Goldendoodle litter

Puppy Portrait Day

If I had known how beautifully the Sugarbabies were going to pose for me, I’d have given them a bath!

So far, I have been wiping them down with washcloths, but I think it’s time to give them a good soaking. 
The weather has been really nice, I might just wash them in the wading pool outside.


First I’ll have to line up some puppy snugglers to help dry and keep them warm.


The babies always  love that part.


It has been nice to have a lightbox to take the photos in.


They are outgrowing it, this will be my last time using it.


Since they are outside now, it shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll be able to take their pics in natural light.

And with talented models like these, it’s easy to get good photos.  
They are honestly very good at posing, and not just because they are as cute as the dickens.  They pretty much sit and let me take their pictures.

What good puppies!

Sitting Pretty


My babies will all sit together at the same time now!  Getting a photo of nine, 4 week old babies sitting at once isn’t easy, but these sweet pups are getting better at it each day.

5424C437-630B-411C-B9D2-7DB02F60407BWhy does it matter to me?  Well, I don’t like to be jumped on, first of all.  And if I can get a puppy to sit down quietly and look at me, instead of being an excited little hooligan, it makes life easier for all of us.


Oh believe me, they have their hooligan moments, they are happy healthy puppies full of excitement! But I like to know that they will listen when needed. 
Funny, on our trip out east last fall to take pups to new homes, I’d let the overwhelming horde of dogs take over.  We’d open the kennel door and everyone would try to come out at once like a furry waterfall, as we vainly did our best to push them back, hook on leashes and let one out at a time. 
At our very first stop, I was frustrated and feared the rest of the trip- I was out numbered!

After a day of struggles, it occurred to me to tell them to have a seat.  

Magically, all five plopped right down on their cute, fuzzy bottoms and waited their turn for leashes.  Puppies will do whatever they want if allowed, but if you teach them what to do, they want to please you.
 I am also working on  “come, puppy, come!” They already come running to me when I walk up to them, so it is usually an easy lesson.

Teaching a dog to come to you can save its life   Always make this a priority to work on with your pup.  As these little ones get older, we will play “Ping Pong Puppy” with them, by having two or more people with treats in hand, calling the pup back and forth.  They learn to answer to multiple people, not just to me and they think that running to someone when called is a fun game with tasty rewards.


There is no way I can promise a fully trained, 8 week old pup to anyone.  But I can give those babies a great start and foundation for the future by teaching them how to listen and to be receptive to what their family reaches them.












Teaching the puppies to sit when they are just tiny, sure makes things easier.  Like when I want them to pose for a photo.


Although posing with a prop is never easy, because it topples a lot or they are more interested in playing with it than sitting.


Sitting is a fleeting thing for them, but at least they know the concept and are trying.

For weigh ins and meds yesterday, the sitting was iffy, but they did hold still and cooperate.  
Doodles are such smart dogs, and even this young, they want to please.

I’m proud of their efforts.  

Four cute little boys

For look a likes, these brothers are quite a bit different.  The one on the left seems to take after his poodle dad while the one on the right has more of a golden retriever shaped face.
Both are sweet as pie! 
As is this big boy.  Well, I call him the big boy, he is the largest of the litter, but he is just a little baby, not really big at all.


Isn’t he a handsome fella?


This little dumpling is growing into his looks.  He has lovely coloring, but wasn’t as photogenic as the other bros ( please don’t ever tell him I said that).  As he grows and fills out, he is becoming a gorgeous guy.


See what I mean?


These four boys are still available.  Please contact me for details if you’d like a sweetheart of a good looking guy to be a part of your family.  


the doodle babies are growing fast!

These guys are progressing by the minute.


In a matter of hours, we had the first wrestling match, playful growl, and tail wag.


You would think that such momentous milestones would take a while to happen.


But nope, they happen lightening fast.


Sugar kept putting stuffed toys in the puppy pond, and I kept taking them out because they could be a smothering hazard for tiny babies.

One morning, I’m taking toys away, and the very next, they are playing with one and big enough to handle it.


Eye contact is improving throughout the day too.

At this point, about half of them turn to look when they hear my voice.


I’ll betcha a dollar that by tomorrow morning, they will all be running to me to be picked up.  Or at least waddling, drunkenly to me.

They still sleep most of the time.

After playing, they were almost too tired for a quick photo session.

They mostly wanted to snuggle up and sleep through pictures.  Or try to nurse the fuzzy throw they were on.

Sweet, sleepy babies!

Growing that fast is hard work!

An anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of Ryan’s death.  It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday.   He loved puppies as much as I did, and having this new litter to hold is helping me get through this week.   When I cuddle one, I think about my boy’s hugs and how much fun we had playing with and laughing at the antics of cute little puppies.


Friends have been very helpful with the anniversary too.  Last night, a group brought over dinner and wine, and we all did some puppy hugging together.


The Sugarbabies were happy with all of the attention.


Thank you to my buddies for being there for me, and to Sugar for giving me all of these furry bundles of love when I really needed them.


Holding a soft, warm puppy is good for the soul.




Two Weeks Old

The pups have grown too big for their whelping box and have moved into the wading pool as their new nest.  We put a fence around it to convince Sugar that I’d rather not be woken up at 5am.  I guess she thinks that if she is up, I should be too.  Maybe she just wants some company who appreciates watching the sweet babies as much as she does.


Albie also loves watching the babies.  He has been completely fascinated by every litter, and spends a lot of time up on the back of the recliner with a bird’s eye view into their nest.

But as soon as the little guys get playful and want to wrestle him, he keeps his distance and stays up on the back of the chair so they can’t reach him.  
Today is their 2nd week birthday, and all eyes are open.


I love their befuddled looks when they are trying to figure out just what is going on and who is holding them.


They have also had some experiments in trying to bark.


I just heard one a few minutes ago that was definitely a real, live  bark- not a squeak.


There is a lot of squeaking, the sound effects are pretty dang cute.


Tomorrow, they get their first worming.  And I’m going to trim up their sharp nails too.  Sugar should appreciate that.


If I can, I’ll make a video of the nail cutting.  I try to post videos regularly on Instagram at Cottage Doodles.


Check out the videos if you want to hear just how cute the little squeaks are.


Puppy puzzles, or origami?

Ta-dah!  A puppy heart!
And a puppy Oreo?

We got carried away.


Beth, Karla, and I started out with line ups, trying to pet sleepy puppies into oblivion so they could be placed in a row and not wriggle around waking each other up and messing with our design. 

First was just the girls.


Then the boys.


And then, ALL of the babies were put in a row.  That is an accomplishment.

While this is an entertaining thing to do, it is also very good conditioning for the babies.  They need to be handled, and made to feel comfortable by people other than just me.  And by doing this, they are learning to be trusting enough to be and cozy and feel safe with humans.

I was pretty pleased with the heart, too. 
Afterwards, we tucked them back into their nest and left them to snuggle up on their own.

Karla looked over and noticed they had formed a heart all by themselves!

I said that they are very smart dogs and learned tricks quickly.  Plus, they had excellent trainers.  



The Sugarbabies’ One Week Birthday

At this point, the babies are getting snuggly.  As you can see from this photo of a parti boy curled up asleep in my friend’s lap.


Their little tummies are getting rounder and their fur is silky.  They are still needy, without open eyes or ears and unable to regulate their own temps, but they are now getting to a point where they seem to know that being held by a human is kinda nice.

And it is hard to resist holding them all the time!  
They are like magnets, pulling me over to the nest to scoop them up and love on them.


They are also big enough to start sharing that love, so I have friends coming by to visit and give them attention.


I’m also doing face time calls and videos for perspective families now that the pups are starting to look more like dogs than mice.  They are filling out beautifully and I am proud to show them off.


For now, I only have adults and teenagers having puppy play dates.  I’ll wait for them to be older before I introduce them to young kids.


We aren’t letting the older dogs around them yet either.  They’ll be socialized with dogs, people of different ages, and even the chickens as the time is right.


Right now, I’m appreciating the sweet, quiet cuddles of this stage of their  life.

It goes by so quickly.

Tales (or tails?) from the road, part one


Our cross country adventure with four dogs unexpectedly turned into five dogs instead.

This guy needed to be picked up in Nebraska the night before we left for NY.  My husband was my hero, Rich sped off to get the Butterball on a moment’s notice after his new owners decided that his puppyness was a bit much for him.


I stayed behind to get this Sugar Baby sent off with his new family.

It looks like he is happy at his home with a forever best friend.


I’d also made an airport drop off for this baby to go to her mom who was arriving from California.


Plus, we were in the midst of a too short visit from Dewdrop and her daddy.  A drive to Nebraska wasn’t in our plans the night before we headed out on a cross country jaunt.


But- No Man Left Behind!  We were not leaving him where he was not wanted, so he hit the road with us.


Good thing that he came along, or he would have missed the joys of exploring a hotel room.  The puppies were completely mesmerized by the toilet.


They were actually pretty good in the rooms for the most part.  Their excitement of being out  of the car led to some noise control problems, but overall, they were well behaved.

 I am soooooooo happy I trained them to use potty pads as well as to go outside.  Being mostly housebroken really helped.

Our first stop was Indiana, where the pups could stretch their legs in Sissy’s pretty, custom fence.


We left Ryder there with Jo Jo.


Her name is after my Ryan, who is JoRenda’s cousin.  
Ryder has already had her first photo shoot, and she is a talented model.  That girl loves to show off her sitting up skills.

We missed her, but I have to admit that five dogs on a road trip is a lot.

On our first pit stop, I struggled to attach leashes on the waterfall of puppies pouring out of their crate, and thought I’d walk them all while Rich grabbed coffee.

It didn’t occur to me that five little babies together added up to over 70lbs and i was very quickly overwhelmed.  They wove their leashes in and out and around my legs, then drug me down into a ditch that I couldn’t escape from.  I had to holler for Rich to unwrap me and pull me up from the pit I’d been tugged into.

Did I mention there was a dead raccoon in the ditch that they desperately wanted to get to and I desperately wanted to keep them away from?

It’s been an adventure so far.