On July 26th the blessed event began.....
and kept going and going and going and........GOING!!
12 amazing little Doodles later,
Nala was exhausted and I was TERRIFIED!
Yes, Macey had had 11 puppies before but not her first litter and I was really not sure how this was going to go. Nala's delivery was so calm and she kept attentive to both the newcomers and the pups that were already born, I should have known that she was going to be the best mom.
After the delivery, we cleaned up and changed the bedding and Nala spread out her front legs around her puppy pile as if to get them all a huge hug and looked up at me and smiled. It was so sweet and I was simply in tears and felt so grateful to her!
After the initial visit to the vet--2 little quirts came out with an X on their backs with a warning from Dr. Bohl to keep an eye on them-the journey of making sure that each of these little doodes got enough to eat and Nala stayed healthy began.
For the first week, I did not help feed any of the puppies. On the advice from my friend Sandra, I just kept Nala very very well fed and happy and let her do the rest. She would separate the puppies into piles and just had such an awesome system. I just stood by and kept the squirts from getting pushed aside and had lots of food on hand for Nala. During this time I feed my moms what is called
Mother's Pudding-- It is goat milk, ice cream, eggs, gelatin, and vanilla pudding. I also stir in oatmeal, flax and pretty much anything that will help keep her calcium and energy up. I have a friend, Heather, who supplies us with our goat milk. Their milk is certified high in fat and fresh from the goat so it is premium stuff--also very good in coffee! (I have blogged about her before.)
She and I saw a lot of each other for these first 4 weeks! Which means that I did a lot of driving too since she lives about an hour away!
After about 8 days, it was clear that Nala was ready to let me handle the pups and was ready for some relief so I went out and bought a premi baby bottle, heated up some goat milk and took a seat beside her. As you can see by the photo, we still had a couple of squirts that we were keeping an eye on.
I would just grab a puppy and let it have an ounce of goat milk and then set it aside into a little bed I made for them in a tote so I could remember who got the milk and didnt get overfed.
That is what I did every time she fed the pups day and night for the next 2 weeks.
As you can see by that chubby belly and the full whelping box, Nala and I did a great job of feeding these doodes. Their eyes were now open, they were walking and ready to go out into the Puppy Palace.
Once Our puppies move out to the Puppy Palace, they are ready to start their socialization and environment stimulations. I give them little toys and other things to play with that make sounds and help them not only get used to the outside world but to calmly work through their startle and startle recovery phase.
This is also the time that Nala feeds them less often and I start feeding goat milk.
After we get the doodes eating on their own, they meet their people and are officially someone else's dogs.
I love selection weekend!! Meeting the people who we are raising these guys for really brings it all together. The families of this litter range from a single guy, several newly wed couples, a family pet and hopeful future therapy dog, a companion for a retired couple and lastly
Todd and I
When we got River and Nala we knew that one of their puppies would be for us.
When we sold River in December last year, we collected his semen so that we could have one last litter and more importantly--our new girl!
The vet clinic advised us to use all of our frozen semen so we had 1 shot to get our puppy and clearly, they did their job with the Doodle Dozen that we were given!!
Reign will be Ten Mile Creek Goldendoodles Generation 2.0
I snapped this photo not realizing that Macey was in the background.
It is really one of those "photo is worth a thousand words" moments with the
Past and Future together.
In a couple of years, we may be telling you about Reign's first litter.
In the meantime
Learning to train training
Just like the rest of the families from this litter we are loving it and having those
"what did we do"
Put in the work now and your Doodle will live up to the hype of being the best family dog available.
I dont know about you guys but I have definitely lowered my grooming standards since the
Shelter in Place
Working from Home
lifestyle changes went into effect.
I sent a friend a Snapchat the other day and thought "Holy Crap! Who is that??"
I have a previous post about how I am not helping out my
Kardashian friends with their bank accounts and
it remains............on a whole new level.......... TRUE!!
So, how often should you or do you bathe your Doodle?
I say: AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!
I am not talking about daily grooming like brushing, ear cleaning, checking nails or keeping their site line clear by trimming their muzzle, or maintaining matts,
but an actual bath.
Dogs have a natural oil to their skin and if we are constantly adding chemicals like shampoo or conditioner and washing that protection away, we are doing more harm than good.
Excessive bathing can cause skin irritation that will be really difficult to heal and get the natural oils to restore.
I do, of course, give them a little spa treatment
before they go home so they have that
new puppy smell!!
We give our dogs a daily dose of Salmon Oil.
We just buy a big bottle and
put a couple of pumps on their breakfast.
Ive seen recipes where you can make little treats with
coconut oil but I havent tried that yet.
So although our little Doodles love the water........I say take them hunting or swimming instead of to the spa!!
The first thing Todd said this morning is:
How on earth
is it June
How is everyone doing out there?
I have left my house for very few reasons since mid-March:
2- Dog Food
3- Post office to mail T.P. to Texas
4- Trip to the garden center
5- HOME TO SEE MY FAMILY!!!!!
Our daughter finally finished school and is home safe!!
So this weekend her and I made the trec home to see the family and attend the Graduation Parade for my niece.....which I think could be one of the great things to come from this.
It was so fun to hang out at a nice park and let the kids run around instead of stuck in a folding chair in a hot gym.
Even my dad behaved!!
Now we are home and I am back to my self quarantine.
I might be taking this a little more seriously than some but I just have too much to do and also......................I am claustrophobic.
There would be no greater hell for me than not being able to breathe!!!
I owe it to my employer who is trusting me to stay healthy and continue to do my job
I owe it to family to be able to enjoy this time together
I owe it to all the families who just committed to a new puppy to make sure that I stay healthy so I can raise their new Furry Friend the way I said I would!
I wish we could see this enemy that we are all having to hide from.
I think that it would be so much easier!!!
It has been really difficult to ask our friends and potential puppy families to hold off visiting for now.
this isnt the season in our lives to be able to bend our rules.
I have had several people ask me to come and visit the farm, to see us and meet the adult dogs.
I am so grateful that everyone is understanding and phone calls, our Facebook videos and Social Media posts are speaking for us.
We are excited so meet everyone,
from a safe distance, at the end of the month!!
When we were home, my mom held the new baby in the family for the first time, even though she works 2 blocks from her home.
My Grandma is 97 years old, stuck in her small room in the assisted living home that she lives in and she is so bored.......
The "littles" know that they have to stay home but not why so they just think that we are being mean......
Nothing sucks more than wondering if you give your sweet little munchkin a hug if you will be making each other sick!!
Like everything in our lives,
the Quarantine will soon be part of our past.
How we help each other through it
How we act toward others,
will be part of our new better selves.
What doesn't Kill Us
Will make Us Stronger!!
....just as certainly as your new puppy is going to Chew up your Stuff!!!
OK...........welcome to the Crazy Corona quarantine!!
These are such very scary times. We all know that in one way or another, we will be effected by this virus. The very uncertainty of how, makes every healthy day a true true gift.
I have always said
"I would love to be able to never leave my farm and stay home with my family and dogs."
Well guess what:
I WAS RIGHT!!! I am loving staying home. Not the why of how it came to be that I have to be here, but the day to day operations of working from home, the dogs and managing the house are all in sync.
Emma is not here which is extremely difficult for me but, she is safe and happy so I am sucking it up and taking it day by day...
I grew up in a very small town, population 147. Staying home with nothing to do was the norm. I was literally one of the "Home when the whistle blows" kind of kids. I am sure that I only saw my mom when she was in the kitchen making dinner. I saw my dad when I was helping him at the gas station or riding in his bulk truck delivering fuel to his farming customers.
Our lifestyle was our home. We had a small acreage outside of town where we had a few horses and a dog. We did not have sporting activities, vacations, out-of-town work trips or a million other things that took us away from home. Life was simple and to a young kid............boring as hell!!!
I am guessing that that last bit is why, over the past 2 weeks, I have had 27
(now up to 34 calls since I started this post)
calls or emails from people who want a puppy.......
TODAY. ...No Waiting.
Our website has had more visitors in the last week than in the past 3 months combined. In a way I was thinking that it would be great if I did have those puppies to sell but then, reality set in.
I saw a post on Facebook last night from another person we know who sells Doodles. She was basically experiencing the same thing as we are. Her message was the same as this one, WOW!, but proceed with caution.....
I really want to know that a puppy that we bring into the world is going to
Go To and STAY in a wonderful home.
This is why we live the way we do.
Day in and Day out, our dogs are the center of our home and when the puppies come, they take over EVERYTHING and we focus on making sure that we spend 8 weeks setting them up for a long happy life with the families who we send them home with.
The 2 comments that I have heard from almost every one of those new puppy buyers are that they want a mini-doodle because they will be easier and they are looking for a Doodle because they were told that they were good family dogs..............
SURPRISE--- I have an opinion about both of those statements!!
1- We want a MINI because a big dog is just too much for us.
OK-- If you are in the market for Mini-Anythingdoodle it is smaller but it by no means will be easier. Smaller dogs have a reputation for being more difficult to train, more independent and headstrong. My guess is that this might just be because the young, small puppies are just so dang cute, they are allowed to get away with things that a puppy 2 times their size just wouldn't. Then, as these "oh so cute" puppy behaviors turn into Problem Adolescent issues, they are suddenly very difficult to change. In the training video series that we use, they state that it takes about 3 minutes to teach a puppy something and about 3 months to correct or train an older dog.
If you get ANY puppy, line up a trainer Immediately. --YouTube is FULL of dog training videos. I still watch them every time I have a chance and I follow TONS of training pages on Facebook and Instagram. I will NEVER know enough about training these puppies..........or have enough time! ;0)
2- I was told a Doodle was a good family dog.
My response to this and any question that I get about dog/animal behavior is that it depends 100% on the home environment.
What the puppy is allowed to get away with and the overall skill set of the people who raise the dog are the primary factors in the way a puppy matures. Just like some Pitbulls are awesome family pets and some kill things. They didnt start out that way!
The breeding and genetics of an animal create an overall background of instincts
daily training, correcting unwanted behavior and consistency of expectations are what will directly impact your home, your family and your dog.
I have talked to people less than a week after they have brought home one of our puppies and their behavior is not even recognizable!
In both Good and Bad ways.
One of the puppies that we has last year was the biggest trouble maker of the litter, 2 days after she got home, I got a text that she was so calm, loved to snuggle and was friends with the cat!!!
I am SO excited for people to find their perfect puppy to spend this quarantine time with.
I agree that this time to train, and spend time with a new furry friend is a true gift!
My suggestion is just this:
Look forward to when we are beyond this quarantine..
Do you see your new puppy in all of your activities, vacations and life?
Then by all means..............
GET THE PUPPY!!!
Over the next week, our puppies will be going to their families and be dropped into a whole new world, a whole new set of rules and a total new way of life.
I start to panic during the last week of the puppy raising process wondering if I have done everything I can to have them ready to go.
There are 2 main things that are the most difficult for new owners:
Here is a website with some great resources and ideas for puppies to get accustomed to their crate.
These puppies have been in crates daily since they were 4 weeks. We do treats, separate, alone, long term, short term. None are particularly fond of the crate and some are having a harder time with it than others but all have been exposed so that the first car ride home or night in their new home, will not also be their first time behind the gate.
We use a litter box for our puppies. For the most part, they are now using the proper spot to go to the bathroom.
In their new homes, they absolutely will NOT! Nothing will be familiar and they just wont know where to go. But--it is normal for them to go to a designated place when they have to got to the bathroom. They just have to be shown where that is........about every 20 minutes, AT LEAST!!!
So get those boots and treats by the door because you will be needing them a LOT!
A puppy does not need free run of the house. I have been told by more than 1 trainer that they recommend keeping the puppy under the age of 6 months, confined to 1 or 2 rooms of the house. Especially in the first days. They are wondering where their litter mates are and trying to learn how to be an individual, that might be easier in 1 or 2 rooms.
The best thing that we can do for these little ones is to restrict their opportunity to make mistakes and never to provide positive reinforcement for bad behavior. I am sure I have told this somewhere else but I always think back to someone telling me that they were SUPER concerned about their puppy biting and nipping at their kids............as he was letting one of the puppies chew on his fingers!!!
I have 2 rules at our house:
1- Keep your dang fingers out of my puppies mouth!!!
2- Do not pet or pick up a puppy who is jumping or begging!!
These 2 rules begin the moment that they open their eyes and I Know for a Fact that it helps with impulse control in the long run. Do they still freak out and charge the side of their pen every time I walk in the room "Of course they do!!" Do they settle really fast when they see that I am only acknowledging the ones sitting back? "Oh Yes!!"
In one of our training videos, Jane says that about 3 minutes of training time with a 4-6 week old puppy is equivalent to several hours of training a 6-8 month old puppy.
The time you put in now will be what makes your dog part of the
"I heard a Goldendoodle would be a good family dog" pack. If that is your expectation, then you have to put in the work to make it be a truth.
IT WILL BE WORTH IT!!!!!
Here we go guys, it's the holiday season!! The leaves have fallen, the kids are well into the school year, and low and behold the retailers have merchandised for Christmas. Time keeps going by faster and faster. A few of our neighbors have put up their Christmas lights too.------OVER ACHIEVERS!!! (just kidding Paul) At least I can enjoy the fruits of their labors because we probably wont get ours up for a while!
We did attempt a leaf collection, well I should say Todd did.
After he got some leaves into a pile he came in the house and said "Let's get some pictures!"
I am so glad he took the time out so that we were able to capture the beautiful day!!
Most of the Pack
Selfie......or as we say Faceie!
I am thankful every day and continue to try and improve on my gratitude daily.
This post was "Fake It Till you Make It" in my head for the past couple of weeks but then I saw this saying on Facebook just before I went to bed last night and I thought
"That is definitely more me"
My life has had a lot of Face It Till you Make It over the past few years, primarily in my professional life.
On November 8, 2013 the corporation that I worked for did what I now call the "Big Purge" They removed over 600 people from their full time jobs in one day, including that of an amazing women who I worked with, Kathy. I so wanted to leave with her that day but I was not at all in a financial position to do so. I just knew then that I would work hard and the day would come that I would get my chance to change my situation but until then, I would work hard and CHOOSE my attitude.
My day came 3 weeks ago!! In July, I applied for a job in Student Services at a Technical College in our town. Just the change in drive time was going to have such an impact on my day from 26 minutes to 6!! The opportunity to work as part of a team of professionals again was more than I dared to dream about!! I got an interview and channeled my inner Badass--- https://jensincero.com/ -- I envisioned my new tea cup on my desk. I concentrated on what it would be like to work WITH students instead of watching them shop. I envisioned walking into my new boss' office to ask her a question instead of "logging a call" and waiting for days for an answer.
...I just DECIDED that I was getting that job.
I KNEW what my daily life would be like and
I HELD on until it became my new reality!!!!!!
Oh yes! You better believe it!! I got that job!!
I started this week and it feels like a lifetime ago that I worked at my old job.
I miss the people there but I feel such a sense of relief to be free from that company.
The POS system at my old job required temp and weather to activate a new day.
Everyday since the Big Purge,
I put Zero for the temperature and Cloudy for the weather condition.
On my last day, I was literally SHAKING when I clicked 85 and Sunny!!!!
At the end of August we lost a dear dear friend. Mike was our friend, drinking buddy, my husband's hunting and fishing buddy, supporter of all DIY projects, advice giver, amazing father, great husband to an equally amazing women, teacher, and so much more. The day we learned that Mike had left us was Move-In day for new students at the school I worked at.
Somehow, I did my job that day. I talked to people. Ran the register. Kept the store supplied and clean. I even balanced the register at the end of the day.
When it was time to go home, I had no idea where I had parked because the lot I usually park in was blocked off that morning and I was in shock. Eventually I found my car. Got myself home and was able to begin my grieving. Only a few people knew what was going on that day and that's the point.
You really DON'T KNOW what is going on in the lives of people who you know.
You really DON'T KNOW what is going on in the lives of people who you just encounter during the day.
Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode about the person who always answered
"How are you today?"
With a string of ailments and complaints???
That cashier at the gas station very likely has to go to the bathroom but they have to stand there and watch your kid pick out the flavor of gum they want.
Your co-worker may have just met the person of their dreams but you didnt ask them about their weekend.
The car riding your bumper on Hwy 65 at 7:38 am may have worked all night and is now late to take a final.
So...........Just remember as you go about your day and encounter other people.
You have NO IDEA what they are
Facing or Faking or Making.
Actually, Leighla is home from Medical School already. When we went for Emma's white coat ceremony and orientation, she was acting like her back legs where giving her pain to the point that she was quivering when she squatted to go to the bathroom. Our first concern was lymes so we all agreed that she needed to get home to the vet. The vet did the necessary tests and confirmed that the source of Leighla's probem was living with 2 Millenials!! The dog park, runs, daily walks and steps to Emma's apartment were more than this lazy princess' muscles were used to! .........and so, she's home, right now laying by my feet and Emma is without her roommate but hanging in there. Working SO SO hard but also a little lonely.
Before Willow's puppies left we had a few people out to see them. They were just meeting us, discussing getting a puppy and meeting our adult dogs. One family has never had a dog before and after doing a lot of research, the parents had decided to jump in. One person had just gotten a BIG job and had been thinking of it as a reason NOT to get a dog but some colleagues suggested that it may be the perfect time so she HAD to leave work. (Dont freak, she is a HUGELY intelligent person and will make the decision based on more than that........come on!!)
These little ones are all in their new homes now. It's been 3 days and we have not heard anything anything from their families so we are hoping that all is going great. I did get a photo of Charlie sitting on the couch with his 2 cats!! It always amazes me how quickly the puppies transition to their homes and new lives!! It is not always easy on the new owners and we really know that.
I am so tired most days that I can not even make it through the day. At the beginning of the summer I downloaded an app with a determination to do a 10 minute workout each day after work. So EVERY single day so far this summer, I do my work, close the shop, lock the doors and I set my phone alarm and then
I TAKE A FREAKIN NAP!!!!
Oh yes, I am not joking for even a second. I have never ever opened that workout app. I have an old sweatshirt that has a big ol blob of ink on it that I use for a pillow and an old blanket in my file cabinet that got spilled on and I lay down on the cement floor and I take a nap and it is the most totally amazing time of my day!!!
Self Care People!!!
If you have a new pet or are going to get a new pet, you HAVE to make sure that you have a way to safely put your pet away so that you get a break. I do my best to get our puppies used to a create while they are here but it is a different dynamic when they are alone in a new place. Knowing that the days that you bring home a puppy are going to be just as difficult as they are AWESOME and you are going to be tired. You have to figure out a way to rest. EVEN if it's on the floor under your desk..........
I love the look on Ottis' face in this picture.
SAVE ME NOW!!!
I have so much respect for people who come to visit us and are really thinking about the reality of their lives as they make the choice to get a dog or not. We honestly love to just be HOME. We do occasionally do things but to be quite honest, I just want to be home. Im not really interested in going out all the time. Im a great cook and dont even mind the clean-up. I am not a movie goer......if I am going to be expected to sit still that long, I am going to need some wine and a more comfy chair so...........Netflix/DVR/Amazon Prime all work just fine for me!!!
A night at home WITH our canine family is a treat. If you're getting a dog, that HAS to be your mindset too.
This is my niece and the puppies that my brother and his wife raise.
The day this photo was taken, we were all just sitting in the living room hanging out petting puppies. The rest of the kids were there and we were just "being" It was so great.
YES this is a family business.
My brother and his wife have Red Labs
My mom and dad have Brittany Spaniels.
My sister..........knits! (the smart one)
Not saying you need a dog for an excuse to stay home, relax, be with your family but.............why not??????
That is what my angelic 3 year old SPAT at me one day. What she meant is,
"Mind Your OWN Business"
"If it's not your business, it's not your fault"
is what popped out of her little Red, Angry, Raging toddler body.
This saying, along with
"I cant, I have that Thing at the Place"
given to us by the equally amazing Sarah Jane Buresh
has continued to increase in value as the years have gone by.
Recently I have been searching online for more puppy training and dog training websites, advice and experts to help me with my younger dogs River and Nala and also to help with advice for people and their new puppies.
As a dog owner, there is nothing I want more than to enjoy my time with my dogs and to know that the families who get puppies from us can do the same.
But, let's face it...... Just a easily as this little angel turned into a little monster, your puppy can turn from a fuzzy cuddling friend to a piranha puppy in an instant!
There are as many different online and local sources of information when it comes to puppy/dog training as there is advice on parenting. I feel like the best way to handle all of the information is to listen with an open mind and then do whatever the hell I you think is best.
So, this is where I tie in that quote.. Listen, Learn and then let everyone
"Mind their own Business" and you do what you are most comfortable with and are capable of.
Here are some resources that I refer to on a regular basis:
On Facebook there is also a Poop School page that helps with breeders who are pre-training their puppies and also individual puppy training.
Solid K9 Training: Bonkers
OK: Jeff is very very direct.
He is very experienced and has a lot of free content on both Podcast and YouTube. Again, this is a situation where you would listen, watch and do what is best for you.
Here is my experience with the topic he is discussing: Bonkers
Nala is our 1 year old poodle. She is doing a great job learning to settle, leash pulling is improving but she is a very excitable high energy poodle, which is why we love her. She has developed the most ANNOYING habit of totally freaking out when I am getting the dog bowls ready for mealtime. I add a supplement to their food so it takes a while to serve up and prepare 5 bowls. The ENTIRE time Im doing this, Nala has started jumping up behind me in the kitchen and barking like CRAZY. I did everything I had heard and knew to do, ignore her, put her on a leash and hold it to the floor etc etc but over the past couple of months this behaviour has only escalated and become a huge stresser for Nala and for me.
The moment she sees the food bowl, she goes nuts.
I wasnt helping her and that was making me nuts.
Monday morning I was preparing the bowls and she began her show.
I had just watched Jeff's video on bonkers over the weekend.
I reached into the cupboard and grabbed out a plastic cup and SLAMMED it down, just beside her. She stopped the freak out and ran into the living room.
(Jeff would say aim for the dog. I will not do that.)
Tuesday morning Same thing
Wednesday and today I got the food bowl out. Nala stood in the dining room. Calmly watched me prepare the bowls. Waited for me to set her bowl in front of her and ate eagerly as usual. I praised her like CRAZY!!!
Honestly, I got a little choked up, I am so relieved that this worked.
I have been trying for several months to change this behaviour that I felt was totally stressing out both of us and in about 3 seconds for 2 days........it's done.
Every second that you spend with your pet will have an impact on them.
Whether you are going for a walk, watching TV or at a training class, you are the only advocate that your dog has.
Always protect them and do what you feel is the best course of training for you and your dog.
It is Your Business
It will be Your Fault!!!
I know this post might be a little early but there were fireworks going off last weekend before the puppies left and I decided this would be a perfect topic to discuss.
Dogs are naturally scared of fireworks. The sound and vibrations effect them differently than humans and they just plain do not understand what the hell is going on. It is our job to protect them from injury, too much anxiety and worst of all running away.
Duke is the most scared of thunderstorms, fireworks and guns of any of our dogs. He never had a bad experience, he is just naturally scared of that noise. His preservation response is to flee into the deepest room in our basement. Our part in that has to be to make sure that he has access to what he needs to protect himself. By that I mean, I dont leave him locked in the mudroom, outside or in a crate when there is an event like fireworks, a thunderstorm or shooting going on.
He NEEDS to be able to flee to a safe place and relax.
Plan for your dogs protection during the fireworks.
It is just as important as planning the grocery list and beer run!!!
Be safe out there!
My farm is my favorite place to be. Cant wait to share what's happening here.