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The Northern Virginia doodle group was formed some time ago, and many of the dogs are now 14-15 years old.  Some may have gone to Rainbow Bridge.  There has been no activity in the group so I am reaching out to our newer members in case they are from Northwen Virginia area and asking them to please join the group so we can the  use it to stay in touch and not interrupt the whole Doodlekisses.

I am hoping to find some support from another doodle owner to ease me into grooming Dinah myself.  Thank you all, In Advance

dinah's mom

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Goodbye Luna.

This past Friday we said goodbye to our beautiful Luna after a 2 month battle with Lymphoma.  

We are heartbroken but we knew it was time to let her go.  Since Thursday morning she had been unable to keep food/water down and she was listless, restless and very sleepy.  In the last few weeks her tumors made a "comeback" and overwhelmed the Prednisone she had been taking to buy us a little more time with her.  We are so thankful that we had these last few months to enjoy her and mentally process the fact that we were losing her. 

We are trying not to focus on her last few days but instead on the happy, beautiful life that she had led in her 7.5 years.  She was a very special, gentle, kind girl and we were so lucky to have her.

As a little tribute to her, here is a little photo journey through some of her life from puppyhood until her last few months.

8 weeks old - First day home

We were young and naive and we had bought Luna from a backyard breeder.  She grew up on a little hobby farm in the country with her 10 brothers and sisters.  She was the leader of the little puppy "pack" and when we picked her out she was leading her siblings on digging adventures.  She "chose" DH and wouldn't leave his shoelaces alone - we knew she was ours. :)  The night we picked her out we were on the long drive home and there was a full moon - we decided her name would be "Luna".3356637136?profile=original

15 weeks - Where is the "doodle"?

We were pretty confused at first when we brought Luna home and she didn't seem to be getting "shaggy" as we had expected from a goldendoodle.  That's how we found Doodlekisses - searching for why my doodle didn't look like a poodle at all!  In hindsight we are glad she didn't "doodle out" - less grooming and we could always see her expressive eyes. :)


7 months - "Bubbles"

Luna had an intense love for sticking her nose into puddles (including muddy ones!) and blowing bubbles, earning her the nickname "Bubbles" when she was a puppy.  The nickname stuck around for her whole life and was I ever glad she didn't have a beard to clean up every time she found a really muddy puddle!


1 year old - energy to burn!

Luna sure loved to run free. :)  This is the giant dog park (it's more of a wilderness trail) near our house that we took Luna to frequently.  It was one of her favorite places in the world.


Snow snorkeling

We live in Canada and with 5-6 month long winters Luna learned quickly to love the snow.  Her favorite snow activity was for someone to throw a ball (or snowball) into the deep snow and she would go digging for it.  Even if there was no ball she was just content to shove her head in the snow and "snorkel" around!


Love in the eyes

Luna always had the most expressive eyes.  It was like she was staring straight into your soul.  This is one of my favorite pictures of her from when she was just 1.5 years old.  Already so gentle, loving and calm.



Luna was definitely a snuggler, especially when you lay down on the couch.  This was always her "spot" anytime someone put their feet up.  It didn't matter that she was no longer a small puppy and didn't really "fit" anymore. :)

She also slept with us in our bed at night starting at about 2 years old... and usually right between our pillows.  I often woke up with a little doodle nose (or frito feet!) in my face in the middle of the night.


A new addition

When our daughter was born Luna was okay with her at first, they had a bit of a falling out when DD learned to crawl (and pull!) but they quickly sorted that out and became the best of friends.  Our daughter is now 4.5 years old and has never known life without Luna.  She misses her doggie and talks about wanting to pet her and hug her, but she knows Luna was very sick and couldn't stay.


Our Luna

So now we fast forward to the last few months.  Until the end, Luna was so happy, gentle and content, doing her favorite things like sunbathing and going for walks.  Walking around the house now I miss the little things:  her little face on my pillow at night, brushing her super soft hair with my hand as we walk up the stairs together, her enthusiastic greetings (always with a toy in her mouth and a triumphant "RooRoo!").  There are so many things I miss about her, but so many great memories full of love.  Goodbye, sweet girl.


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With sad heartbreaking news our sweet beautiful intelligent silly best friend passed away from bloat 2 months shy of her 11th birthday.  She was the love of our life and moving on has been so hard.  I haven't posted in years on DK and just now have figured out how to get back to posting.  I did inform some of the people I know here through Facebook.  Graciedoodle was in the best of health, perfect athletic weight and very agile.  We have known about bloat since the day we brought her home so always took the necessary precautions against playing or activities after eating or drinking.  Our vet told us it can happen in older deep chested dogs due to the lenghtening of muscles and ligaments the stomach can get sloppy and sway around more.  Just a quick movement as jumping up on the bed or turning wrong can cause bloat (hard to believe it is that easy).  Gracie died in my arms at 3 am on the way to the ER.  

We now are waiting for a new little girl to be born any day.  I know it is soon but when you both are in your 70s you need to not spend time "thinking about it".  We loved Graciedoodle so much and need to keep loving a beautiful Doodle girl.

WE WERE THREE HEARTS BEATING AS ONE!!  3356637384?profile=original

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Surviving Week One

Week One

So 2 puppies are definitely A LOT more work than 1 puppy, but so far we are still very happy we decided to get 2.


  • They play with each other
  • Each have their own personality
  • Less fighting between the kids for puppy time
  • Hubby and I can each have a puppy
  • Cheyenne is becoming "alpha", sort of.  They have learned to give her space


  • Our trainer became suddenly less available
  • Negative trainers
  • Sometimes when they play it gets rough
  • More expensive

The first night went so well I was surprised.  We kenneled Daytona and Denver together, they cried for under 15 minutes and slept until 6 am.  I took a few days off work so I could be at home with them and start increasing kennel time during the day.  They played for a few hours and then they zonked out and spent an hour or so in the kennel.

The Vet

We made the fun trip to the vet (after calling to let them know there are now 2 puppies) to make sure everything was ok.  Of course everything was good and they got a canine flu shot and heart worm meds.  The car ride went pretty well being it was just me, they slept in the foot area in front of the passenger seat.

The vet's first question was have you ever had litter mates before (no, but yes to 2 puppies at once).  She told me that we should seriously consider separating them as much as possible for feedings, walks, training, play time and especially kennel time.  She said all of this is so each dog will develop their own personality and learn commands.  She said that we will hear many negative things about litter mates, but that she herself has litter mates and it can be done, if done right.


Trainers and Breeders

On Day 2, the trainer didn't show up.  I had scheduled puppy kindergarten at least a week or 2 before because we will also need to board our dogs in July and I wanted to have the trainer meet the dog.  My other thought had been to send the pup to a board and train program so that training continues with all our July travel (about 2 weeks away, but over multiple weekends/a few weekdays), so a 4 week board and train program was planned with this trainer.  I had left him a message on Sunday that we ended up with 2 dogs and never heard back.  When I called on day 2, he had forgotten to add the appointment to his calendar and said he didn't receive my message.

I told him the story and he asked if he could offer some advice, I said sure.  He told me to immediately give a dog back.  He then went on to tell me that we have a bad breeder because she let us buy 2.  He also then told me he would be unable to take 2 dogs to board and train in July (very possible since I added a dog).

We have used this breeder before and recommended her to friends (one of whom is getting a puppy from her next month).  We believe she is a great breeder (he even said when he breeds the biggest complement is a returning client or a recommendation, both of which we have done with our breeder, Wildwood Goldendoodles).

Frankly I was completely unhappy with his attitude towards litter mates and said I would chat with the hubby and get back to him.  I was also not happy he missed our appointment and then said July was no longer available (which didn't sit well with me).  On the bright side all 3 dogs sit in my lap!


Board and Train Part 1

So I began a search for a new board and train program for July.  This became a wake up call as to what we are actually going up against.  Here's the issues I ran into

  • Bad attitudes towards litter mates
  • I learned there is something called "litter mate syndrome" and research began
  • Many trainers want to board and train only 1 dog at a time
  • We are 7 weeks away from July and some don't have availablility
  • Many are training right from their homes
  • Many will not accept a dog under 7 or even 5 months of age
  • They are expensive!

The search continues into week 2...

Training has begun

Starting day 1 I had bells attached to doors and planned to bell train, which is a first for us.  When we brought home 2 pups, I realized that there was no way I could follow them around the house all day.  So I sectioned off the living room and kitchen where we spend most of our time with couches for the first few days and ordered baby gates.  Amazon was becoming my friend VERY quickly!  See a full list at the bottom of this post.

We are working on potty training by ringing the bell each time they go out, they seem to go outside, but also inside just as often.  We are very happy a few years ago we bought a Big Green Machine carpet cleaner...

We are having to separate them when they get to rough when playing.  This can be quite the challenge when you are letting both out at the same time in the same area.  Sometimes playtime goes well!


Everyone is putting their fingers around their mouths when they nip (how did I forget puppies did this?  Hubby says "puppy amnesia"), or a quick tap under their chins.  With Dakota we had tapped her nose and that resulted in her bowing her head when you went to pet her and we want to avoid this.

So far they tire out pretty quickly, which is giving us breaks!

Daytona sleeping on the hearth:


Denver with a snuggle puppy:


Stuff I Bought (so far...)

2 25' cable ties

2 ground anchors

2 baby gates (couches needed to be moved back AND they can get under them)

Bells (24 pack of bridal bells worked tied to old ribbon)

Training treats

Toys, lots of toys!

2 Collars

A second kennel

2 packs of 2-packs washable puppy pads, might get a third since I use these in the kennel)

Puppy chow

Pics of the mats and Snuggle Puppy



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Surprise we came home with litter mates

How did this happen?

I'll start at the beginning With Cheyenne (dachshund) and Dakota (Golden doodle).

Just over 13 years ago we decided we wanted a dog.  Being that we were getting married in a few months (and had an 11 month old) we tried to compromise on a breed.  I wanted a small dog (smaller poo!) and hubby wanted a golden doodle.  We compromised and got a dachshund and a golden doodle.  We got Cheyenne (dachshund) Friday evening and Dakota (golden doodle on Sat morning).  They were about 5 days apart in age.  We kept them separate for a few months, but Cheyenne cried less when they were kenneled together, so for 12 plus years they shared a kennel.  Dakota passed away at home 8 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer.  Cheyenne has been ok, but we all miss Dakota greatly.


So we thought another "big" dog was the answer and decided we would adopt.  So we brought home a yellow lab in November.  Maya was 3 years old and almost impossible for us to control.  With our 3 kids (10,11 and 14) we couldn't keep her because they couldn't handle her.  She also would get very wound up and step on Cheyenne to the point were Cheyenne growled whenever she came near.  She was adopted again in Feb to another family with no other dogs and older kids.


So I had the idea that we should call up Dakota's breeder and see if she still breeds dogs and if by some chance she has a dog with the same lineage as Dakota.  She is still breeding golden doodles AND she had 2 females left for a May 6th 2018 pick up (I called in early April).  I said I would talk to the hubby and see what he thought.  Hubby was happy to hear this news and said how do we pick between the 2?  I called her back the next day and there was only 1 girl left so I sent a deposit.  The kids and hubby were all excited.

We talked about names and everyone wanted to honor Dakota and keep the city/state thing going.  I tossed out the name Daytona (we all visited there last year) and 4/5 were on board right away.  Our oldest came around after she got to pick the middle name (Savannah).

As the month passed we started to buy some puppy things and count down the days until we would be on our way to pick up Daytona.  I chatted with a co worker who has 2 dogs and he told me stories about them being together and how fun it was to see them play together.  I went home and told the hubby we should get 2, he looked at me like I was crazy, and the topic was dropped.

Pick up day!

The day finally arrived and we set out on our 3 hour trek to pick up Daytona.  When we arrived the previous people were still deciding between the last 2 females so we chatted with the breeder.  I told her I had a snuggle puppy with me and wanted to get some scents on it before we left and she said we could have the last boy play with it a bit.  Soon after it was time to meet our new puppy, so she grabbed Daytona and her brother and brought them to the play area for us to check out Daytona and for him to get his scent on the snuggle puppy.

The boy's personality was immediately a velcro dog.  He laid at our feet and he reminded us all of Dakota.  Daytona was playedful and looks a lot like Dakota did as a pup.  We mentioned to the breeder how sweet the boy was and she told us his story.

He was the last boy (7 total in the litter, 4 were girls) and that his deposit had fell through.  She said an older couple were going to buy him and earlier that week the man had called and said his wife was going into the hospital and he wasn't sure when they could get the puppy.  On Friday he called and said the diagnosis wasn't good and that they decided with her illness they could no longer make the time commitment to a new puppy.  This story hit home for Josh and I.  His mom passed just over 3 years ago from cancer and a month long stay in a hospital, my dad had a stroke, was hospitalized for 4 month and passed just over 2 years ago.  I looked at hubby through our sunglasses and we both just nodded. We had silently agreed that we would like the boy too.  I asked the breeder if we could buy him as well and she said yes.


We then finished up the sale and started the 3 hour ride home.  In the first 20 minutes everyone agreed on a name, Denver.


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I have a Labra-something?-doodle

I recently got a Wisdom Panel done on Orwell because I've always been suspicious that he has something else in him other than lab and poodle. As I suspected, Orwell's mother is not a pure lab and poodle cross. 

Here are his results:3356636712?profile=original

So, Orwell is 12.5% a mix of something. They couldn't pinpoint the breeds, but the most likely is a toy dog mix, then a sporting mix, and then a herding mix. I'm having a hard time believing the toy portion of him because he is quite tall at 27". I want to test his mother now to figure out exactly what is there. She was a rescue labradoodle, but it turns out that her labrador side is not pure. 

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The Evolution of Maggie

Maggie’s a different dog than any I’ve known before. It’s been 9 weeks that she’s been here, and we coexist peacefully. She’s doing perfectly on her potty training when I’m home. Going to work is still a major work in progress, and I haven’t found the perfect solution, but we’re working on it.

She’s still not very affectionate. Everyone has an opinion, and I think that the truth lies somewhere within all the wisdom I’ve received. She went to see the groomer last week and she did really well. She feels like Maggie doesn’t seem afraid so much as just empty. She said that most dogs see all attention as positive, but Maggie seems to see all attention as negative. If that’s the case Maggie must think I’m a terribly difficult person to live with. So much attention.

She encouraged me to look for her button. The thing that turns her on. And I’ve been thinking about it. She’s not highly food motivated. She doesn’t get excited about toys. She really doesn’t get excited about attention. She enjoys Katie’s company. But Katie is a people dog. She plays with Maggie, but then she comes back to play with me. The only that that really seems to turn Maggie on is going places. When I get the leash out she turns into a different dog. All happy wagging tail.

She loves to go in the car, even though we mostly go to boring places like the car wash. The weather hasn’t been very cooperative for the dog park yet this year. But if I go to get something out of the back of the car Maggie jumps in and doesn’t want to come out again. And when we’re in the car she will rest her head against my shoulder. So I’m going to try to focus on getting her out into the world and expand her experiences. Dog training class starts tonight! I really hope that she has a good time. I don’t care if she learns anything, I just want her to have a positive experience. She walks nicely on leash, so sometimes we go to Petsmart and just wander around for a little bit. I have a list of stores that are supposed to be dog friendly, but I’ve always been afraid that someone is pulling my leg and we will get kicked out.

The groomer also said that she’s not completely indifferent to me. She said that she looked for me when I left her. And she does generally follow me around the house - at a safe distance. I’m working on not being needy. It’s hard for me. I think the more she plays hard to get the more I want to try to get her. It’s counterintuitive to me to give her space.

I admit there are times when it’s really hard. Those dark moments when it feels like all of the work and none of the reward. And there is a fleeting moment when I want to give up. But I refuse to be just one more person who has let this sweet girl down. I just saw a facebook post from my dog trainer today saying that his rescue is just starting to play with toys after 13 months. She stops when anyone tries to play with her, and she won’t do it if anyone is watching, but they are still seeing her grow. Maggie is a work in progress. I don’t know where we’ll end up. But I do know that 9 weeks isn’t long enough to make an assessment on her future. I still wish I had a crystal ball to see what the future holds. Maggie’s my girl. I just hope that I’m doing the best things for her. She’s a good girl. She deserves a good life.

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Meet Chewy!


We recently welcomed a new addition, his name is Chewbacca (Chewy). He's a F1B medium Goldendoodle. He joins our female Mojo who is a F1 standard Goldendoodle. We also had Sebastian, who was Mojo's littermate, but he passed away on 1/26 due to osteosarcoma. His spirit still lives on. 

Chewy came on Friday 2/23. Yesterday was his first day home alone with just Mojo. It didn't go well as Mojo was in another room so Chewy felt alone and howled for most of the day, lol. 

Today, we took a different approach. We had Mojo stay in the same room as Chewy and it's made a huge difference. Chewy is so much more calm today knowing she is there with him. 

Here is Chewy resting in his crate and learning to sleep on his back just like Sebastian used to. We have put up Arlo cameras around the house, so you'll see lots of funny things they do when nobody is around (he'll get free reign once he gets potty trained).

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RIP Zola the Goldendoodle 2014-2018

We lost our 3 year old goldendoodle Zola due to Epilepsy.  She was such an amazing puppy and brought us so much joy.  She loved toys, the dog park and her 5 year old sister Luna.  Our house feels so empty and our hearts are shattered.  3356636820?profile=original

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Retiring from the puppy raising business

Hi all--those of you who have been friends since the beginning o Doodle Kisses may remember that I have been raising pups for a reputable breeder since 2011--I started just 6 months after retiring from teaching high school Biology for 34 years with my labradoodle Lyric's litters and then expanding to other females, including Lyric's daughter's three litters--It has been a lot of fun and I have loved the pups and enjoyed keeping in touch with all the new owners....after raising 16 litters, there are a lot of them!

But I have decided to retire and in one week my last litter--Lyric's grandchildren, will take their leave--it is a bittersweet moment because this second career has given me so much love and joy--but it is time to get away from home a bit on trips (three planned between now and August!) and enjoy my almost one-year-old grandson, Sullivan. He is now walking and it makes me realize just how fast time flies with grandkids! My other two children are talking about engagements and weddings so it will be a busy few years for sure!

Happily, this last litter has been wonderful--gorgeous pups with lovely temperaments--and the families have been great too--so, the send off next week will bring tears, but also relief that i have the freedom to go where I want to when I want to...and then there is the joint relief--in the 7 years I have been doing this, I have needed three cortisone shots to keep my arms working!! Also, my dogs will be happy that they no longer have to share their house with a momma who fiercely guards her pups--they have learned to live with gates and a lack of access to me, so it will be nice to let them have free roam of the house again.

Here is the gang--






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February Calendar Doods

I have to share this. I love my Doodle Kisses calendars, year after year.  This year, when I turned to February, it was like looking at my two boys. Barney and Sundog are so much like Colby and Derek -- even down to the collar colors.

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Has anyone done a DNA on their doodle. I did it from a company called.....DNAffirm--viaguard. Now my doodle is supposed to be 50 golden retriever(AKC registered) and Standard Poodle (AKC registered and a 2 time grand champion. The dad was the poodle.

What a shock when I got the report back.....Not that I want to do anything about it cause I love Turbo the way he is. But the report came back 50 Labrador---25 Poodle---25 Chesapeake Bay Retriever . The one parent is the Labrador the other parent is the mix.

I just got in the mail today another company called Wisdom Panel 3.0 I am going to send it in tomorrow just to see if they get it right and he comes back 50/50 goldendoodle. Anyone ever done this please let me know how accurate it was. Thanks

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Tigger Tells the Truth

(Editor's note: Richard is our son, Peishan his wife, Blue a nd Ice are their Siberians Huskies.)

Well Roo  has not come home.  We left the vet's, Roo wasn't in car, or at home, at Richard's at Heather's or at the vet's.  Roo left his fur there though.  Mom said he crossed the Rainbow bridge.  Why didn't he take me?  I love to go new places.  I don't really understand, but it is good I was here because Mom and Dad needed me to lick their tears (nice and salty, sort of like potato chips, but not crunchy).  They even wanted me to lay on their laps!  Really!  I am much too old for that - unless it is thundering, of course  then we need to be very close together.

But on to the story.  I missed Roo.  I have never been the only dog anywhere.  Blue and Ice came to visit when Roo did not show up at home,  I like Ice.  We play tag and wrestle.  Blue watches and he is a good dog to have around when a bear comes because he has a loud bark.  I did not like staying alone much.  Mom says grocery stores do not allow dogs.  Is that true?  Humans have a lot of rules!

Anyway Mom and Dad left for a year, or maybe a day or two - time is still not really my thing.  Richard and Peishan and Blue and Ice came and stayed with me.  That was a good time.  When Mom and Dad come home - what a surprise wow!

They brought a little girl puppy named Murphy home with them.  She was so glad to see me, another dog!  She could not figure out what was going on, but she told me I smelled good.  I had to explain about this place being home and about a thousand other things.  She likes to play a lot.  But she is so little and sharp teeth!!!

Mom told me I was a good and smart dog though, because I learned to put my paw on her if she was too rough.  I don't show my teeth, but growl softly under my breath if she tries to steal my Antlerz.  She has her own, but mine is better.

I still don't know where Roo is, but Murphy is better than no other dog at all.  I am almost 10 years old and she is almost 10 weeks old.  Isn't that funny?  I don't really understand it, but I think it means she going to get bigger and bigger, maybe almost as big as I am.   That would be awesome, then we could really roughhouse.  She isn't very smart yet.  I have a lot to teach her but first I am going to take a nap.  Murphy is already asleep.  Signing offzzz....


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Saying Goodbye to Our Beloved Dood

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our sweet, precious pup. So sudden- at 11 years and 5 months old. Loving and beloved, happy boy. Sat night one minute he was playing and the next he stood in a catatonic state, hardly could respond to commands or know where his water bowl was. He recovered a bit on Sunday, more so on Monday where he saw a vet. The only symptom was tenderness around his stomach which led to xrays and the eventual and telling ultrasound yesterday. Doodlie had Hemangiosarcoma. Tumors in his spleen, liver and the one in his stomach had burst which is why he felt so much relief yesterday. He was nearly back to normal laying in the snow, enjoying the warmth of the sun, listening to the birds and smelling the air of winter. This was his last moment at home. Hemangiosarcoma is an aggressive cancer that they know little about says the doctor other than it tends to be more common among large breed dogs. We had him on raw food by Darwin Pet, he loved his fruits and veggies, filtered water. There was nothing I could do to protect my baby boy from this. We are heartbroken. But know we made the right decision - thank goodness euthanesia is an option. So much love from one guy- We will always be grateful that our lives were blessed by Doodlie.

Read more here:

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New member!

3356636713?profile=originalHello! I have asked a couple of people their opinions on my F1 Goldendoodle. So worried she is going to be flat coat. She is 10 weeks now. Trying to provide some pics. She is 10 weeks.

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