Thursday, April 4, 2019

BODR Doodles

On the first day Boomer entered the ranch house he went straight to the sofa, curled up, and went to sleep. Right there and then I knew he was an inside baby. It wasn't a real sleep for the others were sniffing and wanting him to interact with him. I moved them out of the room so he could rest, but it wasn't really a rest, it was sort of a retreat where he felt comfortable.

A few minutes later, maybe 30 minutes or so, he lifted his head and saw the toy box. He stared at it for a long time, not moving, but just staring. That is when he looked at me and I gave him the OK to go play. No words, just a hand sign pointing at the toys. And, by gosh, he went right to them. He took every toy out of the box and sniffed, licked, tossed, and rolled with them. It, actually, brought me to tears to see him this happy in the poor physical state he was in.

Guinness, Rosco, and Honey enjoy their toys, but only certain ones. Boomer? He loves them all. As you can see in the photo, he likes to cover himself in them at times. He stayed like this as I was making my dinner tonight, but once finished, he moved to the sofa, his favorite place.

The others? They have their individual needs. Anyone that has more than two furbabies know they are not the same and you must cater, at times, to each of their individual needs. Sometimes it is not easy. I want to please them all, but it is not possible to do that every moment. So I make time for each, which really gets the others upset, but it has to be. In the end it all works out.

I have learned it is not necessary to pay attention to the one that wants to constantly nuzzle or have your attention all the time. You have to ignore them, at times, but is how you speak with them and interact with them as a group that gives them comfort. Give them a routine they are comfortable with. That is what they want. That is what we all want. Comfort. In our lives. I give it to them. They give it to me. I am so blessed.
(Click on the photo for full screen)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Boomer...Going Strong

When I pulled, now Boomer, from a gentle shelter in Kingsland, Georgia, I had no intention of doing anything other than getting him healthy and fostering him until Doodle Rescue Collective (DRC) could find him a "furever" home. That all changed but just a few hours once we arrived back here at the ranch.

Boomer was, obviously, an indoor dog. His first move on entering our abode was to hop up on the sofa and immediately go to sleep. He did  meet and greet the others in the Clan, but all he wanted to do was sleep. That, and the rest of us, let him sleep. He must have slept for 4 hours before I announced it was kibble time. Of course he did not know what that was, but following his roommates, he was all in.

That evening was nothing but making sure he was comfortable. WHAT?  He make himself comfortable without our help and,  not only that,  he interacted with the rest of the Clan like he had been here forever. Hmmm. Even Guinness, the"I don't like other dogs", cuddled up to him. That was a first.

Well, needless to say, I foster-failed and Boomer became #4 in our Clan. That said, let's fast forward to today.

It is Boomer's grooming day. As most know, he has a very serious dermatology problem. Right now we have it pretty much under control with medications and home grooming. So far we are a head of the game. But, on to today. It was his time for his grooming appointment and he was very apprehensive and why, I do not know. He did not want to get out of the car. He started shaking violently as we went in. I held him close and, as he was about to go into the back, he turned to me with a look as if...."please don't leave me". My heart broke. It was hard to leave.

I had errands to do and then back to the ranch to attend to my babies there. I did get an early call saying Boomer was ready for pickup so I high tailed back there and found he was all nicely trimmed, prim, and proper, and he was so relived to see me. On our 40 minute journey back, he slept, but once we got close, he perked up and started to get excited. We were home. HE WAS HOME!

The rest of the day was playing with his Clan mates, eating, and resting after a hard day...for him. Tonight, he will sleep well. is Honey's turn at the groomer. And the next day it is Rosco's turn. Going to be a busy week here at the BODR. But...I would not have it any other way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

There are many parts of my day that I cherish. One is waking up and having the Clan all over me clamoring to get out for their first constitutional. Another is the quiet time afterward when I have my coffee and browse the internet. But, one of my favorite times is when I get to feed my babies.

We do that two times a day, once around noon and again around 6 PM. They get their daily subsistence divided into these two meals (along with their many meds). The portions are carefully measured, therefore, they maintain their weight and health, as they have for many years.

Their noon, and first, meal is straight forward without any pomp and circumstance, but their evening meal, most often, contains some frolic and drama. I guess I will have to do a video on that. It gets quite funny and I love it.

Once their bellies are full from the evening meal all they want to do is sleep....well...until I announce 'Last Call", then it is pandemonium to see who can get outside first. Once back in they then transitions into serious sleep mode.

But, maybe I am not ready. No matter, they sidle up against me and wait for my move. When it is time, they routinely take their nighttime positions as the lights go out, at least for the time being (Honey and Boomer are restless nighttime roamers).

Living here at our Doodle Ranch, this environment, this home, this cradle of love, is the best I could have ever asked for, given our circumstance.

I know many of you feel this way. You may have a cat, a dog, a rabbit, lizard, bird, or any other creature. Just, please, give it the love you would give any other family member for they are family, too, not just a pet.

Friday, February 8, 2019

First Signs of Spring

Each year, toward the end of January, a large group of male robins descend upon our area. I am told they winter-over in Florida and this is the beginning of their annual migration north. They hang around for a few days feeding on the insects in our yards. This is their vanguard.

Several days pass and the males are joined by an even larger group of robins, both male and female. This second group always has some other species mixed in with it, mostly male and female blackbirds and cowbirds. Their numbers are well over several hundred if not more. They are constantly singing and squawking making our area sound like an aviary in a zoo. It is very pleasant to hear. They will be around for, maybe, another week and then they will disappear as quickly as they appeared. 

We have very mild winters here and our spring usually comes early. This is its first sign. It is welcomed.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Looking For Dinner

The BODR is in a rural part of Northern Bryan County, GA. Although we are not isolated, we are sort of in a small community with quite a few residences close by. That doesn't mean, though, we are not in the country. We most certainly are.

Last night, as the sun was making it's exit after a very rainy day, the sky and land took on a very orangey glow. It was almost dark as I walked past our kitchen window and something caught my eye in our yard. At first, I thought it was a large Red Tail Hawk. We have many around here and they like to stalk out our bird feeder, but no, it was an owl and a huge one at that.

I rushed to get my camera and tripod for the light was almost gone. I set it up and took many images in the near darkness. I was surprised they came out. I did, although, have to enhance them in Adobe Lightroom.

We have heard the owls around here a lot, but I have never seen one. This one is a Barred Owl. Any one interested, this image was taken at 1/2 sec exp/300mm/5.6/ISO 12800. And to top it off it was taken in my kitchen through the window.

Love the Ranch.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Time is Precious

It has been a while since I have made a post here. Just been so dang busy. With my daughter, Veronica, settling in with us and getting everyone situated to our new situation, the days just do not have enough hours in them. Believe me, they are tiring to us all.

I do admit, though, her being here has made me more motivated and animated than I have been in a long time. These past two weeks has seen me out and about more than I have been in the last year totaled. And that is a good thing. We have been doing lots of errands to get her residency here established, to get here fur-baby, Gizmo, settled with our vet and his meds straightened out. Along with that we are dealing with Spring yard work, other home projects, and, generally, getting settled. We do, however, take occasional breaks to get out and relax.

My biggest concern and task, though, is Boomer. As I mentioned in previous posts, his sebaceous andenitis has flared up again. It started with me noticing, back in mid-February, several spots that needed attention, but my attention did not help and, very quickly, his hair, his beautiful body of hair, started to fall out in huge clumps.  It was everywhere. Just rubbing him and my hand would be filled with it. I could not brush or comb him for it would cause him to bleed. Thankfully, I was able to get an appointment with his dermatology vet very quickly. He upped his meds to where they were last year and, with the vets recommendation, increased his oil soaks and medicated baths to twice a week. That is two hours of oil soak and as many baths as it takes to remove the oil. All-in-all it take 2-3 hours. But, to me it is worth it.
Early February 2018
April 10th, 2018 before shave.

Once we saw the vet we came home and I shaved him down completely. I hate to see him like that, although, he has no comprehension of how he looks. I believe, though, he feels a lot better. This will be another struggle we deal with daily here at the the BODR.

April 10th, 2018 after shave.

On another subject, I have been contemplating starting a video blog (Vlog) on YouTube. I, already, have a channel there with several videos I have made in the past and have always liked making story videos. I queried my FB friends and got an overwhelming yes, but only if I continued to post the stories here on FB. No problem. I can handle multi-tasking. Currently, I am working on what the vlog will look like and its content. It may be a while, but it is coming along.

We are looking forward to the Spring, finally, settling in and transitioning to our typical summer. Cannot and will not complain about our summers here. Well....except for the gnats, but they can be tolerated. Today we had a long soaking rain and were glad for that. We had been in a kind of drought for a while and the 6 hours of perception was welcomed. Unfortunately, I will need to cut this large lawn more often.

Tomorrow Veronica and I will visit Joyce as it will have been our 25th anniversary of our being together. From there we have more errands to do before we get back to the BODR. Hopefully, I can get the lawn mowed and start some of the yard work this place so badly needs. But, Doodle play time will not be compromised.

Well.....that's about it from the BODR tonight. Looking forward to the development of our vlog. I will make sure all will be informed as to its progress.

So...from all of us here, to include the O'Doodle Clan +1, have a great evening and a great day tomorrow. Nite for now.

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.