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The Pups, They Keep A-Growing

At five weeks old, we are marveling every day at the pup’s development. They are now running, mock fighting, dragging toys around the pen and chomping on each other. Most of them have razor sharp teeth, so I am really looking forward to being able to feed straight kibble. Kibble mush requires a lot of preparation and even more clean-up.

Speaking of clean-up, poop patrol has become quite a task. Most of them can manage to get to the potty box, most of the time. Training puppies to a potty box gives them a head-start on later housebreaking. You need to be sure to only use a kitty litter named Yesterday’s News, as they will ingest it.  They ingest other things, but I sincerely hope this phase passes soon.

Previously, we had tried wood pellets but they made quite a mess. They turned to sawdust when wet, and ended up everywhere.  This kitty litter more or less turns to mush in the under layer and packs down rather neatly, with a top layer of the pellets. Seems to me this could be an excellent solution for a small dog in an apartment without access to an outside area.

Enough about potty matters, let’s have some pictures of cute furballs – which is what this is all about, right?


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These are Goldendoodle puppies from Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles in Upstate SC and they are for sale as of mid October 2017. They will be going home the week of November 15th.

Our website is still in development, but our Facebook page is up, and contains videos of the pups playing.








puppies, Puppies, PUPPIES!!!

We delivered our first litter of Goldendoodle puppies 3 weeks ago, on September 11th. It has been an adventure.

Daenerys – and yes, I am a big fan of Game of Thrones – delivered 7 healthy puppies. Four are boys and 3 are girls, ranging from blonde to a reddish tint and a few in between.

The obligatory “milk bar” picture:

milk bar

the milk bar, fully patronized.

The first two weeks, the pups are considered neonates. They are blind, and deaf. if you pick one up, they scream bloody murder. This is not my favorite time period. They nurse, sleep and eliminate.

The good news for this stage is that mom has to lick them to stimulate elimination and she cleans up as part of the process. The bad news is that Dani has no sense of personal space. A 10 ounce puppy under a 42 pound mama could be in big trouble. Around the clock vigilance is necessary for the first 10 days. Along with screaming puppies because they were hungry – after hurriedly checking to ensure no one was under Dani – this made for a lot of sleep deprivation. I was seriously rethinking my plan to supplement my pension by breeding and selling dogs.

I am new to this whole motherhood gig, even if vicariously.  We went to the vet to get Dani an oxytocin shot to stimulate milk production the day after birthing, but her  milk still did not really “come in” until the pups were a week old. Skinny puppies scare me half to death.; they have no reserves to fight off anything. I was preparing to supplement when they finally started nursing well.  I slept much better when there were rotund little bellies.

The pups don’t really start coming into their own until the 3rd week.  Tiny little eyes start myopically peering back at you and  58/ tiny, tiny barks are heard. As their ears open, the pups begin to vocalize.

There are pint sized growls, yips, screams, and a trilling sound that is very catlike now issuing from the whelping box.

week 3 teething

Our Facebook page,  Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles has lots more pictures and videos of this litter.

full tummy



Getting Ready for Weather

Irma is coming, and we expect some rain and maybe strong winds, no matter which direction the hurricane turns. The crew is midway through getting the connector between the old and new domes completed. They are scurrying to get enough concrete over the steel mesh and rebar, then plan to put plywood over the window and door openings. That section gets water backed up while it is still open to rain. On my back patio I’ve been storing large items that I ordered ahead for the plumbing. They will move those into the dome shell, to keep them safe. I am really glad they took down a large dead tree while they still had the extended forklift, it could have hit either Sharon’s house or mine if it fell in those directions.

more work on connector hallway

Since the connector between domes is very custom designed, it is taking the crew a while to make sure it is properly fitted. It is a series of 5 panels, bottom 2 vertical, next 2 leaning toward the center, and top is a flat piece, but they are giving it a bit of an angle from front to back. This is also uphill to downhill, so any water runoff will go away from the house. I’m finally getting the feel for how the hallway will be between the domes.

working on hallway

I’m actually leaving this weekend, not because of the storm, but for a family get-together. My siblings and their spouses and I try to have a reunion every couple of years. A week is just right, and we pick different places each time. This year is Madison WI because my brother is in an Ironman race this weekend. That still awes me. We have rented an amazing looking house through VRBO. I’ll post pictures after I get back. It is so nice to have all under one roof and be able to be up at odd hours talking and let other go to their rooms. I think the only unhappy family members are my cats, and they don’t suspect I’m leaving them until I get out the suitcase.

Sharon will be here to feed my cats, and she will be whelping the first litter for her Goldendoodle, Dani. I’ll encourage her to post about the puppies, including pictures. They are so cute and entertaining after a month of age.

New Plants!

Gloating over Plants on a Sunny Morn


Whose plants these are I know I bought

Our homes are in the country here;

They all will see me planting now

To watch my yard fill up with blooms.


My noisy dogs don’t think it queer

To see me outside, oh so near

Between the woods and sunny yard.

The brightest morning yet this year.


They bark to see the cat run by

To say my space – our space – get gone!

The only other sound’s the call

Of chirping birds and passing cars.


The beds are empty, dark and dull,

But I have flowers bright to plant,

And holes to dig before I sleep,

And holes to dig before I sleep.

With apologies to Robert Frost and many, many thanks to the Spring Plant Sale at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. I should also like to point out that not all of the flowers are for me!

Puppy Break!

Last weekend was cold and rainy, I took a break from gardening tasks and had a double feature of puppies

First, my god-dog Willow who has quadrupled in size in the short 7 weeks she has been with Tom and AnnaS. She is a mini-goldendoodle multigen cross who is supposed to grow to 30-40 pound size. This was a biggie: Willow’s first playdate with my pups after finishing all of her shots. She wasn’t too sure about playing with my 2 but did work up to an aborted feint or two by the time she left. When I keep her while her parents travel, I am sure the dogs will have enough time to work out their play signals.

willow march 2014

Visit 2 e

This is Frisco – who I refer to as a micro-goldendoodle. He comes in just under 10 pounds, and was supposed to have been in the 30-40 pound range. He had quite an unsettling experience before we left. Five deer crossed the property and Frisco took off after them into the woods. With his long and very fuzzy coat, he quickly became entangled in a briar patch to the point he was immobilized. Lynne had to go into the briar patch to bring him out . We literally had to cut the briars off of him; he couldn’t even straighten up, poor thing.

He is shown here with one of my long-term fosters, Nala.  She actually outweighed him. All that fur does make him look much bigger than he is.

frisco and nala

The highlight of my puppy tour: LynneP’s 2 six week old goldendoodle multigens Scarlette and Ruby. They are both female and should in time give a great start to LynneP’s mini goldendoodle line. Someone could make a fortune designing a stasis box, so you could keep them forever at this cute stage.


PS: five flats of 4 inch pots started today, more hellebores, Rudbeckia and the alleged creeping phlox – which is actually a wildflower I think.

Week 2 of the Spring Gardening Frenzy

We are having nights with frost, but some warm 70s kind of days that make me believe that spring WILL come.

Last week’s post was delayed, for lack of  pictures. My phone died: it did not seem to care for the swimming lessons it was offered in either the wash or rinse cycle. The new phone has been to the house three times – according to the slips FedEx has left – but has stayed on the truck. The last notice was taped directly on top of the previous notice I had signed in black ink as instructed. I still have no phone but hope to catch up with the new one next week.  It is currently residing about an hour away in Greenville and I refuse to drive that far. I borrowed DonnaW’s camera.

I have processed most of a truckload of branches into suitably sized lengths, taking care that each end is near a node, scraping off the outer surface at the bottom to get to the nice, green cambium layer, dipping the bottom end in rooting compound, placing each into a dibbled hole in my new sand growing bed, or in a water filled jar in my south facing kitchen window. Through this entire process, one has to remember which end is up. This is a challenging task sometimes; unknowns are tossed. It certainly feels like hundreds worth of cuttings, but is probably really only dozens and dozens worth.

Since the labor to pot up each of these bizillion segments is going to be significant, I am trying a sand bed for rooting for the first time. The sand was leftover from  DonnaW’s dome construction; I am praying it has no nasty contents that would be harsh on tender new growth. I scrounged the landscape timbers from previous use as bed edging and had a roll of nursery-grade landscape fabric just waiting for use. A quick trip to Lowes yielded some slender strips of woods that I intend to tack the row covers onto, to provide some wind and frost protection.

New Sand Bed

New sand bed for propagation


The sand bed is currently 16 foot long, of which 14 feet are in use. I will have add more space to finish up the last of the truckload of cuttings. I am becoming a Hydrangea Queen, if this year’s grow as well as the previous ones did.

My house is a disaster. It has been way too cold to work outside this winter, so I work indoors. I use the kitchen and DR to prepare cuttings and to pot up small plants that will fit in a 4 inch pot. These Hellebores/Lenten Roses, and Montauk daisies are in my bedroom, as the windows face south and west. I am using outdoor-rated light rope to provide bottom heat  and hopefully fake the little buggers into believing that it is spring and to grow, Grow, GROW. Waiting for transfer to 4 inch pots are Autumn Joy sedum, Green and Gold, more Hellebores and something that looks like creeping phlox to me. I hope it is, I have several slopes I would love to cover and so not have to mow.

Crime Wave?

Well, glad I keep a close eye on my accounts, as I found an unknown charge on my credit card for $525. I have called to take care of it, but unfortunately the current number has now been cancelled and I will get a new card soon. I am in Virginia and the card will be sent to my billing address in South Carolina. I have a debit card, so I can get home okay, but it is frustrating. I really liked that card number – yes I am a number geek, my degree was math – it was almost palindromic, so I easily memorized it years ago. I doubt that I will be so lucky again. The woman who took my call was very nice, and sympathetic, about it. I have not been using the card much the past 2 months, but who can guess what might have been hacked to get the number. I suppose it might have been Target, as I have shopped in a store but not online with the card. This was odd, the purchase location was a law enforcement supplies place – and the woman who helped me said it was non-durable goods. We couldn’t figure what it could be. Last time I had to switch cards was about ten years ago, so that’s not too bad, and they will credit my account after I fill out the form they are sending me. Worse things could have happened, but I hate being a victim.