Archive for February, 2008

Other Chews

While yet another winter storm rages outside, here inside everything is calm and warm, although a little noisy. I picked up our monthly shipment of kibble and canned dog food on the way home from my Glastonbury office earlier today. Donna Talbot, our breeder friend and food supplier in Hebron, was homebound with the storm. My trusted Suburban did ok, although with the number of pickup trucks blowing by me on the highway, I wasn’t sure if one would lose control and careen into me. Sheesh.

With the food, I picked up one of the dog’s favorite treats: raw buffalo bones. I have shown photos of them enjoying this treat before. It ensures a contented evening of gnawing and noise as the bones bounce off the tile floors. Recently there have been a few other items that have provided almost as much entertainment for the dogs. So without much going on this week, here are a few photos..

Our daughter Kristen’s pug Pearl has developed a taste for white antelope bones. These are excellent ways of controlling teeth tartar and don’t make a mess. They just get smaller and smaller over time until you have to toss them. I think this one bone will keep Pearl occupied for many a day.


Lucy managed to bring in a large chunk of ice unseen, among the rest of the pack when they stampeded their way inside after playing.

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Solo has become the designated cat dish cleaner. She takes this position seriously and waits to lick the bowl clean after every meal. She has put a few teeth marks in the dish as well, and she would like nothing better than for me to leave her alone with it for ten minutes while she chews it into shreds.

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Last night the background noise of the dogs chewing contentedly suddenly changed, and I glanced over and saw that Riley had decided to get a different kind of fiber in her diet. She had started chewing the straw basket that holds all the older bones.

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If you kept a visual eye on all of them continuously, you would never get any work done. So you instead keep an ear cocked for any change in sound in the background. This usually allows you to find the one who is getting into mischief before it progresses too far.

A golden retriever’s teeth are an important part of their beautiful smile, so it makes good sense to insure your dogs have the right kind of chews.

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And it never ceases to amaze me, that given the choice, these dogs will be happiest when together, and sharing their adventures with each other or us.

Ice Land


Today broke cold, crisp, and clear. The initial snow storm from yesterday was overwhelmed by the deluge of rain that followed. So the land today was like a big cake covered with a thick layer of glazed sugar.


Trackless, slippery, and hard, the going was a little tough on the hills. It seems that here in New England, every storm is unique with a different combination of cold, wind, snow, rain, and ice. So each adventure out with the dogs is a different experience also. Getting to the high school fields this morning posed some difficulty. There was black ice on the roads everywhere, and due to a surge in numbers of baby squirrels running around, I had to let the leashes go several times. Otherwise I would have been pulled down the road to suffer an ungraceful fall.

Once we got to the fields, the surface was so slippery the dogs had to work twice as hard to get anywhere, since even their clawed paws didn’t do much to the hard surface.


They burned off their energy and then we started back. Despite the ice, we heard the cry of a few birds and saw a couple flights of ducks making their way back North. So Spring is trying to reinsert itself a little here in the middle of February. And what better way to agree, is to report that our year plus Lucy has started her first heat. An official young lady now, she still has to wait another year before we can finish her breeding qualifications. In the bottom right photo, she is on the right with her mom, Emma on the left.
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This promise of further adventures with puppies, and another generation getting started, warmed my spirit all the way home.

A Family Grieves


We got a very sad message at the end of last week from Ken and Mary Ann. Their golden girl Holly had finally lost her battle with lung and splenic cancer and pancreatitis. With a temp of 106 degrees she was unable to come home from her last hospitalization at Animal General. Below are the photos they sent to us of her last week at home with Rosie keeping her good company.

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Regular readers of our website blog will probably remember some of the prior photo submissions by Ken of his Holly and Rosie. Although Holly was a senior golden when our Miss Purple entered her life from our last litter, they bonded tremendously.

From Ken’s emails we learned that Holly brought maturity and leadership to the much younger Rosie, while Rosie made sure that Holly still remembered how to play and make the most of a day.


Nothing tears out the heart of a dog lover as having to put down a lifelong companion that gave you nothing but smiles and good times every day of their lives. Going home to that empty supper bowl in the kitchen and seeing that special blanket and bed in the corner, or the beloved toy that will forever lay where it was last dropped, takes special courage. But that is the price we have to pay for loving creatures that have a shorter lifespan than ours. Hopefully we will all meet again somewhere in the future where friendships can be renewed and memories revisited.

Someone recently gave me an inspirational message written by the very irreverent comedian, George Carlin, on losing his wife and best friend.

He wrote,

“The paradox of our time is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you because that is the only treasure that you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember to say, “I love you” to your partner, and most of all mean it.

And always remember, Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Living every day in the present with a golden by your side is a simple gift without compare. Barb and I hope that Ken and Mary Ann and their family will find comfort in the warm memories that Holly has left each one of them.

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