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.

The Psychology of Selecting Toys

Puppies have a lot of energy. Well, much more than I have. They play hard and then fall asleep. My foot serves as Charlie’s pillow. This way I am required to stay in place while he naps. Did I say he is so smart?

Charlie is 6 months old. Sometimes I feel like I am getting better at being able to read his mind. Other times, I know that he knows how to manipulate me to his whims. So how do I keep my Charlie amused, tired, and out of trouble? A game of Fetch is a good start. We look for a ball, I throw, he retrieves, and gives it back. Repeat. This works for both the outside and inside. Food is a good motivator and a frozen Kong in his “room” can occupy about 15 minutes, tops. Then … off to look for something to chew.

He just loves to chew, and chew, and chew. Given Charlie’s determination to chew I have to watch him with his toys. He sleeps with his Snuggle Puppy, but the other day he proudly took his puppy out of his room (crate). Then proceeded to shake it wildly. Ok, not a problem. Then he settled down, and quickly eliminated the tail. In short order, I looked and his puppy was tailless and missing an ear. I felt bad taking the toy away, but now I worried if this toy would create a health issue. Carefully watching his behavior, and reading his poop. Yup, my new pup has put me in charge of poop patrol. Given a stuffed toy he picks an appendage and works at it until it just disappears. Swallowed up. I am so nervous that he will hurt himself with his compulsive eviscerating of stuffed toys. Even called my vet, and asked if I should be worried. The advice given was if he eats, plays, and poops without a problem then he is probably ok. The fibers are probably concealed.

So now I am searching for that toy that will satisfy the urge to chew that lasts more than 10 minutes. I look online, read reviews from other pet owners, and visit my local Petco.

I skip past all the cute stuffed chew toys. Even the ones that say “Tuff”. I brought home a toy made from the same material as a fire hose. No problem for Charlie. Then I enter the aisle with hard stuff for chewing. I have one blue dog bone that I had for Libby. She never cared for it. I liked the fact that it was actually made here in the USA. Well, Charlie is not a fan either. I guess that is why it looks perfectly new. No teeth marks. I look at some softer rubber toys in a variety of shapes.

What appeals to a puppy? Does your puppy have a favorite toy?

This looks like a long stick, and the material has some give to it.

As you can see, not destroyed, but not a winner either.

Again, Charlie pretty much ignores it. I looked in the bargain bin. Figuring if it gets destroyed my pocket won’t feel too bad. Here is a squeaky bright green figure of a character doing a yoga pose. I start up a conversation with another pet owner. I tell her that there is another larger “Yoga Hero” in the bin for $4.00, but she says her retriever would attack the foot in a matter of minutes. I can’t tell if it will be too big for Charlie’s mouth but I decide to take a chance. It is a hit with Charlie. He likes to make it squeak. When thrown Yoga bounces randomly. It took a while but the yoga foot has been crippled.

Charlie will search for his Yoga toy on command

Luckily, I found the missing piece, so there will be no ongoing poop search.

Charlie loves food. He perks up when he hears the word Kong. I freeze his kibble and top it off with peanut butter.

Charlie is about to consume his frozen Kong

But the search to find the best chew toy continues. I just have to learn to think like a puppy!

Introducing Charlie – It’s a boy!

The wait is over. Born on February 7, 2020 Ginger and Ace produced a litter of 10 multi-gen Australian Labradoodles. From the moment these puppies were born I was able to see them on a video cam daily. I called it my “Puppy Show”. Jo also posted photos weekly along with all vital statistics.

Lime Boy at one week. Photo courtesy of Jo Ubina-Smith

On March 14th my husband and I traveled up to Orland, Ca. to visit Serenity Springs Labradoodles. Greeted by Jo, Ron and a large litter Australian Labradoodle 5 week old puppies.

Eyes open and sitting pretty. Photo by Jo Ubina-Smith

To give the pups the best experience, Jo introduces the litter to noises like the vacuum cleaner, and a wide variety of toys with different textures, and purposes. When stuck at home she dresses the pups up according to their color name.

Jo plays dress-up with Lime Boy

Due to the increasing pandemic of the Corona 19 virus (CoVid) we were not able to handle any of the puppies. We were practicing “Social Distancing”. Originally, I planned on adopting a girl. But one of the little boys captured my heart, Lime Boy. First up was to pick a name. Listened to friend suggestions, and finally decided on Charlie.

I began ordering puppy supplies. I could not go to a “Puppies R Us” store. Amazon Prime left many packages at my doorway. I am getting used to shopping online. My breeder sent information each week with suggestions for puppy preparations. Crate, grooming tools, puppy food, and a puppy playpen for traveling. I have been reading up on training a puppy. After all it has been over 9 years since I worked with a puppy.

Here we are getting our Charlie.

Saturday March 28th we headed back to Orland for a drive-thru pickup. Jo Ubina-Smith videotaped my instructions, presented us with a bag of supplies, and Charlie’s Notebook. I can’t say enough about this breeder. Every detail is carefully thought out. No question is too small. She is an organized, experienced, patient, caring, and thoroughly researched breeder. I could go on and on.

Charlie relaxing on a huge dog bed that has become his playground
Charlie stops his playing to pose for a photograph

Charlie has been with us for one week, and I think I am starting to get into a rhythm. Jo told me that Charlie approached new things cautiously. He takes a bit more time but then gets more confident.

This “Stay in Place” will definitely not play to Charlie’s advantage to socialize early, and experience many new things, but I will work with what I have.

Charlie seems to act more confident outside.
Had to order a much smaller ball for Charlie to fetch. The Kong squeaker ball does the trick. Charlie eagerly retrieves it!

And like a new Mom, I have to get up to speed for all the bending, ups, and downs my body was not prepared for. Today, I spent catching up with sleep and giving some distance from Charlie. I don’t want him to become too dependent on me.

Tomorrow, I will take Charlie for a ride to our Petco store where I will “Socially distance” have some items brought up to the car. This will give Charlie a new experience.

And so Charlie’s journey begins!