Dodging Bullets and Creepy Crawlers

Roxy is a hunter. If you looked at her body, you’d say, “Nah, I don’t believe it.” She’s pretty puny with front legs about eight inches long.

Believe it.

Dodging bullets and creepy crawlers

She has been known to take down grasshoppers and the occasional mouse. In the beginning of the summer, she had been outside for quite a while. I became concerned. There were plenty of rabbits around, so I wasn’t too worried about a repeat performance with the Coywolf. In fact, I haven’t seen him or his kin around all summer. Instead, there’s been an owl, who (no pun intended) has hung out for months. Anyway, I worried Roxy’s radio collar’s battery had died and she was off gallivanting somewhere. It happened to be trash day.

I found her all right. She stood over something furry and freshly killed judging by the blood in the grass. A young rabbit. Euww! I ran inside for two grocery bags, picked it up and tossed it out. What could I say? Bichons are known for their mad hunting skills. I couldn’t punish her. I checked her coat, but she was as white as the pure driven snow. Hmmm. I wondered about the owls.

A few weeks ago, I found her in the very same place, right on the edge of her dogwatch system standing over her rabbit prey. The owl flew from the thick green canopy when I walked outside later that day. Aha! Roxy must have scared it off and stolen the owl’s dinner. Then I stole it from both of them and into the bin it went.

Dodging bullets and creepy crawlers

Flash forward two weeks. I returned from a quick trip to California and arrived at midnight on Monday. All I could manage the next day was a quart of black coffee and the newspaper.

There it was. An article about Tularemia. I had seen a sign posted at the trailhead last summer when I went on an epic waterlogged bike trip around the Boulder reservoir. It warned (and I paraphrase), “Contact with dead rabbits with the disease could cause high fever and swollen lymph nodes. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.” The article suggested we call animal control for any dead animals in the yard. If we insisted on removing them ourselves, we should use a shovel and cover our bodies with long sleeves and pants.

What??? I’d been in a t-shirt and shorts every time. It had been two weeks since the “incident.” I looked at Roxy. Her eyes were clear and she seemed to be her old high-spirited self. The rabbits must not have been infected.

Bullet dodged.

I took a nap in the afternoon and Roxy cuddled with me. I scratched her fur and found a speck of dirt. She must have rolled around while playing at the kennel. She needed a bath and a haircut, so I made an appointment for 10:00 on Thursday.

When I dropped her off, the groomer said, “It’ll take about three or four hours.” I returned home and caught up with writing. I planned to get a lot done since it had been a short week.

At noon, the phone rang. “I have some bad news,” she said.

I thought about the tularemia symptoms and wondered if she detected the disease somehow.

“She has fleas.”

Her words struck me like shrapnel. “No!”

“We found a few eggs. They’re just like specks of dirt.”

I just about fell on the floor. I flicked the egg I found in her fur onto the bedspread!

She would give Roxy a flea bath and give her some kind of treatment. In hyperdrive, I asked about a zillion questions and she finally directed me to the Internet. Of course, that’s always a reliable source. Ahem.

The top search was a first hand story about a lady in England who had an infestation problem of monstrous proportions. According to her, I needed to vacuum everything that couldn’t be washed and then repeat it every day for two month. She used flea powder everywhere. I had cancer thee years ago. I don’t want to be anywhere near insecticide.

I imagined how many times Roxy had run through the house shaking flea eggs all over the place. It grossed me out.

It took seven hours to do all the work. Is this what my next month would look like? I’d have no time for anything else. I went to bed that night exhausted and depressed about all the cleaning ahead.

The next day, I caught up on writing and blogging, and planned on cleaning in the afternoon.

The phone rang. It was another groomer from the same place. “I see that Roxy is due for a visit. Would you like to book an appointment?”

I laughed and said she’d been in yesterday. “She has fleas.”

“Oh, no.”

Her reaction added to my already heavy heart. “So I guess I’ll be cleaning every day so I don’t get an infestation.”

She explained that soap and water kills them. “She got the Advantix treatment, right? You won’t have an infestation.” She explained that the eggs stick to their fur and she wouldn’t have shaken them everywhere. I was somewhat relieved since I washed all the bedding the day before. Hopefully that  tiny little sucker I found in her fur didn’t roll under the bed…

“So is Advantix a repellant or insecticide?”

“Insecticide. Don’t worry, she won’t get bites from fleas, ticks or mosquitos. August is the last month for treatments, so you won’t have to come back until she’s ready for another grooming.”

Oh, God. Apparently, I will have a freakin’ bug bomb running around the house on four paws for the next month. I hate insecticide. At least she can’t be infected by anything and I don’t have to spend seven hours a day cleaning.

Another bullet dodged, sort of.

In the meantime, I’m reducing the size of her yard. Her dogwatch radio fence can be changed by the twist of a button.

She’ll be only hunting for a warm spot to cuddle.

You’re welcome, owls.

Owl Thanks You

Have you ever dealt with fleas or other pesky pests? Have you ever seen an owl?

Bulldog Caption Contest Results are in!

Roxy had a tough time picking out a caption. There were so many good ones! She finally gave up and chose one from my hat.

A very intelligent dog.

There was another contest of sorts. Which photograph was the best one for the caption? The bottom photo won paws down.

And the winner is? Drumroll please…. dumdumdumdumdmudmdudmdudmdm…

Lisa from Life with the Top Down with:

“If Monday had a face.”

When Lisa takes a stand, it’s with a hilarious sense of humor. Check out and follow her blog. You’ll be glad you did!

This will be a monthly feature so there will be another chance to win in September. Thanks to all who participated!

His tongue knows how to hang loose on a Friday.

National Dog Day Caption Contest! Bulldog tongue hanging out

If Monday had a face. – Lisa from Life with the Top Down



Roxy has a quite the story for you on Wednesday. She almost got us into BIG trouble. See you then!

Click  for more adventures on the Wild Ride. I tweet tons @susielindau and love Instagram because photography.

How is your Monday going so far? Any big plans today or do you feel like my little bulldog friend?

National Dog Day! Caption Contest

While in Vancouver, I met this little guy on a water taxi. Once he settled into a spot on the floor, he let it all hang out. His tongue. The entire ride.

First, pick a photo. I couldn’t choose! Leave a comment and the best caption will get featured here on the Wild Ride. I’ll link you up.

Which photo do you like the best?

National Dog Day Caption Contest! Bulldog hanging out

Or this one?

National Dog Day Caption Contest! Bulldog tongue hanging out

Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Have a Wild Weekend. Yeehaa!

Only in California…

I’m back from my Epic Road Trip. There were a couple of California signs I had to share.

You’d never see this on a telephone pole in Boulder. Read it carefully. I don’t want you to hurt the poor little guy or gal. Don’t you think toucan bird is redundant or am I missing something?

Lost toucan sign in Malibu, California with warning of biting.

The next one definitely won’t be seen in Colorado anytime soon. We get our fair share of celebrities, but we’re a pretty laid back state and aren’t known for swarming them like killer bees.

Paparazzi free zone sign in Malibu

I wondered if someone would sound the alarm when I pulled out my phone to take a picture, but I escaped to take photos another day. Whew!

This one isn’t a sign, sign, but a definite sign we weren’t in Colorado anymore.

Porthole window in Malibu Farm Shop on Malibu Pier.

The shot was taken on the end of the Malibu Pier in the Malibu Farm Gift Shop. It’s not your average T-shirt store. You can buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle or a cashmere sweater for over a thousand dollars.

I didn’t see the toucan, but it could have been perched above us.

Have you seen any toucans lately or strange birds you’d like to take a picture of?

Click here for more Wild Adventures!


Fear of Earworms on America’s Birthday

flags at front door

Usually, I’m totally psyched about America’s Birthday. I’ve always looked forward to the 4th of July, but this year something is lurking in the back of my mind.

I am very afraid.

It all started a few weeks ago. I had an earworm. That’s not unusual. Many of us have experienced a song that got stuck in our heads, sometimes lasting for days on end.

You wake up and it starts. Later that morning, you hum the tune while in the car. The same song pops into your mind while taking a shower and at that point you may sing along.

Days later, the earworm becomes obnoxious. It torments you.  Attached like a shadow, it won’t let go. It makes itself at home. It finds a fold of gray matter, dons its headphones and tunes into one song. It smiles and stretches out. Then it does the unthinkable. That dang worm presses, REPEAT.

Most earworms don’t bother me. I’ve had old church hymns stick in my craw even though I hadn’t heard these particular songs for years.

fear of earworms on america's birthday

This was different.

I have no idea why this particular song stuck in my small cranium, but it did. Maybe I heard it sung during the NBA playoffs or the beginning of a Rockies game while flipping through channels. I don’t remember.

The Star Spangled Banner became my earworm. No lie.


It became so ridiculous, I started singing the goofy lyrics we made up when kids to make it more fun.

“Jose, can you see?…”

I know! While on our Epic Road Trip, I tuned into Pandora’s pop music list and it finally disappeared. Whew!

Now it’s the Fourth of July. I’ll actually hear it sung several times today. The thought of it seeping back into the dark folds of gray matter and stretching out like a parasitic house guest, makes me cringe.

It’s not that I don’t like the song, but I’ve probably heard it in my head a hundred times in the last few weeks. I’m over it.

I’m not sure how I’ll cover my ears and my heart at the same time. I might bring noise-canceling headphones.

This video is safe. It’s instrumental. Ha!


Happy Birthday, America! I hope you all have a safe holiday. Cover your ears, just in case.

What was your worst earworm? How did you get rid of it?

Click for more adventures on my Wild Ride.

Random Acts of Chat – He was kidding, Roxy

Funny photo man with dog and comic bubble

With several California trips on the horizon and a vacation in Vancouver and Whistler planned for the end of July, I had to scramble to book a kennel for our Bichon, Roxy. I’m not sure what the price per day is in your area, but it has gotten expensive here in Boulder. My husband, Danny, didn’t grow up with pets, but I know deep down he loves Roxy. Today, his love must have been buried just a little deeper.

After catching up with other blogs, I chatted with Danny about our vacation plans:

ME: I can’t believe how expensive the kennel has gotten.

Danny looks up from reading the newspaper and we lock eyes.

ME: It’s going to cost $33.00 a day to board Roxy and that’s with a 25% discount for booking her for more than five days and another percentage off for being a frequent boarder.

DANNY: That seems like a lot of money.

ME: I gotta believe it’s like fifty bucks a day to board a dog. That’s super expensive.

Danny stared at me while pondering. I imagined him calculating the cost of boarding Roxy over the next year.

DANNY: We should leave her at the kennel and get a new dog when we come back from vacation.

I laughed until my cheeks hurt.

Don’t worry, Roxy. He was kidding. 

Will you be boarding a pet this summer? Is it expensive where you live? Are you going on any vacations? Want to board Roxy for us?

Dissolving Bone, Wimping Out and Shaping Up

Hey, Wild Riders! How was your weekend?

Would you take a pill that dissolved bone?

dissolving bone

You’ve seen the commercials. Almost every drug has side-effects. My oncologist switched me from Tamoxifen, which can cause uterine cancer to Anastrozole, which breaks down bone. You can imagine I’ve been more than a little concerned. I picture a vinegar-like substance hitting my bloodstream. It rushes through my veins and arteries. When it comes in contact with my bone, Tsssssss, it dissolves it like acid. Not good, right?

I’ve become obsessed with everything that strengthens bone. I’m 5’4” and don’t want to lose any height. As it is, I have a hard time reaching the top shelf on tippy toe.

With all the calcification they saw in my breast tissue before my double boobectomies, (the radiologist said my boob x-rays lit up), I was reluctant to go back to taking calcium supplements. Instead, I’ve been on a calcium-rich diet. My oncologist also mentioned, weight-bearing exercise.

You might remember how I broke my wrist the first week in January. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? The fall could have broken anyone’s wrist, according to my doctor, but you never know. After being relegated to sitting inside my house for eight weeks, I hit the gym way too hard. My knee ballooned up like a basketball. I overdid it, so I cut back. Waaaaay back.

Have you ever seen a penned up mustang? That’s how I felt, without the mane.

penned horse

My daughter texted me last week. She has been taking classes to become a certified personal trainer. The next best thing to having a doctor in the family. She told me in order to build bone I needed to engage in weight-bearing exercises including quickness, speed, and agility.

Parkour jumping from ledge to ledge

Whoa. That sounded a lot like tennis and skiing. Parkour looks like fun though.

I looked it up. Walking, hiking, running, weight-lifting, tennis.


The next morning, I scheduled the ball machine. I couldn’t imagine sprinting again after weeks of taking it easy. Even though I had been on the exercise bike (which is NOT weight-bearing exercise), and had been walking, I felt weak.

Would I dog after the ball like an old lady? Would I injure myself in some other horrific way?

I quickly banished those thoughts. Geez! I’m a Wild Rider, after all.

The last person who used the machine set it so the ball would go straight up the middle. I sighed and set a big span. Yep. I would run for every random ball that was fed.

tennis player's racket turns into light saber

I felt like a Jedi warrior.

Soaking wet and out of breath afterward, I felt great. The true test was the next day. No pain. My knee was normal-sized. Wow. Ha!

I had been babying myself, BIG TIME

No more.

Danny and I skied on the first of May. I plowed through the moguls and hit the trees. Not literally, thank God.

Take a look!


view of A-basin from the top

The weather has changed once again and it will be a lovely week. Time for Wild Adventure!


Are you shaping up for summer? Have you challenged yourself recently? How do you feel about videos on the Wild Ride?