There is a pond in front of our house and as soon as the peepers start singing, we know that we have survived another winter!! I was so happy to hear them last weekend that I wrote it on the calendar and also got choked up when I walked outside and heard them! I yelled for Todd like the house was on fire............
Just wanted you to know the peepers are back.
Spring for everyone is always such a fun time. Relief that winter is over and the sun is coming can have a profound effect on everyone in so many ways.
Spring for us brings birthdays, our anniversary, hopes of driving to see family without bad road conditions and yes.........................PUPPIES!!!!!!
These little ones are from Leighla's litter who were born on April 6th. They are little chow hounds and have doubled in size in 8 days. I have not had to help Leighla feed the pups but I have been feeding her A LOT!
The first couple weeks before the puppies open their eyes, we really try and leave them alone as much as possible. I check their little razor claws daily to make sure that they dont need to be trimmed and there is a little neurological exercise that we run them through daily that takes about 45 seconds, otherwise.........they are just eatin and chillin
--on the heating pad of course!!---
Another fun project that comes with the
Peepers is the Poopers!!
I like to think of it as just a nice way to enjoy some quality time outside. Watching the dogs play, hearing the birds and animals start to come back to life!!!
I am surprised at how many of my little plants are starting to peek through under the snow.
It wont be long and we'll be out mowing green grass and the little puppies will be out running around!!
Im going to head out and take Willow and Macey for a little walk. Willow is sequestered to the mud room right now. She is in heat so just another fun factor in the strategic planning of who is where around Doodle Land right now!! Embrace the chaos I guess!!
Have a Happy Happy Easter. Be Safe. Enjoy the Loved Ones.
I will be for SURE!!
One of the things that is the most fun of raising puppies, is meeting the people and learning the new life journey of the new puppies that we are raising. The first thing that people say to us is "Isnt it hard to let them go?" Yes, we miss them but we usually know whose puppies they are from the very beginning and it is so exciting to share a puppy's milestones, struggles and achievements with their family. Also, if you EVER have the opportunity to see a little kid pick up their puppy, DO NOT PASS IT UP!!! I cry everytime!.
This is Cooper with his new boy Pete. Pete didnt think that he would ever have a dog because his dad has asthma. His dad came over and visited the puppies a few times and decided that he was not going to react badly to a doodle so in came Pete, very hesitant young man not to thrilled to have an entire litter of newborn puppies in front of him......Until his dad told him to pick the one he wanted!
This is a photo of our Macey the night that she got here. Macey is the most awesome, gentle and quiet dog but she had a rocky start. She was purchased as a puppy from an awesome golden breeder near our hometown, her family got divorced, the new girlfriend wasnt a dog lover so she put Macey on our hometown radio's Swapline (if you're not from a small town-it's a call in for sale hour "Hi my name is Chuck and I've got some bald tractor tires that I'll trade for 3 chickens, 3 bales of hay and an apple pie" --That kind of thing!!
Anyway, Macey was on the Swapline and my dad heard it. He thought that it was the lady next door who tied her dog to a tree and he wanted to get the dog out of that situation. I was home for the weekend and he had me call. Well, it wasnt the dog he was thinking of but it SURE got me thinking. As I drove back to Wisconsin, all I could think about was that dog. I called my Mom, she went and looked at her and brought her to their farm. My brother in-law then brought her to my Sister's house where she stayed for a few days before her husband brought her to Wisconsin and I met up with him and she FINALLY got HOME!!!!!
This is our
She was originally going to a family with a couple of little boys but then she got injured and ended up staying with us.
With an injury at this young age, we didnt know if she would be ok as an adult or not and didnt feel right sending her off to a family.
Willow has become a great family dog for us even though, again, we didnt plan for her!!!!
This is my friend's pit Ali with her granddaughter.
Having this breed of dog, I can say for CERTAIN, was never on my friend's list of thing to do in life.
Through someone at work, she heard about these little basically abandoned puppies and she immediately stepped up to take one in. They were supposed to be Mini-Pits, but quite obviously the "mini" part was left out!!
He has become the best child supervisor and friend!
The Poodle breeder who owns the stud dogs from a few of our litters was looking to re-home Leighla. The family who bought her as a puppy, decided that an energetic poodle wasnt for them.
I had seen her posts on Facebook about Leighla and I just kept telling myself, NO!, you do not need another dog. But I REALLY REALLY wanted to meet her.
One Saturday, she put on another post about Leighla still looking for a home. Emma was literally driving by their farm right about the same time. I called Sandra and then Emma and arranged for her to stop and see Leighla.
Well, as you can tell---they immediately bonded and now Leighla is heading to Medical School in July to be Emma's study budy.
This is one of my Mom and Dad's Brittany's
She lives in California now. Her owner called my dad while vacationing in Australia!! His wife saw a photo of her, she has a perfect heart on her forehead, and decided she was Theirs!! They called and said please hold her, I'll send you the money and come and get her when we get back. Of course my dad was leary of the story but the money came, they kept on checking in on the puppy and just as planned, the guy hopped on a plane from California as soon as they got back from Australia and picked her up. Clearly, she is enjoying life as a great family and hunting dog!!
Lastly I am going to introduce our
Nala came to us just before Christmas this year. She is an Apricot Standard Poodle and came to us, originally born in Missouri, from my cousin in Mississippi.
This winter my cousin called me and said that they were getting transferred back to England
(he and his wife are in the Navy) and that they were going to have to give up Nala. Their contract with the breeder said that they got first chance to take her but but if they didnt want her, would I give her a home.
--remember, I JUST GOT RIVER too-
Without a Moment of Hesitation
I said YES!!
Nala had 3 kids, other dogs to play with and a loving caring owner in my cousin and his wife. She is an awesome energetic little dog. She has adapted so well to living in Wisconsin--loving the SNOW! I know how hard it was for my cousins to give her up and for their children to lose their puppy.
We are working extra hard, on their behalf, to make sure that she is happy,
healthy and safe.
Last week I was going to meet someone here at the farm who was interested in one of Leighla's puppies. She wanted to meet Leighla and River and then decide if she was going to get on the reservation list. Over the weekend, she was at a ball game and someone sent her a text of some puppies to cheer her up. She asked a few questions and it turned out that her friend was getting a puppy from that litter and that there was one available. She said Yes!! When she called and told me the reason that she wasn't coming to visit, I was so happy for her and their family. I feel like these relationships with our dogs are in so many way meant to be and wether you find your canine companion from a rescue, a breeder, a facebook ad, a sign on the road...................whatever it is,
It is your story
It is your new pet
Yup, it's true. My aspirations are to be as chill and awesome as my Poodle!
I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I got 2 adolescent dogs at the same time...... ............................................IN THE WINTER ...... IN WISCONSIN!!!!
I knew having a male around here with these females would be a challenge but that we would figure it out, but it's come with some interesting challenges.
Throughout it all, Leighla has this habit of just sitting away from the chaos, striking her famous pose and silently watching.
Her eyes say to me "Girl, you just shuffle all these dogs around and when you get your shit together, Im here for you!!"
Im listening to this amazing book right now. It's called Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I love her honesty, bluntness and ability to bring up topics that I thought only I worried about. Im listening to it on CD and her voice is strong, determined and full of brutal honesty...she occasionally laughs at herself in the recording and it is GREAT!! If you are looking for a moral boost, I highly recommend it. Here is a link to her lifestyle website. https://thechicsite.com/
She is a Christian women and does quote scripture so if that would be something you dont want to hear.....Tufff!! Read it anyway.
Here's what happened this week at the Doodle Domain! Leighla and Macey are in heat. River, being a young male went TOTALLY insane! He was drooling, heart was racing, humping everything, pacing and literally shaking. In the evening, after about 25 walks up and down the glare ice driveway, I put him in his crate. He barked and barked and BARKED at one point, Todd went in there and yelled at him.......he actually took a breath but that was the longest that he was quiet. So, ice cleat clad boots back on and up and down the driveway we went. When we came inside I sat down beside his kennel and started hand feeding him treats. He finally started to calm down! (by this time I was sure he was going to have a heart attack) I didnt dare move so I grabbed Todd's overalls, used them for a blanket, pulled his sweatshirt off the chair and used that for a pillow. Yes, I slept right there, spooning the dog crate. Hello glamorous life!!!
I saw this photo on Facebook last week and I the phrase "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it" immediately came to mind!!
Some days I think we all feel like this hawk. The trick is to find the Joy in life, Grace to be patient with others and Appreciation for the ability to Fly!!
We bred Leighla to River on Monday and we hope to have some puppy news around the first week in March. The puppies will be due on April 5th and be ready to go home on June 5th. Stay tuned to the Upcoming Litters and Available Puppies pages for further updates.
Well, the sun is up so I am going to get bundled up and go take the RivMan for a walk and let Nala go play in the snow. The temp is down to -11 so we wont be out for long!!!
Stay safe out there!
I dont know about you guys, but here we are already starting to get cabin fever and we have some dogs who are getting it too!!
It's not easy to get yourself moving in the dark mornings or to stay motivated in the evening when it's dark all the time.
Add in an energetic dog and it's even more of a struggle!
We usually start our day before the sun is up, so my jackets and caps are all equipped with headlamps or small flashlights. It helps to obviously see around the yard but also, if Im walking one of the dogs it's a good warning to oncoming cars.
You can get these at Fleet Farm, Cabellas, Amazon and probably even Walmart.
I am told that having these on in town or housing development can attract some unwanted attention if you're not careful!!! Just be aware of how close to the neighbor's house you get and use at you're own discretion.
Here in the country, Im pretty safe!
Here are some ideas of ways that you and your dog can pass the time and stay occupied during the winter days and nights:
Dogs tend not only to shed in the winter but to get a lot of matts in their fur. Sit down on the floor and enjoy some quality brushing time with your dog.
Don't gag--- the picture is gross but so is a dog with an ear infection. My poodles seem to always have dirty ears or even ear infections. I dont know if they just have weird ear canals or what but Im always cleaning their ears. We also trim nails a lot. Not that their nails always need it, but they can earn a treat if they sit still and when they need it, it's not a huge battle,
............well unless it's Duke!
As you can see from the action shot here, there is always room for improvement when it comes to training.
In the evenings, we try and keep the dogs engaged in some games like "sit stay" retrieving or just play. I remember one night last winter it had been cold for days and we were all going CRAZY, I just geared up and took the dogs outside and jogged in circles in the driveway with a pocket full of treats to keep them chasing after me.
Of course, Duke did it for about 5 seconds and then stood in the middle of my route and barked at me for not giving him treats too.........but hey, he was also entertained!!
Read books with your dogs!
Here's Molly after she had given a clear sign to her family what she thought of their Goldendoodle training research!!
It is true that after work, we definitely want some chill out time. Make that time more enjoyable by giving your dog some kind of exercise or a short quick training session. 3 minutes can be long enough to get the dog thinking about something other than destruction!
......although at this puppy stage, they are always looking for the next good thing to sink their teeth into.
I find myself more shocked if I catch them NOT getting into trouble!!.
Our favorite teething product is a kong stuffed and frozen or marrow bones from the butcher shop. We keep them frozen and only let the dogs play with them for a little while. I also re-stuff the bones.
My kong/bone stuffing is: Pumpkin, kibble, peanut butter and oatmeal. I stuff a bunch of old bones and toys and keep them in a bag in the freezer.
It works great for times like right now. I just caught Nala counter surfing in the kitchen but she now has a bone and is hanging out beside me instead of chowing on the leftover pizza box!! ......Win Win
Include your dog in your holiday decorating!
Our dogs and puppies are a huge part of our families. Here you can see that Sweet Pete definitely has an opinion of what the family decorations should look like, he even added his own signature look this piece!
Our dog Hank used to LOVE popping Christmas bulbs. He would take them off the tree, pop them in his mouth and walk away like nothing had even happened.
Last night I could hear Duke barking like CRAZY while I was outside with River. I thought he was just mad because he wanted to come out too, so I didnt go see what was happening. He was yelling at Willow who was eating my reading glasses!!! Willow is almost 4, she hasnt chewed up anything forEVER but I guess the glasses were just suddenly too must to resist??????
Is it Spring yet????
Go for a ride!!
Another thing that we are trying to get better at is taking the dogs with us when we are going for a short trip or running into town. We did a couple of things last summer and we were half way ther and said, "We coul have brought one of the dogs with?"
It not only gives them something to do but it helps them get used to riding in the car and not being terrified that they are always going to the groomer or the vet.
Todd had a little road trip to make today so he brought Willow with. She got to go for a ride, do something fun and new. She got to be around different people ........and Im still made about the glasses so it got her out of my way for the day!! Win Win WIN!! ha.
Anything you do will help your dog behave better and your winter evenings will be more enjoyable.
Also, going for a 3 minute jog around the driveway with the dog just might get you out of doing the dishes!!!!
Most of all... the winter will go by faster if you and your dog are keeping busy.
We've been looking for a sire to our puppies for some time. With all of the different combinations of Doodles, it took some research and some genuine guessing to decide what male best suited who we are and what puppies we want to raise.
Because of the great temperament, intelligence, long lifespan and just overall great awesome doggie-ness..........
We found an English Golden Retriever to call our own!
River's dad is a 5 year old gorgeous, stout and quiet mannered dog. He was imported from Serbia and is now living in Michigan.
We can see the intelligence, calm manner and awesome conformation in this young guy already and are excited to see him mature and grow with our family!!
We just hopped in the truck and zipped right over to where he lived and picked him up. I mean who doesn't just go on a 1300 mile road trip to get a dog??
Well, if you had tasted the pasties that we had along the way, you too would seriously consider it!!! Also, Emma--- Nothing like surprising your daughter and asking her for dinner on a Saturday night!!!
River is just 7 months old so he has some growing and maturing to do. We are going to start him off right away in some puppy classes in order to get him caught up on his socialization and instill proper behavior. Todd is waiting for this rain to stop and is excited to get him out in the DNR land to check out his bird nose! Already, he and Leighla have been getting to know each other. They have been out running around the pasture and Leighla seems to think that he is her personal play mate. It is going to be so great to have the parents of our puppies be friends and know them both so well.
Now the work begins:
River was definitely not a Puppy Culture puppy. He seems to have basically spent the first months of his life in a kennel. He has great bloodlines, has been properly vetted and fed nutritious food and supplements but he has not been socialized or humanized at all. Every second that Todd and I have spent with River in the last 36 hours has been a learning experience for all of us and a very very profound realization that the way we raise our puppies is so dam worth every second of our time. River seems to be especially responsive to Todd. I am quite certain that he has never met a man before and it says a lot for his temperament to be attentive to a man. We are basically starting with him as we would our 3 week old puppies by allowing him startle recovery, escape route back to his kennel when he gets scared or needs some time. We hope that by introducing him to Macey and Leighla we will speed up his learning process and increase his confidence.
Today I put him and Leighla out in the pasture and I truly believe with all my heart that I saw that dog run for the first time in his life. What I also witnessed was without a doubt a huge smile come over his face. I was absolutely in tears. He and Leighla took off running, he looked back at me and gave me a look that I will never forget. Now, more than ever, I believe in our process and mission to raise a great family dog.
.........speaking of the little dude, I have to go check on him and get ready for work.
https://www.puppyculture.com --- The training protocol that we follow. (try our best to anyway!)
Macey's puppies are all moving home this weekend.
People ask me if it's hard to let them go or if it makes me sad.
It is true, it is a very emotional time but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and also a little worry.
Did I train them as much as I could have?
Did I give the families enough information, or too much?
Will the puppy learn the new house rules and be trained properly?
Did I miss anything??
I guess you could compare it to leaving an infant with a sitter or new daycare for the first time. Basically, I wish I could just transfer everything in my brain, to the family!!
When Ruby's family picked her up yesterday, they mentioned that they had been reading training books and learning how to raise a puppy. Croix's new mom seems to have an entire village of people to help and support her. Knowing these things made is all the more exciting and easy for me to know that these guys were off to a new awesome loving environment!!
I've been hearing a lot about Goldendoodles that are starting to get a bad reputation for bad behaviours and I believe that it is because they are so darn cute as puppies that we allow them to misbehave and unintentionally reward them for bad behaviour.
It's cute to let them chew on fingers.
She jumps up. She gets picked up.
He cried in in crate so I let him out.
They're too young to potty train.
These actions are SURE to turn your lovely puppy into a terror!!
When a puppy is 8-14 weeks old, they are like little dried out sponges and absorb everything very very quickly.
A 30 second training session with positive rewards at this age, is equivalent to an entire course as an adult.
It is so important to make sure that they are absorbing good, positive ways to act now so that there isn't corrections or modifications to make in them as adults.
There are many many resources for learning how to take care of a puppy and how to teach your puppy the rules of your household and how to mature into a great family pet. I listen to audio books in my car that I get from the library, watch YouTube videos, follow a bunch of facebook groups and do A LOT of googling my questions and talking to other people who have pets to learn as much as I can. None of these resources are flawless, none of them are 100% right for everyone. Learn, read, and listen and then do what's best for you, your family and your dog and you will have the best Walking, TV Watching, Meal prepping, Bed warmer, Car co-pilot and Lifelong friend that you can ever imagine!
Good luck out there!!!! Gotta go hug my dog(s)!!!!
Macey's puppies are just beginning their 6th week.
I cant believe how fast it is going by!!
Meeting all the puppy families over the past few days was such an awesome experience.
I am overwhelmed at the great people that these little guys are going to get to spend their lives with!!! I even had a few of the selections picked correctly!
One of the fun visits was when John totally surprised his wife on her Golden Birthday to pick out a Goldendoodle!.......He set some big expectations for the next milestone!
Kelsie was having a difficult time keeping the puppies from turning her hair into a Maypole on Friday night during her visit!!
Over the next couple of weeks there are some big training and experiences that I want to make sure that the puppies get.
Some of these include:
1- Crate training. They seem to really love the crate, until I put the door on! Tonight I had each puppy in a crate for just about 30 seconds. It went fairly smoothly. We'll continue to work on this daily.
2- Biting. These little dudes are teething. No way around it! I am continually adding new toys and changing their environment so that they stay interested in chewing on things they are SUPPOSED to and not my shoes, ankles and hair.
3- Beginning grooming. Most of the new owners and I discussed grooming during their selection visits last weekend. I have been trimming toenails since about their 3rd day of life and continue to do that. I also brush them and have a little trimmer. Once I get them used to the sound, Ill be trimming up the top of their muzzle.
4- Bravery. Now that the puppies are strong and can get in and out of the pen better, we're gong to start going on longer walks around the farm. This is a great confidence and bravery booster.
Well, speaking of these little guys, they are waiting for their bedtime snack and final playtime of the day!!
As the locals say............ Im on Holiday in Europe!!! I love a lot about this country but the #1 thing that I love here is how they treat their dogs!!
When we were in Amsterdam, our hotel was full of dogs. At first I just thought "man these people really groom their dogs so good" then, I found out that the World Dog Show was going on. Our hotel was full of some amazing looking dogs. There were a couple of Great Danes that you just had to stop and admire. There was a naked dog and one with just the hair on the head and tail. The trio of Husky's that were there were nothing short of majestic. All of these dogs were in our hotel, just hanging out with their owners, walking around and no one even gave them a notice. There were dogs in restaurants, the bus, and at all the attractions.
When we moved on to London, it was exactly the same way. The family dog was just that...........part of the family. Again there were dogs in the hotel, the bus and everywhere on the streets. A lot of shops and restaurants have water bowls out for dogs and no one would ever look sideways a someone for entering a store or shop with their canine companion.
We are now in Scotland at our final holiday stop. The first night we arrived, we walked into a pub and YOU KNOW IT-----there was a little Scottie Terrier laying right inside the door by his owner happy as can be. When it was time to leave, he crawled under to booth and didnt want to leave.
I am so anxious to get home and see my dogs. I am missing them a lot and of course a little worried about Macey getting so close to her delivery date. I know they are in good hands so I know I can make it another 2 days before I get to see them. I just wish that they could be in an environment where they could accompany Todd and I to more places, go to Madison on the weekends to visit Emma and be a larger part of our daily society.
One more thing we need to lighten up about in the good 'ol U.S.A.
.....I have some cool pictures to add to this post but it's too hard to do on this borrowed computer. so come back and read this again later in the week and see the pictures from our trip!!!
You do have to clean up after you dog though They make that really clear too!!
My brother called me about a month ago and said "your neice is looking for a place to stay in July" I immediately started thinking of my Sweet Adorable Innocent 2 1/2 year old niece who I get to see about 3 times a year for a minute at holidays...........YES of course I'll take her!!!!
Sunday morning went absolutely AWESOME!! We played with toys, went swimming and had so much fun! Around lunch time we loaded her in the car and went off to do some errands and grocery shopping. Being the prepared wonderful experienced child caregiver that I am..........I grabbed a sippy cup too!! We went shopping, got her a couple of healthy treat options and headed to lunch. The restaurant we wanted to go to was closed so we headed to Stillwater. About half way to Stillwater she PUKED up the applesauce I gave her all over herself and her carseat! Oh man, it was bad. I had NOTHING along! Not a wipe, extra pullup just that dam sippy cup. So we road like that sad baby, gagging Sherry and helpless Todd driving us slowly through Lumberjack Days (of course) to get to my cousin Amy's house. Amy wasnt home but her hose was so we sprayed off the kid and the car seat went to Kohls where her and I waited outside and Todd went in to buy her a new outfit!!
Im thinking "Holy holy what did I do. This is ONLY Sunday!"
Throughout my week with my little toddler I just kept thinking about all of our puppy owners out in the world and I know that most of you probably feel like I did this week. Overwhelmed and second guessing how great it was to get a puppy!! Most of the puppies are probably still in the major chewing and biting stage. This stage can be one of the most difficult to manage because they can and DO chew on everything. It will pass, just like my niece is going to seem like a teenager by the time I see her again at Christmas.
But in the meantime: Let's face it . IT SUCKS.
There are a million suggestions on the internet and YouTube has some great videos to help with showing some great techniques.
But the bottom line is that you have to spend the time with your puppy NOW in order for you to have the
Great With Kids
Wonderful Family Dog
We Take Him Everywhere With Us
People LOVE our Doodle etc etc
Our Leighla was brought back to the breeder by the family that adopted her because they said that she was not good with kids. Leighla is EXCELLENT with every human and dog that she comes in contact with. When my niece was here last week, she didnt move from her side. She sat while she played, she followed her around the yard and she would have slept with us had I let her. I dont know the family or their circumstances but I do know that maturity, time and training has produced an superior family pet in Leighla and it will in your dog too. Dont give up. Spend time with your puppy. Take them to training classes. Find people with dogs to interact with.
Before you know it, your puppy will be an adult dog and you will barely remember the biting stage other than your favorite shoe that has the chew marks left on it.
Today, my niece is home with her family and I have toys to put away, laundry to do, a mess on my desk at work and a MILLION memories of an incredible week with an awesome little human!!
It goes by too fast. Hug the baby. Hug the puppy.
Somehow over the past few months,
I seemed to have re-gained the weight I lost last year.
Im going to call it the Puppy Pooch because I know exactly what I did..or didnt do to add this weight back on my body.
I didn't prepare meals or food for me and Todd while I was cooking up all those sweet potatoes and chicken feet for Leighla and Willow. We ate things like, frozen pizzas, chips and salsa, granola bars, Jimmy Johns and To Go Chinese food instead of veggies and healthy meals.
.. And wine!! You know, just a glass (or 2) in the evening.
I actually just went in and added Meal Prep to the Getting Ready for Puppy tab on the website. It might seem crazy but these little guys take a lot of time and attention. It's the only way that we can make sure that they will be well adjusted adult dogs.
As we are now, almost, puppy free around here. I decided to do some meal prep for the upcoming busy week. Then...........I got a craving!!
-- What else would one make when they need to lose some weight right???
I thought it would be fun to bake up a batch of caramel rolls and surprise a few friends of ours with some fresh baked treats this weekend. My mom makes that ULTIMATE caramel rolls. They are light, just perfectly sweet and part of all the holiday and family events that I can ever remember. I grew up in a small town, Storden Minnesota, population 147. If we wanted to eat it, we cooked it!!
The Norwegian, Swedish and German women of the Lutheran or Baptist churches in that little town could cook like no other!!
So either Im just really homesick right now or truly needed some good ol baked up goodness. I whipped these babies up!!
Here's a picture of the finished products.
Now I need to go find some salad ideas for the rest of the week!!
Have a great week everyone and
HUG THE PUPPY for me!!!
My farm is my favorite place to be. Cant wait to share what's happening here.