Archive for June, 2009

Nice Beginnings and Closing Thoughts..

It has been an enjoyable week here in dogville, except for the rain! We have heard from many of our new puppy owners, and we beam with pride when we hear one of our furry little ones has slept through the night, or appears to be the smartest golden puppy that ever was. Of course every one is special just like every child. Here are the photos we received this week..

First, Fran reports that Charlie is doing very well. The former Mr. Blue, and the biggest pup in the litter still looks to become a big boy if his paws are any indication.

His older housemate Autumn seems to have adjusted very well to this little rascal.

Then we had some photos of Molly’s Fenway (formerly Mr. Maroon) showing a taste for ears..

Gayle sent some photos of Cooper from Rocky’s litter showing that not only our dogs love to sit on furniture, and spend time in the mud.

Barbara sent photos of her special Tyson from a few litters back. We are sorry to hear that she recently broke her foot in 4 places. We hope Tyson’s golden hugs and licks will help ease her spirits if not the pain.

Cindy sent a photo of her enjoying quality time with her Kati.

And of course, we are not partial to just Golden life, but new life in all its glory. So here are the new baby birds that Cindy now has in her yard. I do seem to remember her having three or four cats, so I hope everyone will get along..

Now like the end of any long running television series, I am sure our fans expect an ending that leaves everyone breathless, speechless, and in anticipation of a sequel.. However real life is not quite like Hollywood. Barb and I are still tired, worn, and battered from the many challenges we have had to face in bringing this litter from conception to 8 weeks of life. My inner muse wants a long rest, and solitude. BarbĀ  moved my wine making apparatus unbidden, back into the whelping area, so the ghosts and echoes of that empty space wouldn’t bother her while she was doing her chores. That surprised me but reinforced that this chapter of our life is really over.

We have made many new friends, and we expect to keep in touch with many of them through the stories of their goldens that we hope they will share with us. Life will go on in dogville with our adult animals. Rocky will go to Italy in July now, and we will take Black’s ashes to Vermont later this summer. I can envision other golden stories that will be written on the glass panes of our memories rather than on a computer screen.

I don’t have an incredible photo to end this long running tale, but instead will leave you with a simple one involving a golden puppy, a hen, and a chick. (Barb I hope will not take offense to this photo..)

My mate and best friend, Barbara, has a heart of gold and a mothering capacity that is larger than life. She is the hen. Without her skills and attention, I could not do any of the adventures we have had breeding. I would say that I am the little chick… still looking for new quests in far away places, and never knowing what new path my interests will take. The golden pup.. the beginning of an amazing journey starting over 25 years ago with Peaches our first puppy, that grew and grew until we had to share with the world this amazing creature that a golden retriever is. A golden gift from God, pure of heart and spirit. I hope you have enjoyed our stories, and I hope this final photo made you smile rather than shed a tear.

God bless from all of us here in our little patch of Farmington. May blue skies follow your every golden adventure..

A More Normal Life in Dogville Once Again

It seems much longer than a week since our first puppies left.

Having to worry about Black’s health issues and his unexpected goodbye, aged our days this week immeasurably. Barb and I want to thank all those kind folks who sent their thoughts and sympathies. Although his stay on this earth was measured only in weeks, for those that met and held him, I have no doubt that his memory will remain in our hearts and minds for years if not forever.

On Monday, Miss Purple became Lexi and joined her new family.

She found someone there more her size (for awhile) to make friends with..

Also on Monday, Mr Maroon became Fenway, and became the third dog in his household.

We are very pleased that the transition has gone smoothly for everyone. We have gotten a few photos that we can share with everyone.

Betsy reports that “Abby” has made friends already with their much bigger “Bear”.

She also enclosed a photo of “Bear” not too long ago when he was the pup to an older and very beautiful “Blue”.

That circle of life wheel just seems to turn too quickly for my liking.

Our Riley is feeling well, and her wound has finally closed completely. I don’t think she will miss having any more puppies, considering what she just lived through. Nope, been there, done that.

Rocky continues his digging ways and has corrupted Lucy who now follows him around on his misadventures. They managed to totally trash one garden bed, wiping out the hostas as if a tornado had gone through. I guess he wants to make sure that Barb and I will remember him once he leaves us for Italy. No chance of that happening with all the damage that is strewn around the woodwork on the inside of our house. Still I will miss him mightily when the time comes to say goodbye.

This damage usually occurs when Barb or I let the dogs out back to due their duty while we are busy with some other task. It doesn’t take but two or three minutes for the young-uns to make a mess if left unattended.

It was a blue sky day, so the dogs enjoyed the sprinklers and then the small pool after their morning run.

You may think our Goldens have it good, but I can tell you some of our golden friends do have some amazing real estate they share with their dogs. Gayle recently sent us some photos of her two dogs Swimmer and Emma, sharing some good times with Cooper from our prior litter and his owner Sasha.

What an amazing living that must be with water of that size, right outside your back door!

She also sent us a photo of her three napping on the bed.

Golden people must think alike. Now I don’t feel so unusual letting ours take a nap with me..

And to finish this post on a warm and happy note for a welcome change, we have Cindy to thank for sending a photo of her golden Kati with cat Walter enjoying each others company.

Dogville Mourns

Today we had to euthanize our special needs puppy.

There are no proper words to convey the anguish, the pain, and the sense of heartbreak that Barb and I had to endure today. Saying goodbye to that very smallĀ  innocent being, tore right through whatever defenses Barb and I have developed to withstand the all too often losses one faces at our stage of life. Very few of the several hundred posts I have written over the past three years have necessitated drying my leaking eyes repeatedly, so I could see the computer keys.

Monday seemed promising. The final two puppies were picked up by their excited new owners, and Mr. Black appeared to tolerate his new solo status without any trauma.

He always seemed to be focused inward in his own special world, rather than outward looking like all his siblings. I assumed wrongly that it was his deafness that was the cause of this behavior.

Tuesday brought evidence of seizure activity in which he would froth at the mouth, and wander in circles, with intermittent crying that you could not relieve with cuddling his small body. Wednesday, Barb brought him for extensive lab work to see if Dr. Feldman could pinpoint the cause. While Barb waited for the results, and I was away on call, the seizures increased in frequency and duration. Poor Barb had to sit with him overnight, unable to do anything to help this sudden downturn. Thursday morning I rushed home and we waited for the call from our vet and friend. It was not good. The lab work indicated something called hepatic encephalopathy where toxins in the body were not being processed by the liver, and thus were building to dangerous levels. Other lab work indicated dysfunction of his kidneys and bone marrow systems. His little body was failing his gentle spirit, and there was to be no hope for a miracle surgical cure, or magic potion giving him a sustainable existence. We thought upon Dr. Feldman’s news and his professional advice for a kind ending without further suffering. An ending that nature would deny him if we staid our present course.

So we spent the next two hours, bonding in the ways that we could, knowing that he would soon be in a better place without pain or suffering. Happily he did not have a seizure during this time, and we watched as he played as he deserved in the grass and flowers, carefree for the moment and happy.

He even got to enjoy his last dip in the water bowls, straddling them with a paw in each, and relishing the cool wetness against his fur.

Theresa our friend, neighbor, and dog midwife came over for her last puppy hugs and shared our grief. Then it was time for that very difficult ride and ending moments at Animal General.

We had never found the right name for him, and so he will be known to us all here simply as “Black”. His colored collar will be retired forever, and his ashes will be taken to our Vermont home in a few weeks so his spirit can join our other departed Goldens, who await us when we meet at that unknown destination sometimes called in dog circles as the “Rainbow Bridge”.

Most times there are no answers as to why our Creator makes what seems such cruel decisions about its most defenseless subjects. So we will just continue to struggle and trudge forward on our life path, a little more scarred and saddened about what we had to endure these last eight weeks. Someday on the other side there may be answers. For now we will be bolstered by the memories of our special puppy with the Cocker ear and the silent world he shared with us for the past two months.

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