Moxie Turns One

It is said that puppies grow so fast. This is my girl when I first picked her from Mom Phoebe and Dad Bailey’s litter of 10.

Here she is on New Year’s Eve @ 8 months.

Her birthday starts off at 7:05 a.m. Moxie is my new alarm clock.

She first starts with a subtle whine. This evolves over time. I get up, dress quickly, and out we go to potty. Now we are ready for a game of fetch. Most of the time she is a good retriever. The ball is either dropped by my feet or she wants to give it to me. Sometimes, I think she likes the idea of tug.

Moxie can get distracted. I have a small secluded backyard. My neighbor’s landscaping could be called “natural” foliage mixed with strange stuff. I was surprised to see an airplane parked in the yard behind my house when I looked up a satellite map. Looking through the fence I also see an abandoned Edsel, and another vehicle I can’t identify. I have lived here for over 4 years and I have only heard interesting sounds from there. The latest was heavy equipment jackhammering for 10 minutes at 10 p.m. I hear the usual mowing of the field. Last summer welding went on and on as a shed was built from scrap pieces of metal. It sure would be interesting to get a camera drone and see the field.

But I digress. All kinds of stuff fall into my yard from this neighbor’s yard. I am learning the life cycle of pine trees. In Spring, pine flowers fell on my patio an inch thick, after a big wind. Then the occasional pine cone, often eaten by squirrels. Then come the pine needles. Again, not good for dogs to consume. Now, a wild berry tree is dropping blackberries into my yard. Moxie enjoys searching, and eating these berries. She even lets me think she wants to play ball, and off she trots with her ball to the berry patch. So far, there are no digestive issues. On the other end of the yard, they have a very large, very old, brittle oak tree. In the winter/spring branches fall. Today, a large branch that has been dangling over my yard finally fell down. No one was injured. but we were standing a couple of feet away. In the fall I go out and pick up acorns before Moxie grabs them. Acorns are not good at all. Learning what is good and what is toxic for animals is the number one question I ask at a nursery.

Moxie settles down for her breakfast. I imagine that she thinks if she eats it up fast I will forget that I even gave her anything. I grab some coffee and sit in my recliner with my Golden in my lap. Read a couple of emails, check out FaceBook, and plan the day. Today, a photo session is on the agenda

Her birthday photo session.

We try and groom Moxie every night. I have all the equipment I used on Charlie, and so I started early with Moxie. She even looks forward to having her teeth brushed. At first, she liked the taste – peanut butter! Now we do a full brush!

Moxie just finished her first heat cycle with no issues. The vet is now changing the dialog once again. Spay before six months, wait for at least the first cycle or 18 months to never spay a Golden Retriever. Something to think about.

Around 8 months of age Moxie developed a couple of fears. Her biggest is large trucks. This has interfered with our peaceful walks, and car rides. I have not settled on a crash-tested car harness because Moxie settles herself on the floorboards behind the passenger seat. With the harness, she was getting so tangled up. We both were stressing out. Each day I try and take her somewhere. During her heat cycle, we just drove around and made a stop at Starbucks. Now, we have started walking around Oak Park or Phoenix Field. I use a Gentle Leader on her, and it helps to get her to focus on walking with me instead of leading the way and pulling me. Also, we are back to going to Basic class with Carley, and we practice all the commands throughout the day. Some days are better than others, but today I feel that progress is being made.

Just like when I had kids, I arrange dog playdates. Moxie loves to play with other dogs. Right now we were sticking to girl dogs. But soon our next-door neighbor’s puppy Seven will come to play. Moxie’s Mom Phoebe lives across the street and sometimes comes to play.

So between feedings, playing, grooming, napping, training, and walking Moxie keeps me plenty busy. Having a puppy is a full-time responsibility, and I am glad I am up for it! Well, most of the time.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #185 Changes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #185 Changes coincidently match my just posted subject about Moxie. John wants us to see what change means to me.

Moxie’s dramatic change from little pup to “almost” full grown.

I started this post over 4 months ago, and life got in the way. In August I expected my grandson to stay with us as he planned to relocate from Tennessee. He stayed with us two days, and he headed back to Knoxville, Tennessee. Refusal of CoVid vaccine, relationship issues, and youth.

Isaac enjoys a homemade waffle, meets Moxie, and leaves for Tennessee, again.

My daughter and family returned to Sacramento after a second try at living in Knoxville. They found an apartment, and as soon as their second house sold in Knoxville the hunt was on for house number three in Tennessee. Sometime in January they will head east. This time they left all their belongings in Tennessee. So that expense is eliminated. I’m not sure what draws them to the “Volunteer State”. Tomorrow I will again say goodbye.

Deja Vu. Or Groundhog Day. This photo was taken in June 2021. Moving to their new home in Tennessee.
Two month old Moxie

So what has kept me so busy that I haven’t posted in a while. Well, I look to my puppy Moxie. Time has a way of disappearing and moving at a snail’s pace. The other day I was making an appointment for a vet visit for Moxie and I kept saying she was almost nine months old. Wrong. She is now eight months old. I work with her daily, and sometimes I see the progress, and sometimes I feel defeat. I am told she is going through the teenage years. Training is ongoing. We go to training once every other week. Manners are being worked on. I am focusing on jumping up on people, and playing rough with me.

For a Golden Retriever, Moxie is a petite pup. She weighs in at 34 lbs. at 8 months. She is about 20 pounds lighter than one of her sisters. I have been dealing with her sensitive stomach, and it seems we have a couple of good weeks, and then I am back to square one. I enrolled in a puppy care club, and when I last tried to make an appointment for her acute tummy issue, the first available time was over three weeks away. As with all things CoVid, I found out that the hours and staff have been reduced due to staffing shortage in veterinarians. This is not adequate care so I will be looking for a new vet. Luckily, I have Golden Retriever friends, and I sought their advice. The “great resignation” attributed to CoVid is shaping our life.

Most puppy owners are shocked by the sharp shark teeth their puppies have. Until Moxie lost her baby teeth (around 5-6 months) I only wore clothes with holes around my pup. These denims kind of look like ones people purchase at fashionable stores. I now do not have to change before I play with my puppy.

At 5 months Moxie has lost her shark teeth.

CoVid caused many supply glitches. I have a small backyard, and two fences were down. Lumber prices rose dramatically. By the beginning of November my yard was fully enclosed. Lucky thing because my next door neighbor just got an adorable black lab. Perhaps a future playmate for Moxie.

Fully fenced, but not entirely safe for my puppy to romp around without harm.

Moxie is always on the lookout for something to eat.

This fall my neighbor’s oak tree hand an abundance of acorns that are toxic for puppies to chew. This along with a pine tree that continues to shower my lawn with needles makes for an unsafe environment for a curious puppy. So each morning a pick up acorns and a variety of mushrooms that appear out of nowhere each morning. So I am always on the lookout. Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving Moxie was too fast and ate a mushroom.

Mushrooms come in such a variety, and none should be consumed by my puppy Moxie.

On the way to the emergency room most of the contents of her stomach ended up on my backseat. Thank goodness my seats were covered.

Moxie is safely harnessed in the back seat. Most of the time she is not interested in the surroundings. Go figure.

There was only one vet at the emergency hospital and the parking lot was filling up. Puppy is ok. And I did make it to Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my friend Anne.

Well at least Moxie ate her mushroom early, and we arrived at 9:00 am. We were able to avoid the crowd.
After her ordeal, all she wanted to do is sleep in my lap. We often get some quiet time and a nap on the Lazy Boy recliner.

CoVid has taken the spontaneity out of life. No quick decision to go to the zoo. Now you must go online to make a reservation. I am waiting at Kaiser because to visit the optical department an appointment is needed. I need new glasses because Moxie chewed up my glasses. To be CoVid safe I make an appointment and wait my turn.

Next week my girl will be 10 months old. When I see her mother Phoebe they look so much alike. Moxie is at her adult size, almost. Puppies grow so very fast. I am glad I took all these photos along the way.

My husband and I quickly made the choice of Moxie for my puppy’s name. Many have asked the origin of the name. My in-laws had an advertisement for this drink in their kitchen. Recently, my husband brought home a bottle of Moxie.

Where we got the name “Moxie”

This is the second time around with puppy raising in the past two years, and I still am amazed at how quickly the tiny puppy grows to adult size. Glad I took all these photos. Change happens fast, and I am glad I grabbed some of these shots using my iPhone 8 instead of relying on my Fuji xt4. I plan to upgrade my iPhone since much has improved in the last couple of years. I’m looking at the iPhone 13 pro. I just need to make an appointment. The display on my Nixplay frame brings me a lot of joy. If you are thinking of getting one and have questions I’m happy to help.

This is my New Year’s Eve photograph. She has changed so much in these first 8 months.

Moxie at 8 months

I think things may calm down in 2022, or at least I hope so. Stay tuned for my continuing adventures with Moxie.

Moxie’s is here!

Life with a puppy starts, and all of a sudden I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems to fly by, and yet I can’t believe that Moxie has been in our lives less that two weeks. The good thing is that her transition was not as drastic as with most pups. I visited her in her home located across the street. She made a few short visits here as well.

I can’t tell who Moxie will look like. She was the second smallest of the litter of 9. Both parents welcome me when I arrive. I went over to take some photographs of the litter. It is not an easy task to take pics inside, by myself, and with some active 52 day old pups.

Phoebe is the mom of nine Golden Retriever puppies.
Bailey is Moxie’s Dad (Sire)
Here is Moxie with her ball. She likes to chase and bring it back. A real retriever!

Puppyhood training is fresh in my mind, but Moxie is so very different a personality. She has taken to the crate, and goes in without a fuss. If she whines she settles down after a couple of minutes. When she falls asleep, she is so settled that I can pick her up and transfer her to her crate. I found her placing herself in her crate a couple of times. The only thing in her crate is her Snuggle Puppy. At night I turn on the heartbeat, and she uses the puppy as a pillow. I still have the one that Charlie used, and it is used in Moxie’s daytime crate. I was amazed that after the initial obligatory ear and tail amputation Charlie left the puppy alone. Moxie’s puppy has just had some ear licks applied.

Moxie’s Snuggle Puppy matches my girl

Moxie plays with all sorts of toys. Chew toys, balls to fetch, and an empty lemonade plastic bottle she uses to play soccer. She moves from one toy to another, and doesn’t persistently chew on one toy till it is destroyed.

A basket of toys. Unfortunately, Moxie thinks the basket is also there to chew on. Looking for something to hold her growing group of toys. Maybe I will get her to pick up her toys when she is done. One can always hope!

All puppies have shark teeth. So I am never far from a toy to replace my skin. I make it a point to have my fingers in her mouth to remove unwanted items, check her teeth, and look at her tongue. I started her on brushing her teeth though it is awkward. This will be part of her grooming routine. Golden Retriever’s are double coated, shedding dogs. Her grooming with be different. A Labradoodle is a single coated non shedding dog with more maintenance needed. This week I start showing Moxie what it takes to be a beautiful pup!

Potty training is coming along. Thinking back to my first puppy, Liberty I don’t remember as many paper towels being used. Small bladder = little piddles. But I am starting to recognize the signs. And Moxie is starting to catch on to the back door and ringing the bells.

June has been a hot month with temperatures into the 100 degrees plus. But we are vaccinated, and not under lockdown orders so Moxie has met most of my neighbors. She approaches new people with interest and a wag. I am trying to give her a new experience each day. New sights, new sounds, new tastes. Charlie’s first car ride was home from the Serenity Springs, a two hour drive. He was anxious and when we arrived he vomited. I want Moxie to be a good traveler so after a couple of days we drove out to Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse, California for fresh corn. I don’t have a harness for her yet, and so Moxie sat on my lap. Today, the vacuum cleaner came out. Fireworks are set to go off tonight.

I started working the Baxter & Bella online training program. I am glad I subscribed to this program with Charlie. At the time training could only be accomplished online. With one payment I have a lifetime membership. Moxie is taking to the training. First I reward the behavior through luring, then I name the behavior. Commands that she learned so far include: sit, down, touch, and sit to say please, go potty, and of course respond to her name. I notice when she starts to move into zone 3 or 4, and I am starting to get her to relax on her back with soothing cradling. This may allow me to cut her nails which I think will be a light color. Yes, easier!

So far Moxie has been quite a different puppy. I now see just how much anxiety my Charlie displayed. When he napped, he still was alert. He would get up if anything moved. I can leave the room, make noise, and Moxie remains asleep.

Moxie finds interesting places to fall asleep.

I swear that when she gets up from some of her naps she seems to have grown. I am enjoying the ability to sweep her up in my arms and get her out the door to potty. I know this will not last, but I am enjoying it while it does.

Collars by Woofas Rainbows and Raindrops is Moxie’s first collar. I ordered an ID tag from Red Dingo.

Wearing a collar has taken some getting used to.

Got a little extra sleep in this morning. I plan to take more pictures every week. Stay tuned.

Some Sad News. Followed by some Happy News.

Charlie ended his short life last week. It was sudden. It was very unexpected. I was totally blindsided. This little puppy was finally becoming a trustworthy dog. If you have been following along on our journey you know that he was my special little pup. Coming to me during the CoVid quarantine really bonded us. He was not so comfortable with the outside world, and being aware of this I worked doubly hard to share many different experiences with him.

I hoped to have a dog that would be able to share my world, and so he needed to get used to riding in the car. Short trips, and then longer times accomplished this. He loved his car. Not so much getting out of the car. He was always happier to get back into the car. And he could spot the car in a parking lot full of cars.

Such a beautiful boy

I wanted a dog that would accompany me on walks. He walked with me to the mailbox every afternoon. He knew the words, waited till I got the keys, and attached his Easy Walker Harness. A dog lives near the mailbox, and Charlie always got excited to see this barking dog. But his training was paying off, and I would tell him to sit while I opened the box. Sometimes he would see some of our neighbors and wag, and play the “Don’t touch me” game. That was getting better.

Well, he never wanted to walk past our court. I really don’t know why. So if I wanted to get a walk in we would hop in the car, and go find a park path to follow. Most of the time we did ok. It wasn’t a given that my anxious dog would be happy along the path. Bikes and scooters stressed him. And once he saw that we were headed back to the car he was in full pull mode. That I would not allow, and so we often had to stop until the leash loosened up.

First puppy haircut.

New to me was the process of grooming. Every evening Charlie would get on his grooming table after being enticed with 2 pieces of kibble. I was slowly getting all the supplies needed to start doing a full groom myself. CoVid disrupted the supply chain and I finally got the clippers I wanted in May. Yesterday I spent boxing and returning all the items I no longer need.

Charlie at 1 yr old.

Last winter Charlie visited Lake Tahoe. There was snow on the ground, and he would dig and put his face in the cold snow.

Charlie in the snow at Lake Tahoe

Two weeks ago I took my dog on a vacation to Pacific Grove. It was my first ever time to take a pet on vacation. I am so glad to have had that memory. He absolutely enjoyed the beach. His tail was flying high as he dug into the sand. Then he placed his face in it. I will alway have that to remember. I brought along a pop-up playpen and he went right to sleep for the night.

My happy Charlie
Digging away!
A mouthful of sand!
Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

I was proud at his progress, and I was beginning to see him start to adjust to the world. Starting at 4 months his skin rash would be infected. Under veterinary care antibiotics cleared it up. But it would return. Allergy was suspected. So when this happened a third time, Charlie started seeing an animal dermatologist. A strict diet was adhered to, and I started dehydrating treats for him also. After culturing the skin site the vet said that the staph infection would not respond to regular antibiotics. We tried a bleach treatment, and the staph infection spread. So the next step was a stronger antibiotic. Now we did a blood test, and repeated it 2 weeks later. The liver enzyme increased. The staph infection was gone, and the medication was discontinued. But over Memorial Day weekend Charlie stopped eating. On Tuesday his vet admitted Charlie into an iCU hospital. His liver was failing. And on my birthday I said goodbye.

This was a very hard blog to write. I have many photographs of Charlie, but I know that there should have been many, many, many more years together.

Well, Charlie must have some special pull, and he knew how much he would be missed. He knew I was a good dog mama. Just before we went to Pacific Grove my neighbor invited me in to see her litter of Golden Retriever puppies. All the time at Pacific Grove I was thinking maybe Charlie would like a sibling. But I put that out of my mind. On Thursday June 3rd my husband and I went over to see the 5 week old pups, and Moxie will be joining our family in two weeks. Phoebe and Bailey have 9 pups, and my neighbors are happy that they will be able to see her grow up in the neighborhood. The bonding process is starting because she has visited her new home twice. So puppyhood starts again.

A puppy pile of Goldens
Present Moxie!
Moxie comes to visit
I get a visit from Moxie at 5 weeks

I guess you can expect many new puppy photographs!