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Happy 10th Birthday Hartley!

Today (Boxing Day) is Hartley's tenth birthday. This dog is my heart dog. He is definitely slowing down a little, but still loves to play and even still competes at agility from time to time. 

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Sweet Potato Treats

We have a food dehydrator and I am using it to prepare healthy and safe chewies for the dogs.  My first try was sweet potato chewies.  I sliced sweet potatoes about a quarter inch thick and dried them in the dehydrator.  The dogs absolutely love these treats.

I have some tuna in my freezer that I caught on fishing trip.  I will slice that and make tuna jerky for the dogs.  I also plan to make chicken jerky and to dry green beans as treats....

Preparing treats at home is a lot more economical but, the most important aspect is that I know all the ingredients are safe and healthy...

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Why Do We Do It? (In Memoriam)

Yesterday, I was talking to my sister on the phone while I was walking my dogs. In my case, there should be a law No talking, while walking because my dogs are able to sense that my attention is elsewhere and usually act out. Vern takes every opportunity to go right, when I go left and Fudge ups her hunting skills to expert level. At some point in our conversation, I told my sister I had to go because I needed both hands free and I told her to remind me that I was never getting another dog after Fudge and Vern. She started laughing and said no one believed that statement and it was as absurd as me telling her earlier that I was cutting back next Christmas. Who needs the truth from a sister, so I wisely hung up?

 

Recently on DK we have lost many of our beloved dogs. At the end of the year, I am reminded of the In Memoriam part of the Oscars where they bring out a beautiful singer and show the faces of the famous who died that year. It is starting to feel like that on DK and I don’t like it one bit. Just like the Oscars make you start to sense your own mortality, the list of our precious Doodles who have passed on start making you think about your dog’s mortality.

 

Rarely do our dogs outlive us and so many of us have lost a dog in the past, yet we are willing to put ourselves through it again and again. Do we even think about it when we go to pick out that cute puppy? I know I didn’t. I just knew I needed a dog and then another dog. Why are we willing to put ourselves through the business of getting a dog, falling in love with a dog, and losing it before we are ever ready? The only answer I can come up with is because there are just dog people who only feel complete and settled if they have a dog.

 

I know when I lost Hershey, I declared it loudly and often that we were never getting another dog. Hershey didn’t get the best of me and I often feel guilty about that. I didn’t want a dog at that time in my life, but because I was stupid enough to make a promise to our oldest daughter, we got a dog. Of course, despite all the promises that Megan would do everything for the dog, it quickly fell on me to add taking care of a dog to the long list of things I had to do. And without any training or much effort, Hershey turned out to be the best-trained dog I have ever had and the easiest dog of the ones I have had in my adult life. She became my youngest daughter’s best friend and will always be her heart dog. When she died, I was done. It took a few weeks for me to start looking for another dog and that brought crazy, and I mean truly crazy, Honey into our fold. When she died, I was so done. I wasn’t getting another dog ever. It was too much work, too much time, too much worry, too much responsibility, too much heartbreak, just too much.

 

Now, I have two dogs. Why do I keep getting myself into these situations where I know it can’t end well? The odds are I am going to outlive Fudge and Vern and the selfish part of me is glad about that, because no one could love these dogs like I do and know how to take care of them like I do. Whether that is true or not, I totally believe it. So, here we are. I have given my heart away to these dogs and because I understand how completely that can happen, I share the heartbreak with my friends when they lose their dogs. I guess I have to ask the question again…why do we do it?

 

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it when I was much younger and have never forgotten the ending. “There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” 

 

To me, this is the answer. What a dog brings to our life is worth all the pain in the end of losing him or her too soon. It’s why we are willing to risk our heart time and time again. It's also the beauty of the human heart.  It can bend and stretch to make room for all the dogs that find their way to us. 

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Happy Birthday Chase

I can't believe it, but Chase turned nine years old yesterday. This dog has a bunch of health issues, the worst being his mental health. I have almost had him euthanized more than once because of his behaviour, but we've battled through and the last year has actually been pretty good. On a good day he is funny, cute, snuggly and loving, and these are the days I try to focus on. Happy Birthday to the craziest dog I know!!!!

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There was a time I blogged a lot on Doodle Kisses. It seemed my dogs were always up to something and gave me lots of material. As they have gotten older, mostly I am still dealing with the same stuff I have blogged about for years, so I guess I have less and less to say. I mean, how many times can I blog that my dogs are terrible on leashes, think recall means I just keep re-calling them, and are sometimes on Santa’s naughty list? Well, at the ages of almost eight and nine respectively, Vern and Fudge have come up with some new behaviors.

 

The other week, I brought home from the grocery store some of my homemade chicken. John prepared himself a plate and then disappeared. John is like the Elf on the Shelf. I need to start offering gifts to the person who can find him when he is needed. Well, I was downstairs and heard a ruckus and came up to find John accusing Fudge of eating all his chicken. When I asked him why he was blaming Fudge, he said when he came around the corner he caught her with the last little bit of his chicken. Sounds like airtight evidence to me, but I was still mad at John for leaving my homemade chicken from the grocery store unattended and worried about Fudge and chicken bones. Luckily, it all came out in the end, and we are now much more careful about where we leave our food.

 

I love Hallmark Christmas movies. Always have and always will. There are a couple of people in my family who put them down and laugh that the same actors and actresses seem to get recycled over and over again into the leads of different movies. In fact, just the other day I had one on while I was baking my Christmas cookies and John kept insisting we had just seen the movie together the other night. The fact that it was the same actress, but completely didn’t plots, shows you how invested John is in these movies. I tried to explain to him that it is more about the good feelings these movies leave me with than the plot, so I guess the jokes he makes while I am watching them, are told to keep me laughing. There is something so sweet about the innocent romances that call to mind the old movies of years gone by and I hate when he is around when the romance starts to heat up. He’ll say something like, “looks like the North Pole just made an appearance,” as the two leads get ready to lock lips. “You could learn a thing or two from these movies, “ I’ll tell him, but then he’ll say something dumb back like, “Young Lady, let’s decorate the Christmas tree together and drink hot chocolate and eggnog. I am sure I have some Christmas balls around here somewhere.” Usually at this point, I hand him the remote and go to another room to finish my movie.

 

The other day I was watching Candace Cameron-Bure in a great movie, sure to become a classic, about two twins who switched places. Of course, John came to the bed in the middle of it and after my quick synopsis to get him up to speed, just said that it sounded like a really original plot that’s only been done like a hundred times. Anyways, there was a moment during the movie that I cried out, “I just said that last week!” when Candace told her boyfriend to always “adopt, don’t shop.” It’s the closest I have ever come to feeling like I was in a Hallmark movie in real life. Of course, I said it a bit differently than Candace, but it still counts.

 

It happened when John and I were walking our dogs up at the park and a car turned up the road where we were walking. Fudge and Vern have a thing that they do and it drives me nuts. Sometimes, when a car drives by, they do nothing. They go about their business as if nothing is happening. Other times, I will see them alert and cast furtive glances at each other, as if they are playing some kind of game to see who can bark first at the car and rev up the other. When this happens, it is never pretty, because all 115 pounds of Vern likes to one up Fudge and not only bark, but also try and move closer to the car for added impact. Since I am on the other end of the leash, this means my arm and shoulder are involved and it just infuriates me. I am ok if I am prepared and can redirect them, but once I was bent over picking up their potty and Vern caught me unaware and spun both of us around. A woman with a bag of poop in her hand is not to be messed with and I am sure the driver of that vehicle thought I was a sailor that day.

 

So, as it happened on our walk last week, John was around to witness this poor behavior and I said, “Fudge and Vern should be the poster dogs for Adopt, Don’t Shop. People could just follow us around and no one would get a Doodle!” And before anyone think I am against buying a dog, I am just being facetious, because I know so many great Doodles. Deep down, I think we all know it is my lack of training that caused the real problems and the real motto for me should be train, don’t complain.  Fudge and Vern just know what they can get away with when I am in charge.

 

Which leads me to the newest bad behavior that happened the other week and I don’t feel is because of my poor training or me.   We came home from dinner out, to find John’s slipper half eaten and completely trashed. Sure, Vern has a thing for socks, but NEVER have either dog messed with our shoes or shown any interest in them. In fact, those slippers sit in John’s office every night and most of the day when he is at work and I have never even seen them sniff them. I knew when I opened the door that something was wrong, because Fudge didn’t give us her usual over the top greeting and Vern seemed shy. I was almost positive that something happened with my reindeer draft stopper that I had just put out, but was unprepared for the half eaten shoe found on Vern’s dog bed. The leather part was gone and it looked like we got home just in time to save shoe number two. Thankfully, one of John's feet can still remain warm in the winter. Neither dog fessed up and we both blamed Vern, but Fudge drank LOTS of water later that night, so we weren’t sure how many perps we had living under our roof.

 

I called the vet just to be safe and was told if they are eating normally, pooping, and not throwing up, to just monitor their poops closely and get back to them if anything changes. The funny thing is if my mom so much as mentioned the word “bowel” to me, I would almost start to gag. I don’t know how many times I told her to tell a nurse, not me! Yet, I can bend over, pick up my dog’s poop and examine it for remnants of a shoe and not miss a beat. I can just hear her saying, “you and those darn dogs.” In the end, it did turn out to be Vern and we think Fudge was just drinking all that water to throw us off course. It was a rough week for Vern. Anything that goes down that shouldn’t has to come out somehow and it did. I’d like to say he learned a lesson, but he got into a stuffed animal while I was wrapping gifts, so I think we learned that Vern will chew shoes and stuffed animals and everything has to be put up as if we are dealing with a 115 pound puppy. He turns eight in January. Fudge will be nine on Christmas. We are hoping they have gotten most of this out of their system. At least the slipper is out!

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Roo here.  I have been very tired so haven't reported much lately.  The last I remember I was laying on the floor and my mom was petting my head -love that - well love any attention really.  I was very very sleepy.

When I woke up I felt great, like a young pup again, but smarter.  I can't find Mom or Dad or Tigger, but there are lots of other dogs and grass  and trees and smells.  Oh the smells.....  This must be a very big dog park.  No people though - weird. 

Here comes Storm.  Wow!  Haven't seen her for awhile.  Storm, I knew from home, when I was really young.  I sort of remember her going to sleep with Mom's hand on her.  Storm was very old and sometimes crabby then, but she still would get up occasionally from her bed and let me play with her.  I remember that Mom told me she was off limits if she was in bed.

Storm just play bowed and took off running - I gotta go!

I'm back again, and I feel great, not even breathing hard..  I never have really understood that game, but all the other Huskies I know like it too.   Now she is explaining that if I were to go down any of the paths that smelled like human, I would find the people.  She said Mom and Dad weren't here yet though.  There is so much to smell here and lots of dogs to make friends with.  Plus people! People love me and I love people.  So much to check out !  You may not hear from me for awhile again. 

Hey, Mom, Dad, just to let you know, I feel so good again.  Try to let me know when you get here, because I am going to be busy making friends. 

Roo, signing off from across the rainbow bridge.

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Yesterday, I mowed the yard and must have picked up some kind of prickers from a bush along the way.  I am not exactly sure what to call these dreaded little things that hurt to touch and stick to clothing, but I do know now that entering “prickers” on Google brings up all kinds of unrelated pictures. 

 

One of the few times my dogs opt to stay in the house when I am outside is when I mow the yard. Most things that I do I have two nosy dogs following right behind me to see what I am up to. Even something as simple as running to the garage can become quite the ordeal when I have Fudge and Vern tag along. Usually, my quick trip is almost slowed to a stop by two dogs blocking my path as I try to get back out of the garage.  It can drive me crazy.  John is free to come and go as he pleases, but my every move finds me shadowed by my Doodles.  It reminds me of my children always wanting to ride with me when we took separate cars.  Off John would go with a smile on his face, as I contended with “front and back day or left and right day,” as my kids fought some stupid sibling battle about the seating arrangement in my car. I am not sure me screaming, “JUST PICK A SEAT!” helped in any way, since Megan would then spend the rest of the ride informing anyone who would listen that her sister just picked her seat.

 

Well, unbeknownst to me, a few of these sticky prickers that hitchhiked a ride into the house on my socks, must have somehow found a way to Fudge’s tail.  As I sat beside her, trying to watch one of my favorite shows, Property Brothers, it became increasingly difficult to see and hear the brothers telling their client that 1.2 million dollars was not going to get them the house of their dreams without involving renovations. No matter how many times I see their familiar formula I never get tired of saying to myself, “oh dear….whatever will they do now?” If you sense sarcasm, your instincts are spot on. Anyways, Fudge’s picking and pulling at her tail and her violent shaking of her head were really spoiling my TV viewing, so I decided to give her a hand at grooming herself.  Seriously, the sticky bits were so small that I almost needed a microscope to find them, but Fudge was having known of that on her tail.  Meanwhile, someone could come by in the middle of the night and teepee Vern’s entire body and he wouldn’t  notice anything when he woke up. 

 

The same goes with their sleeping and eating habits. Fudge is a neat eater and drinker, but Vern takes extra care to load up his mouth with food and take it away from his food dish and promptly drop it wherever it suits his fancy.  Sometimes, he manages to eat it all, but mostly he forgets to clean his kibble up off the floor.  And following him drinking is at your own risk, because he either drinks every last drop serenading the listener with a disgusting symphony of slurping sounds or fills his mouth full and manages to only get half of the water down. The other half drips off his face or nose or whatever body part he managed to get wet as he violently attacked his water dish.  Fudge has enough sense to wait until Vern is finished eating or drinking and has vacated the premises before she even steps near her food and water bowl.  She actually waits until he goes to bed and I will often times hear her eating in the middle of the night.  If she is really thirsty, she will look at me in such a way that I know she means I need to clean the bowl and refill the water because Vern just got done.

 

Somehow, I managed to find a dog that reminds me of my husband. Aren’t you supposed to marry a man who reminds you of your dad? Did I mix up those sayings and end up with a dog that reminds me of my husband? And no, I don’t mean John slurps his food and spits half of it out onto the floor, but he is messy like Vern. Like Vern, he leaves clues around the house as to where he has been.  I can tell you what he made himself for lunch just by the condition of the kitchen when I get home and I often wonder if like Hansel and Gretel he is leaving “breadcrumb” clues around the house so I can find him.  He shouldn’t worry about that, but he would never be able to lead a life of crime. The evidence he left behind would lead the police right to him every time. Just this week, I got home from being away for ten days and marveled at so many things. Plastic bottles sitting right next to the recyclable bin, as if putting them directly into the bin was just asking too much of one man. Peanut butter fingerprints on the refrigerator handle making me wonder if he used a knife to get the peanut butter out of the jar or just stuck his hand in like a bear would do.  I try not to say too much, but I did mention one Andy Griffith show where Aunt Bea went away and came back to find the house neat as a pin and worried that she wasn’t needed.  I told him I couldn’t really relate to Aunt Bea.

 

Every morning when I get up, the first thing I do is straighten every covering on all the dog beds in our house and I am not saying I am a hoarder of dog beds, but the dogs have three in just the living/dining room area. I also straighten the dog mat I have on one of their favorite chairs and the bedspread in the guest room.  And if you are wondering why, it is because busy bee Vern visits every one of those spots sometime throughout the night and digs himself a comfortable spot until he gets it just right. I also pick up the afghan I drape across John’s chair in case he gets cold watching TV, because it is often on the floor, too. I have never actually witnessed John digging on his chair, but from the condition of the room when I wake up, I feel like the two of them are conspiring against me.  Whenever I point out the similarities between their two spaces, John always says, “That’s my boy!”  He says it so often, that once I felt compelled to add, “You know he is adopted, right?”

 

My sweet Fudge, on the other hand, hops up onto our bed each night and stays put.  She doesn’t dig or move much and takes on the properties of cement when you try to move her over.  I seriously think I could topple one of those Confederate statues easier than I can move Fudge once she finds her spot at night.  Like everything else she does in life, she is a neat sleeper. The only mess she ever makes at night is the mess I make when I decide that my space has become so limited on the bed that sleeping in the guest room might be a better option.  I guess we all have a little Oscar Madison in us from time to time. 

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My name is Dean Myerow and I live in Fort Lauderdale with my two goldendoodles Otis (12 years old-large F1B) and Brady (an F1B mini doodle-6 months old). We chronicle some of their adventures at http://findagoldendoodle.com/. We also occasionally run charitable contests open to all dog owners with the proceeds going to a local charity. Also, we post interesting stories about goldendoodles in the media.  We are still in the building stage and would love to connect with you. Shout us out on your social media. Thanks, Dean Myerow in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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A Weekend Getaway!

We travel a lot and always take Myla.  Last weekend we decided to visit our brother and sister-in-law in Vancouver for three nights.  We have done this many times in the past.  They have an 18 year old cat, Tyrone, who tolerates Myla when we go to visit but usually hides.  Unfortunately Tyrone is  very ill with kidney issues and we decided that it was not the time to stress him out with a visit from Myla so we asked our son Steve (who is Myla's favourite person in the whole wide world) to look after her.  Steve is a counsellor at a men's drug addiction facility here and decided to bring Myla to work with him.  I was skeptical - we have worked really hard at socializing Myla but I wasn't sure how she would react when we weren't with her. On weekends, Steve takes about 8 guys out to different lakes or hikes in the area to fish or swim so he figured Myla would be in her element.  I was a basket case after I dropped Myla off - Steve knows that Myla loves to swim but I forgot to tell him that Myla needs to be told that she is allowed to go in the water (our rule as lots of times we are at dangerous currents or eddy's).  I also forgot to tell him that when Myla mouths her orange toy, it means she is totally stressed.  I also forgot to tell him that she will stand at the door (quietly) when she has to go potty.  I knew that he would let Myla sleep on his bed, but I didn't know if he had a rug by his bed because if he didn't, she would slip jumping off the bed.  OMG, I dropped my kids off for weekends with my Mom when they were young and didn't worry this much!!!!

I did text a few times, but tried not to sound like an over-anxious Mom and he texted back really cute pictures of Myla swimming in the lake (obviously, they figured it out or maybe it's just us that she only needs permission when she's with us - I didn't ask :) )

Apparently Myla was a hit at "Bill's Place" - they do have a resident dog, a pug named Josie, who apparently grunts a lot and Steve told us that Myla didn't really like the grunting and tried to imitate it which sounded like Chewbacca.  Steve said that all of the guys had a different relationship with Myla and Myla seemed to know what each person needed - whether a quiet time or a play time or whatever.  When we went to pick her up, the guys told us that they had taken up a collection and had a couple hundred bucks, hoping that they could keep Myla - as if.... !!!!!!!

When we brought her home, she slept for almost a day - I think she had to process her new adventure!  I was so worried, but I am so proud of her!  Another bonding time with Steve and an untrained "therapy dog" to boot!  

I love her so very much!

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My mother has never enjoyed dogs.  She also has never understood why any sane person would want a canine companion.  Years ago when my then partner gave me an adorable puppy for Valentine's Day, my Mom's response was "are you going to keep her?"  (Actually the dog stayed around much longer than that partner.)  So I gave up long ago showing my Mom cute pictures, and telling her funny anecdotes, about the many wonderful dogs who have graced my life. 

Then Mom, who is 103, fell and broke her hip and is bedridden in her apartment in a building that does not allow dogs.  She lives about 2 hours away from me, so now when I visit, I stay for most of the day. I usually leave Belle with one of her friends from our dog-walking group, but one Sunday no one was available to host her.  Rather than leave her home in her pen (necessary separation from the cats when I'm not there to supervise), I popped 15 lb Belle into my canvas boat bag, smuggled her into the sacrosanct building and tucked her into the back bedroom with a kong full of goodies.  I was in my Mom's bedroom reading her the next chapter of her book on the discovery of genes when she heard her aide talking and giggling on the other side of the apartment. Yup, Belle had made a new friend and they were yukking it up together. 

Mom was worried that her aide had gone off the deep end or had secreted a man in the apartment, so she wanted me to call the agency and demand an immediate replacement.  I explained that Belle was also visiting, that she is housebroken and doesn't shed a bit, and introduced her to Mom, who grudgingly admitted that she was sort of cute, but warned me not to ever bring her again. Belle sat on my lap in the chair next to the bed and we continued reading.  After a while, Belle did her army crawl across my lap and stretched her neck out until she could reach Mom's hand and give her a few kisses.  No reaction from Mom, so I thought she was sleeping.  I continued reading (this book, by Siddhartha Mukherjee, is excellent, I recommend it highly), and the next thing I knew, Belle was ensconced on the bed tucked next to Mom's side.  Still no reaction.  I whispered "come" to Belle (who apparently thinks whispered commands don't count), when Mom, eyes still closed, said "leave her" and threaded her fingers through the curls on Belle's back. And there they stayed for more than an hour, when Mom opened her eyes and said "call the aide, Belle should have a drink of water." Not "you have been reading out loud for a long time, you must be thirsty."  Later she asked if I brought anything for Belle to eat. I said I had dog biscuits but I didn't think Mom would like biscuit crumbs in her bed and she announced that she was too old to worry about crumbs in the bed. WHAT?!? This is not the Mom I grew up with.

When it was time to leave, I assured Mom that I would hide Belle in the boat bag again so the building board wouldn't give her a hard time about us breaking the no animals rule.  Her response: "what can the board do to me, I'm 103 and I'll be dead soon; bring Belle again next weekend."  Moral of the story: NO ONE is doodle proof.

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Hello, Sweet People

Belle Here - coming to you from the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Now that I'm settled in Doggie Heaven, I thought I'd spend some of my time advocating the rescue of blind dogs.  While this may be a bit off task for this site, I'm not off task.  I am a first generation Labradoodle.

My Facebook page is chocked full of tips on adapting to a blind dog - like me.  You can get to my page through the following link.

www.facebook.com/ladybellefarin

In a few short days, I already have nearly 20 likes, so I hope you will take the time to visit and see what I'm up to.  A like from my fans would be appreciated - hint, hint.

LadyBelle

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HELP! Fireworks/Thunder

I am going to post this as a blog because  it's too long for a newsfeed

.  I have spoken to trainers who suggested a behaviorist but they are way to expensive ($700!) and there isn't even a guarantee. I have been grabbing DJ and telling him to go in his crate and he does and even though I never lock the door, when this happens and my husband is not home I do and he just lays in there fine and calm. I have to hold Bogey during fireworks and thunder and can't hold them both at the same time (Bogey 75 pound GSD mix, DJ 35 pound labradoodle. I spoke to my vet and he said fears happen once they mature even though they weren't there before (DJ is 3 now). I need to fix this and I'm at a loss. I'm afraid to leave them home alone together now. Can anyone help?

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So proud of my 9 month old Atticus who is in training to become a therapy dog that will provide support to the youngest victims/witnesses of domestic violence/violent crime.  This picture below is now on the NYC Mayor's Office To Combat Domestic Violence website and was taken on Monday, June 12, 2017 during a children's program I supervise at the justice center:

"Our friend Atticus is still a puppy, but that isn't stopping him from bringing comfort and joy to children and families who come to the Brooklyn Family Justice Center. As you can see, he's quite popular."
Find a Family Justice Center near you:http://www1.nyc.gov/site/ocdv/programs/family-justice-centers.page

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Reflections on a Blind Doodle

I want to add my thoughts to Belle's goodby post.  

The decision to put Belle down was one of the hardest in my 71 years on this earth.  Why?  Lots of reasons.  At 5 1./2 she was way short of her life expectancy.  Her first two years were with an owner who gave her up then in and out of shelters.  So her good life was limited to around three years.  The is not a lot.  There was a long shot she could make it with diagnosis and treatment.  But I would have had to leave her at the pet hospital.  Every time I do something like that I can see the look on her face saying, "I'm not being abandoned again am I?"  And I ran the risk of her dying alone.  You have ask yourself at a time like this, "Am I keeping her alive for her, or for me?"  I know I made the right choice.

One of the things that keeps running through my mind is the mobile vet's statement on her adoption listing, :"This is a once in a lifetime dog."  She was.

I guess I should be satisfied that this very special animal was entrusted to my care for three years.  But i'm not because she had so much to give.

I really miss getting up of the morning an hearing her announce in Chewbaca (Star Wars Movie) sounds I better get dressed because she was ready to go for her walk.

Blind?  Most people we encountered had no idea - unless she ran into something.  If she did she'd shake off the sting and go on.  She was a neighborhood favorite with the kids.  She wasn't a flight risk- she didn't know where she was going.  That is unless she heard kids playing in the neighbor's back yard.  She'd charge through honeysuckle bushes and assorted other barriers to get to them.

Belle, I hurt really bad right now.  I suspect I will hurt for quite a while.  But once that clears, I'll be left with these and other memories.  I'll carry you with me in my heart for the rest of my life.

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Goodby Sweet People

Hello, Lady Belle Here,

You might recall my blog posts under the handle "Adventures of a Blind Doodle."  You will find my first blog post here.

http://www.doodlekisses.com/profiles/blogs/lady-belle-adventures-of-a-blind-doodle

If you don't feel like digging through all those posts, Here is the Cliff Notes version:

1.  I was born sighted but in the first year caught Blastomycoses, a fungal disease.  It cost me my eyesight.

2.  When my owners found I was blind, they turned me into a shelter.

3.  I was placed then returned two more times.

4.  Finally, a mobile vet found me on the kill line and took me home to join her pack.

5.  Once I was over the trauma of being blind and rejected she placed me for adoption through everyone's favorite Doodle rescue site, where I came to the attention of a lot of big hearted DoodleKissers who were pulling for me to find a furever home.

6.  Their wishes were granted when my new 'seeing eye person' (his term, not mine) adopted me.

7.  It was like going to heaven.  I have a home to roam, a dog yard all my own, and I get taken for daily walks, the most important thing in my life.  A number of blog posts followed.  Then i got distracted by life and stopped posting - my apologies.

Last September my Blasto came back and really knocked me down.  But with good drugs and lots of love, I came back.  But apparently the second bout with Blasto damaged some of my inside parts.  About 2 months ago I lost my appetite and started losing weight.  I spent a weekend in a vet hospital.  They thought the Blasto had come back again and started treatment.  Then a week later the test came back and the problem wasn't Blasto, it was far more serious.

Today my morning walk was limited to the driveway.  I just couldn't go any further.  We did a vet visit today.  They spent some time with an ultrasound.  Lots of fluid in my abdomen and around my heart.  My temperature had spiked.  I heard the Vet say were not sure what is wrong, but I'm so skinny and weak, there is little likelihood I can come back.

They brought me into a room with my 'Seeing Eye Person'  He held my head, scratched my neck and told me how much he loved me and what a good girl I am.  Then a squirt from a needle and I went into a permanent sleep.

Well it isn't really permanent.  You see, I'm in doggie heaven.  Guess what?  My strength is back.  And wonder of all wonders I can see again. No more running into things.  

But I am going to miss my people and all of you kind loving DoodleKissers.  Keep up the good work.  You made a difference in this girl's life!

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Fudge, The People Whisperer!

Our daughter recently bought us a sign that said, “Grandparents, so easy to operate, even a child can do it.”  She is right.  Our grandson has up wrapped around his little fingers and can do no wrong in our book.  Unfortunately, we also need a sign that reads, “The people in this house are so easy to operate, even two dogs can do it.” 

 

We are having a couple of bathrooms renovated and having contractors in our house since the beginning of May has altered the way the dogs behave during the day and at night.  Fudge, my bravest dog, has decided the noises their tools make is something she just cannot live with unless she shadows me.  Fudge has never been a Velcro dog and having her underfoot causes me to blurt out things like, “I need my space!” on a regular basis.  I see people on all the HGTV renovation shows talking about sight lines and open concept floor plans and all I can think is, “they must not have two dogs who stand in your day most of the day!”  Both dogs seem to want to be closer to me since we started the renovations and I feel like I am spending a large part of my day at an obstacle course. The other day I told John I am one step away from having a nervous disorder and he said he felt like I took that step years ago. FYI: people who state to others that they are on edge aren’t very receptive to jokes made at their expense.

 

I don’t know why the dogs are more stressed because the people working in the house have been great, but we are very routine oriented around here and our routine has definitely been different.  It has carried over into our nighttime routine and here is where I think Karma has decided to step in and teach John a lesson or two.  Usually, the dogs follow me to the bedroom when I go back there to watch my TV shows. We split up around 8 pm and don’t come back together until John comes to bed. The last time Hayley visited she said something about the lack of conversation after 8 in our house and we both looked at her and said, “Dr. Phil, if we need help, we will call you.”

 

Well, all that has changed now, and Fudge and Vern seem to need more of John’s attention at night.  I will come out of the bedroom looking to see where my nighttime companions are only to find John holding Vern’s paw or sitting in his recliner with Fudge on his lap.  Neither dog is settling well and both of us really need them to settle after 8 pm. In addition, from the bedroom I can hear the front door opening and closing too many times and when I yell for an explanation, John will yell back that Fudge keeps insisting to go out.  This means Vern follows Fudge and usually barks, then I bark that Vern has to come back in, then John barks that he has about had it with the dogs, and well, this is way too much partying for us.

 

The thing I want to know is how does Fudge make John listen to her just by staring and a couple of nudges with her paw.  The other day I had to leave early for an appointment and left explicit instructions with John about what to do when the contractors arrived.  I knew he would be leaving for work after they got to our house, so I told him to be sure and remind them to shut all doors and gates and not let the dogs outside for any reason.  He knows I am phobic about the dogs barking too much when left to their own devices outside.  I just don’t want to open the door one morning to find a petition signed by all the neighbors hanging on our front door stating that they all want to vote Fudge and Vern off the island.

 

So, imagine my surprise, when I arrived home and I could hear the dogs barking from somewhere outside the house.  Somehow, despite my very detailed instructions, what John heard was lock the dogs up on the upper deck OUTSIDE and then leave for work.  Even the workmen sensed there was trouble when I stomped into the house and demanded to know who left the dogs outside unattended.  All three of them wasted no time in throwing John under the bus. It took me two days to get over that one and it probably took John three days to regain his hearing in both ears.

 

The funny thing is it took us both a bit to catch onto Fudge’s game, but based on some highly skilled detective work and/or the fact that she immediately falls asleep when John gets into bed, we now know she wants him settled, so she can go to sleep.  The first night that he came to bed early muttering, “She just keeps pawing me and I don’t know what she wants,” she pretty much answered that thought non-verbally when she followed right behind him and promptly fell asleep.  She slept like the dead that night as if she was completely worn out from trying to get her point across to John.  I know that feeling and marvel that a few pokes from Fudge did what I can’t do with very detailed instructions.

 

We now have a 50 pound dog dictating to us when we should go to bed and we are hoping that changes when the contractors leave and our life gets back to normal.  Otherwise, there will be far more talking after 8 pm than is good for our marriage.  Things like, “stop flipping channels…stop asking me what is going on…yes, I like this show and no, I don’t think it is for people without any sense.”  It’s just better the old way in our household and we hope Fudge is going to let John start staying up late again soon.

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Goodbye Lucy

We said goodbye to our Lucy yesterday.  She was 4.5 years old.  The house is so empty and quiet this morning.  No clicking of her paws to the floor, no whimper to go outside, no morning walk, no flipping of the dog bowl for breakfast.  But she is free of pain from her awful disease.  I am so heartbroken.

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I hope you can help! I have a puppy that is on its way to come Sunday, but was told the vet found small sore (ulcer,) on its lip. They think its from play with other puppies, and have given her a shot of antibiotic. I'm reading that things can be much more serious then they are leading me to believe. Is this fairly common or should I be worried?

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