Doodle Travel Buddies

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I have decided that every beach trip should include doodles!  What great companions they are.

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They are almost as much fun as grand fairies.

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And every bit as enthusiastic as the kids.  On our walks up the shore, Molly was fascinated by all of the buckets, shovels and toys she saw children playing with, and even tried to snag a few.

Every child we passed wanted to pet her and she was happy to get the attention.  One cute pair of little boys with hair that almost matched Molly’s offered her one of their buckets and she carried it around for days.

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It became her favorite toy.

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Well that and the sand itself!

She was in digging heaven with all of that sand.  That dog was a mess, but cleaned up surprisingly easy.  I either sprayed her off or quickly brushed her and all of those pounds of sand fell right out of her fluffy fur.

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The waves ranked pretty high on all of the dogs’ lists of favorite things.

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They  loved exploring at the off leash beaches.

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It  was a wonderful trip and only made better by having these sweethearts along for the ride.


My Pretty Girls

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I could not resist having the girls pose in front of the zinnia fields.  
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While driving from KS to FL, we have spent a lot of of time in dog parks with them, I figured they owed me a pleasant stroll through some flowers.  They might think this trip is all about them, but I deserve to choose some activities too, right?

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Actually, we’ve enjoyed all of the trip, these girls are great companions on the road.  And I enjoy hearing the responses of strangers who see them, and the nice compliments they give these pretty girls.  Especially my Sugar, it is great to hear comments about what a beauty she is, because black doodles aren’t as popular as other colors.  I think some of it is that the pups are harder to photograph.  But in person, they are very striking dogs.

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Plus, she is as sweet as her name.

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Honey makes gorgeous children!  I can’t wait to see the next batch this spring.  


Doodles in Paradise

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These girls might be enjoying the Florida camping trip even more than we are.

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We have found the most wonderful  dog park, and when I saw this marker, I wondered why it hadn’t won best every year, because it truly is.

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The pretty beach was full of happy families and joyous dogs.  We even met a tiny Labrador pup that Sugar and Honey immediately started cleaning and nuzzling.  They are mamas to the core.  I thought they were going to try to steal that baby from its family.  Which, in all honesty, I wanted to do too.  A very, very young pup does not belong at any dog park, even if it is Dog Paradise.

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Traveling across country with three dogs isn’t easy, but days like this make it worth it.  


An Excellent Rating by Good Dog!

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Sugar has completed her health testing and our status on the Gooddog.com site has been upgraded to EXCELLENT!

Well, I always knew that Sugar was top tier, what a good dog she is.

Earliest date for her F1b golden doodle puppies is May 1st.  And I will be keeping you updated here and on Cottage Doodles on instagram too.  

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Molly has started her health testing too.  At her age, so far we can only do the DNA (which came back just fine).  At two years old she will also have her eyes, hips, and heart verified before breeding.

Honey also had a date with her poodle beau last week. The earliest date to expect more fluffy, Molly look-alikes is May 3rd. (All pups should be red butterballs again)

Oh my... am I insane?  That is a LOT of puppies in one week!

Well, this will have to be Honey’s last litter (her third).  We had debated spaying her earlier, but agreed to one more.  For best health practices, you breed two seasons back to back then pass one heat.  Honey skipped a couple of cycles and also had a false pregnancy.  To make she we have her happy and healthy for as long as we can, we think it is time to spay her.

While we are a legitimate, tax paying business, first and foremost, we are a family and we want the best for our furry family members.

 So I am going to appreciate and love on her very last litter and enjoy them as much as I can.  She and Sugar sync their cycles, and the timing was right to breed Shuggie, so here I go, two litters at once again.

Wish me luck, please!

 

 


Health testing and breeding practices

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Puppies bring me JOY.  I adore every snuggle, wriggle, and cuddle I get from them.  I love nurturing and teaching and just plain old laughing at their silly antics.

My mama dogs are part of our family and sleep next to our bed. When the babies come, they live indoors for the first part of their lives and I am with them continuously, including up and down during the night, just like with human newborns.

As the pups grow, they are moved to the breezeway or garage where they have space to run and play and slowly start to house break themselves by having access to the fenced yard.  As they grow, they potty a little further and further away from their bedding, til eventually it is on the far side of the yard.

This gives them a good start for you training them where you would like for them to go. (Please note that no matter how good of a start they get, it is only a start.  No dog is completely trained at 8 weeks, there is a lot of work ahead for you!)

At almost three weeks, they start edging out of the bed towards the potty pads, and I have pads out for their overnight needs as they get older too.  When we traveled across country to deliver pups to new families, I was very glad that they were also pad trained. That sure helped at 2am in a hotel.

At about the same time they start using the pads, they also get training in eye contact.  From the moment they are born, each has been snuggled, tickled, cuddled, and manipulated around enough to know that human touch is safe and pleasant.  Once their eyes open, I make a habit of gazing into those sweet, befuddled eyes each time the baby is picked up and make sure that everyone in the family knows to do that before cuddle time.

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As they learn to wobble around their nest, I start getting their attention, and having them meet my gaze before lifting and petting.  Along with that, I will coax them to me with “come, puppy!” in a sing song tone.  Training has begun very early, but all they know is that someone loves them and wants to give them attention.

At this time, I concentrate on the ones who do not enjoy being held as much as the others. There are always a couple who would rather be left in the nest.  Those get put into a soft, cross body sling I wear as I vacuum or fix dinner. This has worked to turn their attitude around and makes them as comfortable with humans as they are with their siblings.

During weaning, which starts with formula at 3 to 3-1/2 weeks and progresses to soft foods, I set aside some of the meal to hand feed.  This is when I begin working on getting them to sit and look at me for a bite of food. I do this one on one to start with, but by about 7 weeks, the whole litter knows to look in my eyes and sit politely to get their bite. 

A crate is set up with bedding for them, so they are used to it from about 4 weeks old.  Daily, I will shut them all in it together while I mop up. At six weeks, I start putting a couple in with the door shut at random times.  At 7 weeks, they go into crates alone for short periods.  

As an artist, I work from a home studio with a concrete floor. The door opens into the puppies’ yard and in nice weather is left open for them to wander in and out.  In the evenings, every family member scoops up a puppy or two for holding while watching TV or reading a book.  We switch them out so everyone gets turns getting used to being a beloved house dog.

Toys are washed daily and switched out, so there is always a variety.  The little guys are so excited over new toys and run to see what I bring them.  I add bright colored step stools and other large items for them to explore, but do not leave them out all of the time.   The pups seem to thrive by having their play area changed and updated.  

Raising puppies takes months of commitment, running on little sleep, and lots of determination to give those babies a taste of care and devotion so that they grow up to be confident and loving pets.

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A dog is a long term commitment, that does not end when the cuteness fades and old age sets in.  This is 14 year old Twinkle, who is now blind and kind of off in her own world but who still loves a scratch behind her ear, hearing her name repeated, and getting a good treat.

My goal is to raise happy, healthy dogs that will be so loved that their families will be there for them til the end, like we are with Twinkle.

Honey, our golden retriever is from Health Tested lines, both her parents were clear. The poodle stud that she was bred with is fully tested.

Sugar has had a DNA panel, and is OFA certified in hips, eyes, and heart.  The stud we use for her is also fully tested.  

I do not do DNA tests on each puppy when born, but can tell you that their parents were studied before the breeding to be a good match up of traits and to produce healthy dogs.  We can do an educated guess of the size of the dog as an adult, but cannot promise a certain weight.  

All pups will be vet checked, treated for parasites, have all required shots up to 8 weeks, and be microchipped.  You will need to register the chip yourself and consult your own vet for continuing vaccines.

I have often given away a puppy to family and friends so I can watch it grow up.  If you decide to get a dog from me, please send me updates and photos, I love to hear how my grand dogs are doing. 

 

 

 

 


New Sugarbabies!

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Sugar had her first date with the handsome Felix today.  If all goes well, we will expect Sugarbabies ready for new homes on Fourth of July weekend.

Maybe I should call them lil’ firecrackers instead?  

Although, she typically delivers almost a week early, so we will see.  Check back here and at Cottage Doodles on Instagram for more updates.


Pupdate- Some of the babies at five months

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Well, these guys sure don’t seem to mind the snow!  Must be that fluffy, cute fur keeping them toasty.
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And adorable.

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They seem to be happy to share the warmth with their families.

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It makes me happy to know that they are still as cuddly and sweet as when they were here with me.

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This is Ruby, in NY.

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Freddy on the west coast.

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My Molly here in Kansas.

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Ryder in Indiana.

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Olivia, down in Florida misses out on playing in the snow, but I hear she has a snowball of a sister, a Bichon named Bella that she gets to wrestle with.  Also that she has had her second puppy cut and loves her days at the doggie spa.

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Molly could use her first trim up.  I’ve been snipping away around her eyes sometimes, and shaving her backside, but she has yet to go to a groomer.

When she finally goes in, I will tell them to never trim those gorgeous eyelashes.  
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The mama dogs are probably about ready for their own trip to the spa.  We will be heading out in the camper on a trip to the beach, and Sugar’s tight curls tend to trap a lot of sand on our walks.  Her curls are so pretty, but for practicality, I have them all shaved off a few times a year.

Lots of inquiries are coming in about new pups.  Many people who got a Sugarbaby or Butterball in November would either like another or have a friend who wants one. That makes me feel like Sugar, Honey, and I did a good job with the last batches, thank you!

As I mentioned, we will be traveling soon, and hopefully a lot this year.  (To make up for the loneliness enforced by all of the problems in 2020). Having puppies is one of the happiest things I do, I love those babies to pieces! But we will have to see if breeding the girls fits into our travel schedule.  Fingers crossed that their heat cycles don’t coincide with our camping reservations.  

You can check on this blog or at Cottage Doodles on Instagram for birth announcements if you are interested in a pup.   


"Pupdates"

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Freddy

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Teddy

 

 

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Olivia Ryan

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Osa

 

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Molly

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Charley

These are just a few pictures of babies in their new homes, I am having trouble with my blog host and not all are loading correctly.  You can see more at Cottage Doodles on Instagram. And if you have pictures of one of my puppies you would like to share, please send it to me! I love to hear how they are doing and see photos of them.


Meet Molasses, nicknamed Molly

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Well, as everyone around me knew would happen, even though I said that it would not, we kept one of Honey’s Butterballs.

59D8E293-EE64-41C5-8BA3-067A97E5E5D7Sugar and Honey were both overwhelmed with excitement when we returned from our cross country trip and brought little Molly home with us.

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The excitement hasn’t relented, these three are inseparable.  When Molly isn’t collapsed into a blob of warm, butterscotch pudding in my lap, that is. Or curled up on my feet.

7BC653EA-20E4-415B-BF55-AEA5F8394A31She is the most laid back, cuddly creature I have ever met.  I honestly did not want another dog, and did my best to not pick one out of the litters, but this one picked me.

I had thought that if we were to keep a pup, it would be one of the other girls, who I told were all auditioning for the part of Molly, since my husband had a name in mind.  The others were flashier, more lively, and all were very bright and learned quickly.  This one always sat quietly looking up at me, sometimes behind me and I didn’t even notice because I was busy with the puppies who were more out going.  They were daintier, smaller dogs with big personalities.  She was easier to overlook with her quiet manners and willingness to politely wait to be petted. 

She was always looking up at me with a heart full of love.  I should have known all along that she was my dog, because she already knew it and was trying to tell me. 

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I loved every single one of the babies and every minute that I spent with them. But when the 8-10 weeks are up, I am typically ready to say good bye and get some much needed sleep.  I become attached to them each in different ways, according to their personalities and how they react with me, and there are lots of tears with the farewell kisses.

088D08B3-2C6A-461E-AD38-D99B58A1F530But we had five dogs already and I am a reasonable person, and knew we didn’t need a sixth.  Still, my husband insisted that we mark one sold, “just in case.”  Til the very end of our road trip, I hadn’t committed to keeping one.

At least I didn’t realized I had.  If my husband hadn’t stated, “That dog is part of our family.” I probably would’ve dithered on for another month saying I was looking for just the right home for her.  
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It took me longer than it should have to realize that her home was here with us.

Her cuddles and sweetness are exactly what I needed in this awful year of loss.  Nothing on earth can replace a child who passes away, but an armful of  a lovable fur ball can ease the pain. And I know that while my Ryan would’ve been horrified that I kept another puppy, he would have loved her too.  
The Angel wing pattern of white spots on her chest is a sign that he does.


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.