Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Going Green

"A little something on my face?  Why mother, whatever do you mean?"

"Oh.  This?"

"I plead the fifth!"


Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet Rose Bud - Bad Dogs Have More Fun!!

To best introduce you to Rose Bud, I should probably just let you read some of what mom's already written over at her blog "Slightly UnSIVILized":

Our Daughter's Dog, Marley -

Well, actually our daughter's dog's name is Rose Bud. But if you have seen the movie "Marley and Me", you probably have a better understanding of why we prefer to call her Marley.

Words that come to mind when trying to decide how to best describe Rose Bud include: chaos, havoc, destructive, horrible, and mischievous. And that's just the beginning!

Dacey brought Rose Bud home when RB was only six weeks old and still a cute, fluffy, ball of innocence. Boy, can looks be deceiving! She was sweet enough in those early days, but that's what she wanted us to think. As the past twelve months have passed, we have indeed come to realize that our daughter's dog is a ten ton, demolition crew in a fifty-five pound, dog body.

I have often said that dogs take on the personality of their owner. This is a point that cannot be lost on Dacey and Rose Bud. Dacey is a beautiful hearted, kind, sweet spirited, young lady. But she is also a loose canon - very ambitious yet easily distracted - a friend to the very end, but lives life full speed ahead. She often acts before she thinks and tends to at times be a bit 'high-strung'. Rose Bud didn't stand a chance.

Having owned and successfully trained several golden retrievers over the years, Tommy and I thought that Rose Bud would be one more in a glorious line of well behaved, well mannered, obedient dogs. Rose Bud had other things in mind. She is very bright but very stubborn. She knows the commands: sit, down, and stay -- but doesn't often find them useful. And walking Rose Bud on a leash? There is no 'walking' Rose Bud on a leash. She sprints at break neck speeds pulling the 'who-cares-how-experienced-handler' on the other end of the leash on the ride of their life.

After seeing an agility demonstration at camp over the summer, my family became very intrigued by the idea of competing as a team with our dogs in such an active sport. When classes were announced to begin, Dacey was the first to request that she and Rose Bud be allowed to participate. Thinking structured agility classes may lead to a more well balanced and disciplined dog, we registered and made the commitment to drive the 180 mile round trip for the next six weeks.

Week one proved more of a challenge than I was prepared for. Dacey was unable to control Rose Bud on the leash, so mommy stepped in to save the day. That bloomin' dog proceeded to drag me around that course for the next hour. By the time we finished, I'd had the best work out of my life but didn't know which way was up!

Over the next several weeks, Rose Bud did show improvement. Well, until this past weekend anyway. I don't know who spiked the dog treats, but for the "graduation day" of agility class, Rose Bud proved to be full of herself and filled to over-flowing with mischief.

It started when each dog was required to run the course individually in order to demonstrate their ability to complete each obstacle before moving up to the next level class. Dacey was sitting outside the fenced area with Rose Bud waiting her turn.

While watching the other dogs show what they'd learned during the previous five weeks, Dacey wrapped Rose Bud's leash to the lawn chair she was resting in. When I realized how unstable the chair was I tried to warn my darling daughter. Alas, I was too late. Rose Bud bolted. The chair rolled to its side. Dacey grabbed the leash and was then pulled for ten feet - until Rose Bud stopped running and Dacey was able to regain control of her uncontrollable canine. I wanted to help..really I did.. but I was found to be helpless as I was bent over laughing hysterically while trying not to wet my pants.

Dacey regained her composure quickly and came back to sit and wait her turn. Only Rose Bud had lost interest in 'waiting her turn'. You could almost hear the faint sound of "doggie giggling" as she wormed her way loose of Dacey's grip, used her nose to open the closed gate, and ran onto the agility course smack-dab in the middle of one of her classmates "graduation ceremony". I shrank into my chair as Dacey ran wildly after her delinquent dog.

Rose Bud has her good moments. Sometimes she'll sit with Dacey as Dacey completes a school assignment or reads a book. It is so peaceful watching them relax together. Unfortunately, the moment never lasts long. Just yesterday as I watched the two in that exact scene it unfolded into disaster just two minutes later as the cat ran past. Rose Bud bolted, overturning tables and anything else in her way. For the next five minutes we listened to her barks as the cat hissed penned from the spot where she'd cornered him.

Yep, that's our Rose Bud all over!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Slip and Slide

Kudzu has the right idea!  Chillin' dawg!!  AROOOOOF!

Boondocks, Kudzu, and gang

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

When it came to Dad's, we got the cream of the crop.  If he was any more perfect, he'd be a Golden Retriever!  We wuf vu, Dad!!!!!!

Boondocks, Kudzu, and Gang

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kudzu's First Therapy Dog Visit

Just a month past his leg amputation, Kudzu made his first appearance as a "therapy dog in training" yesterday.  Some dogs are just born to be therapy dogs, and Kudzu is certainly among them. 

At the library, he laid still next to Isaac as Isaac read a "Clifford the Big Red Dog" book to him.  (Isaac was featured with his golden, Cosmo, in yesterday's post.)

Then Kudzu chilled out with big sister, Dacey, at Brookhaven Animal Rescue League while Mom took pictures of some of the newest arrivals.

Kudzu LOVES being LOVED!

BARL pup, Meeko.  Such a cutie!!

Once Mom finished up there (after taking 75 pictures!), we went to the nursing home.  Mom has taken lots of dogs to the nursing home over the past seven years.  She says that most of them behave nice enough, but few of them instinctually know why they are there.  Kudzu is one of those few.  The first resident that Kudzu visited was a lady sitting in a recliner.  He promptly put his front paw in her lap and attempted to lick her face.  Everyone he met shared the same reaction: surprised by joy!  Everyone quickly inquired as to the nature of his injury and the meaning of his name.  Our favorite moment of the afternoon came when we visited with a lady who owned a Golden Retriever before moving into the nursing home.  Since she is bed bound, Mom helped Kudzu up on to her bed and then helped the lady to put her arm over Kudzu.  She held him tightly for several minutes.  It blessed all of us to see her reaction to him.

It was a great day.  Kudzu even got some extra treats for behaving so nicely.  Once we were home though, all he wanted to do was SLEEP.  You could honetly say Kudzu was "dog tired".
  He worked hard on his first day in training.  We were all very proud of him.

          Kudzu relaxing on the "dog couch" after a long day.


Boondocks and Kudzu

(Not sure why the font is not displaying in appropriate size.  Sorry for any inconvience!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Introducing: COSMO

Our next pup up as we continue introducing our pack is COSMO.  He's a cool dog that walks with a swagger and flirts with all the ladies.  I know y'all will love him.

Agape Golden's Cosmic Pluto
Picture taken the day Isaac met Cosmo.

Cosmo is our big brother. He just turned two at the end of March. He belongs to Isaac (our human's third born child). Cosmo was a gift to Isaac on his seventh birthday. Those two were made for each other and you hardly see one playing without the other. Momma says, "Every boy should have a dog - especially when that dog loves their boy like Cosmo loves his." I don't know about all that, but they do seem like a match made in Heaven.
When Cosmo came to live with our family, he was almost six months old.  He'd never been on a leash before and had no motivation to learn to walk on one.  He did not like playing fetch or with toys.  He seemed sad most of the time.  An award winning, dog trainer friend told mom that Cosmo had NO DRIVE and wasn't trainable.  He'd be fine for a pet, but not to expect much from him.  Mom loves a challenge and took his words as one.  Determined for Cosmo to be more than a pet, she made the commitment to spend every spare minute training with him.  He now prances instead of walks on a leash - prettier than any show dog you ever did see - and has better manners than any other dog in our family (except for Scarlet, of course).  Isaac hopes to have Cosmo tested for CGC and TDI in July. 
Isaac calls Cosmo his best friend and plans to start agility classes with Cosmo this fall.

Boondocks and Kudzu

Monday, June 13, 2011

Inspiration Award

Well, you can imagine our surprise when we got online this afternoon and found that two of our favorite blog pals had  chosen us as recipients of the Inspiration award!  Hawk and The Rowdy Retriever Girls, we are truly honored and count your blogs as an inspiration as well!  (Hawk, we read your blog updates but haven't been able to leave comments on your page in a couple of weeks.  We do always love reading your tales and seeing your amazing pictures.) 

In accepting this award, we also promise to pass it on to ten blogs that inspire us.  It is hard to narrow down to just ten, but we'll try.

1.  Four Legged Views - Our buddy, Bert, is an obvious choice for Kudzu and me.  Like us Bert is a working, Golden Retriever.  In addition to being a therapy dog, Bert is also an active Search and Rescue Dog.  His mom has even written a book about S&R dogs.  You are sure to enjoy Bert's adventures!

2.  Bailey Be Good - Bailey can always be counted on for a laugh.  He's always into something and it's always amusing!

3.  Tanner Trains the Family - Tanner is another lively Golden Retriever pup just trying to figure out his place in his family and the world.  Stop by and tell him 'hi'.  Let him know we sent you!  ;-)

4.  The Chronicles of Woos - Not golden in color but these huskies are certainly golden at heart. We love them because like us they are a multi-kid/multi-dog home!  Any family with more than one of each species has a special place in our hearts! 

5.  Life at Golden Pines - How could you not be inspired by someone who rescues Golden Seniors?  There is a special place in Heaven for folks like Kim.  Check her and her beautiful pups out!

6.  Lessons From and For Four Legs - Katie, Maizey, and Magnus are set to stay fit through 2011 and are including all their blogging friends in a walking challenge.  If you haven't joined in, it's time to get off your lazy bum and get in gear with them!  What are you waiting for?  Go!! 

7.  Peggy's Pet Place - Author of Dieting With My Dog as well as several articles, Peggy's blogs keep us current on all the happenings in the world of dog. 

8.  Kirby the Dorkie - A Mississippi pooch like us.  Here's how he describes his blog:
A blog about dogs for dog lovers spotlighting the adorkable Dorkie. Find information, solutions, ideas, recipes, healthy baked treats, and so much more for your favorite furiend.

9.  The Southern Jewel  - My hoo-man sister leaves paw-prints of kindness, encouragement, and love at her blog.  Check it out and become one of her groupies!

10.  All Things Dog Blog - Because they are 'just that', we wanted to include the All Things Dog Blog in our list of inspiring blogs.  (And we aren't just saying that because they have awesome give-aways!)

Making a list of ten inspiring blogs became difficult because there are so many more than this that we read regularly!  And seriously folks, do you think we'd read any of 'em if they didn't inspire us??  We wuf all our bloggy pals so vewy much!!!

Boondocks and Kudzu

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet Scarlet

Have you noticed the tabs linking to our stand alone pages at the top of the page?  Well, they each are set up to introduce you to the rest of our canine family.  We thought that we'd devote a little blog time to the rest of the gang over the next few weeks.  Today we start with SCARLET. 

Well, this is my oldest sister, Miss. Scarlet. She celebrated her 7th birthday April 1st. Mom says, "She's the one that started it all." Meaning, of course, that my human family's love of Golden Retrievers began the day Miss. Scarlet entered their lives. (This picture is of that very day. She was a cute puppy, huh?)

Mom and Dad were not well educated dog people when they purchased Scarlet. Not knowing a difference, they got her from a "back-yard breeder". Health problems robbed Scarlet of her puppy-hood, and she had more than one illness leaving the vet shaking his head saying he didn't know how she'd survived it.

Scarlet became all heart through her health issues. Mom knew she was destined to be a therapy dog and started visiting nursing homes, libraries, and schools with Scarlet before her first birthday. She was a natural and loved the attention.

After breezing through her CGC testing, Scarlet tested for her TDI certification. She tested with mom, dad, and their daughter all in the same day and passed with each person!
Scarlet claims Dad as her human.  If he's nearby, she only has eyes for him.  Mom often refers to Scarlet as "the other woman".  It's amusing watching them compete for Dad's attention
Scarlet works as a Tail Waggin' Tutor at an elementary school and library and visits nursing homes and hospitals.  She also works with our Mom teaching youth about responsible dog ownership and bite prevention.
Scarlet doesn't seem to care much for the antics of us young pups.  She spends a lot of time patiently ignoring us.  We love her though and want to be just like her when we grow up!
We look forward to many more years with our Golden Matriarch, Miss. Scarlet.

Boondocks and Kudzu

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Who Us??

"Honest, mom, we didn't do it.  We've been sitting here like the angels we are all day."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Walking By Faith

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  2nd Corinthians 5:7

I shared earlier this year about my back problems that sometimes interfere with my ability to walk.  There are few things I have experienced as humbling as having to ride in a wheel chair during a time that most consider the 'prime of life'.  One day while I was in the throws of despair due to this disability, I decided to go outside and walk circles around the trampoline.  I was determine to build my strength back up.  I was able to hold on to the frame of the trampoline as I took each step.  My sweet husband stayed close by in case I needed him.  As I walked, I sang:  'I faith...each step.. that I take'.  As my strength increased so did my faith.  Each step was a gift from God, and I relied on Him to get me through.

By the time that I had began new medication and regained the stability to walk unassisted, my four year old son, Connor, broke his leg.  For the first four weeks after his injury, he was totally immobile.  We had to pick him up to take him from bed, to the couch, to the bathroom and back multiple times daily.  He had to rely on us 100%.  When he was given the okay to walk again, he was afraid.  He didn't feel comfortable holding his own weight.  For a couple of days, we walked with him each time he got up - which was very little.  Then we got our new puppy Boondocks.  We told Connor if he wanted to play with Boondocks, he'd have to walk to him.  He's been unstoppable ever since. 

You would think that the literal lessons of walking by faith would end there, but it doesn't.  A month after Connor's cast was removed, I received an email about a Golden Retriever puppy whose leg had to be amputated following an accident.  They were looking for a pet friendly home for him that was knowledgeable of animals.  We brought Kudzu home one week after his leg was removed.  Watching him the first week, he had to concentrate before laying down and again when lifting his body on just three legs.  He would only walk short distances and then lay to rest again.  We each would take turns playing fetch with him and other attempts to help him grow comfortable adjusting to his new way of life.  It was something only time could do.  Two weeks later, he hardly realizes his leg is missing. 

While each of these physical conditions have existed in our home, how much more the reality of the need to walk by faith and not by sight.  During times that we don't know where the money for the next bill is going to come from, we walk by faith.  When my husband is injured, and we are unsure how much longer he will be able to continue working, we walk by faith.  When the weight and burdens of this present world seem to be bearing down from every side, we walk by faith.

God is faithful.  He is our strong-tower.  And by faith, we will one day see Him face to face.

Things You Should Know BEFORE Owning a Golden Retriever

Today we wanted to share a post from Mom's blog a while back when our siblings Cosmo and Rose Bud were youngsters.  We hope y'all enjoy it!   
Our oldest Golden Retriever turned seven on April 1st. We got Scarlet when she was just six weeks old and quickly fell in love with her. Within another six weeks, we had our second Golden, Rhett. (Rhett passed away three years ago.) It had been five (almost six) years since we'd had adolescent Golden Retrievers in our home. While I have often joked about the “first terrible two years” of a Golden Retriever’s life, I had truly forgotten just how trying a Golden puppy can be - that is until now. Cosmo will be one year old in a matter of weeks, and Rose Bud is six months old. Now all of the reasons we’d joked for so long over how hard it was to survive their puppy hood have come back to me. We’re learning again - the hard way.  (Cosmo is now well past two and Rose Bud will celebrate her second birthday in September.)

With that in mind, I would like to share some tips on owning a Golden. Retriever.

Here are a few things you need to know:

1. You do not own a Golden Retriever. The more accurate description is that they own YOU.
2. Golden Retrievers will chew. If you do not provide them something to chew, they will chew whatever they can find to chew. Amended: whether you provide chew toys or not, Golden Retrievers will chew whatever they can find to chew. *Furniture made from steel is recommended.*
3. People who choose to be owned by Golden Retrievers need to have the patience of Job. If patience is not a virtue that you possess, steer clear of Golden puppies. If it is a virtue in which you wish you had more, you definitely should acquire a Golden Retriever. They will teach you to have it by the boat loads!
4. Golden Retrievers need to be kept busy. If you don’t give them something constructive to do (play fetch, go for a walk, etc…) they will find something destructive to do.
5. Golden Retrievers will EAT anything. This goes beyond the chewing issue. Chewing just leaves your belongings unsightly. Eating involves digesting said object followed by the reproduction of the original object but not in its original form.
6. The whole “mine, yours, and ours” thing is not understood by a Golden Retriever. You should know up front that it is all theirs.
7. Unless you have the pitching arm of Nolan Ryan coupled with the patience of Job, a Golden Retriever is not for you. A Golden’s opinion of ball playing is “keep it coming”.
8. Golden Retrievers dig. My once luscious, green yard would now be a good host for a mud fight pit thanks to the multiple Golden Retrievers who spend part of their day in it.
9. Golden Retrievers LOVE water. Let me emphasize this: GOLDEN RETRIEVERS LOVE WATER. The only thing they love more than water is mud and when they can’t find mud, they make their own! Our dogs dig in their water bowl (as they are drinking and when they are not) then find the nearest pile of dirt and dig and roll and roll and dig until there is one pond size body of mud. (See above tip about digging. These two work together.)
10. Did you see the movie “UP”? (If not, it is a GREAT movie and you should definitely watch it!) Remember the scenes with the squirrels? Golden Retrievers love watching squirrels. We have acrobatic squirrels that spend the day jumping from tree branch to tree branch above our backyard. As they taunt our pups endlessly, our dogs stand “pointing” below while barking to one another what really sounds like, “SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL! SQUIRREL!”

While I could give many, many more examples, I will stop at ten. If you think that you can live through these ten things for at least the first two years: Congratulations! You should definitely get a Golden Retriever!! And if you do manage to survive those first two years, you really will be rewarded with the best dog in the world. These dogs truly do have hearts of gold!

(The above picture is Rose Bud and Cosmo. They were playing tug of war with one of my daughters boas.)

And Mom loved that stage so much as soon as Rose Bud and Cosmo matured, she got us and started all over again!!!!  BOL!!

Boondocks and Kudzu

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Difference a Few Weeks Makes and a Question from Mom



So mom says I've gotten a little bigger. What do you think?

And Now ...

A Note from Mom -
When we brought Boondocks home towards the end of April, the thought never occurred to me that we'd be bringing home another puppy within a months time.  I started this blog as Boondocks (as opposed to one of his older siblings) so that it would begin with the beginning of his story rather than jumping into the middle of one of the other dogs tales.  So now that we have Kudzu, I'm unsure whether to leave the blog intact as is with Boondocks telling the story or split it between the two of them and write from each of their perspectives (Boondocks is a whimsical pup and Kudzu is an old, wise soul).  Since you are the one reading the blog, I thought your opinion is the one that matters most.  Please leave a comment sharing your preference!  Thanks so much for loving my pups with me!  - Mom

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We Hit the Jackpot, Baby!!

Earlier this week I was excited to find out that Ohno and Joy had won second place in an online giveaway at All Things Dog Blog that I had entered them in.  (I'm a good big brother like that.)  And today we were absolutely ecstatic when the prize arrived, and we found all the goodies that were included. 

Mom was most excited by the bag that stored the goodies.  She said it would make a good pack to carry when she visits the nursing homes, schools, and libraries with us.  She lugs a bunch of stuff on those trips: treats, books, leashes, water bowls, and toys.  (She's calls it her 'doggie bag'.)  It can also be used as a purse to hold Ohno and Joy.  I'd pay to see that!  BOL!!

Well, the bag was ok.. for Mom... I was more excited about what was inside the bag - toys and treats and bandanas and bumper stickers and more!!!  Ohno couldn't wait to 'dig' in. 

We got the good kind of treats that Rose Bud's agility instructor calls 'doggie crack'.  After tasting one, I certainly understood the reference!!  Dad put one of the treats in the Holey Roller and another in the big, bouncy ball that were included.  They were an all around hit!
Joy with the Holey Roller.

Don't you just love how Kudzu is eyeing the prize??  BOL

While they played, I munched:
"Don't mind if I do.  Thank you very much!"
Mom can't wait to put the bumper stickers on our van.  Now everyone will recognize us as the official 'dog-mobile' when we arrive at our therapy visits.

We are all feeling very content, satisfied, and spoiled this afternoon.  Thanks so much, Carrie and All Things Dog Blog.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Stay Cool, Dawg!

As the summer months heat up here in the deep South, we are taking all necessary precautions to make sure we stay safe.  Yesterday we had record breaking high that took out a hundred year old record, and it ain't over yet.  Today the expected high is 100 with a heat index of 106!  Brings new meaning to "HOT DOG"!  AROOOF!

When I go outside, I get my business taken care of quickly and hurry to the shade to indicate to the hoo-mans that I'm done and it is time to go back inside. 
I heart being in the shade!!

 Of course, a good splash in the kiddie pool never hurts either!
Splishing and a splashing, baby!  Dat's right!!

But my favorite place is inside with the cool air conditioner on the cool floor at my cool mom's feet.

 And please all my doggie friends, make sure your hoo-mans remember to provide you with clean, fresh drinking water and plenty of shade and shelter from the hot, hot sun!  I wuf vu all!!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Boondocks' Dog Walking Service

"This way, guys."

"No, don't pull against me.  We are going THIS way!"

"Much better.  I think you've got it now."