Circle of Life

A Puppy Returns Home..

Hi Everyone, We hope all our friends and their golden companions are safe and sound after yesterday’s hurricane. We were fortunate not to lose power here in Farmington like we normally do, but there are outages all around us. Over the weekend, Lexi, one of our former puppies came back home. Their owners called and said their family circumstances had changed, and they needed to return the dog. This has only happened a few times in the over ten years of breeding, but we are grateful when the owners call us as per their contract. We have no trouble finding another  forever home for one of our animals. So three and a half year old Lexi, who is the daughter of our mother Riley and  father Mulder of Westminster fame, has joined the family.

Here are some photos her prior owners shared with us..



She shared her prior home with a yorkie who had died last year, so coming into our large dog family was a bit of an adjustment for her. But just after two days, she ran with the pack, and now just has to find out how close the others will let her get to me while I am writing this..

Her former owners shaved her, so she now looks like a cross between a lab and a golden. At the fields today, she had a wondrous time, as I don’t think she ever was able to run free like this.


The rest of the family is doing very well. Eight month old Gabby is as big as the rest now..


She still enjoys eating her greens and ignoring the garden fences as usual..



Here is Riley (on the right) mother of Lexi, walking beside Solo.


Then Rocky and Lucy round out our Golden family.



We already have a  special family interested in  adopting Lexi. This family has a seriously ill Lab at the moment, so we will keep her here for the short term. Lexi’s mild temperament and attitude has made her addition here a special blessing instead of the chaos we thought would be the result of a sixth dog. Either that or Barb and I have just lost our minds and don’t know it yet.. hah!

Wishing Golden smiles to all our readers and dog owners.





Gabby Comes Home..

It has been a very busy weekend here in our home in Farmington, Connecticut. We started the weekend on Friday picking up our new female puppy. What a gorgeous girl from a gorgeous litter. Dodi and Walter did an amazing job whelping and raising their latest litter. Gabby had to have a last run in the yard with her mom Trude, before she said goodbye and started the journey home with us. (Please click on the photos if you  want to view in larger scale).


Saturday was our daughter Kristen’s birthday party. Her dog Pearl joined the party with our four goldens, and our newest arrival Gabby.

There were some initial growls and sniffing moments when our group met Gabby, but she is very self assured, and made herself right at home.

The other dogs are not as impressed, but seem tolerant enough at this point.

Easter Sunday started out with another crowd and dinner. So Gabby got to meet lots of new faces.. Still there was time to explore the back yard and make some interesting discoveries.

We tried some photos of Lauren and Kristen with Gabby to possibly update our home page for our website. Our daughters were in high school when those photos were taken. Time has moved along, but they still make an arresting photo in my mind! We will have to see what magic Celeste Rockel (our website designer extraordinaire) can do with these latest photos. PS Celeste, I am having some technical troubles to get the story line matching the photos in the composer program.. Please help pretty please, and pardon everyone for the way the story is displayed.

And at the end of this long day, man and puppy alike needed a little nap, as evidenced by our son Brian joining Gabby for some quiet time.

And when everyone had left, and the house was quiet again, Gabby showed she feels happy and comfortable in her new home, by just curling up under an end table, happy and at peace.

Thank you Dodi and Walter of Mardovar Goldens for giving us such a great puppy to rekindle the stories of  Golden life and love from Dogville.

Welcoming.. Gabby, “Green Collar Girl”

Here she is… Our newest female member of our family. Posing for a piece of cheese, and licking her muzzle. More photos to follow this weekend when she officially arrives here in Dogville.

Thank you to all who sent us such positive messages after getting our first blog email out of the blue in two and a half years. And to think some have already put their name on our list for the next litter. Thank you for such positive thinking.
Mike and Barb.

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 small  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.

Closing Moments

All week I wondered what I would find for solace when it came time to write one of the final blogs about puppyville here in Farmington. Like a small windstorm that you sometimes come upon on a walk, happy thoughts, sad moments, puppy hugs, golden smiles, medical worries, new friends, closing credits .. they all banged around in my skull like the leaves, sand, and twigs that are caught up in the swirling vortex of this windstorm. Which emotion would surface most strongly and which would be pushed under by these invisible currents. But then on Friday, the sun came out, the weekend continued on a summer’s path, and we lived in the moment.. And it was all good.

Rocky continued his war on my plants and pots. And he even taught his older sister Lucy how to join in.

We and the puppies were able to enjoy the warmer weather on the outside patio.

Riley has made a complete recovery, although she bears some scars where the dressing cover rubbed against her side flanks. She has absolutely no interest in the pups.. a severe case of postpartum pyschosis I guess. But she has survived those horrible days and nights of her infection, and we are grateful.

Saturday morning, the activity in the whelping box was frenetic. The puppies’ energy level has grown exponetially with each passing day.

We gave everyone their baths Saturday morning early, because we had a final vet appointment for their shots and physicals.

Mr. Black has continued to gain weight and strength. His unique left ear is showcased here with his bath.

The visit to see Dr. Feldman then got off to a crowded start.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit, except for that moment when the “boys” had their testicles checked.

Everyone then came home and snuggled together in one big pile as usual.

Mr Black continued to impress us with his improved motor skills and awareness. Still deaf though.

We let everyone out of the pen later in the day, and it was then that I was struck by how ready our pups were to join the outside world.

Of course with any going away party, we had to take some “formal photographs”.

Today dawned sunny again, and after a flurry of cleanup, puppy pampering, and baths, three of our special families came by to start their own golden adventures.

The final two puppies will leave tomorrow. Mr. Black will not be placed for another month or so, and Rocky looks to extend his visit here by about four weeks as well. So of course, how can you get lonely when you still have seven goldens underfoot in the house!!

So while Barb and I realize that a final chapter may have just been written this weekend, an epilogue will follow.

Thank you for your interest in our world here..

Golden Hugs to you all!

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