Gertie, Recently

Yup, Gertie is still here.

The few people who called on the fliers I posted didn’t read them very well, and discussion of Gert’s age was the deal breaker for some.  Those who weren’t concerned about her age didn’t read the part about her being a house dog.  That the interested parties intended to keep Gertie outside was a deal breaker for me.

Sweet Gertie, still sporting the bad haircut.
Sweet Gertie, still sporting the bad haircut.

A rescue did eventually list Gertie on their web site, but her bio was cut off mid sentence.  Hey, she’s listed though!

A no-kill shelter offered to take her but we declined.   An old lady needs to be in a home, not a kennel.

A foster offer also eventually came up, but by that time it had been almost 2 months and Gertie had settled in.  A month earlier, we would have jumped at the chance.  But by the time the offer came, we knew Gertie.  To send her away knowing she would be moved again at least once, maybe more if she didn’t work out at the foster home, well, what can I say, we’re weak.   Gertie will go from here to her permanent home, if one can be found.  One final move.

At times I question her intelligence.
At times I question her intelligence.

Unfortunately, the number of senior dogs needing homes exponentially out numbers homes needing senior dogs.   If no one steps up to make Gertie their princess, well, I guess you know how the story will end for her.  It wouldn’t be the best ending, however.

While Gertie isn’t unhappy here, she would be much happier in a lower dog density/higher Gertie time home.   I know, some of you are thinking The Ranch is the perfect home, but think about it:  She’s 10.  She’s had an entire lifetime behind her and now she has to start at the bottom of the pecking order, behind a pretty wild bunch.   She’s slower than the rest of the kids and they don’t wait up for her on the desert walks.  She can’t adapt as well as a younger kid can.  Try as she does, where Pablo was accepted, she hasn’t been.  It’s not that the other kids are mean to her, it’s that they ignore her.  When she tries to participate in Misfit Games, they stop playing and walk away.   Even Pablo traded her in for a younger model. Gertie deserves so much better.

Beautiful Gertie
Beautiful Gertie

We, and by we I mean I, haven’t given up yet.  Crabby gave up the day he hefted her into the Waggin’ Waggon the first time.  But there will come a time when we will have to give Gertie her official promise, if she doesn’t find another home.   That said, I don’t want Gertie to have to settle for simply being not unhappy, so I my fingers are crossed someone is out there for her.

In the meantime, however,  Gertie is loved.  She is treated as one of the family and is learning how to train us.  I make sure she gets lots of hugs, kisses and butt scratches every day.  She’s not a cuddler, and sometimes likes to be alone.  But when she asks for attention, I give it to her.



Because Gertie doesn’t voluntarily exercise, and exercise is very important, especially for old ladies, she  and I walk every night.  Though she doesn’t appreciate the warm temperatures, I think she does enjoy the “Her” time.  I’ve tried taking a second dog on the walks, but Gertie pouts. So, it’s just me and Gertie.

Gertie isn't much of a speed demon, and she listens well, so she only leash walks near traffic.  She strolls perfectly off leash.
Gertie isn’t much of a speed demon, and she listens well, so she only leash walks near traffic. She strolls perfectly off leash.

Whoever ends up with Gertie, be it someone we haven’t met yet, or us, will be truly blessed indeed.  For Gertie’s sake, however it ends up, I hope she’s happy.

As I write this, Gert is at my feet.  While I hope she can find better feet to lay down at, mine will always be available as long as she needs them.

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.

Happy Home-aversary to Maude! and An Explanation.

14 years ago, on December 15, 1999, Maude became Queen of Run A Muck Ranch.



I had picked her from a litter when she was a week or less old, paid my $25 and visited her every week until I brought her home.

I don’t remember how many brothers and sisters Maude had, but there were a bunch.  Then came the week, when she was barely 4 weeks old, there were only 2.


The ‘person’ who had Maude’s mother went away for the weekend and decided it would be a peachy keen idea to leave mom and her nursing puppies outside,  in the desert, while he was gone.   That mom or puppies could fall prey to coyotes, raptors or other predators, or frozen in the cold nights when left unprotected, never crossed his mind.




For those of you who have been scratching your heads over how it was  I could take Maude from her mom when she was only 4 weeks old, now you know.   The poor excuse for a human who had Maude’s mom couldn’t be trusted to take care of the mom – a very small Australian Shepard, what guarantee would there be he would take care of Maude until she was ready to wean?

I hope by now you realize that despite taking Maude way too soon from her mom, she ended up in a pretty OK place.




We love our Maude so very much and are so proud to call her family.

Happy Home-aversary Maude!


A Sad Yet Happy Post

Work has been quite the bear of late, and the camera has been acting up.  The result: not much time to write and I lost the absolutely, most positively, cutest picture there ever could or can be, of Mortimer and Marcy, last night.  Bummer.

In lieu of something witty or cute, I give you this link to a story out of the UK.

There’s just something about an old, content dog…  especially when they have been with you as life goes full circle – puppy to elderly.

We have had our share of watching our kids grow old and leave us, and yes, it hurts to say goodbye, but sadness at the end can never counter the love and laughter that happened before.

Here at Run A Muck Ranch, we are too old to do puppies anymore, but we look forward to watching the eyes of our Deviants go from mischievous to wise, content, and knowing,  as they reach their golden years, and when it’s time to say goodbye, we will be left with memories we wouldn’t trade for the world.

Spend more time looking at the pictures, they say so much.  Not really liking some of the wording of the article’s author.  

Why do I say this is a sad yet happy post?  Look at the dogs.  Do you see anything in their eyes that says they feel anything less than loved?

Happy Birthday Maude!

We kind of made a big deal out of Maude’s 14th.

Not sure if we should be proud, or take it as an indication we really need to get out more!

We love you Maude!  You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but old dogs can certainly train their people!

Music for this video was composed by Eric at  Please visit him at Eric’s Site if you ever need a custom song!


Crazy Dog Lady: How do you train 13 dogs?

This one comes from a FB private message,  and it has an easy answer:  We don’t.

It is physically impossible for 2 mere humans to work full time jobs, maintain a home, care for 2 special needs horses and 13 dogs, some of them special needs, AND have time to train said dogs!

And yet…  Of the people who borrow our kids on a regular basis, this is the feedback we get:

One finds our dogs more loving and sociable than her own  dog.

Another wants a dog, but wants one ‘just like’ ours, and by “ours”, she means ANY of the kids she borrows.

Yet another found Morty to be better behaved than her own, similarly sized Idiot.

Feedback from previously placed fosters was similar.

Believe it or not, the only reason Franky, Emmi, Gracie, Angus, Vito and Sarah can’t be certified as therapy dogs is because they live in a house where if food falls on the floor, it’s theirs.  Therapy dogs are supposed to be polite and leave it.

Well behaved (at least at other people’s homes), easy to walk, very sociable, mostly gentle, cuddly to anyone without being overbearing, and lest we forget, a blast to be around.

What is our “Amazing Method” that can bring so many misfits from such varied backgrounds, thrown together in a single heap, and have every last one of them be considered so well-mannered in public?

I have no clue what to tell you.  Honestly.    Bet you never saw that coming, did you?

My most favorite picture in the world, Christmas day, 2011.  If you count all the dogs, you will find 11.  Once has since passed, and 3 more have joined the family.  A family that plays together often, stays together, without leashes.  It doesn't hurt that we live in an area with plenty of open space to do this.  I think a walk with 13 is in order for Christmas 2013!
My most favorite picture in the world, Christmas day, 2011. If you count all the dogs, you will find 11. One has since passed, and 3 more have joined the family. A family that plays together often, stays together, without leashes. It doesn’t hurt that we live in an area with plenty of open space to do this. I think a picture of a walk with 13 is in order for Christmas 2013!




Two Princes

After posting Crazy Dog Lady, Why is William Medicated?, and mentioning the ongoing battle between Crabby and Willy, I thought I should get this one up as soon as possible to allay any fears that Willy and Crabby stalk each other around The Ranch, armed to the teeth, trying to do each other in.

The Crabby Man

William Achmed


Yes, there is a constant battle, but no, not in the way that you think.  Let me give you some examples:

There I am, sitting on the couch with Crabby and Willy decides he wants to sit with me too.   Crabby stretches out  so there’s no room for Willy.  Crabby then looks at Willy and laughs maniacally.  Willy is not pleased.

Now let’s flip this situation:  Willy and I are sitting on the couch and Crabby wants to join us. In this instance, Willy stretches out, leaving no room for  Crabby to sit.  Willy’s expression becomes a wide toothy grin as he looks at Crabby with knowing satisfaction.  Crabby then reminds me he has a paying job but Willy doesn’t.

In either case, the one who does not gain access to the couch looks at me in disbelief that I did not push the other off in favor of the one denied.  In either case, if the one on the couch should get up for any reason, the other immediately takes up all available space so the one who left has no room on the couch to return to.

Willy is still young and nimble.
Willy is still young and nimble.

Let’s now look at the situation where both Crabby and Willy are already on the couch and I join them.  The game is then played one of two ways:

1.  Crabby becomes uncharacteristically affectionate, holding me close, while flashing Willy a look of triumph; or

2.  Willy will position himself in my lap in such a way that Crabby can’t hold me, and in this case, it is Willy giving the “Take that!” look to Crabby.

This is the life I live.  There are no shouts, no fights, no aggression, just two men in competition, and I am the prize – at least I think I am.   As I have said in the past, for the first time in my life, I have men fighting over me.  Bummer is, it’s my husband and my dog.

Crabby's back giving him trouble again.  He's just getting old!
Crabby’s back giving him trouble again. He’s just getting old!

What if there came a day where I had to make a choice?  How would I choose?

Thing about Crabby and WIlly is they are so very much alike:

Both are pig headed, stubborn and opinionated.

There is only one way to do things, and it’s the way Crabby, or Willy, does it.

Both prefer a neat, orderly life, lead on a schedule.

Neither has ever been wrong a day in his life.

Crabby will not hesitate to look twice a pretty girl.  The first and only time I went away, Willy cheated on me, sitting in the lap of the babysitter.

Both feel that they should rest in high traffic areas (Crabby on the couch, remote control protectively secured, Willy in the doorway to the office) and everyone else should remain quiet so as not to disturb their repose.

A slight cold will have Crabby in his death throws, on the couch.  Accidentally bump Willy and he will shriek as if he’s being skinned alive.  In other words, they’re both kind of melodramatic.

If either gets an insect in his posterior, it can take days before his mood changes.

Crabby is prone to stress.
Crabby is prone to stress.
As does Willy.
As is Willy.

But there are some differences as well.

Crabby has pretty eyes.  Willy has liquid pools of pure devotion.

When I speak, all Crabby hears is “Blah, Blah, Blah”.  When I speak, Willy can’t comprehend a word I say, however, he hangs on to every word, clearly and desperately trying to understand.

When I come home, Crabby greets me with a “Hey.”.   When I come home Willy sings a “Roo Roo!” song for me.

If we get into an argument, sometimes, and without admitting any wrong on his part, Willy will apologize.  Crabby believes apologies are for people in the wrong.

Crabby will protect me against all evil, provided said evil does not come bearing scales or more than 4 legs.  Willy will protect me against all evil, provided it is in a level area, with clear sight distances, so he can find me (see The Myth Buster of Run A Muck Ranch to understand that part).

Crabby will defend the necessity that all movies should contain scantily dressed girls.  When Willy cheated on me with the babysitter, he threw up from the guilt.

Crabby can make fire.
Crabby can make fire.
Willy can provide heat when he cuddles.
Willy can provide heat when he cuddles.

Who would you choose if forced to pick between the two?

The Shark, The Sunny Fish and The Minnow



Morty is obviously The Shark.  He’s big and I will never forget the day I saw him snatch a bird right out of the air – like the movie sharks.

Slugger, with his freakishly large, flat, flipper, clown feet is clearly part fish.  His disposition makes him a Sunny Fish as opposed to a Sun Fish.

And little protégé Marcy, obviously she’s The Minnow.   I thought Slugger loved water more than any dog possibly could.  Enter The Minnow.  She’s a serious water lover.

We, more particularly The Idiots,  are incredibly lucky this year to have had rain.  These pictures are taken at what amounts to retention basins dug in the desert to collect rain water for cows.  If you happen to have seen the Slugger Re-Birthday video, ( at the 29 second mark, you will see Slugger running into the very same ‘water hole’ where this photo was taken, sans water.