Golden Retrievers

Springtime Activities

Gabby is now fully integrated into our dog family. We are still a little sleep deprived due to her middle of the night needs, but her accidents in the house are decreasing. Yeah. She seems to add a few pounds and a few inches of growth every few days. Her walking with the pack is better, and she doesn’t sit down to rest as much. Just a little tougher keeping five leashes straight instead of four.


We’ve had a fair amount of rain here in Connecticut these past few weeks. Great for green fields and lawns, but not so much for keeping the dogs clean on their runs.

Solo seems to be the mud hen of the pack, but as soon as she is wet, everyone follows. Gorgeous grass for the dogs to run and play however..

Soon enough, we are home again, and time to get clean so they are allowed back in the house..

Then it is into the house and cool down time..

Here’s hoping they sleep a little better and longer tonight…



New Goings On..

This month’s “Golden Retriever News” put out by the Golden Retriever Club of America, featured a photo advertisement of Gabby’s father. Here he is in all his splendor..

What a great brushing, posing shot he had for the photo. Having just given our four big dogs a bath in the plastic outdoor kiddie pool last night after they wallowed in a mud hole, I can appreciate a well groomed and clean Golden. Mud season here in New England is not a fun time, when these dogs just have to roll in every mud puddle they can find. And they usually spot it way before I do, so I have no chance to head off the mad dash for the first one in.

We are finally getting a night routine that works. We moved Gabby’s crate up into our bedroom, after a number of sleepless nights of her crying in the family room. She still gets up once or twice, but she does her duty, and then happily settles in her crate again. Hopefully the worst of the adjustments to a puppy are behind us.

With the central area in our kitchen being open, that is the gathering place for everyone after meals and exercise. You can see that she is getting bigger, and that she has found her way into the pack, though at the outer fringes still most times

She is being schooled in self defense and dog fighting techniques by Rocky. Surprisingly enough, she is the aggressor most of the time, though she is much smaller. The make believe growls by both of them sound real enough and at times the noise draws the other dogs to their feet to watch what is happening. At that point we stop the play before we have a full scale riot.

We have had a few young visitors which is always nice, for us and the young folk. Here Kayla and a friend are holding Gabby.


Flash back to 2006 when Kayla also visited us to hold a puppy.

I hope you enjoy these pictures Kayla!!

And now to sign off on our latest goings on here, with all of Dogville happily resting at my feet after an early morning run. The only way to get any work done around here is to get them good and tired with exercise. But they are wonderful company, one and all.




Learning To Walk with Others

Gabby is going to live as a member of a multiple dog family, and needs to learn how to walk with the others. With her short legs, we have to go slowly, and not stress out her joints. So presently, we are taking her for a walk with one of the big dogs, who have already enjoyed their own run, so they are docile and calm with her. But we started with our daughter Kristen’s pug, Pearl, when they were visiting for Easter.

The other four were not happy, even though they had already had their fun time. When does a Golden ever turn down an opportunity for more adventures?

Today it was Lucy’s turn to take Gabby through her walk the block paces..

Walking a pack requires a certain amount of specialized attire. Besides the leashes, and collars, you have to bring extra leashes since it is not good if one or two of them snap when you are out on the fields. Being politically correct is your responsibility when walking a number of dogs who can be aggressive in larger numbers. And I have had the large metal clasps break of fatigue without warning during walks and runs. Second lots of poop bags which is obvious. Third:  tough gloves, so you don’t get blisters or dirt or other material on your hands when they run with their leashes on at the fields. And fourth, heavy duty boots so you can keep yourself from being pulled over when they all in total outweigh you by a few hundred pounds. Sneakers or light weight shoes don’t work.

And of course you need a whistle, to recall them when they run free on the fields. Most of the time they listen..

And after everyone has walked or run, it is time to chill. Here Gabby is sitting with Rocky on the back stoop.

A very enjoyable start for all to a Sunday morning.

A New Day and a New Puppy for FVG

Hi Everyone,

I am not sure who is still on our blog post list, but it has been a long two and a half years since I wrote anything for our website. Like Barb and I, our dogs have grown older, and faced illnesses, and various senior citizen issues. We are sad to report that we lost Emma and Lily last Winter and Spring. Both had cancers that are common to the golden retriever line. Both had brought years of  joy and adventures that can’t be replaced, but they will forever be etched in the memories of ourselves, our children, and our golden friends. Below is a group photo taken in the fall before they fell ill. Emma is on the upper left, and Lily is on the upper right.

But it is a new Spring, and with that season comes new life and hope for better times. Barbara decided she was ready to try raising another puppy, and we both committed to going through the rigors and uncertainty of getting clearances for breeding.  It is ironic that we ended up with Dodi Borsay Horowitz of Mardovar Goldens in North Kingston, RI. Back in 1984 we inquired of her about a breeder in our area. She referred us to Cindy Jones of Golden Joy Kennels, and Peaches came to us as our first Golden retriever. Now in less than one week, we will be picking up a young female puppy from Dodi’s latest litter. The Circle of life took 28 years to return to its beginning. Dodi has four females, and one of them will be ours.

I have included the four females below from the photos Dodi posted in Facebook this week.

These dogs have an English Golden heritage, and it will be interesting to see how she grows and differs from the lines that we have become used to. These young ladies are all gorgeous, and we thank Dodi for her faith in letting us have one of her pups.

So for any of our prior golden friends who have shared time beside our whelping box, and maybe have taken home a puppy, we are pleased to announce that we are back. We hope mother nature will be kinder to us and our females going forward. And if you have a time frame for a dog that is two plus years out, we may have a four legged friend that wants to share your life.


Mike and Barbara.

Rocky’s New Home and Puppies for Sale

Hi to everyone! It seems like years rather than months, and a lifetime of experiences, since Dogville went off the air. Despite writing this blog for years, I had to recheck the entry passwords and commands to get started again. A few senior moments may have set in since I retired from writing.

We have just returned from a wonderful two weeks in Italy, visiting our oldest son and his family.

Rocky, the rascal that our readers are so familiar with, was picked up by a pet delivery service a few weeks before we made our journey. He has adjusted very well to his new surroundings. And what he may lack in canine companionship of the pack, he more than makes up for in open space and two little boys to follow around.

Barb and I were both amazed by the beautiful location Mike Jr., Emma and the boys now call home. A 400 year old villa with its own olive orchard and fruit gardens, it makes you thoughtful as you wander around the grounds. Just how many families and adventures have preceded our footsteps on the worn flagstones?

They live in a small town called Imprenata, outside of Florence in that adult storybook location called Tuscany. And what would a villa be without its own “gardener”. Yep, they have one.. “Leonello”,  he only speaks Italian and has been working on the property for the past thirty years or so. Rocky has a new best friend. Very happy for both of them.

So we will leave Rocky to start his second year of life in another country and hope that he doesn’t do too much damage there and get deported.

On that very same note, Barb and I were remarking just how well our older girls had settled down since the departure of that adventuresome puppy. That was until this morning, when I came downstairs to find that Solo had taken off the counter a stack of bills with enclosed checks that Barb had made out the day before. The only trace of them I could find was postage sized remnants scattered on the floor. The entire paper trail would only make up a half dozen postage stamp pieces of checks and envelopes. Sheesh.

I would like to tell you all that Black’s ashes now rest with several other much loved Goldens on the mountainside of our Vermont cabin. I took a quiet drive with the girls and we laid him to peace. Just seeing the old photos of that last litter brings back a lot of emotion.

And now some very exciting news..  Donna Talbot, our great friend and  golden breeder, has a litter of beautiful puppies that are almost eight weeks old.

The mom is Ebby, the daughter of Ella, who is our Emma’s sister. So these gorgeous dogs have lineage tied to our line from our very special Abby. In the photo above, Ebby is on the left, and Ella is on the right.

Several of the puppies are still available. If anyone has an interest or knows of anyone who would like a quality puppy, please email Donna at [email protected]

Although Barbara has repeatedly said to me she has had enough of breeding and the myriad problems we have experienced, just look at this photo, and see that golden magic working a smile onto her face as she inhales the goodness that puppyville is in its best moments.

Yeah, I feel a little wistful as I finish these last few words. But other adventures await, so back on sabbatical I go.

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