Happy birthday, Brudder Ranger!

Mayzie: Yep! That’s right! It’s Brudder Ranger’s birthday! He’s NINE years old today! Can you believes it?


Ranger: Really? THAT’s the picture you chose to post for my birthday?

Mayzie: But it’s so CUTE! I thinks you look adorbs, Brudder Ranger!

Ranger: I don’t know…I’m sorry, did you just call me “adorbs”?

Mayzie: Yes! It’s a new word I learned. Do you like it?

Ranger: As I was saying, I don’t know why there is a moral imperative in this household to humiliate the family member whose birthday it is.

Mayzie: Well, you think THAT’s bad…guess what? MOM asked if she could say something about you on my bloggie today.

Ranger: What? Oh, Mayzie. Dear, DEAR Mayzie. Please tell me you denied her the opportunity.

Mayzie: Nope! I sure didn’t! Believes me, you’ll thank me later, Brudder Ranger. Okay, mom, take it away!


Thanks, Mayzie!

I can hardly believe Ranger is turning nine today, which means he’s been part of our family almost eight years now. I can’t believe that last part either, mainly because it seems he’s always been with us.


In our household, my husband is the voice of reason when it comes to the pets. That’s probably just as well since if left to my own devices, there’s a not-too-remote possibility of my ending up on that “Hoarders” show. So while I spent the first 12 years of our marriage talking about how we should get a dog, the hubby held firm. “It’s not the right time,” he always said.

Looking back on it, he was probably right. For many of those first years, we lived in apartments. He worked odd hours and I was heavily involved in community theater, which meant many hours away from home at night. Our lifestyle at the time just wasn’t right for a dog. And so we had cats, which I loved with all my heart. But I still yearned for a dog.

Years later, after we bought our home in Colorado, hubby agreed that NOW we could get a dog. I was over the moon! He spent hours on the computer, researching different dog breeds. He wanted a dog he could hunt rabbits with. I wanted a dog that loved to cuddle. He wanted a dog that was intelligent and easily trained. I wanted a dog that didn’t require TOO much exercise. We both wanted a rescue.

Finally, the hubby announced that he had narrowed it down to a rat terrier or a breed only found in France. After briefly contemplating a French vacation, we settled on the rat terrier. Once that was decided, I started researching breed specific rescues and found Ratbone Rescues. Although they are based in Florida, they have a network of foster homes throughout the U.S. We submitted our application but the first two dogs we were interested in were unavailable. And that’s when we asked about Ranger.

Only he wasn’t Ranger at the time. He was “Joe,” a 15 month-old dog in Texas. The picture on their website was grainy and taken from far away, so it was hard to tell what he looked like. But the description of his personality was pretty much exactly what we wanted. We began corresponding with his fosterdad, who explained that prior to coming into rescue, Joe had been well taken care of and socialized. In fact, his family had loved him very much but they had recently endured a tragedy and could no longer care for their dogs. He then included this picture and that was that!

ranger joe

After an interview with an adoption coordinator and a home check, we made arrangements to fly Joe — now Ranger — from Texas to Colorado. When we picked him up at the airport, I think he knew right away that we were his family. We took him for a much-needed potty break and then he immediately walked to OUR car in a parking lot full of cars, put his feet on the door and looked at us like, “Let’s go home!”

Dad and Ranger, not long after he came home.

Dad and Ranger, not long after he came home.

Ranger settled in with us like he’d always been ours. I always say he was the perfect “first dog” for us because he is just so EASY. Oh, sure, he can be stubborn as hell. And okay, he loses his freaking mind when the guy in brown or, well, anyone breaches the perimeter. And he has very rigid rules about dog protocol which he isn’t afraid to enforce. And yeah, sometimes he chooses to ignore something we’re asking him to do, with a polite but firm, “No habla Ingles.” I mean, he IS a terrier, after all.

But despite this, he’s pretty much perfect. He’s never chewed anything up. He walks beautifully on a leash. Off-leash, he never wanders far. He doesn’t bark incessantly and he happily sleeps in as long as we want. He gets along with our cats and for the most part, he’s dog friendly (as long as those dogs abide by the aforementioned rules). He welcomed Mayzie into the family without TOO much protest and I think his confidence has been one of the biggest factors in her progress. He’s just as content either going for a hike or vegging on the couch. Really, the only thing Ranger needs to be happy is his pack. While he’s not a lap dog, he loves to cuddle and, unlike Mayzie, he wants to be with us Every Second of the Day.

You're not going anywhere, right? And if you are, you're taking me, right?

You’re not going anywhere, right? And if you are, you’re taking me, right?

Ranger’s always been an old-man-dog in many ways. But in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot more white on his head, and he’s slower than he used to be. Rather than charging ahead on our walks, he takes his time, savoring every. single. smell along the way. Occasionally, I find myself getting annoyed with this slower, more deliberate Ranger. But to be honest, it’s probably more a frustration with the passage of time than it is with him. All of my pets have been great teachers and of course, Ranger is one of the best. At this point in his (and my) life, I think he’s teaching me to pay attention, to savor the moment, and to not go so fast that you miss the little things. And I know that in the years ahead, he will teach me many, many more things as long as I’m willing to listen.

Ranger and Mom

So happy, happy birthday, Buddy-Boo. We are so lucky that we’ve gotten spend 8 out of your 9 years with you and we look forward to many more to come! We love you more than words can say.




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39 responses to “Happy birthday, Brudder Ranger!

  1. Daisy

    That was beautiful. SHE says if we don’t shape up, SHE’ll trade us in for a Rat Terrier after reading that (but we think SHE’s kidding.) Happy Birthday Brudder Ranger. And you look better with the hat up, than down like the Feisty Three’s blog…BOL!

    Get lots of treats.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  2. Dexter

    It is always fun to get to know my pals better. Happy birthday, Ranger, you seem to have found just the right home.


  3. Happy Birthday, Brudder Ranger! Seniors are the bestest! We hope you have a most special day today with LOTS of treats!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  4. Happy Birthday Brudder Ranger. Your Mom had lots of nice things to say about you, in fact from her glowing description you sounds PURRFECT! Be sure to visit Friday, I has an impawtant announcement to makes. ~Fenris

  5. HAPPEE BARKDAY BRUDDER RANGER! (Well u ain’t OUR brudder butt we just sed that) You iz furry much a handsum dude an’now u iz the same age az Shiloh. We thank your mom fur tellin’us a bit more’boutz u.
    Shiloh’n The Diva Shasta

  6. Happy Birthday Brudder Ranger. You should give your Mom a biggggg kiss for saying all those wonderful things about you! We know you will have a wonderful birthday and wish you many more.

    Teka sends many kisses and deep, heartfelt sighs.


  7. Happiest of birthdays, Ranger! I am so glad that I have the honor of knowing you in pawson, and, best of all, I get to go on a Birthday Walkie with you and Miss Mayzie! You can be sure there will be some treats brought along to help you celebrate!

    Ear scratchin’s and belly rubs,


  8. Ranger…did you know your Momma loves you so very very much! The love just spills out of every word.

    Hap-Pee Birthday Ranger!!!

    (Now, where’s the cake??)

  9. What a beautiful post about Ranger, even the adorbs part:) Ranger, you are one very smart boy to have found your beautiful family to call your own. Happy Birthday from all of us!

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RANGER!!!! You have the perfect family that was created just for you.

  11. Happy Birthday, Ranger! You sound a lot like the Pippen with those silly rules! Hope you gets lots and lots of presents and treatsies!

    Sam and Pippen

  12. Frankie Furter and Ernie

    HAPPY HAPPY YAPPY BIRFDAY TO YOU……BRUDDER RANGER. We hope that you Celebrate your Special Day to the MAX.

  13. Happy birthday, Ranger!

  14. Happy Birthday, Ranger!! Enjoy your special day!!

    -Bart and Ruby

  15. Awww! Happy birthday Ranger! I hope you enjoy your special day and don’t have to don a single Santa beard for the whole 24 hours! 😉 Though I gotta, say, you look pretty dang cute.

  16. I like the part about him being a great teacher. I too get a bit frustrated sometimes, but this is a really nice thing to remember. And his baby photo…too much! Happy Birthday! He is a pre-teen now!

  17. Oh Goodness, that was such a great birthday tribute to you Brudder Ranger. I think you Mom kind of likes you a lot. Good story. We sure do wish you a very Happy Birthday you cute little terrior. Hope you get lots of extra treats and hugs today. Take care.

  18. OMD, Ranger! I didn’t know you were from Texas! And — and — and your birthday is the same day as my Gotcha Day! We’re, like, RELATED. That’s so pawesome!! Have a WONDERFUL birthday! You’re the BEST!

  19. Happy Birthday Ranger!!!! Your mom said some wonderful things about you….

  20. dachshundnola

    Happy birthday, Ranger! Thanks for sharing your story, it was beautiful

  21. ohmydogblog

    What a great adoption story! Happy birthday, Ranger!

  22. Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday dearest Ranger..(yep I called you dearest and you can share that title with your mom). What wonderful story of how you became Ranger and pack leader of the household. You were definitely meant to be there to look after your pack. MOL at barking at being perimeter patrol

    Hugs your BFFF Madi

  23. Will and Eko

    Happy birthday old man! Here’s to another nine great years!

  24. mommatea

    Ohhh Miss Amber dats wos most beeyooteeus ,n Mayzie wots a sweet photy yoo dids choose. Happi Barkday Ranger havs a good ones dude

    Uji,Izzy,Ziggy,Missi n Hiro

  25. Well, from looking at dat photo they sent you, I can see whys you went all bananas in the head and just hads to make him a pack member. Hubba hubba! BOL

    Oh Brudder Ranger, I is wishing you the bestest birthday that ever was to be!! I just had my birthday too. It was December 4th and I turned 4-years old!! But did The LB write me a nice bloggy?? Noooooo. But I digress….

    Happy Barkday Brudder Ranger and many more!!

    Your pal, Miss Fendi HoneyBuzz

  26. Happy Birthday

    Stop on by for a visit

  27. Happy Birthday Ranger! I hope you get pressies and goodies all day.

    Loveys Sasha

  28. Happy Birthday Brudder Ranger! You sure landed in the perfect place.

  29. Happy Happy Barkday to Brudder Ranger!!!
    Max and me wish you many more years of happiness and love wif your wunderful family. We LUVS you all!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  30. I can’t believe Brudder Ranger is 9 years old! Happy Birthday, Brudder Ranger! I hope you have an awesome birthday and everyone behaves and follows the rules!

  31. Mr. Brudder Ranger, we’re sorry we’re so late in wishing you a Happy Happy Barkday! You are just a young pup still! We sure enjoyed reading your story and we espeshully like the photo of you giving your mom a smoochy-face! We hope you had a super pawesome day!

    Luvs and Barkday Wiggles,

    Jackie and Mom

  32. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don’t look a day older than 56…in human years. Awesome photos.


  33. Happy Better Than Joe Day!!!!!!!!!
    I think it will lead to a pawesome weekend fur all 😉
    PeeEssWoo: I’m about to be THAT age ‘next’ time – of khourse, ‘they’ say I was Whitney – nice to meet woo Joe!

  34. Oh, Happy, Happy Brthday Brudder Ranger!! What a cutie you are!!

  35. Roo

    I am late butt I am here 🙂 Ranger buddy Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!! What a wonderful story Mayzie told on ya 🙂 My Grandpawrents chose a rat terrier too for their companion – they luved him dearly for more than 16 years. Wishing you many many many more wonderful much loved years with your fabulous family dear Ranger 😀

    Waggin at ya,

  36. cafall

    Happy Birthday, Ranger!


  37. Happy Belated Biwfday Bwuddew Wangew
    I know Daisy and the kittehs celebwated you in style..i loved youw stowy that youw Mom told..you awe tweasoowed and loved and I hope you have many many mowe wondewful yeaws wif youw family
    smoochie kisses
    please give some to Mayzie too

  38. Happy Birthday Ranger! (a little bit late…)

    P.S. You look very distinguished in your Santa beard 🙂

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