Monday, March 19, 2018

Need to Say Something

I am often asked which of the O'Doodle Clan is your favorite? None of them. Not one. To pick a favorite, at least to me, would be taking away from the others, in a way. Each one has a completely different personality. Each one of them shows their love and devotion to me in a different way..... as I do them. So, they are all my favorites.

Let's take Guinness. He was the first. Came here as a 7 week old puppy. Yes, we spoiled him, but we also trained him thanks to Eric Letendre. He did not like to cuddle from the onset. We respected that. Instead he liked to lay at or on our feet. He did like to be close, but he liked his space, too. He, eventually, made his own man (dog) cave.

Rosco, who came a year and a half later, took awhile to adjust to his new family, but once he did he went all out to make sure we knew he appreciated his new home. He, too is not one to cuddle, but, unlike Guinness, he wants to be very, very close. Not in your lap, but right up against you. He shares my pillow every night with his head up against mine. He likes that. I do too.

Then comes Honey. A full three years later. Y'all know Honey's story. She became the one to cuddle, unlike Guinness and Rosco. Anytime we would sit on the sofa, she was up there with her head in our lap. She is a very independent personality. Testing me all the time, but in the end she knows I rule and submits, very willingly. She 'HATES" being called a bad girl and when I do say that she butters up to me for hours upon end. Then I submit.

Now, three and a half years later, Boomer arrives on the scene. Had no intentions of adding him to the Clan, but right off I saw some qualities in him that mirrored Honey. What clinched the deal was how well he hit it off with the rest of the Clan and how they, totally, fell in love with him on day one. Never had they done that with any of my fosters. He, however, did not have a entirely different personality than the others. His was like Honey's, save one thing, he responds to all commands immediately. Now, instead of just Honey on my lap, I have two, one on each side. Could not ask for more.

I cannot say my life with four Doodles is easy, especially with three of them requiring special attention and medications. But, hey, I chose this. And I love it. My life would otherwise be pretty much empty.

So......for all of you with Doodles, please, please do not take them for granted. They are your family as we are here. Take care of them and they will take care of you in so many ways.

Seems I have contracted diarrhea of the keyboard tonight, but it is something I have wanting to say for a long time. Dang! How do I end this? OH!!! I know.

Nite y'all from us all here at the BODR. Hope y'all's evening is or was great and hit the bricks running tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Eve 2018

Well this is another Friday night at the BODR. Yes, there was pizza. It was what I call a garbage pizza meaning I tried to clean out the fridge. And it was great! No sauce, but the pie was drizzled with a good EVOO then topped with thinly sliced tomatoes covered with slices of Provolone. On top of that went some onion, green pepper, and kielbasa sausage. Finally, I topped it off with sliced bella shrooms and sliced black olives all covered with shredded Moz. But, I did not take pics. Sorry. No movie either.

It has been very busy here and we are trying to get everything ready for our big change. I tore apart our clothes washer and had to rebuild it from ground up. Took almost a week and a half with the parts all over the place, but got it back together today. Test run? A-OK! 👍
Tomorrow I have to install the RV electrical hook-up. Been working on that for the past several weeks, too, and everything is ready to install. This will give full power to the RV, including the A/C. Sorta like a luxury guest house for the BODR.

All of this activity has all of us very tired each evening, especially the Doodles. They know change is coming and all are so excited, but for now we have to be focused on getting things done and that is what we are doing.

So with all of that we are going to jump into the haystack and crash. Everyone enjoy the rest of your evening and, especially, enjoy tomorrow. Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!! I may even have a green beer.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Once I have my dinner, I just lay here and hope Daddy drops something. Always on the ready.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lesson To Be Learned

Honey: She is the darling of the Berry Oaks Doodle Ranch Clan. She is loved by so many. She is an angel. Loved yes, angel NOT!!!! She is a BRAT!!!


We have been having critter problems in our BODR space. Let me explain. The entire ranch (1 acre) is surrounded by a 4 foot chain link fence. Attached to the bottom of the fence is chicken wire buried a few inches into the ground. The previous owners (and builders) had two small Yorkies who liked to dig so they took extreme caution to make sure they did not escape. Over the years the chicken wire in certain areas of the fence line has rusted and broken so as to allow small critters, specifically rabbits, to entire our domain. Squirrels have always been here and have not presented problems for they are quick and close to the trees, however, one rabbit seems to have taking a liken to a Sago palm in the front yard and took up residence there. They are not as quick as squirrels. With the intense hunting instincts of Doodles and, especially Poodles, both Honey and Boomer took up the effort to flush out this rabbit each morning and night. They became obsessed with it. Several nights ago I blocked the holes in the fence where the rabbit enters, with wood until I could repair the areas with new chicken wire. No sight of the rabbit since.

Earlier this evening:

I  always take the Clan out before their dinner for a potty break. Tonight was no different. Boomer is always first wanting to chase the squirrels from the bird feeder. He is too slow to catch one, though. Rosco is usually right behind him, although he is a bit slower these days and lags behind. Guinness is next in line only because he wants to. He is not interested in squirrels, just balls. Honey takes up the rear with her stuffy toy in her mouth. Tonight, for her anyway, was different. She ran lickety-split to the back woods and started searching for that wascally wabbit. She even dropped her stuffy as she rushed out. This is not something she does.

After few minutes outside the rest of the Clan knew their kibble dinner was awaiting and all gathered at the door to get in and in they went. No Honey, though, so I went searching. Yep, there she was in the back woods trying to flush out a non-existent rabbit. I called to her several times, well more than several, to come for kibbles, but she ignored me. This is something she has been doing recently and it is bothering me. She, usually, is good with the "come" command. I believe this rabbit thing has her so obsessed that she ignores everything, including me and her kibbles. She loves her kibbles.

After several minutes of trying to coax her into the house with verbal commands and promises of kibbles I told myself "this will end tonight." It was getting dark. I went back into the house, turned on the yard lights, and closed the door. I prepared the rest of the Clan's dinner. At least 15 minutes had passed and still no Honey at the door, so I waited. Now it was very dark and after another ten minutes she appeared at the door wanting in. Not so fast.


Once a few minutes had passed I let her in, but I had closed off the kitchen to her. I set the rest of the Clan's dinner down so she could see them eating. This upset her. She whimpered. I told her it was because she was a "bad girl" (she hates being called that) and next time when I say "come", well you know the rest. She sat there as they ate and and once they finished I cleaned up their bowls, opened the gate and let them relax in their happy places. However, I did not let her into the kitchen for I closed the gate after they left. I waited ten minutes before I set her dinner down. She ate very quietly. Since then she has been snuggled up to me as if it was freezing out. Before our last potty call for the night I told her, very sternly, "go potty and come right back in." She did.

Now as I sit here finishing the last of my wine, she is cuddled on my lap. Honey is very intelligent, as are the others, and I hope she will learn from this evening's lesson. We will see. If not, we will continue this lesson tomorrow.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The brief rain storm ended just before sunset making for a beautiful evening. All is good at the Doodle Ranch.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

We awoke early to a cool, dreary and drizzly morning. Once we shook the cobwebs out of our heads we began our morning rituals, but with a bit of hurry-up. We needed to be on the road early.
Several times a month, on Sunday mornings, we all pile into the Doodle Mobile (all Doodle families have one of these) and head out. We always stop to get a fresh bouquet of flowers. They smell so good and are very colorful. Mommy loves flowers.

As we approach, the Doodles get antsy. A definite mood change comes over them. When we get out there is not the usual frolicking and pulling on the leashes. They are very calm and stay close to me.
We walk a short distance and they immediately either sit or lay down always facing the same direction. They know where they are. This is one of the only times I dare let go of their leashes for I know here they will not go anywhere until I pick them up again.

We place the flowers and stay awhile enjoying the visit. I know it is time to leave when Rosco begins to get morose. He seems to miss his Mommy the most. I do not believe he has gotten over this nor do I believe he ever will.

Our ride home is always very quiet. Once home I make sure they get to run and play before we go inside. This seems to cheer them up and the rest of the day becomes normal. It is very obvious they have not forgotten their Mommy. We look forward to our next visit.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Berry Oaks Doodle Ranch Pizza Dough Recipe

I was fortunate to learn this recipe from a long-time pizza maker who ran a small restaurant in Agnano, Italy. He let me work with him on my days and nights off and taught me the dough is the most important part of a pizza. His advise, “Do it exactly the same way every time.” This means precise measurements.
He used a soft wheat flour, Italian Tipo 00 (a type of Farina flour). He warned me I would, probably, not find that back home so he suggested a good bread flour. I prefer King Arthur Bread Flour, but it is difficult to find here so I use Gold Bond Bread Flour and it works for me. I, also, sift it to make it lighter as the Tipo 00 is.  Since he made his dough in bulk, he sat down with me, and without the use of a calculator, subdivided his recipe to a double serving size. Just remember, the following is a starting point. If it doesn’t work for you, make slight adjustments to the ingredients. It took me dozens of tries to get what I was looking for. And Oh! The toppings?  Knock yourself out. What ever you want, but do not pile them on for the dough gets soggy and it will not cook properly.


10 oz.  bread flour
2 tbs. gluten (this makes it elastic)
1 tsp.  active dry yeast
½ tsp.   salt
1 tsp.  oregano (optional)
½-1 tsp.  garlic powder (optional)
½ tsp.  fresh ground black pepper (optional)
2 fl. Oz.  extra virgin olive oil
6.5 fl. oz.  warm water (90F-110F)

There are many ways to make a dough these days. A mixer with a kneading hook is good, a bread machine works fine, but you must knead the dough by hand, a food processor works well or, the old fashion way, mix and knead by hand. Whatever way you should chose make sure the resulting dough has enough elasticity to stretch. You, also, may have to tweak this recipe for your liking. For those who have not done this before I would recommend watching several videos on You Tube demonstrating the process. 

Let the dough rise for a minimum of one hour. I like to make a day ahead and store in the refrigerator overnight. Remember, this is a double recipe so, if desiring a thin crust, half the dough and freeze one portion or use it all for a thicker crust.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and begin stretching it to the desired size. Place the finished dough on a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with course corn meal or place on a oiled pizza pan and begin your toppings.

Make sure your oven is hot. I crank mine up to 550F and let is heat up for 10 minutes before inserting the pizza.  Let it bake until the crust is brown or even blackened in spots, depending on the degree of crispness you desire. It will not take long so keep a constant eye on it to prevent burning. Once out of the oven, slice and enjoy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Extreme Guinness

Guinness is 6 years old and going strong. He still requires a lot of exercise each day, much more than Rosco or Honey.  He does this by running after and fetching a ball, over and over and over. He never gets tired of it. OCD. So....for at least several hours a day we make sure he gets that exercise, when practical. Here is a short video of what he does when we get bored of toss it in a straight line.