Thursday, April 16, 2020

Puppy Size? It's that time of year


Many of you, like me, are stuck indoors right now as we wait out the COVID-19 epidemic. We find ourselves looking at Facebook or the Internet more than normal, and even if already surrounded by dogs we love, it can be hard not to get "puppy fever" when we see beautiful litters of puppies advertised. My parti-colored Standard Poodle boy has recently sired a litter of pups, and I have been in touch with some prospective buyers recently to help the breeder find good homes for the puppies.

They ask questions about the size the pups are expected to be, the colors (and with a multi-colored litter with various sized dogs in the pedigree, these questions don't always have definitive answers!) Sometimes, I find myself networking with others to help them find the dog that is their heart's desire, and it can be very time-consuming. But in many ways, I envy these people, because they are having the enjoyment of looking for a new addition to their family, which will hopefully bring them joy for many years to come. I'm not sure when, if ever, I will have that joy again.

Then today, when looking back over some of my past articles, I found this one, which seemed worth sharing again. It might help some of us remember that, no matter the size, the breed, the color, or the fancy pedigree...sometimes the choice of a puppy, or even the feeling of joy, is a decision of the heart.

Puppy "Size"
Published a decade ago on my Knowing Dogs blog, but original author unknown

One of my training customers emailed this story to me, and it is one of the most precious puppy stories I have ever read.

'Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to this animal shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this,' the mother told the volunteer at the shelter.

'What is it she keeps asking for?' the volunteer asked.

'Puppy size!' replied the mother, in a frustrated tone.

'Well, we have plenty of puppies, even some medium and smaller sized ones, if that's what she's looking for..'

'I know..... We have seen most of them, ' the mom said in frustration...

Just then Danielle, the mom's eight year old, came walking into the office .

'Well, did you find one?' asked her mom.

'No, not this time,' Danielle said with sadness in her voice. 'Can we come back on the weekend?'

The two women looked at each other, and just shook their heads.

Danielle looked at the volunteer and appeared to be tearing up. 'Are you not open this weekend? Won't you have some more puppies?'

'You never know when we will get more dogs.. Unfortunately, there's always a supply,so we might have more puppies by the weekend' the volunteer said.

Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. 'Don't worry Mama, I'll find one this weekend,' she said.

Over the next few days, both Mom and Dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular. Months before, they had taken her to see a litter of purebred Springer Spaniel puppies and she had acted the same way. They thought afterward, when she shared her feelings with them, that she simply wanted to find a smaller sized dog at an animal shelter. Every time a segment came on the television about homeless animals, her eyes would fill with tears and she would say, "Can we go look for my puppy soon?"

Tonight the conversation felt like a broken record, with Danielle simply saying she would know the right puppy when she saw it.

'It's this weekend or we're not looking any more,' Dad, frustrated, finally ended the conversation and the child went to bed looking chest-fallen.

'We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size, either,' Mom added.

Danielle ate her cereal quickly on Saturday morning, and cheerfully announced she was ready to go to the shelter. Dad thought it was too early, and decided to stay home, but Mom got dressed and once again took her beloved daughter to the local animal shelter.

It was early, and they were the first ones when the door opened at the shelter on that Saturday. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs.

Tired of the routine, Mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted. She pressed her face close to the window to watch her daughter.

Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out by a volunteer and she held each one. One by one she said, 'Sorry, but you're not the one.'

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. When the fluffy black puppy was put in her arms, this time she took a little longer, so Mom turned the corner and walked into the adoption area.

'Mom, it's him! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!' The child screamed with joy. 'It's the puppy size!'

'But honey, he's the same size as all the other puppies you have held over the last few weeks,' Mom said. 'Maybe even a bit bigger.'

'No Mommy, not SIZE... the sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed,' she said. 'Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!'

The volunteer glanced at Mom, and the two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both, tears running down her cheeks as she laughed.

'Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms,' she said. Then, holding the puppy up close to her face, she said, 'Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!'

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that has made you sigh. We can find it not only find it in the arms of our loved ones but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day...the sighs of God. It's wonderful when it comes from one of our beloved dogs, but it's everywhere. Many of us, like my friend Patti Lucas pictured here, have heard the sighs of a foster dog when they first know they are safe. Perhaps you cannot add a pup to your home, but fostering an adult dog might bring you some sighs of joy.

But don't forget...you can look out the window today or even just around your room and see signs of God's sighs of love, when we thank Him for what He has given us.

Take the time to stop and listen; you may be surprised at what you hear.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Scout and Murray L'Abbe on the Rocks

Scout and Murray On the Rocks...Oldie but goodie, from July 2010
Melanie Schlaginhaufen

Well it seems that Poodle clowns Murray, age 2 and Scout, age 6, were in the water once again this past weekend. These two can take even the most picturesque setting (this time at Great Pond, Aurora, Maine) and add a bit of humor.


This one I call Scout and Murray On the Rocks (no, that is not a new drink!)

Chris has been so kind through the years to send photos for the poodle blog, as well as photos of "real dogs" for my dog training blog.

Rick Miles is another wonderful Poodle photographer who has been very generous in contributing photography for my articles through the years.

Thanks Chris and Rick!

Also special thanks to Scout and Murray!

Quick note now, nine years later...(February 2019) Rick Miles, perhaps I need to work on an article about unusual colors of poodles, since not everyone knows they come in multi-colors! I would love to introduce your lovely black and tan phantom poodle puppy to the blog readers. I only recently purchased back the Poodle blog, and am working on rebuilding the readership that we once had.

Nothing like an adorable puppy and her antics to interest poodle lovers, so if you and your pup want to help, just let me know!

Also, I would love to do a tribute to Houdini, your beautiful black Standard Poodle, with some of your favorite photos and memories of him. I would even love to know what you feel contributed to his longevity, because even though their time with us is always too short, not many of us have had the blessing of having a Standard live to be sixteen years old. Houdini was a very special boy, and I know he is dearly missed by everyone who came in contact with him.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Grieving a Special Friend

This article was originally published here on the Poodle blog in 2011. Because I have been speaking to several people recently who are deeply grieving a beloved pet, I decided to update it and repost, in hopes that it might be of comfort to someone.

I have sat where you are sitting. I have stood where you are standing. I have stood frozen with my hand on the door because I dreaded opening it--I did not want to go into a house that was missing the dog I so deeply loved.

A friend of mine is today, as I write this, grieving a dog that she lost way too young. I want to share something with you what I just shared with my friend.

Although at times it feels like yesterday, it was ten years ago that our lovely Standard Poodle Lizzie was diagnosed with lymphoma. We spent the summer that year driving her back and forth to a wonderful veterinarian that was almost an hour and a half from our home. She did not respond to the treatments as well as we had hoped. Often her blood count would drop dangerously low, and she would have to miss a week before the next treatment, until she was stronger.
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We were told that dogs do not lose their hair from chemotherapy treatments. But Lizzie did. Poodles don't have the same type of hair as most dogs, their hair is more similar to a person's hair and it did start to come out as the weeks passed. It was hard to see our lovely girl with bald patches, and even harder to watch her stumble when we took her outside to play. Her lymphoma had spread to her neurological system.

That August we made the decision to stop the treatments, and Lizzie had a fairly comfortable month before it was time to let her go. When it was time, our local veterinarian was kind and compassionate.

Lizzie was only eight years old. I was totally unprepared to lose her at such a young age. In addition, my teenage son had just been diagnosed with cancer, and was in between surgeries at the time that Lizzie left us. I was an emotional wreck.

One day while sobbing on the phone, I told a friend that the thing that bothered me the most was the thought of Lizzie sitting at the "Rainbow Bridge" looking for us. Lizzie had some separation anxiety during her life, always acting very distressed as we walked away if we had to leave her for boarding or even grooming appointments.

My friend told me that years ago when she lost a beloved dog companion, she had asked God to show her what happened to her dog after he died. She did not tell me what she had experienced, but just encouraged me to pray that God would show me.

Several nights later, I was laying in bed, praying and crying softly while I asked God again to please give me some peace about Lizzie. I told God how I hated the fact that there is nothing in the Bible that tells us for sure that our pets will be in heaven.

I am not sure if I was asleep or if it was a vision just before sleep, but suddenly I could see....the most gorgeous green grass, unbelievably colored flowers...and there was Lizzie, playing with some children who appeared to be around six or seven years old.

Lizzie was performing some of the "tricks" that I had taught her years before...a child was giving her the cues and she was doing her "spins" and "sit pretty", while the other children were clapping their hands with delight. Then they would run and she would run...and they would flop down on the grass with her. Lizzie was giving kisses and receiving hugs.
But best of all...Lizzie was totally focused on these children and she was definitely "in the moment", very happy, not looking around or showing any signs at all of worrying about anything. Her coat was beautiful and black again, and she was full of life, no stumbling, no sign of illness in any way.

There is a Steve Green song called "Safely Home" that is written as if God is speaking to us after we have lost someone we love. it says "They are strong...and free...they are safe...with me".

Last week (update, 2011) we lost our Gusto, a/k/a "Goose", an older Standard Poodle who lived with us for the last five years after his owner passed away. Goose was the happiest and most cheerful doggie soul I have ever known. I hope that today he is being a clown, playing tennis ball (his favorite) perhaps with children who have always longed for a special dog like him. They may not have had a dog while they were on earth, but Gusto can give them great joy now. I am sure they will find him a fun and most faithful friend. But still, my heart longs for him and misses him.

Deepest empathy goes out to my friends who have recently lost special dogs...Silvia, Teresa, Veronica, Maria, Cleeta, Peter and Johnnie. I know how much it hurts and my heart goes out to you. But have peace and know that they are...once again....strong and free.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dog Food, Controversial Info You Need to Know

Nutritional Information Almost Too Scary to Share!

WYSONG TRUTH 45: APPROVED FOR ILL HEALTH?

To assure safety and wholesomeness of pet foods, state and federal regulatory agencies prescribe or permit ingredients. Additionally, ingredients must be described on labels by precise nomenclature dictated by alphabet agencies such as AAFCO and the FDA.

The problem is, those who sit on the committees deciding what can or cannot be approved may have commercial links. They can push through ingredients that should not be in foods, and prevent the approval of those which either rub prejudices the wrong way or which may create unwelcome competition to their own interests. On the other hand, state regulators (a manufacturer must get approval from each individual state) may have little nutritional knowledge or academic credentials, but a lot of power.

Nutritionists who are consulted by regulators to help make decisions about ingredient approval are steeped in the reductionistic point of view. Since they believe nutrition boils down to percentages - % protein, % fat, % fiber, etc. - almost anything can be an approved ingredient provided these numbers are known.

Where there are deficiencies, a few synthetic vitamins here, a few additives there (all properly "approved" of course), and all is well. The end result of this unholy marriage between commercial interests, prejudice, scientific naivete, and regulatory dictatorship is the official American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) listing of approved pet food ingredients. Here are ex­amples of what has been officially approved... and I'm not kidding:

1. dehydrated garbage
2. polyethylene roughage
3. hydrolyzed poultry feathers
4. hydrolyzed hair
5. hydrolyzed leather meal
6. some 36 chemical preservatives
7. peanut skins and hulls
8. corn cob fractions
9. ground corn cob
10. ground clam shells
11. poultry, cow and pig feces and litter
12. hundreds of chemicals
13. a host of antibiotic and chemotherapeutic pharmaceuticals
14. a variety of synthetic flavorings
15. adjuvants

On the other hand, if a manufacturer wants to be innovative and pack as much natural nutrition into products as possible, important ingredients are not approved. For example, even though it has been proven that the amino acid, L-carnitine, may be deficient in processed pet foods, it has been forbidden. Proteoglycans such as glucosamine and chondroitin and other ingredients such as col­lagen, all of which have been proven to help prevent and alleviate arthritic conditions, have also been blacklisted.  Special natural foods that are particu­larly nutrient dense, such as pollen, composted sea vegetation, sea salt, omega-3 fatty acids, various biologically active phytonutrients (dozens of these have been discovered and their proven effectiveness has created a class of beneficial ingredients known as nutraceuticals) and even some organic ingredients cannot be used because they are not "approved."

There is no question of safety here - as regulators pretend - for these foods have been consumed for eons by animals and humans without ill effect.

Animal food regulatory absurdity becomes apparent when the very ingredients banned for pet foods are sitting on shelves in grocery and health food stores fully approved for human consumption.

"Approved" ingredient regulations cannot be trusted. Banning nutri­tious natural ingredients and approving dehydrated garbage and feces makes it clear that the agenda of regulation is something different than encour­aging optimal nutrition.
Once again it becomes apparent that if you want what is best for yourself and your pet, then you better rely on your own common sense.
This above post is copyrighted by Wysong, Inc. and is reprinted with permission. Interested in more information?  Visit the Wysong website and also be sure to read other articles concerning dog food and nutrition on this blog.  On the Wysong website, you can also sign up for their free emails concerning "100 Truths".  The more I read, the more convinced I am that we have got to be more careful in our selection of pet foods, and our dogs really do need more fresh food from our kitchen, because it is impossible to get "complete and balanced nutrition" from feeding commercial pet food alone.
How many dog food companies are going to tell you this type of information?  So far I have heard it from only one head of a pet food company, and that is Dr. Randy Wysong!   No, I don't sell Wysong or any other pet food. You can find Wysong at upscale pet supply stores, you can buy it direct from Wysong at www.wysong.net or click the Pet Food Direct widget on my website and order through my affiliate link with Pet Food Direct. I personally have had good success with ordering directly from Wysong, as far as very quick service plus they have wonderful educational materials available. If this is the first you have heard of Wysong, please be sure to visit their website! I rotate dog food, as Dr. Wysong has always suggested, and as of the date of reposting this article, 12/10/18, I am also using Canidae and Nature's Recipe.

Friday, December 7, 2018

We’re BACK!


Hi everyone! You probably haven’t seen any new posts on this blog in the past couple of years. This is because my Mom sold the Poodle blog, when she got busy with other things.

But, I missed having a place to share my thoughts and photos with you! So Mommy contacted the person who purchased the blog and she sold it back to us! It may take awhile before the Poodle blog starts gaining steam again, and you may see something on the site from the previous owner that we haven’t yet deleted. Please bear with Mom while she gets back in to blogging mode! 

Meanwhile, stay in touch and tell your friends who love Poodles, including partis like myself, to follow us! And Mom says be sure to send us any Christmas or holiday photos you might like to share! Who knows, you might see your photo in my next post! 

Love, Hudson (aka UKC Ch. Prodigy’s Content of Character) and his mom, Melanie Schlaginhaufen 

Photo copyrighted by Veronica Kelso, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any fashion, or used on any other  website, without the photographer’s permission. All content on this website is also copyrighted by Melanie Schlaginhaufen and may not be reproduced without written permission. Thank you for respecting our copyright! 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fun Update from the Dunlap Gang!

On Memorial day, I received this wonderful "Joey's Journal" entry from my friend Charlene Dunlap of Canine Horizons.  Honestly, I think every day is a holiday for the dogs who live with Charlene and Glenn! Since I haven't featured her crew in a while, I thought my readers might enjoy this update with some fun photos.  Thank you Charlene, for allowing me to share them with Poodle Blogger readers!


We hope you are all having a very pleasant Memorial Day.
Since we've been rather confined the previous three days due to our fortnightly groomathon, we decided we'd spend the cooler part of today in activities.  After our morning yard walk, the boys and I went to the training building for more activities.  Sydney wanted to work on her tan and did not accompany us indoors.
         First thing Scotty always does is run to the mail box and open and shut the lid.  Funny boy! 
  Then up the ladder ~~
  ~~ moving so fast he was just a blur! 

             So fast that you can see through him in places!!  Interesting, huh?
 The camera was moving this time trying to keep up. 

   : But, I finally got them to be still enough for a good picture. 
(Note from Melanie, aren't they just the cutest boys EVER?)
After breakfast, we went to the college. 
 There's a walking path around the campus and a side path with a bridge over a stream.

 Glenn didn't know I took this - teehee  Usually, he's with Sydney and Scotty and I'm with Joey
 unless I have all three!
 At home, Joey saw Glenn outside fixing a faucet leak -  the boys tore outside and tracked him to the barn-
 Scotty greeting his dad - see Joey biting Scotty's leg!
This one of the doggy doors out of the house-
And, coming back in (to the reading room)
                                Hope we didn't overload your computer with pictures today! 
                                                              Charlene with Joey, Scotty, and Sydney

Charlene, I can NEVER get enough, as far as photos of your three lovely Parti crew. Readers, if you enjoyed these photos, you will REALLY love the short movies and videos of these dogs doing all the amazing tricks and behaviors she has taught them for her Poodle movies. Some of the shorter movies can now be viewed on her website for free!  Check out these videos and more at Joey and Scotty's website:
                                                                The Parti Boys

As always Charlene, many, many thanks for sharing your dogs and their adventures with us!  Melanie





Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Spring!

Nothing says Spring like a happy young Poodle bouncing through the wildflowers!  This one belongs to Susan Wilson, of Five Star Poodles.  For more photos and information on her lovely Poodles, see her website, www.fivestarpoodles.com.

Thanks so much Susan, for sharing this photo!

Melanie
Poodle Blogger
www.knowingdogs.com