Goldendoodle litter

The Sugarbabies’ One Week Birthday

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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It goes by so quickly.


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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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We left Ryder there with Jo Jo.

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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.

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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.


Getting the Butterballs Ready to Go

BAB30B78-52E5-43CF-AD68-81AE6ED571EFThese guys are leaving this week!

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How can I bear not seeing these sweet faces every day?

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Even Dorothy, who doesn’t typically like the puppies, seems to be getting attached.  We trade out which ones we bring in at night, so they have one on one lap time while we watch TV, and Dorothy shared her space with them.

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This week, I have been concentrating a lot on the Butterballs since I only have a short time left with them.

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But the Sugarbabies are not left out.  They are also working on manners.

Freddy, our recovering little guy, is the only one who knows his name.  Maybe Ruby, because I used to call her Pooh Bear.  Ruby and Pooh are similar sounds and she answers to both.  

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Mostly they answer to Puppy or Buddy.

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Yesterday, all had baths.  And there were no complaints at all.

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Except maybe from me when I had to wash just about every towel in the house and mop up a sloshy bathroom after.  Those curls make good sponges, and really soak up the water, it took a couple towels each to soak it up.
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That’s okay, I have gotten to be pretty good at keeping the washer and dryer running nonstop since the babies came.  I even wash a load of my own clothes here and there between all of the piles of pillows, toys, and blankets they need to have cleaned every day.
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I get plenty of thank you snuggles in return!

 

 


New Toys and an Old Fave

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The Butterballs and Sugarbabies are so curious that any new item in their area sends them all onto it in a rush.

(That goes for fresh potty pads too, they LOVE to help me spread those)

845BF773-E55B-4FEA-9FDB-0DD358D64BA1So, I go to Goodwill a few times a week to see what new items I can find for them.  Today, I scored big with this footstool and manic monkey. 

(You can see a video of their first reaction to it on Instagram at Cottage Doodles.)

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The pups played so hard that they simply fell over and went right to sleep where they were, didn’t even try to go to their beds.

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They have a variety of toys, most can go in the washing machine.  I rotate them a couple times a day, because novelty is so important to them.  They are always ready to pounce on the latest addition to the pen.

88D2875B-8DE5-452F-B977-6181BB83337FBut this toy?  The cement block never gets old for them.

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Especially for this guy. He adores this brick and is always crawling through it.

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He also fell fast asleep during play time.


Puppy Love

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I always said that I would never raise cold weather puppies.

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And this is why!  Being outside, running and playing in nature is so much fun for the little guys.

And for me.

But when my son died, I knew I needed armloads of puppies to soothe my soul.

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The timing was not right,  both dogs went into heat at the end of summer.  I probably was out of my mind by breeding them both at that time of year.

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And it certainly is a LOT more work to keep them clean when they live in the garage.  
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It is an amazing amount of work to have two indoor litters.

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And the smell isn’t that great, either.

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But, oh my gosh, those snuggles!
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And those faces!

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Not to mention those furry, waggly butts.

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I am loving my time with them.  No matter how much extra work it is.  And we are making the best of the pretty days when they come along.

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I keep telling myself not to fret over the set up indoors being less than perfect, because these babies think it is just fine.  They are happy and loved, they don’t care where they are as long as they are getting lots of attention.

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I just wish my Ryan was here to share it all with me.  
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He loved the fur balls as much as I did.

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A few tears might have been dropped onto their fur.  They just wriggle around and lick the tears off of my cheeks.

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Taking care of them hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  
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My heartache over Ryan will never go away.

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There will always be a Ryan shaped hole in my heart.  But filling up the area around it with puppies does help.

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Sharing

DD546E0E-3945-4D98-8AE4-43854502B19AThe mama dogs have decided to pitch in and help each other.

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With that many babies running around, it seems like a good idea.

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The only issue is that the Sugar Babies are a week younger and seem to be smaller pups over all.

Honey is starting to wean her Butterballs, so feeds them less often.  I need to be sure that the itty bitty ones get plenty of milk before Sugar is drained by the big guys.  
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Also the older ones play a little rougher and since they weigh more, the teensie ones get overwhelmed.  Although, they are becoming wrestlers too and pretty much hold their own.

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So far, it has been a lovely fall, and the pups have been outside a bit. Not as much as I’d like. Summer puppies sure are easier to care for.  
But we have a system for cleaning them up, and they are getting used to being in crates and watching me as I spray out their areas.  I have even had a chance, although not much of a one, to do some crafting.  I gathered the vines and dried flowers to make this wreath.

But 16 babies in chilly weather takes up most of my time.  I won’t know what to do with myself when they are gone!

(Videos of the litters can be found on Instagram at Cottage Doodles)


The Butterballs’ first bowl of food

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The Butterballs are drinking their formula from a dish now.  They turned 3 weeks old on Wednesday, and I began feeding them with a syringe, then with a spoon, and now, they are slurping away like big dogs already.

The one on one time of holding them and spoon feeding the formula to their happy, little faces was good bonding time.  But puppies need to grow and become independent, so I caved in and pan the pan out for them.

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At 4 weeks they will start getting formula mixed with soft food, and I will once again go back to spoon feeding part time.  I give them soft food on a spoon, when they sit patiently and wait their turn.

After a few rounds of turns, the rest of the can of food goes into a bowl for them to finish.


A Jump Start on Housebreaking

543EA7D6-BAC1-4BF4-8AC6-AD1204EC58D9So far, there isn’t much toy time going on.  But, I toss a few in with the babies every time I change their bedding. Which seems like all of the time!   (The toys need to be washable also, because we can’t have any lingering urine smells on the beds, blankets or toys.  That all needs to be clean so they learn to waddle over to the newspaper and potty there.)

The toys for now are just extra pillows to the babies.  The real toys are their siblings ears.

And the newspapers can still be confused with bedding.  So those need changed often and the puppies need to be cleaned off.  I have some all natural, lavender wipes that make them smell very sweet.

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With 16 peeing puppies in pools, the smell is a constant battle.

Now that the older ones can climb out of the pools, they have moved to the garage and breezeway, but the battle continues.  
Keeping their nests clean is the first start of housebreaking.

Oh my, you can tell from this photo that I haven’t been to get my hair colored in ages!!  I’d been cutting it myself due to  Covid avoidance.  Then, my friends Mary and Grace came over to visit their brown and white spotted baby and dear, sweet, talented Grace brought her salon scissors with her and gave me a much needed trim.

A new haircut sure gave me a lift.  But I am not ready for color yet.  Because of all the pups, I am being severely careful on social distancing.  These next few weeks with the little guys will be so busy, I can’t even afford time for a headache, let alone a virus.  And with sleepless nights for weeks on end, I am probably a bit run down, so my hair color will just have to wait until all of these darlings are safe and sound in their new homes.