Archive by Author

Shopping List

14 Nov

I am often asked for a shopping list for puppies so here is a list of items, most are from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small payment from qualifying purchases but these are all items from my shopping history and I often show in stories.

FOOD: I feed the puppies Darwin’s raw food and they have a great introductory offer of 10 pounds for $14.95. Follow the sign up process, I would suggest listing 20 pounds as the adult weight and check puppy for the age. I believe it will tell you your dog will eat 4 pounds per week. You have the option to select between the organic line ($30.38/wk in Nov 2022) or the value line ($24.61/wk in Nov 2022). After you get your intro offer you can change the cadence, the default seems to be every 5 weeks. You can also change between organic and value. I am not a Darwin’s partner or affiliate so please reach out to them with questions, they are a local company and their customer service is fantastic. You can do the entire process on the phone or sign up online and then call them at 206.324.7387

POTTY: I suggest going from the litter box to potty outside. The litter box is just a training technique I use here but you can see in my FB/IG stories my adult dogs do not go potty in the house. I buy poop bags from Amazon and typically get 900 at once because it is so much cheaper than places like Mud Bay. I’ve tried many products for potty accidents and I like this one the most for cleanups: Pet Force Stain and Odor Eliminator – this is a concentrate so you probably need a smaller bottle (I purchase the 128 oz but it also comes in 16 oz and 32 oz). Good reviews and looking at my order history I’ve been using for about 5 years. Another potty training tip is that I recommend not letting them have access to too large of an area at a time. I would suggest a baby gate – I like these extra tall walk through gates because they just make life easier. Just an example, if you hang in your living room in the evenings then start by just letting your pup have access to the living room and not the entire house. If gates don’t work with the layout of your house another thing that works to section off a room are these exercise pens which are shown as a circle but I create a wall with them. 

CRATES: You are going to bring home a crate with your puppy but it is very small, I expect it to last maybe 3-4 weeks. Small is good, it is comforting and keeps puppy from going potty in their crate. I started my girls in the 24″ crate and then we eventually moved up to the 30″ crate and that is what they still have now. What I like about this style is that they can see everything happening but if you that is too much stimulation and you need to you cover it I suggest something light like a sheet or pillow case, nothing heavy because they get hot. I also send my families home with a snuggle puppy which helps comfort them while they are in the crate and reminds them of snuggling wit their siblings. I know there are some knockoff brands on Amazon but check out the reviews, they seem to have issues with the battery operated heartbeat.

HARNESS: I recommend a harness over a collar and I think a local store like Mud Bay is a better place (vs Amazon) because Mud Bay’s return policy is awesome. If you purchase on Amazon make sure you are measuring your puppy prior to ordering because as an example, Beyonce’s harness is an XS and she’s 17 pounds. For some brands an XS harness is for a 5 pound dog. I also want to share that I don’t have my girls wear their harness unless we are going for a walk or a car ride because the rubbing against your puppy causes mats. I’ll talk about those next. I do not recommend walking your dog around the neighborhood or public places until they are fully vaccinated against parvo which is another 6 weeks after leaving here but that doesn’t mean that you can’t practice leash walking in your yard or even inside of your house.  I show this in my IG/FB stories, when you first take puppy home, before they are vaccinated, I use a tiny chicken harness (size small) and have had great results.

GROOM: Ok back to the harness causing mats, most dogs don’t love being brushed/combed so it will take time to get them used to it. If you get a puppy from me, I use a comb on my puppies to desensitize them and I also put an electric toothbrush on their feet to get them used to having their feet touched. Please keep up on combing your puppy because they get matted very fast and if it gets to be too much the groomer will shave your dog down and that fluffy, teddy bear coat is probably part of what you feel in love with so let’s work to keep it! Here are the tools that I use. My groomer recommended starting with a slicker brush as the first step to combing your dog. You can search “slicker brush” on Amazon/Petco/Chewy etc and read reviews and find one. After you use the brush you can move to combing them out. I have about 4 of these combs and they are my favorite because you can get all the way to their skin and not just brush the ends of their hair. If there is a mat I need to cut through I have one of these de-matting combs.They are shipped for a dominant right hand but it was easy enough to switch – one side is very sharp so again be careful – watch your fingers butalso be careful combing out your dog with this item. You shouldn’t need this for a new puppy, this is useful as they get older and hopefully you don’t need to use it often. I recently shared that I purchased this grooming dryer and I LOVE it. I don’t know why I took so long for me to realize I needed. I blow the coat completely dry and with one hand on the dryer and the other on the comb using the dryer makes the comb move through their coat so easily.

TOYS: My favorite place to buy toys for my dogs is Ross and TJMaxx because I think they have the best deals. You are going to go home with some toys but puppies will be teething so they are going to want to chew A LOT. I recommend you have a generous supply of toys! Squeaky toys, stuffed toys, hard toys, and chewy toys! Lots of options will help keep your pup entertained and can be used to provide a diversion for when your pup wants to chew on something they shouldn’t. This is important for your puppy, and will make life better for them and you! I do not recommend buying rawhide because I feel it is not a digestible, safe product for dogs but that is just my opinion and stores continue to sell – just do some research. Puppies need supervision with toys and they have a better experience if you actually play with them. In our stories, I show my girls play with “interactive toys” (in quotes so to help you search and find). They love puzzles and they come in different levels – 8 week old puppies can start with level 1. I recommend that you supervise so they don’t destroy and I suggest rationing the time they have the puzzle so they don’t get bored after using twice. My girls have this level 2 puzzle and then we moved to level 3 In addition to puzzles I’ve shared that we use licky mats, snuffle mats and I put baby food in these treat dispensing toys and freeze and these all provide mental stimulation.

BEDS: Your puppy is usually going to want to chew up and destroy even their dog bed. The truth is they are absolutely fine sleeping on the hard floor, they do not require a soft bed to feel comfortable. A lot of times a dog bed can make your puppy feel hot. If you watch our FB/IG stories then you will see we have a few of these beds and I’m sure you will see in videos. If you are looking for a dog bed that has a raised edge like a couch search “bolster” – I think the dogs like to rest their head on the raised edge.

TREATS: I talk about treats a lot in stories. I use freeze dried raw dog food for treats. The product is a little higher price for me to feed multiple dogs as their meal but the love it for treats and the small size is perfect. Our favorite brands are Vital Essentials – I have purchased the mini nibs in duck, rabbit, salmon, beef as well as their minnows. I sent my families home with freeze dried salmon from cat-man-doo (local company) and this is the treat that I use when I teach them “sit for please” which you may have seen in my stories.

 

 

Want To See Doodles? Our Visitation Policy

22 Jul

Our first litter will be 4 years old next month. Time has flown by and I have gone from advertising on Craigslist to a waitlist of over 20. I am so grateful for the love that we have received. THANK YOU.

With this new attention, I have seen an increase in the amount of messages that I receive asking to come over and meet our dogs or play with puppies. I have also been surprised by a few random people that never even called me, they just showed up at my front door. Just to be clear, that is scary and I would never invite you in my house if you do that. The only downside to this home based business is that I don’t have an office or kennel outside our home for people to visit.

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Shakira Has Gone Off To College!

01 Oct

Shakira is all grown up and has moved to Seattle for new adventures. I like to think of it as going off to college. We love this little girl dearly but she’s outgrown our boring lifestyle,  at home all the time out in the burbs and she is ready for new adventures. Shakira has done amazing with the training we have done with Anna from Paws With No Flaws as well as Zoom Room and she is a fantastic mommy but she’s retired from breeding and is looking for a little ME time. As we have added to our pack we could tell she was feeling unhappy and started the process of finding guardian homes for the younger pack members, Fergie and Rihanna. I have mentioned my friend Karen in at least one previous post and you have probably seen her posting and sharing on our Facebook page because she has been over to visit every litter of puppies we’ve ever had. Karen and her spouse Katy had 2 adorable Cocker Spaniel boys for over 10 years that passed due to natural causes and they have been without a dog for over a year and were ready to add to their family. While discussing the possibility of caring for either Fergie or Rihanna, our trainer Anna came over for another session and based on what she saw (and how well she knows our pack) she said she felt the best fit would be for Shakira to be in a home where she was the only dog. We discussed other options because letting go of my first puppy EVER didn’t feel like much of an option but in the end we decided to go with what is best for her and not me.

Shakira started going over to Karen and Katy’s home in Seattle on September 2nd for just a weekend at first and then a longer weekend and we just gradually increased the time. I felt relief and joy to see how happy she is at their home and honestly a little pain and heartache that my girl is happier in another home. I started to worry that I wasn’t a good dog mom but I do recognize that just like humans, every dog is different with a unique personality and needs. To be honest I felt a positive shift at home with the other dogs as well; now we have Beyonce and her baby and JLo and her baby. Shakira still comes to visit often, sometimes just for a day if her new mommies have work that will take them away from home and we’ve been able to have a few overnights too. This is a tough situation but I tried to put her needs before mine.


I have gone over to Shakira’s new house and must say…it is FANTASTIC! It really does feel like she’s gone off to college. Before I met Andru I lived in downtown Seattle, maybe 5 blocks from Pike Place Market and I loved it. The city has so much to do! She lives in Fremont and has a private rooftop deck for sunbathing and/or people watching. She has gone kayaking and boating and it turns out she loves going to bars (see, I told you it is like she went off to college). 


She has graduated from Agility level 1 at Zoom Room and will move on the level 2. 


She is going to take swimming lessons, although I think she was happy to jump in the lake without any lessons while kayaking, and her new mommies are going to take her through the program to work as a therapy dog visiting senior homes. Shakira’s other mommies work from home so she is not alone during the day and they’ve even got her set up with her own Facebook account (again, COLLEGE GIRL…..look out!). My heart feels good with this choice. For my Shakira families, please know that she WILL be at the reunion in 2 weeks and future reunions as well. Just like the young adult that moves away and goes off to college, she will stay a part of our pack in our hearts even if she only visits on occasion.

I have a shared album (my puppy families know all about the shared album – love it) and Karen has already added 53 photos. 


I want to post every single one but I’ll keep it to a few so you will give her a like and follow her on Facebook!

This is new to us and I still have a hard time talking about it or even writing about it without crying. Before sharing on the website I wanted to tell Thom, Shakira’s (retired) breeder and human grandpa and the person that allowed me to start this whole adventure. Thom said “GREAT JOB on placement! I know it’s hard but look at those smiles”, I sent him several of the pics from Karen’s album. He was also happy to say – “we can now say one of our dogs went kayaking” which made me smile! And the words I needed to hear….”I enjoy your updates and I am always proud of you”.

 

 

Our Experience Getting Shakira Spayed

01 Oct

Before we had doodles, I had one other dog, Apple, and when it was time to have her spayed I took her to the local humane society in Bellevue. The price was low and I assumed that since their specialty is dogs they would probably be experts and the best place to go. I don’t want to post a review of that experience but I will say it was bad.

We have a private Facebook group for our families and while no one has posted about a BAD experience, I also did not see any posts of a GOOD experience. I was getting worried as we got closer to the time to get Shakira spayed. I researched an ovary sparing spay (OSS) and went to a $150 consultation with a surgeon.I liked the idea of keeping the dog’s ovaries because I felt like it would be beneficial for the dog’s health but I just didn’t have a good feeling about the surgeon that I met.

I started to feel nervous. I didn’t want Shakira to have another heat cycle however I also didn’t want to settle on a surgery or surgeon that I wasn’t totally comfortable with. I spoke to one of my families and found out they actually had an AMAZING experience but didn’t want to post about it because the cost was higher than the average spay. I believe the average cost to get a female spayed is around $200 and neutering a male is a little less. The great experience that my family had was at a place call Animal Hospital of Newport Hills which is in Newcastle….about an hour each way from our house. I went to Yelp to check out their reviews and they were mixed so I decided to make an appointment and check it out for myself. Round trip for this was about 2 hours of my day but I wanted my girl to have a good experience because ultimately that means you too will have a good experience. No one wants to be up all night worrying about a sick family member.

My experience with Animal Hospital of Newport was great and if you are able to get their office then I would suggest considering making the trip. Our surgeon was Aspen Davidoff and I requested her because she also did my grandbaby’s surgery however I’m sure all of their Drs are great. What I think really made a difference was the laser option that they offer instead of a traditional scalpel (there was an additional fee) and the option to have an IV of fluids during the surgery. GET THIS IV!! There was an additional fee, I cannot remember the breakdown but it was something like maybe $30-40 extra. I encourage you to do a google search on the benefits of an IV during surgery.

Shakira as spayed on July 27th and we were sent home with medication to help sedate her if she had a hard time settling down and also a mild pain medication similar to use taking a Tylenol for pain, soreness and swelling. I did not need to give her the medication for sedation because she was really fine. She had a line about an inch long on her abdomen but no visible stitches and nothing that I had to clean. I put her in a baby onesie the first two nights to make sure she did not lick but she was only interested in her front leg where the IV was; I think maybe she had a razor burn or it just itched. Other than licking that front leg, we had no complications and no down time. This was an amazing experience! Shakira was supposed to avoid stairs for a week and we tried our best to carry her upstairs when we went to bed and keep her calm but she obviously felt great. I felt incredibly nervous before the procedure and cried when I dropped her off but everything went fantastic and I will definitely make the trip for my other girls when it is time.

We went to the office for a consultation and we did a blood panel for a cost of $129.50 and then when she had her surgery the bill was $402.10 so total I spent $531.60. The experience was priceless.

If this location does not work for you then I would suggest requesting the IV fluids during the procedure – I think that really helped a lot and if you search online it seems to be pretty routine for human surgery.

 

 

Beyonce Is Take A Break and We Currently Have 2 Available Puppies

04 Jun

*** UPDATE – the two puppies pictured above have gone home and we do not have puppies at this time however I believe we will have one JLo/Koa puppy available to go home in late August, they are due in just a few days.

Shakira is now retired! Not “officially” since she still has puppies here at the house, they will be 8 weeks old on Tuesday so she’s still assisting me with their care but she’s close.  I haven’t decided on an appropriate gift for retirement because massages and diamonds have no value to a dog and she gets bones and treats all the time. I’m open to suggestions to if you think of something let me know.

Beyonce will have one more litter and she will also be retired. I had originally planned for her final litter to be in October, going home in December however I have decided to give her a break and skip a heat cycle. My vet does a full blood panel on our moms after puppies are born and before we breed them the next time and every time our results have been great, very healthy dogs! Our girls are still very young, Beyonce just turned 3 years old on May 20th and she has already had 3 litters, her first was born December 14, 2014 when she was 1 yr, 7 months old). I’m basing my decision on Shakira’s final litter which was tough on our little girl and she ended up spending the night in the ER on Mother’s Day. After discussing with our regular vet, Dr Raja from Finn Hill Animal Hospital and the vets we worked with at Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle, there was nothing that we did wrong, no indication prior to puppies that this would happen and the only improvement that was suggested was to do a 2nd blood test when puppies were 2 weeks old since Shakira had such a large litter. The issue was that the nursing puppies were taking all of her calcium which resulted in eclampsia (eclampsia is different in humans). If we had not been home and caught the early signs when we did, eclampsia can be fatal in dogs, which obviously was scary and very upsetting to us! If we have another large litter we will definitely do a second blood test. All of the veterinarians that we spoke with agreed that Beyonce is healthy, based on exams and lab work, and it is fine to breed her with this next cycle but I’ve always said these wonderful animals are our pets FIRST and this is more of a passion project than a job, I actually have a FT job and have worked for my employer for 13 years so this isn’t something that I do to pay the mortgage. I want to give my girl a break; she gives me so much joy, I want to be sure I’m keeping her best interest in mind. Females dogs can safely have puppies up to 6 years old so I’m going to breed Beyonce for her final litter when she goes in to heat in March 2017 which will mean a due date of approximately May 28 with puppies going home July 23, 2017. I realize this is 13 months away and red minis are VERY hard to find but we are using Beyonce’s son Koa with JLo so there is a good chance we will have more reds in our future. I am sorry to disappoint people but I hope you will understand my reason.