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Monday, March 29, 2010

Spoiled dogs...

I exchanged messages and talked to a few friends today that were a bit angry at their dogs for having done things that were deemed unacceptable behavior.

Sure none of us wants a dog that has accidents in the my case there is Niki and at times she cannot help it. That she actually does so well is totally amazing due to the fact that she is partially paralyzed. For her it is all about muscle memory and the fact that we get her out so much throughout the continually working with the "potty" command has been very helpful.

Still...I am human and yes, I have at times lost my patience with with the others. Of course it is very short canines friends have indeed taught me a thing or two and one is get over yourself. Growl and let it go!

My dogs are pretty well spoiled. I mean really...their life span is not as long and....have you really looked at their faces, I'm pretty sure you would spoil them as well!

As spoiled as they are...they do have to work so they actually earn their lifestyle ;-) Their jobs....oh easy rough housing on furniture (of course many people prefer that their dogs not have access to furniture) wrestling in the house... Commands are practiced throughout the day....down for feedings, sit and calm for going outside....potty destructive behavior, etc.

Wanted behavior must be taught...and yes....lots of praise so that they know they are doing a good job. Communication is the key.

As we bring these pups into our hearts and home do take the time to teach wanted behavior.
If we do not take the time to teach...give proper DAILY....there I have said it...they need daily can we possibly get angry at them for doing what dogs is never to late to teach an old dog new tricks....oh and by all means...spoil them a bit.
Saturday, March 20, 2010


The first day of spring...what a beautiful day here in St. Augustine. So nice in fact the dogs and I spent a good bit of it outside...something I will indeed regret a little later for the pollen, well if you have allergies start taking your meds now....stock up on tissues and cough drops...your gonna need 'em!

On this beautiful spring day we watched the men work around the lake, trimming, picking weeds and mowing while we all enjoyed the morning sun. At the bird feeder a little action going on as the birds stopped, grabbed a bite and flew away.

A couple of walks and lots of outings to play then nap in the sun. Towards late afternoon I brought the "balls" out.
Bailey is officially ball obsessed....
He would much prefer rolling them, digging...and attempting to get as many in his mouth as possible. As I bring them out I give an orange one to Rocky....holding three I start tossing one...he retrieves and as he comes back to be I say drop....he does and I throw another. this of course wears him out....then when he has used up a good bit of his energy I allow him to play with all four....then once we return in the house he drops...I put them away until tomorrow.

Ball obsession is not at all a bad thing....something that I "nudged" along by playing the two-fer game and not allowing him access to the balls all the time. Wonderful distraction for training and focus....for at the moment he can only focus on the balls....shaking with excitement and anticipation of fun.

Does your dog have any toys, games that s/he is obsessed a good about in a bad way?

Happy Spring Everyone!

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

They like it Ruff...

With the time change we have enjoyed late in the day extra then they are used to...lucky dogs.

Even with all the ball toss they so want to play rough. Before Rocky's neck issues a good wrestle match was a fun thing to do, though Bailey gets very rough. A bit of a bully...has to have all of the toys...hogs everything and plays rough.
Though they still so want to wrestle, I must put a stop to it to prevent any damage to Rocky's neck and spine. this is not to say that every once in a while they mix it up before I stop it. They like it times!

I have mentioned before that the majority of my dogs have been rescues...except for Bailey and Rocky. I am often asked if there are any benefit's to rescue vs. purchasing...of course rescuing is wonderful. The majority of dogs that I rescued were from my dog training days and I must tell you that many had serious behavioral issues that required some work....all in all every dog that came into my home remained in our home...happy, respected and so very much loved.

I am not at all suggesting all rescues will come with issues...there are wonderful dogs to be adopted...healthy, happy dogs....though it will be up to you to train the dogs once in your home...same as with getting a pup through a breeder...the training part, that is up to you. In a perfect world those that foster the dogs would take the time to train them as well...many just do not due to lack of knowledge, time and some will foster two three dogs at one their own....lots of work. At least the dogs are safe.

Some wonder if I feel "quilty" after all these years of now purchase dogs. Nope...not at all. Currently there are four in the pack....two are rescues. If I am blessed to live a long life....and continue to work at training, grooming and caring for them I will always have a rescue or two in the pack.

If deciding to add a puppy, or adult dog to your family and not sure if you should adopt or find a breeder I can only share my experiences with you. Reputable breeders are not easy to find....most talk the talk....but sadly, they do not have the breeds best interest at heart...they do not walk the walk. Those "discounted" pups found in the careful my dear friends and make sure you are not purchasing pups from a puppy broker or puppymill. Breeders that are selling several breeds of dogs should be a red flag and you should run in the other direction.

Poor Rocky, who has had one health issue after the just not a structurally sound dog...I would not recommend this breeder. When Rocky turned two and time for another Golden to be added I had been looking through rescue. As I had three dogs in the pack I needed to take all dogs temperament, personalities into consideration...especially that of little Niki's physical condition. I was not looking to purchase another Golden...learned of a breeder with pups almost ready to go to their forever homes...Bailey was added.

There is no right or wrong...though with are indeed saving a life......both require homework on your part to find a pup or dog that will fit into your family and as your and your families lifestyle. Once a dog is brought into your heart and home it should be for life!

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. - M. Facklam

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Moving....lots of work. I am still divided in two...some stuff here, some stuff there. As packages arrive, boxes....I have been slowly going through and among one was a photo card from a vacation several years ago to Edisto Beach. We rented a lovely beach house and brought the the time there were five in the pack. Good memories.

In my adult life I have shared my life with a good number of dogs. I am often asked which one has been my favorite...I start thinking back and smiling....naming names and special memories...until I have named all of them. I have had no favorites...each one earning my love, respect...and devotion.

Each... different in temperament and personality. All were rescues (except for Rocky & Bailey)...a few fearful...a few aggressive....a few just a tad bit wild. All required training, time and patience and love.

Have you had a favorite?

Below are just a couple of images from my Edisto Beach vacation....very dog freindly (dog must be leashed on the beach). the two Goldens have since died...both...just a couple of my favorites!

Mikey was a rescue...loved the water, wet sand...first time at the beach.
Phoenix and Niki...lovely Phoeny ever faithful furry friend, so full of fun and life.

How could I post without something about Rocky & Baily...just a little video of dogs doing what dogs do!
Friday, March 12, 2010

Down time=quiet time...

I know, with this statement my age will indeed be showing....I remember a time when having some down time did not consist of working from home, cell phone ringing, text messages...beeps, rings wherever we go.

Sometimes one must just stop what they are doing....turn off the PC, goes the cell phone...time to relax and enjoy. So, with the upcoming weekend that is just what the pack and I will be time. No beeps, text least on my end.

The dogs other favorite person will be in town....good weather in the forecast so walks on the beach...visit to the of Rocky's favorite places by the way. No calls, no blog posts....just relaxing and quiet....can you hear it...just the sound of the ocean, birds.

Give yourself and your loves one's a break...spend some quality time with them...without interruption!

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to love."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is love enough...

I remember well the first dog I brought into my very own dog. I was about 18-19 or so. Tasha...a lovely pup...a women I worked with was giving them away. She bred Huskies and let the dogs out back...unsupervised and low and behold...a male...mixed breed was in the area and jumped the fence. Not what this breeder had in young as I was I thought this person to not be the brightest light on the tree. You may very well be thinking that just a tad bit harsh of me....I mean should not leave your female that is in heat outside unsupervised. Many years later I am happy to opinion has not at all changed. Leaving your dogs intact is a huge responsibility that one should take serious.

I remember chatting with the breeder when I picked Tash up to bring her home...she had four adult dogs...I asked why she was breeding....her reply was that she loved her dogs and she loved the breed. She let the dogs go to their forever home too young....she never really asked me how Tasha was tid bits of information to share. She just wanted the pups gone....guess her love did not extend to the puppies.

I was young and had not yet learned to speak out...though no doubt she would not have listened for so many of us are incapable of seeing the big many of us do not care.

Like so many that breed, those who want puppies and decide to add one to their families I always wonder why so many of us are so very selfish? I remember well the days that I was training...I met so many that as families took care of the new furry addition to the family. Took the time to research before adding the dog....had the time to spend with the pup...enrolled in puppy classes and continued with training during the first few years of the dogs life. When done is a wonderful sight to behold.

Then of course there were those individuals that never take the time...profess their love for the dog but never spend any time with them. The excuse I am busy, I work late...and often complain about the dogs behavior....asking for help and telling anyone, everyone who will listen they just do not have the time. Some of these dogs are banished to the yard for the day....some are left in their crates for 8 or more hours during the day. Some....well some are given away, some end up at the local shelters, pounds...some are run over for they have escaped out of the house, gotten out of the yard.

I know...yes we all have to work and earn a living. I am not at all suggesting we all be tethered to our dogs 24/7...but our dogs do have needs. Mental stimulation, daily and of course training....and of course all the love and hugs you can manage.

So many of us profess our love for our pets but...I wonder is love really enough?

I know I am a tad bit protective of my pups. I do not leave them in the yard unsupervised....I have learned to do so your dogs can get into much trouble. Ingesting anything they run across....oh and the fun thing....then vomiting it up on your carpet. Digging, destruction in the yard. Not to mention in many areas dogs are stolen from yards....or they can get out and roam. Left unsupervised our pups can get into all sorts of trouble. does not have to have the best trained dog, however the basics should be taught to all dogs.

Love....yes, do love your dogs...but respect them as well....keep them safe and know...once you bring a dog into your life you have many years of caring for the dog. Please...Please do think before adding a pet to your family.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Puppy breath...

I remember it well.
This is Rocky as a pup (see the zipper nose)...oh so very sweet. He still makes the exact face if caught doing something I do not like or when one of the other pups takes a toy from that face. Ran across several images on an old web site of, taking a moment to go through and enjoy the memories....share a couple with you.

Time goes much to quickly. Rocky is coming up on four years of age...he is a wonderful dog...loving...sweet with a certain amount of mischievousness and a great sense of humor. Allows Bailey to be a butt head without having to be in his face to correct him. He turns to me to correct any wrong doing by Bailey or any of the other dogs in the pack. With just a look in my direction...and that face....ohhh so you can see he learned long ago that no one could ever possibly be angry with him....or he would most certainly get his way when making this face.

I bet you couldn't resist that face...could you??

Just as Rocky is a big brother to Bailey...Rocky had Phoenix to show him the ropes. He learned from the best as Phoenix was a wonderful Golden...and as with so many other Golden's... died way to soon and from cancer. This of course was not exactly what I had in mind as I wanted the two dogs to have each other to play What can I say....I am conditioned to having a couple of Golden's around.

Enjoy each moment of your furry friends, go for many silly....teach, many of us do not take the time to teach our furry teaching we learn so much...take pictures...give lots of pets and hugs....give of yourself....give your patient... I can so promise there is indeed a payback and it is worth every moment.


Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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