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A dream come true (and lots to learn)

Okay, maybe you might think I don't dream very big.  And you would probably be right.  I never fail to be surprised at the goodness God has shown toward me. 

I saw a Doodle for the first time a few years back and it was love at first sight.  A perfect family dog but what a price tag.  ouch.  It certainly wasn't in my budget. 

But this year my employer gave me a generous Christmas bonus, and the timing was ideal for my daughter's household.

My daughter's husband was partial to larger sized dogs, and Michal desired a cute looking dog and an indoor one, (because it seems so unkind to befriend one and then have it being ignored outside).   This made the Golden doodle, with it's non-shedding coat and adorable looks, the perfect choice. 

With my Christmas bonus we went doodling around for our pet and found her not far away, amongst a litter of ten.  Of the five unclaimed pups she was the one with the soft wavy blond coat (I wished to avoid the challenges of a curly coat).  And to top it off she was a female ( a preference of my daughter's) and the calmest one in the bunch (another wise preference of my daughter's) though not showing any signs of being fearful. 

What a delightful choice!  She is usually quite calm around my little granddaughter Abigail.  And seems to have gotten the idea already not to lick her face, though she still likes to stick her nose in Abby's face.   

She was 8 1/2 weeks old when we brought her home and weighed in at 12.8 ounces.  10 days later she weighed almost 15 pounds and we could see a difference in her size already.  It was suggested that for the sake of her hips we should work to slow that growth down by providing a little less fat and protein in her diet.  I hope that we can balance that properly for her.

We have also learned that it is best to provide her with a "live" diet as opposed to a strictly processed food diet.  (I.E. dry or canned dog food).  By "live" food, the veterinarian was essentially meaning the foods we feed to our families.  Fresh and cooked vegetables, cooked meats, cooked eggs and the like.  Avoiding the toxic foods of course, like onions, garlic, chocolate, avocados, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, walnuts, macadamia nuts (6 of which can kill a dog), nutmeg, unbaked yeast dough and the artificial sweetener Xylitol found in some gum and candies. 

It is a learning experience.  We discovered to our horror that we were exercising her too much.  My daughter likes to go for long walks every morning.  And 3 or 4 times she took Molly with her for these walks.   We know better now, to protect her hips from the possibility of getting hip displacia in the future, we only walk her 1 minute for every week of age.  At ten weeks old she can go for a ten minute walk, and then spends the rest of the trip in the stroller with Abigail. 

I bought a clicker to help train her.  I like it, it helps Molly to identify more quickly the behavior that I'm wanting to reward her for.  She catches on really quick.  She can sit, lay down, look at me when I say her name, and let me brush her relatively well already. 

I bought her a toothbrush because with eating less dry dog food she loses the advantage of it's help in keeping her teeth cleaned.  I haven't tried it out yet, I'm sure the clicker (training tool) will help her to learn to love it.  The toothbrush is a finger brush, you slip your finger into it and rub it around on her teeth, it looks less awkward than a conventional kind of toothbrush, and the toothpaste is chicken flavored, I expect that will help. 

I also watched a youtube video explaining how to clean their ears, and bought myself some earwax softening solution.  I haven't tried that yet either, I'll have to find out when they recommend that I start cleaning her ears. 

I gave Molly her first bath the other day, I jumped into the tub with her and that seemed to help her  to feel less nervous.  When I'd finished cleaning her, I drained the tub and gave myself a shower. 

She is beginning to adjust to sleeping in her kennel/cage.  Last night she whined just a little (no yelping) and then settled down for the evening.  I woke her up at 7 am and her bedding was still dry.  Though I admit I have let her come sleep with me on my bed.  When she woke at 5:30 in the morning to go to the bathroom, I didn't have the heart to lock her back in her cage, so I brought her up on my bed.  After all, (I justified it to myself)  it is morning now so she's allowed out. 

We're learning also to always have chew bones within easy reach to put in her mouth when she starts mouthing us.  It's so much more effective in correcting her behavior than scolding her.  Like I said,  we are continuously "learning" and are open to the wisdom that others have gathered along the puppy way.   :)

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Comment by Laura Roe on December 30, 2012 at 10:09pm

I learned something new by reading your blog-1 minute of walking per week of age-brilliant! Luckily because of freezing temperatures and snow thats about all we have done thus far. Thanks for writing! I am hoping to learn all I can to ensure my Daisy's health and safety.

Comment by Laurie, Nug & Puk on December 20, 2012 at 7:37pm

I wish you all the Love and luck with your new bundle of Love. It sounds like you know how you want things to be and are on the right track.

They are so smart, (sometimes too smart for their own good)!

Just remember to have fun, they think every thing is a game made up just for them anyway!

Comment by Bruce Anderson and Ginger on December 20, 2012 at 3:38pm

Sounds like you have found the correct trail and are following it beautifully.  It's sad that ALL dogs can't find the forever home that we have all provided.

Too late now, but since I got my Ginger at a shelter (Highland Lakes SPCA), I always recommend folks check the Doodle Rescue places when they get hit with the financial shock of a new puppy.  Just about all the great things you have discovered about Molly, I found in Ginger and the $100 adoption fee was worth it by far.  Right now, I would have paid $10,000 for Ginger and still felt it was a bargain.

My Ginger learned the "clicker" in about one 15 minute session.  We don't use it much anymore because her vocabulary, like Pemon's, has grown so much that a word or two gets the job done.  Right now we just use it when Ginger spends some time with Gram'ma since she doesn't have the loud voice we can give.

Ginger doesn't dislike the tootbrush, but I still have to work at it with her.  I use the old fashioned brush because my fingers are just too big to fit back to the back teeth !!  Hardy, har har !  And we like the liver flavored toothpaste.  Every morning, after our walk, Ginger gets a milk bone (she loves and looks forward to that - stands by the door to the pantry waiting...)  and maybe every month or two she gets a rawhide bone to chew on.  Last visit, the vet said she had some pretty good teeth for a 5 year old.

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on December 20, 2012 at 12:51pm

Beautiful Rose.  I wish I knew you what you know before we got Pemon.  My biggest concern and I try not to think about it is that we did let him grow very rapidly.  He was, last time checked by the Vet at 98 lbs.  And we were told - "NO MORE".  So we are trying the best we can.  They are such a delightful breed. Intelligent, Goofy, Funny, Very, very loving and stubborn.  Don't forget that one of their parents is the smartest breed  (Poodle) in the world and the Golden and Labrador Retrivers are right up there!  Pemon's vocabulary is outrageously broad.  Not a thing he doesn't understand.  And there definitely is so much of him to love.  Pemon will be 3 years old in March.  Time is sure flying, so enjoy the puppy stage while you can.   It sounds like Molly found a wonderful and loving home and I wish you and your a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hugs from Grace and Pemon, The Gentle Giant.

Comment by Lois - Izzi on December 20, 2012 at 11:21am

Ah, Rose,  Merry Christmas to you.   If anything within our community all of us continue to learn as each puppy has his/her own personality and Molly will express your expectations of her..   She will grow into the the most delightful life companion.   We are delighted for you.  

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