group 1 and we headed to the desert.

Upon returning to The Ranch, the mutt was still there, in the driveway.   Expecting Crabby to be awake by that time, I prepared myself to make the case that the dog lying in the driveway was NOT MY FAULT!

Crabby was indeed awake, and I found him standing in front of the living room window, his hands clasped in front of him, staring outside, at nothing in particular.

“I had nothing to do with that!”, I said, referring to the interloping mutt.

“I tried to chase him away”, Crabby replied in a weak voice, “but he won’t leave.”


(This video was taken on Morty’s first night at The Ranch.  Poor kid was exhausted.)


We ignored the trespasser as we loaded Group 2 into the Waggin’ Wagon.  Well, actually, we set out a bowl of water, then we ignored him.  Off to the desert we went.

When we returned, the beast was still in our driveway.  Sigh…

More water, a bowl of food, and the Waggin’ Wagon prepared to take the beast to a 24 hour vet to check for a chip.

On the way to the vet, Crabby said, apropos of nothing, “He looks like a Morty.”  Eerily, I had that very same thought shortly before.   We should have known at that moment the future was already written and just turned around and gone home.



The vet’s office confirmed no chip.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the creature showed all the signs of having lived on the desert, fending for himself, for a very long time.

Me, I was thinking PLEASE!  Someone be looking for this dog! I peppered the area with “Found” signs.  I also posted to every Lost and Found page I could find.  For 2 weeks I searched for Morty’s home and held out hope that we would not reach the insane number of 12 dogs. I even tried to find a rescue to take him.  Can you blame me?  We already had 11 (eleven) dogs!  But my efforts were for naught, and my hopes dashed.

Crabby…  well, back on the day we had Morty checked for a chip, as we were preparing to leave, he told the tech “May as well take him home and introduce him to his brothers and sisters.”  In other words, he surrendered without a fight, the day Morty showed up in the driveway.

And now you know the rest of the story.

DSC_0032 small



We love you Morty, even if you do eat us out of house and home!

Sorry we missed your Mortiversary!