Archive for June, 2008

Pool Work Finale

While we wait to see if our breeding efforts are successful, life goes on here. Last week we had the final work done on our pool. While this task may not seem like a proper story for a dog blog, our dogs’ summer revolves a lot around swimming and fetching in our backyard. If you are a fan of the Discovery and History channels on cable, it is fascinating to see just how projects are completed in all walks of life. So here goes…

We have been waiting for a break in all this wet weather to finally get this huge concrete hole in our backyard turned back into a soothing water feature.


At the end of last week the weather gods gave us a chance, and the plastering crew arrived from Massachusetts.


“Shooting the pool” as it’s called, is a highly skilled craft that must be done right the first time. There are very few crews of quality available, and so we were waiting on this highly regarded team.


Then begins the careful task of smoothing and shaping the plaster before it dries into a seamless surface. Notice the shoe covers on the worker below.


Of course the girls were distressed that they couldn’t be part of the action. Every so often they managed to get into the backyard and give some golden licks to the crew.


The rain decided to pay us a visit at the end of the day, and so special efforts were made to allow the plaster to dry fully.


Now the pool needed water, and quickly so that the plaster would set properly. So no garden hoses, but instead very expensive water tankers arrived and the filling began.


5 tanker loads it took to fill this 40,000 gallon structure. Chris Padua, our pool foreman and friend now after 15 years of servicing our pool, gave his thumbs up at the close of this day’s work.


The real overseers however, were our goldens who came out to inspect everyone’s work.


We still haven’t been in the pool however. The plaster has to set properly for a week and the ph of the water has to be adjusted to allow this to happen. So everyone continues to wait. And like all children, the dogs push the boundary of “no swimming allowed yet”, and manage to get the feel of the water with their paws while not technically swimming.




The dogs and I get up by 5 AM every morning now. Everyone is fed and then we have to wait an hour or so before everyone has digested their breakfast enough to go safely for a walk. Of course they don’t know why we are waiting so they get a little antsy. I usually use this time to weed or water the flower containers. This Saturday morning they got a little more rambunctious than usual. I was out watering and suddenly Riley comes out of the garage with a Bud in her mouth.


Not to be outdone, Solo then has a can too and starts licking it on the lawn.


Before I could say “Hold On Now”, a few canine teeth had found their way into the sweet nectar, and they were all having a drink.


This was not behavior that I wanted to encourage, so we quickly ended up back in the kitchen. Chewing on buffalo bones kept everyone in order until the waiting time was up and we could go for a run.


Going out to the garage to investigate the source of the beer was a must. There I found an old case of beer from a party last summer. One of the dogs had decided to tear off the top and help themselves.


Sometimes our Goldens’ behavior is so adolescent like, it is amazing. I have now taken to keeping my small camera in my pocket at all times. Otherwise I would have no proof for the sometimes crazy mischief our animals find themselves in.

PS: On the breeding front, it will be the last week of June before Riley has her first ultrasound to determine if she is with pups. Emma’s ultrasound will be the first week of July. I have never understood why there is not a pregnancy test for dogs. Hopefully someday someone will tell me why!

Breeding Week News

It has been quite the week! Hundreds of miles put on our trucks, hundreds of dollars spent on blood tests, gasoline, and vet bills, and thousands of dollars spent on stud fees. Today, Sunday, we are relaxing knowing that we have done virtually everything that could be done to maximize the likelihood of mother nature and mother science blessing us with two litters of golden pups this summer. Riley and Emma are both fine following their breeding adventures.


Riley had a natural breeding with Mulder, while Emma had a surgical insemination with Mulder’s seed. Both had cycles proven optimal by serial progesterone blood tests. Now comes the hard part, waiting until we can see some puppy sacs on ultrasound. That will be possible in about three weeks for Riley, and four weeks for Emma.

Meanwhile, here locally in Dogville, Lucy continues to help me garden. She has taken to walking around with a ceramic frog in her mouth and deposits it in various places.


I still have lots of plants to get in the ground. Not a slouch in that regard, she lends a ready mouth. I turn around and the plant that was beside me is now in her mouth destined for parts unknown.


She is still only less than two years old and is loaded with energy and mischief.

Champion and big boy, Mulder came and spent three nights in our home. Barb brought him home from the Cape after he was bred naturally with our Riley. We then had to bring him and Emma to Suffield Vet Hospital and Dr. Ann Huntington for her to work her medical magic. What a gentle giant he is. Like having Brad Pitt in your home, all our young ladies were agog, and sat clustered outside his large cage like groupies.

It is said to be bad luck to show photos of the stud before knowing the results of his efforts. So all I can show you at this time is a photo of our females sniffing where he marked our yard.


Having marked all the boundaries of our yard, I guess he now claims everything within it in dog language.

I will close with some amazing puppy news from Mulder’s owner, Berna Welch of Pebwin Goldens. She bred three of her females recently expecting maybe one or two litters. Especially since one of the litters was bred with ten year old frozen semen from one of her prior champions. Well, all three litters came in, and the first one had Sixteen puppies in it. The other two litters had nine and ten puppies. Thirty five puppies in her home at one time is a blessing of life, while a burden of exceptionally hard work. It is a tribute to her and her husband Peter and their assistants, that all did well and have homes awaiting. When we were there this weekend, they still had eighteen left that weren’t quite old enough to leave.


Holding those bundles of fluff, energy, and love brought a yearning that we will soon have our own pups to love for eight weeks, and then to make our very patient clients equally happy to take one home. Keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming our way!

Marsh and River Adventures


Barb and I are busy with Riley and Emma’s heats/breedings this week. So I thought to digress and show some collected photos of Sandy and Maggie, former puppies here who live with my cousin Ron and his Barbara. They take their dogs to woodlands, lakes, oceans, and rivers. True adventures compared to our little outings to the local high school.



I’ve thought of bringing our group to one of the many shallow streams that meander through the woods in Vermont. But with five, if even one sees something and sounds the hunt alert, I could lose all five. Not worth the risk. So we will continue to live the big time adventures through Ron’s dogs.

These photos were taken just a week ago…




Home again, Maggie rests at Ron’s feet literally. Notice her green paws from the river bed algae.


An adventure truly enjoyed. Thanks for the photos Ron and Barb!

Now back here in Dogville, Berna of Pebwin Goldens reports that our Riley had a successful tie with Mulder on Saturday night. She relayed the story that just as the dogs were introduced, they lost power. Not to be deterred, they brought out some candles and flashlights and the union occurred. And who said romance was dead..

Emma’s progesterone levels are starting to rise, so we expect to bring her and Mulder to our special vet by the end of this week.

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