Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No More Shaming

Is it just me, or are many people very judgmental about how someone acquires a dog?  I am all for adopting from a shelter and giving a dog in need a home, but I don't think people should be looked down upon for going to a reputable breeder.  Now don't get me wrong...I am completely against the numbers of dog stores out there that fill their supply of adorable puppies from horrible puppy mills, but working with a responsible breeder, who actually does everything properly, really shouldn't be an issue in my opinion.  Both Murray and Piper came from a breeder.  Murray was a case of "when you know better, you do better", because I didn't do much research about Piper's breeder but luckily everything worked out.  I was pickier and more careful with Murray.  I have come to decide I would like to mix where my future dogs come from.  I like choosing a newborn puppy, meeting it's parents and raising it with all the background knowledge that is available with a trusted breeder....but I would also like to look through available shelter dogs to see if the "right" one is out there too.  I do believe there are many, many right ones sitting in need in shelters.  So here it is...I came clean...I am a proud breeder buyer.  Judge away! 

Brothers from another mother

Friday, January 25, 2013

How Murray Came To Be

Growing up, I had a few different kinds of dogs, but none like a Goldendoodle.  We had several mutts, and a Saint Bernard.  I was convinced Saint Bernards were the dogs for me.  I think I had seen Beethoven a few too many times!  When Jamie and I got married and bought our house, I was on the hunt for our first dog after the first month.  We agreed on a Golden Retriever puppy, Piper.  Off to Vermont for Piper we went.  A few months after we brought Piper home, my cousin showed up with her brand new baby, a fluffy Goldendoodle puppy named Chester.  We fell in love, but we weren't thinking of a second dog yet.  Fast forward four years and we began talking about a second dog, a new puppy, for our 5th anniversary gift to each other..but what kind...what would we get?  Well, all it took to make that decision was hopping on the internet and seeing a new photo of Chester scroll across my screen.  We were sold, and on the search for our new Goldendoodle baby.  We settled on a breeder in Ontario, Canada who came highly recommended.  I did my research and I even knew which two parents I was hoping to get a puppy from....a Golden mom named Amber, and an apricot Poodle dad named Jake.  We were in luck, Amber was pregnant with a litter with Jake and we were second in line to take our pick when they were born.  Murray came bouncing into the world on June 8, 2007.  I came home from a busy field day at school to a message on our voice mail that the puppies were here!  She had a littler of 9 puppies, but the last one got stuck and didn't make it.  There were 8 healthy pups to choose from.  This would be Amber's last litter.  We received photos regularly showing the growth and changes, then around 6 weeks in, we got to take our pick.  It was easy...Murray was looking for us and we were looking for him!  Just see the photo below.  I could pick him out of a million!  We next took the 5 plus hour trip to Ontario on July 28, 2007.  I got to see Niagra Falls for the first time on this trip too!  I had always wanted to do that.  When we arrived to the breeder's place it was a beautiful summer day and dogs and puppies were playing all around.  Murray was resting inside, awaiting our arrival.  All the way home he slept upside down on my lap and I am convinced that was when we bonded.  I was a teacher on summer vacation thrilled to have the whole time to spend with my new baby Murray.  We have been inseparable ever since.

The picture that stole our hearts...our Murray
Murray running with his siblings
Day 1
4 Months

Full Grown


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guest Blog Post...Me!

~This is a little strange, but I am my first guest blogger here on Murray's Mouth.  I recently started a second blog about my life as an almost 40 year old living in rural upstate New York.  My first opening post is below.  For anyone interested in following or reading more, the address is www.almostfortyinfc.blogspot.com ...Please don't feel obligated to follow it, it may be of no interest to you, just thought I'd share.  Please feel free to share with anyone that might be interested too!  Thanks!

Almost forty...yep!  Two years to go and I fully expect age 39 and 40 to be tough for me.  Living in Fulton County...yep!  Not exactly the most hip and happening place in the world.  Trying to make the best of both the age thing and the location thing.  This is why the title made such sense to me.  I have been blogging about my love, dogs, for about seven months now and I have discovered I love to blog!  I don't expect anyone to want to read what I write, but I enjoy it whether 1000 people read it or if my eyes are the only ones to ever see it.  I have decided it's my version of scrapbooking.  I have always loved looking at my crafty friends' scrapbooks, but any attempt of my own to start one was ridiculously frustrating.  It just came down to the fact that I hated cutting, folding, stamping, gluing (and every other damn thing people did to that paper)...all for the presentation of ONE FREAKIN PHOTO!!!  I just don't get it, it's not my thing.  Beautiful, yes, but not for me.  Blogging is though!  I love the thought that this will be like a regular journal for me that I can look back on and enjoy the memories as time goes by.  Yes, blogging is much more public than scrapbooking, but I am not an overly private person.  Of course I keep some things private, but if you know me well, I am pretty much an open book.  So, in a nutshell, this will be my place to share my thoughts, happenings, friends and life!  My dogs are sure to appear...they  make up a huge part of my life, but I will try to keep most of their stuff to my other blog.  Can't wait to get this rolling and make some fun memories!

PS...Weird..even though I share photos on Facebook without a problem, I am finding it difficult to choose one to start here.  Ugh, anxiety.  I will stick with this.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Friend Ollie

I had been away from Facebook and my blog for about 5 days now, and today when I finally logged in, my heart sank a bit.  My Facebook friend, Ollie Doodle, got some upsetting news.  I wrote a few times about Ollie back in November, and kept you updated along the way.  Well, yesterday Ollie went for a follow up/review of his major surgery back in November.  The news wasn't great.  He is accumulating fluid in his chest cavity once again.  They believe it's the same troublesome fluid as before.  It is building up more slowly, but nonetheless, it's still there.  Ollie and his family are in good spirits, but we all can imagine what that news would feel like.  He is awaiting his vet to contact the specialist to see if anything more can be done.  Whatever the outcome, I would love to be able for his mom to see lots of prayers and good wishes here.  I know the POTP is a strong force to be reckoned with and I would sure appreciate it.  I know it makes me feel better to know there is an entire world of dog lovers behind him, so I can just imagine it must help his family too.  Hug your pups and give thanks for their good health and happiness.  I know I am.

Ollie Doodle
Ollie posted on 1/16/13: "Thank you everyone for the good wishes. I am very happy and I feel great at present, I intend to continue living life to the max. I am so happy and loved and have absolutely everything I need.
We knew that the odds were not good, and this could happen when I had my op, we just hoped that we would get longer before it reoccurred. I am lucky, the fluid is accumulating at a much slower rate.......
It was just a such a shock to have it confirmed yesterday."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Skin Problems Are Here To Stay :(

I have decided I absolutely knew what Murray's skin issues were...many times  They began from the time he was 8 weeks old and continue to this day.  Right now I have settled on a very slight case of  Demodex Mange.  It sounds awful, I know.  It's not contagious and it is manageable.  For Murray, it amounts to occasional red bumps that appear down his spine, clustering on his butt end above his tail.  The worst bumps basically look like big pimples or boils, but most look very much like black heads on humans.  With cleansing and air exposure (after we clip him and trim back the thick fur) they mostly scab up and go away until the next bout shows up.  Our vet tries to convince me it's some kind of allergy, and it very well may be.  I just keep thinking about how young he was when it showed up, what it looks like in comparison to photos of mange I have seen, and the fact that we cannot find a trigger to point to an allergy.  For a short time a shampoo with sulfur helped clear things up, but low and behold, Murray IS allergic to sulfur.  It makes him very ill.  We have started a regimin of regular clippings and bathings with fresh, natural shampoo with oatmeal and almond oil.  I feed him a daily fish oil pill and make sure we're choosing high quality, grain free food.  An occasional wipe down of his fur on his back with a little peroxide seems to keep things a bit more under control too.  Let me end by saying thankfully this has never seemed to bother him.  I think it bothers me more than him!  I would love to cure this, but in the meantime I am learning to manage it.  Warning: Photo of the "skin issue" below.  If anyone recognizes this or has any insight, please share. 

You got rid of that tree.  Now I can reach my toy box!

The worst scab/boil right now

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dogs Make Great Listeners

I love it when I find topics and ways to mix my teaching with my love of dogs.  I have even been picking up items here and there to slowly transform my classroom into a dog themed classroom.  I teach 5th grade, so that age of kids just eat it all up.  I also hope I am influencing a class of kids to find a level of love and respect for animals that they will carry through their lives.  We are using dog dishes to hold things like pencils and crayons, and I have finally found a good use for all my old dog calendar photos.  Hello lamination machine!  :) ...but one of the best ways I have learned to mix dogs and students is with reading.  Now I only WISH I could bring Murray into school all day with me, but that's not going to happen anytime soon, but families with kids and dogs at home can certainly utilize this tip.  Too often kids are called on to read in class and while reading, they might feel nervous and they often get interrupted by a well meaning teacher (or another student) to offer help with pronunciation of words.  There just are not enough opportunities for students to read aloud without corrections and possible anxiety.  Your dog is the perfect solution.  A child can snuggle up with their dog and a favorite book (or reading assignment) at home, and read aloud to the dog, and this gives kids the safety and comfort to practice and strengthen their reading skills without annoying and nerve racking interruptions.  All kids need to practice reading, and this provides that chance, and your dog gets some petting time too!  I think dogs often make better listeners!  Many people don't realize how in tune dogs can be to people and how they are there and always helping us .  This video should be convincing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Black and White Sunday

This was a snow play date in-between my TWO sicknesses.  Yes, this flu keeps visiting and is why my posting has been scarce.  We had lots of fun this day!  Happy New Year blog friends!

She Deserves Better