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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.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Shakira’s March 2015 Puppies

15 Mar




Happy 1st Birthday to Bentley, Marley, Nutmeg, Olivia and Tuku!

I can’t believe a year has already gone by! Current weights are

  • Bentley: 12 pounds
  • Marley: 17 pounds
  • Nutmeg: 15 pounds
  • Olivia 14 1/2 pounds

Everyone is doing well and I’m still in contact with all families. First two pictures are Marley and the last is Nutmeg ❤️

 

 

Just A Regular Day

14 Jan

  
I had a conversation with a potential puppy family last year on she commented that when looking at pictures from other breeders she noticed they looked a little staged and often outside. She said that she liked that she could see the girls really are a big part of our lives and in our home 100%. I have a ton of pictures that I don’t share because I’m worried of the clutter you might see in the background or a bag of chips or maybe even the toilet (puppies spend their first two weeks in the bathroom – keeps them away from the other dogs and easier to keep that space a higher temp than the rest of us prefer). But after thinking about it I’m going to start showing more every day pics from our house.

   
 
These first 2 don’t look super delicious unless you are a dog but here are some examples of what the girls eat. The first pic is ground chicken with bones and organs and some fresh green tripe. The second is emu.

Next pictures are from the cluttered kitchen table, which become my workspace instead of my office upstairs. I was finishing my coffee and doing some boring accounting for my day job that pays the mortgage and Shakira wanted to get up in my lap for some cuddles. The girls like to be close but they aren’t the biggest cuddles so this moment felt really good and I wanted to take a picture but this is a perfect example of one that I wouldn’t normally share and what a shame because it was a great moment!

   
 

These were just taken in our room the other day. Andru was out of town and at the end of the work day I was freezing and went upstairs and got in bed and the girls all came up and took a little nap. The lighting was bad and I had the clutter on the dresser but they don’t care about that stuff and I love having them on our bed for cuddle time. They all sleep in the crates at night which is a safe, comfortable place for them but this extra time together always makes me feel good.

   

    
 Those are just a few that I’ve taken recently. I’ll continue to share pics that you’ll see are definitely not staged and hopeful show how much we love these girls and what a big part of they are in our lives.