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What EXACTLY Does “Health Tested” Mean?!

06 Jul

If you have spent any time looking for a dog you have probably seen the term “health tested” but this doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone so I wanted to post about what it means to me.

When we first got Shakira our breeder Thom, who is a very nice man that I’m still friends with to this day, equated health testing to regular vet check ups with no health issues between visits. Thom had standard size labradoodles as well as minis so he was aware of the retrievers issues with hip dysplasia however he explained that he didn’t feel that it was needed in a small dog because they weighed less and were generally less active. At the time this made sense to my husband and I but only because we just didn’t educate ourselves to know any better and we desperately wanted this adorable puppy. NOTE: PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MIND!

I found a great article from Paw Print Genetics about the importance of genetic testing and I want to share it with you here. I do genetic testing on my dogs because one of the goals of breeding is to produce the healthiest puppies possible. When I purchase breeding dogs I expect the highest quality of dogs and because of that I have decided to not include Drake in my breeding program. He is a GORGEOUS, well behaved dog and appears to be very healthy however his genetic testing came back as a carrier for degenerative myelopathy  Remember the note earlier? Again, puppies are adorable. Do not lose your mind!

I was upset when I received the results because I was told that both parents are health tested and clear. I was emailed a screenshot of what I now believe to be the health testing of A DIFFERENT dog that was not the true parent. This breeder has it on her website that health testing is done with Paw Print Genetics but when I search the “kennel name” (business name) or search for her name, I’ve searched for just her first name and Australian Labradoodle, I’ve searched for the parents name…nothing comes up. Now this is my fault for falling for a cute face and lots of cute puppy pictures. Please learn from my experience and follow up – ask for links to check the site yourself.

For the OFA testing, and this is done IN ADDITION to the genetic testing because it is for different issues, if a dog is younger than 2 years old they get a preliminary certificate for hips which those results do not appear on their site however they do mail us a certificate which we can scan or take a picture and post. It can also get confusing when breeders use two different names – on my dogs I use their first name (Shakira, Beyonce, JLo, Fergie, Rihanna, Mariah, Adele and Gaga) and my last name so it makes it very easy to find. Right now you will not find results for Fergie, Rihanna, Mariah, Adele and Gaga because they are young. I will take Fergie in for her OFA testing in the next month, I have put it off waiting for her outgrow her carsickness but I’ve done the genetic testing on everyone – this is the first step for me to decide if I will proceed with further testing and in the case of Drake I made the decision to “retire” him early and he will remain with his guardian family as their pet.

I hope this helps you with your search. If you have questions please feel free to call/email/text and we can chat more. I am obviously heartbroken about not using Drake for our program however degenerative myelopathy is much too serious of a disease for me to even consider using a carrier…but another breeder thought it was just fine. Please take the time to research – this disease doesn’t even hit until your dog is around 8 years old. Imagine how in love you are with your dog by 8 years old and that awesome guarantee that breeders offer is usually 1-2 years. Look it up, it is the human equivalent of Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS but just to go over again he seems very healthy and is only a carrier so without the testing you would have no idea.

Here are pictures of the prelim reports



And when they entered Beyonce’s information they had a typo on her birthday listing her born in 2012 but she was born in 2013 so this should have been a prelim but we got the real certificate. You can also see her results on their website 


All of the certificates can be found online but I have the actual paper certificates in my office too 

Here are the eye reports 


And patella 


I’m sure I have more in addition to these but I wanted to update my site since I have removed Drake as one of our dogs. 

I still am learning everyday and I’m definitely not trying to claim I know it all or am better than everyone else but instead I’m trying to be as honest as I can about this “business” because in the end we end up being family and if someone has one of my puppies I want to stay a part of their lives and of course I want them to have a happy, healthy dog! 

What’s New

10 Mar
  • We now have a webcam so you can watch puppies anytime! They probably won’t be exciting for a few more weeks but they are still pretty cute to look at. Check the out at: PUPPY CAM I have it open all day because I love watching JLo take care of her babies!

 

  • I’m still posting lots of updates on Snapchat as well. Search for PupsByTaylor and you can see what is going on with Beyonce, JLo and Fergie and I also capture some puppy moments there too!

 

  • Koa is now officially retired, he has been neutered and his days of dating are over

 

  • It was a super difficult decision but I am NOT keeping another JLo/Koa puppy from their last litter together and I worry that down the road I might regret it because I know they are going to be ADORABLE. If I am thinking emotionally only (which is very easy for me to do) I’d probably keep the whole darn litter of 4 but I have been discussing with other experienced breeders and if I am thinking of the needs of my business and I need to get larger girls to have larger litters. I will still have minis however Beyonce is my largest girl and she is only 21 pounds. So I’m excited to announce that I have purchased a chocolate mini goldendoodle, born February 17th. Her mom is 24 pounds and came from a litter of 11 but Mariah (that is what we plan to name her) is one of seven puppies. Her father is 27 pounds and came from a litter of 10. Mariah will be here in April and she will stay in our home until July-August time frame and then she will live with a guardian home. We are still looking for a perfect fit so please contact me if you are interested. I will also be adding a few more females very soon…. details to come later…

 

 

It Takes A Village! Looking For Guardian Homes

12 Oct

 

AUGUST 2017 – I am looking for a home for Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy, that is within 20 miles (approximately); close enough to have our girl back to visit at least every 3 months so she can feel comfortable here in our home since this is where she would have her puppies.

Blue Ivy will come back and live here in our home for the final 7-10 days of her pregnancy and for at least 6 weeks after puppies arrive – this means that your dog will be here for a total of 7-ish weeks. You can come visit but I know for some (myself included) that would be really tough to be without your dog for over 2 months so I know this is not for everyone.

Just to give you an idea of how frequent it would be here’s the schedule from Shakira, she’s retired but I did back to back litters. Puppies were born:

  • August 18, 2014
  • March 15, 2015
  • September 25, 2015

So if Shakira was in a guardian home I would want her here with us August 10-Sept 29

Then she would go back to the guardian home with a few short visits and return to us again just a little over 5 months later and be gone March 8-April 26

Then she would go back to the guardian home with a few short visits and return to us again Sept 18-Nov 6

This schedule is just an example, every dog has a different schedule but I want to give you as much information as possible so you can decided if that schedule would work for you and your family.

If you have a male dog in your home now this would NOT be a good fit and I will ask you to contact me regarding a pet only and not a guardian dog. I would not place an intact female in a home with a male even if he is neutered and my concern is his behavior once the female is in heat. I would assume you would not be happy if your boy started peeing in your house. I also think if you have young children in your home this may be difficult as the dog will be gone for 8 weeks, three different times, which can be tough on a child that has bonded and might even sleep with the dog. I also get a lot of responses from those working at Amazon but you cannot bring an intact female in to the office once she has reached sexual maturity it would create a huge distraction in an office full of dogs. The best place for our girl would be somewhere she has a human home with her and no other dogs in the house.

Still think you’d be a good fit? Great! You would pay a deposit equal to the cost of a puppy so this is not a free dog INITIALLY however you will receive your deposit back with each litter with additional financial compensation as well. So it does take about 3 years to receive your money back, this is not immediate as she doesn’t even have her first litter until she is about 2 years old. Puppy will have 3 litters and then I will pay to have her spayed at the amazing place we took Shakira (recovery was AMAZING) and by 4 years old she will be 110% YOUR DOG with many years of life to enjoy. We’d love to see her again if you travel but there would be no obligation to bring her back to our house if that doesn’t work with your plans.

There are definitely more details to discuss. Please contact me if you are within 20 miles of 98012 and want more information! Thanks

 

 

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 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.

 

Find Puppies on Snapchat

17 Mar

img_2568

Andru (my awesome tech obsessed husband that runs Gear Live) is always telling me about new apps and technology that I HAVE TO have and honestly I’m not as crazy about all the latest like he is because I feel that it’s just more for me to learn and keep up on. I thought snapchat was for kids and pervs but now that I think about it I thought the same thing about Facebook 9 years ago and now I’m obsessed and need a support group to stop using FB! So if you don’t have this free app I suggest you download it out if you have any interest in seeing puppies and quick updates on our everyday life. This account is not about me at all but the girls – Shakira, Beyonce and JLo and any puppies that we have at the home. I thought it would be a great way for you to see how things go at our home and how these girls are in our house and our hearts 110%

So if you want to see puppies on snapchat or really get a better idea of what life is like at our house find us: PupsByTaylor

Therapy Dogs at SeaTac Airport

11 Mar

Paws 4 Passengers - 2015 Team Photo

After we traveled to Sacramento last month and were greeted by the Boarding Area Relaxation Corp (BARC) team I knew I wanted to be involved in getting this to Seattle. I received a response today the manager of airport customer service at SeaTac and found out they already have a Therapy Dog Program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. I was SO EXCITED to get this response:

  
During my search I connected with Debbie Harvey; Debbie is the person responsible for getting the program going in Reno as well as a few other airports. If you are in another state and somehow found my site, please contact me and I’ll get you in touch with Debbie. She is AMAZING. She is a retired pilot with flight priveldges and said she can travel anywhere to help, even if it is just to provide some support to get the program going. She is so dedicated to this program and she spent over an hour talking to me on the phone and gave me a lot of great advice. Debbie had already suggested that I contact Pet Partners for registration. Unfortunately I found out that one of the requirements of Pet Partners is that the dogs cannot have a raw food diet. I feel a little bit heartbroken over this because I really REALLY wanted to be involved in the program. I really have a strong belief in feeding raw and I’m not willing to change that. But if you are interested at all in this program, in reducing stress in travelers and making people feel GOOD then please let me know.

In addition to Seattle, here is a list of US airports with therapy dog programs:

Albany, NY
Albuquerque, NM
Augusta, GA
Buffalo, NY
Columbia, S. C.
Denver, CO
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Grand Rapids, MC
LAX   CA
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Minn. St. Paul, MN
Norfork, VA
Oklahoma City OK
Ontario, CA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
SFO   CA
Tampa, FL
Willmington, N. C.

There is also 3 Canadian airports that have the program also:

Edmonton, Canada
Regina, Canada
Saskatoon, Canada

I was also given a list with 10 airports that are in the planning stages of the program and I’m not totally sure if that was information I’m allowed to share so for now I’ll just say it could be coming to your area soon!

Debbie told me the program started in 2001 in San Jose, CA (SJC) by airport Chaplain Kathryn Liebschutz and her dog, Dolly the Dalmation. Liebschutz was a member of the airport’s Interfaith Chaplaincy and on the morning of September 11st all chaplains were summoned to the San Jose airport to help passengers stranded by grounded planes or console those just arriving who might have just heard of the attacks. On September 13th, commercial flights resumed but stress levels were high. I did not get to speak to Chaplain Liebschutz however the story that Debbie explained to me was that Dolly the Dalmation was already registered as a therapy dog so Chaplain Liebschutz brought Dolly with her to the airport to comfort stressed travelers and that is where the program began.

I know when I saw 3 dogs with signs that said PET ME it felt better than someone telling me to come over their way for some free money because you know there is always a catch – there was no catch with these dogs just a lot of love. You will have to donate a good amount of your time to get your dog ready for this program but what an amazing program!!!

 

*Photo from Debbie Harvey of her 2015 team.

Animal Planet Videos

01 Feb

Since Double Doodles are our specialty, I’m often asked about the difference between a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever. I found some great videos from animal planet and thought I’d share. Since they do not have a video for double doodles, also called North American Retriever I included the poodle video as well. Just a reminder, Double Doodles/North American Retrievers are a Goldendoodle bred with a Labradoodle. What was consistent in all the videos is how smart and trainable these dogs are. Keep in mind we have minis so they require a little less exercise and the although there is a lower risk of hip dysplasia we do test all parents.

I rarely have to bathe our girls but the brushing is 110% accurate – you must stay on top of it or your dog’s coat will get matted and you will need to get it shaved

Improper Coat (IC) and A New Stud

05 Jan

I’ve been doing this for over a year now and I really do have so much more to learn. Shakira is the first dog I purchased, a mini F1b labradoodle from FoxTail Ridge Labradoodles (I own the site now so if you search for him you’ll get back here but you can get some nice comments still in a google search). My breeder, Thom had planned on retiring and after some discussion he said he would be available to give me advice from time to time and that has been fantastic but things change every year and Thom has been retired for a few years now. Whenever I asked other breeders question or posted in breeder forums or FB pages the response was rarely an answer to my question but the demand to ‘GET YOUR HEALTH TESTING’! So I followed that advice and just focused on the health testing of my dogs and am proud to share links on my site to their OFA test results. I never thought about testing what color the girls might carry because I think all colors are cute so I didn’t really care about coat testing. Shakira’s first litter with Gizmo resulted in 4 puppies and 2 are fluffy, 1 looks very similar to Shakira (semi-fluffy) and 1 has a very straight coat. I thought this was just the retriever genes coming out. I used the same beautiful stud Gizmo with Beyonce and for her first litter she had 5 puppies and 4 are fluffy and 1 is straight. Since this happened with both dogs I assumed the problem was with Gizmo (the stud I used) but you can’t tell if the puppy’s coat is going to curl for several weeks and by then Shakira was already in heat so we used Gizmo a third and last time. Shakira’s second litter had one puppy with a straight coat so that confirmed for me it was Gizmo. Side note – isn’t that just like a mom, it couldn’t possibly be something wrong MY girls, right? Haha.

By the time Beyonce was ready for her second litter Teddy was old enough for breeding and he had passed his health testing and is a gorgeous boy with a great temperament so we got them together and she had 7 puppies this time. As the weeks went on it was obvious that they weren’t all going to be fluffy; I learned the term is called improper coat and there is a test for it. All of my puppies have been healthy and every family that has a straight coat, also called “flat” coat, or improper coat is the correct term, they are all happy with their dog and wouldn’t change a thing but I prefer the look of fluffy curls. Shakira and Teddy also had a litter of six girls together and two had straight coats. It was time that I ordered the test and get some answers.

I purchased the test from Paw Print Genetics which also gives you access to a reproductive specialist to discuss the results and ask all the questions on my mind. After getting everyone tested I found that Beyonce and Shakira both carry a one copy of the IC (improper coat) gene and JLo is “clear”, she does not carry for IC and she will always have fluffy puppies. So the issues wasn’t JUST my studs, both parents have to carry one copy of the gene which will result in at least 25% showing the improper coat. For breeders that may have found this post in a google search, I’m happy to share more information that might be too detailed for someone just shopping for a puppy. You can email or text me and I’m happy to share what I found.

So it was exciting to learn something new and so useful and at the same time devastating that 2 of my 3 girls carried and so does Teddy. Just to be clear, this is not a health issue – puppies are still healthy even if they have an improper coat it just changes the look of the dog. It is very rare for a poodle to carry this gene but when they do, it is typically the reds that have it. So I ordered the test for Jay Z in November and hoped for the best but unfortunately on December 18th his test came back that he also carried one copy of the IC gene which means if I use him with Beyonce or Shakira we will have at least one straight coat puppy.

I spent my entire Christmas holiday with my computer or iPad on my lap frantically searching for a new stud. It was difficult to find a dog that had the health testing I wanted, was IC clear AND was small enough for 19 pound Beyonce. This is definitely another time I have to recognize my husband Andru for being so patient with me when all I wanted to look at or talk about was stud dogs for two weeks. I found what I feel like is the PERFECT match so I am proud to announce a new stud – his bio is here!