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Over at the NPR website, you’ll find a different documentary posted each day this week. These are finalists in the Vimeo video contest.

Today’s video, Last Minutes with Oden, is the very touching depiction of Jason saying goodbye to his dog Oden. Here are the alerts: Jason uses some coarse language in the video. And Last Minutes with Oden is about exactly what you think it is, saying good bye for the last time at the vet’s office.

I watched it knowing the tremendous grief it would bring. And it led me to reflect on what a tremendous gift dogs give us to make it worth enduring this pain over and over again. I can’t say anything more that doesn’t come across much better in the short film.

I’m having trouble getting the code to embed. To view the video on Vimeo, click this link.

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Dirty Golden Retriever Puppy

Bath? We don't need no stinkin' bath!

  1. Make sure your dog actually needs a bath. Frequent bathing can irritate a dog’s skin so ask your vet what’s best for yours.
  2. Have fun and treats in the area where you’ll be giving the bath. For example, if it’s your bathroom, use that as your new room to play tug. Or practice tricks, if that’s what your dog enjoys.
  3. Have everything ready for the bath before running any water. There’s no need to leave your dog wet and shivering in the tub while you look for dry towels.
  4. Put a sturdy mat on the tub floor to keep your dog from slipping and sliding.
  5. Allow your dog to get into the tub on his own, if it’s safe. Do this without planning to run any water so your dog can see it as a fun game.
  6. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold for your dog.
  7. Provide a distraction to keep your dog entertained while you’re bathing her. My favorite trick is to fill the soap dish with peanut butter (see the picture below).
  8. Use soaps that aren’t too “perfume-y.” Think of what a dog thinks smells good–it’s probably not lavender and peppermint.
  9. Rinse your dog thoroughly. If you don’t have a spray attachment, use a pitcher.
  10. And the most important tip of all? Start making your dog feel comfortable with the idea of a bath long before you need to give him one–I’m talking weeks! Bath time will be much easier for your dog, and for you.

    Dog Eating Peanut Butter

    Yum! Bath time sticks to the roof of my mouth!

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Today the United States Border Collie Handler’s Association (USBCHA) is streaming the finals for their National Sheepdog Competitions. Visit the National Sheepdog Finals webpage. When you click on “web cast” you can register to bring up the stream. Competition began at 8 a.m. and will run until there’s a winner.

I watched yesterday and was amazed at the handler’s ability to communicate with his dog simply through whistles. It was the result of many years of work, I’m sure, and inspiring to watch.

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping with Toys

Herding toys is hard work. I'll leave the sheep to the big dogs.

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Golden Retriever Puppy in a Yurt

A yurt, huh? Where's the yaks?

So the big birthday surprise that required me to bathe Honey? Staying in a yurt on the lake.

I’ve always wanted to stay in a yurt. An acquaintance recently sold his large, Victorian house to live in a yurt. I’m enchanted with the idea of selling off lots of stuff to (basically) live in one room. It was way cool!

Honey was unimpressed. However, she really liked that there were no doors. A curtain across the bathroom entrance meant Honey could wander in and out at will–privacy be damned!

So did the bath cut down on the shedding? I’ll let you know once I can see past the tiny golden hairs projecting off my fleece jacket.

Yurt

Honey's New Yurt

Update: My sister informs me that not everyone knows what a yurt is so I’ve added the link to wikipedia.

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For the first time, the USBCHA (United States Border Collie Handler’s Association) National Sheepdog Finals will be streamed live on the internet. Way cool, huh?

Although the finals aren’t until September 25 and 26, I’d love to see the word get out far and wide to dog lovers. You can even publicize the web stream by displaying a poster.

Here’s a little preview to get you pumped up:

I believe that the happiest dogs are those who are well-loved and have a job to do. That could make some of these border collies the happiest dogs ever!

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Check it out at Dogster.

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Honey’s back home with a special diet and orders to observe two weeks of complete rest–no stairs, no walks, no playing, no jumping on furniture. We have baby gates at the stairs and are watching her every second. Which means she’s only climbed onto the bed, jumped on my brother-in-law’s lap, and jumped into the car one time each. And that’s only the first day. How are we going to keep this puppy down?

Hard chew toys are ok. And so are bowls of ice cubes. Oh yeah, and I’m trying dog massage. What will I do for the next fifteen minutes?

Any other suggestions? All will be gratefully received.

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I went to visit Honey a little while ago. She looks great and should be coming home tomorrow.

And, just as I suspected, Honey’s loving being at the hospital. In the ICU, she’s in the middle of all the action. People come by all the time so she’s able to keep her fitness level up through lots of wagging. And she’s making lots of new friends. I hope I can keep Honey from hurting herself just to have an excuse to go back and visit.

I didn’t want to take a picture of her at the hospital. I don’t think I’m going to want to remember her with stitches and IV tubes, no matter how cute she is. So I’m going to put some favorite old pix here instead.

Golden Retriever Puppy in car

Awww shucks! Do you have to bring out the baby pictures? I'm much cuter now!

Golden Retriever Puppy Walking Toward You


Look at me! I can climb the stairs by myself!


Golden Retriever Puppy and Adult

You may think I don't see you, but I do. And I want my toy back!

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Honey’s had a stressful week at work watching me freak out over my workload. She deserves a vacation. So we’re taking her to the beach.

I won’t be posting until I return. But I did manage to update my blog roll. Check out some of the blogs I read regularly.

See ya soon!

Watch our backs. We'll be back soon!

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It’s hard work walking a golden retriever puppy.

Who's the Cutest Puppy in the World?

Drivers slow down to stare. Strangers come running making high pitched sounds (and that’s just the men–the women really go nuts!). It can take fifteen minutes to travel the 15 steps from my front door to my car when Honey’s on the lead.

This must be what Joe DiMaggio felt like in the company of Marilyn Monroe.

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