Friday, August 29, 2008

Hallie's borrowed dress

We borrowed this lovely dress for Hallie so that she could spend time with her puppies and dry up at the same time. Piniella used to tell her puppies to quit nursing (in no uncertain terms) but Hal will just stand there forever and let them nurse. Pam was nice enough to lend us this lovely and fashionable frock - I think Hal decided she'd rather stay in the house than be embarrassed and miserable in this hot, blue sock-dress. It sure worked, tho - the pups gave up and left her to go play.

Skip's visit

A funny thing happened to Sable the other day when Skip and his sister Lori came to visit. We visited in our garage where Sable could hang with Skip in his power chair and Lori could see both Sable and the puppies. I brought out the pups a couple at a time and all of them greeted Sable the same way ~ by trying to nurse. Sable was pretty patient for a while but then she growled at them. Skip said that in the 10+ years he had Sable - that was the first time he ever heard her growl!

Skip is greeting Mallory who was not at all phased by the heavy equipment!

Somehow, I didn't get a photo of Lori who was visiting Skip from the Palm Springs area. It was great to meet her and terrific to spend more time with Skip. Sable enjoyed the visit, too. Skip brought me a gift that I'll have to take a picture of and post on here - it's particularly special!

We heard from Dennis (Hal's pup) today!

Sherry checked in with the following:
Hi All,

This is an update on Dennis. Dennis is still in AT in NE. Hurrah !!! Just got his latest report that said the following "Dennis is progressing, can be goofy and mouth your hands at time. Gets along great with other dogs. We are still working on the retrieve and he is progressing."

I'm thrilled that he is still there because of his crate/kennel issues, I thought he would be released after the first week!! But he has settled in very well. I have attached a picture that was sent to me from NE of Dennis at the new NE center. I had a friend check and she said that Davina is also still in training at NE. I was so surprised to meet Davina at turn in last May because she is half the size of Dennis. She is very small but other than that they looked a lot alike.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the D's still in training.

Note from Patty ~ Hooray for the new NER Miller Campus in Medford. I have been to the former campus and just about anything is definitely an improvement. I'm sure the new facility will turn out lots more service dogs! Thanks Sherry for sending the info and the note.
I did hear from Diora's puppy raiser. Diora is still in AT at NWR and is doing well ~ Helen said she is very proud of her!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I am so behind!

I don't know where this week went, but it's almost over and I haven't posted a single baby photo. So, here's a single baby photo as a teaser. One of our friends and fellow puppy raisers, Kathy (yes, another one!), came over to see the pups. Here, she is holding Mason while Monroe, Molly, Martine and Marilyn stand by for a turn in her lap.
We found out today that Monroe will be staying here in the GRC with another Kathy - still waiting to hear about Marilyn, Mason, Mallory and Molly. We know that Martine is going to North Carolina - gives me a reason to visit my friend Gail in Charlotte and maybe meet Martine's new PRs. Mako is going to Boston and Morrison is going to Virginia.
The pups are just wonderful. They seem easier than previous litters - happy, quiet, and good poops (fingers and paws crossed). Hopefully, I'll get some more photos up tomorrow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Golden Advertisement

This isn't one of our Goldens, but a nice looking one, none the less!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So, I tried to get some work done...

Along with moving the puppies outside, comes cleaning up the area inside... So, while I was moving stuff around, Izzy kept herself busy.

And, since we couldn't locate the mud hole right away, she had a bath not once, but twice - I could have taken the exact same picture the second time around... Never a dull moment!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Busy Weekend, Big Move

I headed off to Santa Rosa on Friday afternoon for NWR graduation. They have a great Friday night reception which is a fun opportunity to see a lot of the friends I have gotten to know over the past 10 years. We had our usual "post-reception" get together in our favorite hotel lobby and then called it a night.

I helped with turn-in photos on Saturday morning, then let Izzy run in the play yard and headed for graduation. After about 30 minutes of visiting, Izzy and I decided to head home to help Dennis - so we sort of ditched graduation... I'm sure we weren't missed - there was a big crowd!

When I got home, Dennis and I began transforming the ex-dog-run turned-chicken run-turned dog run into the puppy run. Even though they aren't quite running all that well - I'm sure you'll agree that they needed more space.

Here, half are sleeping and half are playing. They are fluffy enough now that it's hard to see who is who in photos and my memory isn't good enough to remember whose photo I was taking!

It's pretty warm in August where we live, so the puppies discovered that taking a dip in the water dish was a great idea. Some dipped their head and ears....

And some, just climbed in for a nice, cool nap... that's Mason in the water dish.

After the dog run got converted - doors off hinges, x-pens to protect pups from electrical outlets, toys all washed, gates installed, and "hurry" areas filled with pine shavings... we moved the pups into their new quarters.

This probably looks like a much larger area then it really is but their area is now "L" shaped with half of the "L" inside and connected to the garage while the other half of the "L" is the outdoor portion of the dog run along side the garage. The outside section is on the north side of the garage and has a roof over it - so, not too much sun/heat. The indoor section has an air conditioner, just-in-case.

NEW toys to play with!

Outside, we have the ever-popular Clifford, the Big Red Dog stairs/slide/hiding place, a skateboard, some toys and a very big hurry spot.

I believe they sniffed every square inch of the place before they relaxed and took a nap.

Later on that evening, Hallie went out to check on her pups. She fed them, then played with them and their toys. I think the toys are the main attraction.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

oh, these babies are soooo cute!

The pups are now starting to play with "things" in addition to playing with each other. They got ahold of this towel and were biting and tugging on it.

Here's Morrison, sound asleep in the corner. Hardly seems comfortable

Mason fell asleep in the food dish while others were wrestling right next to him.

Martine met skippy up close. Skip has been following the progress of the pups from afar. This is the closest he's gotten to any of them up til today.

The pups starting getting food this week. Four weeks is the "magic" number, but we started a little early mixing goat's milk, water, and ground up puppy food - also known as weaning formula. I was a little concerned because Halor thought it was time that the pups nurse from her while she was standing and a couple of the pups weren't quite tall enough. We started with just supplementing two smaller pups, but they caught on and the others were quite interested - so now, they are all experts at lapping up gruel.
And now, introducing the "M" litter - born, July 11, 2008, and 4 weeks old:









Monday, August 4, 2008

Moving Day!

You can probably tell that the babies are getting pretty big. Usually, when they hit three weeks, we expand their living area from four feet by four feet to four by eight. Below, you can see their new and improved home that we put together while they slept happily in the bin.

A few of the pups have climbed across the 4 inch high wall - but once over there, they can't figure out how to get back. In a couple of days, they'll be going back and forth without a thought.

Here, some of the "M"s are playing and some are snoozing. The red square is a reuseable ice pack which they like to sleep on. In the far left corner is a frozen water bottle - another thing they enjoy. It's pretty hot outside and probably in about the mid to high seventies in the house but they still seem to get warm and enjoy these cool things.

Over the weekend, it was also moving day for the chickens. We now have an extremely DE-LUXE enclosure for the chickens and they are learning to sleep in their little hen house. Our friend Jose' built us this terrific chicken estate. We're now trying to figure out a catchy name for the entire abode.

From this distance, you can see the entire structure. It's about 10 feet by 15 feet and the girls seem really happy now that they are out of the dog run and out in the dirt. Now, we have to transform what was the "chicken run" back to it's original clean dog run status.

This video is for Hallie and all of the other great mothers out there...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baby photos

I could have taken this exact same photo about 30 times since Wednesday night when Izzy came home. She is fascinated by the babies and just stands in the nursery staring at them. She hasn't once tried to go through the door and Hallie has not corrected her but she is just plain amazed that there are babies in the house. I think Izzy had a terrific vacation with Kerry and Paul. I get the feeling she might have been the center of the universe for a few days and really liked it. I know she got to go swimming with her uncle/father/grandfather (Sequoia and Kittredge - fill in the names wherever you think they fit - it's a little confusing in this tight knit family.... )

This is our friend Dailyah and our littlest puppy Marilyn. Marilyn is half the size of her biggest brothers but still a pretty cute little pint-size Golden. Dailyah and I have been friends for a number of years and it was great that she was able to stop in to see the babies. Several years ago, we fostered prison sisters before they went off to jail (Geralee and Galaxy). Geralee is a hearing/facility dog in Santa Rosa and Galaxy is a hearing dog in Virginia. Dailyah graduated with her service dog, Kasten, at the first graduation I attended in November of 1999.

This is Monroe - the turquoise puppy and the lightest in color.

I guess this must be "Wrong-Way Charlie!"

Hallie is the most terrific Mom. If I've said this too many times - well, it's just because she is so good, it makes our job as breeder/caretaker so much easier. She is so patient and gentle with the babies that it amazes me all the time. Today, we had had "one of those mornings" when a couple of somebodies pooped and everybody somehow got involved in the mess. So, everybody got a little bath in the sink. After cleaning the pups and putting them in the stand-by bin, I replaced the fleece in the puppy pen. When I came back from the laundry room - there was Hal - laying in the puppy pen all by herself, as if to say, "OK, I'm ready - bring me my pups!" That's Marilyn again, snuggling with Mom.

This is the sort of thing that entertains me at this stage... the pups are done eating and some are playing, some are sleeping and Hallie just snoozes through it all. That's Martine climbing up Hallie. Mako is behind Hal asleep, and it looks like Molly has tackled somebody int he upper right hand corner.

It's quite a scene when Hallie first lays down - everybody just climbs in and starts fighting for a spot. She's trying to get them to nurse while she stands up but they aren't quite tall enough.

Ingrid sends photos from Florida

Izzy's sister Ingrid sent us a letter this past week. She writes that she is doing well, has not gone into heat and is studying hard in school. She went to see a neighbor in the hospital and was a very good girl and her neighbor loved seeing her. Izzy was very happy to hear that she is not the only girl in the litter with the "Imelda Marcos' shoe fetish." Ingrid carries shoes two at a time up the stairs - Izzy still makes multiple trips - but she sure loves our shoes.

Ingrid sent her mom this beautiful smile!