Thursday, September 27, 2012


When asked to describe Milton, one of the first words that pops into my mind is, "helpful."  Yes, our boy is just plain helpful.  For example, he guards our front door, not by barking like a watchdog would, but by using a full out sprawl to body block the door.  Helpful, indeed.  Likewise, our goldendoodle is in charge of exercise in our home and drags his Momma and Daddy out on "forced fun marches."  Not to mention he is a virtual alarm clock, not during the week, but rather on the weekend.  The Milt doesn't want us to waste any precious time sleeping.

Most of all, Milton is Momma's little helper in the kitchen.

Don't worry - Milt only gets to lick dog friendly spoons, like pumpkin.

What would we ever do without him...?  We would probably have a little more money, but that is beside the point.  We gotta love being dog owners, especially proud parents of a Milt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guest Blog Post: All About Aussies!

Welcome to my very first guest blog post by my good friend, Thuy, the proud owner of an Aussiedoodle (see picture below)!  Thuy and I met via the popular doodle forum,, and since we both live in Texas, friendship was just plain easy!  After a bit of persuasively cajoling from me, Thuy graciously wrote a fun and informative post on Aussiedoodles.  Please do read on...!

Milton & Heidi, Hops & Thuy

Hops sitting pretty.

Thuy:  Two months before Hops came home with me, I had no idea what an Aussiedoodle was. In fact, I had no idea what an Australian shepherd (Aussie for short) looked like! I was completely obsessed with the idea of getting another dog, and for over a month, I spent each and every day researching and looking at pictures/videos of dogs. I initially wanted a Havanese, then a German shepherd, next a Pomeranian, after that a Labrador retriever, and finally a goldendoodle. During my search for a goldendoodle, I was introduced to Aussiedoodles. I tried to educate myself by searching the Net for information on these babies. I didn't find much. The pictures showed that Aussiedoodles all look so different from one another, and most pictures do not do this hybrid breed justice.

So what are Aussiedoodles? These amazing dogs are half Australian shepherd and half poodle. The Australian shepherds are herding dogs, coming in three different sizes - toy, mini, and standard. The standard is considered medium-sized, so 10-20 pounds lighter than a Labrador retriever. They are probably most known for their stunning colors, particularly the blue or red merles. Here's a picture, courtesy of Wikipedia, of the different colors of the Aussies:

Hops's father looks almost exactly like the third one from the left, and his mother was a standard black poodle. I do not believe that there are many non- first generation Aussiedoodles out there. It appears that the F1 Aussiedoodles have more consistency in their coat textures than other F1 medium/large doodles. I haven't seen (online) many Aussiedoodles with extremely straight or extremely curly hair, but they definitely do exist.

From reading about doodles, Hops seem to have a lot in common with most labradoodles and goldendoodles. He has the intelligence/trainability of the poodle, and the energy and playfulness of the Aussie. A friend of mine who recently stayed with us for a weekend noted that the best thing about Hops is that he, "always just wants to please people."

One of the first few e-mails I got from the breeder had a description for each dog, and I love reading it over once in a while. Her description of Hops still holds true, and it makes me smile reading it.

Hops (far right) & siblings at five weeks
"Cage is a lot like his dad. He's a goofy puppy, but in maturing, he will amaze his human family at what all he'll learn. He's the biggest baby, but def not the bossiest." -Jane

Heidi:  Well, Hops and Milton have hit it off, just like we suspected they might.  The boys have had a couple of playdates so far, but more are in the works for the future.  With as much fun as these two have, I am a bit envious of a dog's life!

Just a couple of doodles rolling around

Milton convinced Hops that you don't necessarily need to "swim" in the pool

"Wading" in the pool is just as much fun!
 Thank you for the magnificent guest post, Thuy, and I hope to have more of the like in the upcoming months!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

Generally our Milton brings home any sort of stick he can find from the Great Outdoors.  This time he brought in a whole tree branch complete with leaves.

Happily chewing away

We realize that all of the outside brought inside does create a huge mess in our apartment and quite often necessitates a good, thorough vacuuming.  Truth be told, the only reason the Milt can bring in said items is because we feel bad that our goldendoodle does not have a yard.  Someday the rules might change but not just yet.  Until then, chew away, Milt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Breaking News!

I was all ready to upload a magnificent guest post from a dear friend of mine, when NEWS happened.  Sometimes it just falls right into your lap like that.  Well, tonight Milton was lying on the floor gnawing on a chew toy when Jeff discovered something priceless, collectible, and purely worth its weight in gold.  A tooth!

Finding a dog's baby tooth simply lying on the ground is absolutely unheard of.  Quite frankly, I don't know of anyone who has been lucky enough to find one of these little gemstones.  You'd better believe I am putting it under my pillow for the lovely, little Tooth Fairy (Momma) who will deliver a sweet treat for our Milt!  As soon as I saw our goldendoodle's tooth, I ran to find my special teeth - my teeth of Wisdom!

My wisdom teeth

Jeff thinks it is super odd, not to mention disgusting, that I am secretly hoarding my wisdom teeth away in a deep, dark closet.  It seems pretty normal to me, especially since my dad was the one who pulled them.  They're relics.  Since Milton's tooth is a keeper too, we might have to take a by on the Tooth Fairy, and just tuck all three of these away until another opportune moment arises to showcase them once again!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tricks Galore!

Milton learned sit on June 1st., the day that we brought him home.  Do we have video evidence of this?  Sadly, no.  Jeff and I wanted to wait until the Milt had amassed a whole bag of tricks.  On that note, Jeff is the trainer in our family since he has a penchant for YouTube videos.  Seriously.

What can our five-month-old Milton the Goldendoodle do?  Well, watch the video and find out!

Not too shabby, huh?  If Jeff's the trainer, why am I the one in the video? Milton was getting a little worn out, so we thought his Momma might be able to energize him for his big performance!  Jeff generally works with our goldendoodle on tricks in the morning before work and when he returns home at night.  He rewards instantly with treats; for training purposes, it is good to have something that is coveted and easy to swallow, like bits of hot dog.  Mental stimulation for a dog can often be just as tiring as physical stimulation, so it helps in burning off some of that excess energy and provides fun for the dog as well! 

Overall, Jeff tried to teach the Milt tricks that would be useful, sit, stay, etc., and not merely showstoppers.  I prefer those ones...  The one trick I contributed was, "Shake," which Jeff points out has no practical use whatsoever; I disagree.  I think pretty highly of my dog, and whenever we venture out into polite society, I can rest easy knowing that he is well mannered enough to shake hands if the occasion arises.

Jeff developed his training philosophy, prior to the YouTube videos, from garnering knowledge from these three books:

1.  How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend  - The Monks of New Skete

2.  Puppy Preschool, John Ross & Barbara McKinney

3.  30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method, Tamar Geller

Jeff's training philosophy, I suppose our training philosophy, is based on the following three tenets:

1.  “Positive reinforcement“ –  Make a concerted effort to keep training fun and exciting, especially for young puppies.

2. “Lure” – Communicate a desired action with little or no physical contact.

3. “Clicker” – Use a clicker to instantly let your dog know what he or she has done right.

Also, here are a few of the YouTube videos that Jeff used if you are in need of some training tips!  YouTube is full of them:
Leave it:
Roll over:
Roll over Link

Of course, the Milt has his good and bad days, but overall he is very consistent with his tricks.  He is much better than walking with a "loose leash."  That is an area that we are striving daily to fix.... I will keep you posted!

Puppy Photo of the Week

Milton loves to cozy up whenever and wherever he can.  As of now, we still do not allow him on the furniture or in the bed, so he will curl up in any overflow that topples onto the floor, like pillows or a quilt.


Besides seeking comfort, we think our little goldendoodle just likes to be close to his Momma and Daddy.  We like it too.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You know you're head over heels when...

1.  you begin amassing dog paraphernalia just because it makes you feel giddy. (In our heart of hearts, we both hope Milton might learn to read, just a little, someday!)

2.  you stay up way past your bedtime to bake your dog chocolate chip cookies to take to all his human friends at daycare.

3. you find yourself vacuuming 2x weekly, rather than your usual 2x monthly, and not minding because your inquisitive puppy likes to bring sticks, dirt, stones, and other collectibles home.

4.  you give up your unlimited monthly yoga studio because more time should be spent at home with your dog walking him, even if it is the dead of night or early morning, instead of out practicing downward dog on your own.

5.  you no longer care that your dog needs to go outside 5+ times per day to potty because you enjoy the fresh air and your time spent with him

6.  you find that many conversations with your husband are centered around the doodle's pottie - frequency and consistency.

7.  you arrive home and you bypass your newlywed husband at the door to go kiss your dog hello first.

Who ever knew one little, furry creature could so totally and completely capture your heart?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Halloween Tricks AND Treats

Halloween is fast approaching, and the Milt needs a costume quick!  Our first big event is in very early October at Barktoberfest in Fort Woof Dogpark, and I  certainly don't want my boy to feel awkward if his costume isn't as cool as all his little buddies.  That would make for one lame Momma.

If we design a costume though, we might need to showcase it at more than one event in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex this year.  Why waste creativity on one day?  If anyone else is interested in costuming their pet, PetCo, Amazon, and PetSmart have a variety of outfits and Halloween toys too if you are looking for a special treat for your pup!

We are still wavering on what direction to take with our goldendoodle this year.  Here are the options:

1.  Dracula - We envision a Milt with a sleek black cape, slicked back hair, and blood dripping from the mouth.  Jeff and I might even wear garlic around our necks to ward off our spooky, little man.  (Guess whose idea this one was...!)

2.  A bumblebee! - Momma likes this one a lot.  Milt even tried it on in the store this past weekend, and I can personally vouch on the cuteness of it all.  A bee would allow us to go with spiky hair, spunky antennas, and floaty wings.  Jeff and I could pick up a pair of wings too on the cheap to keep the family in costume.

3.  The last option we fell upon is a frog.  I love the floppy legs, and Milton is certainly a Swamp Dog, so it might be the most appropriate.

Jeff and I would love to hear any comments, suggestions, warnings you may have on any of the above costumes.  I have absolutely no idea how we will keep the outfit on the Milt for a few straight hours, but we will certainly try.  Who knows - maybe our doodle is one of those dogs who likes getting dressed up...  Somehow I doubt that.  Seriously though, leave a comment below! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

The more fun rides we take in the car to daycare, the creek, dog park, etc. the more the Milt wants to hop right in!  Lately, he likes to try and ride shotgun.  Momma doesn't allow it, but I think Daddy does due to certain habits I have noticed emerge.  I am actually happy that our goldendoodle has a desire to stare out the window and notice the world flying by.

Truth be told, the Milt and I are quite the team.  When I bake, Milton sits on the floor, watching my every move - my sous chef in waiting.  While walking, he's my wingman ready to take on (or introduce himself to!) any threatening creatures, dog or human, that could hurt his Momma.  Swimming laps in the pool, he's my lifeguard running up and down the length, checking on me.  So, you see, it makes perfect sense that he wants to be my co-pilot in the car too!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vote for Milt!

I recently entered Milton into a little photo contest (don't worry I'm not turning into a pageant mom!).  It is to benefit a good cause - the winner receives $25 donated to their charity of choice of which mine is the SPCA.  Please go vote for the Milt!  You will pick out his picture almost immediately despite him being a pup in it.

One vote per computer per month is allowed.  Voting will stay open until the end of the month.  Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dog Heaven

All Dogs Go to Heaven was a popular movie when I was a kid.  Well, Milton has discovered Heaven on earth, and it's called doggie daycare!  Three days per week Milton joyfully hops into Daddy's car, and together they carpool to Downtown Dog  Before Milton entered our lives, I stopped by this daycare with a couple of close friends when they were dropping their two dogs off for the day.  I was highly impressed by the facility, despite not having my own pup at the time. 

Downtown Dog is located in downtown Dallas which makes it very convenient for Jeff to drop the Milt off on his way to work and for me to pick him up after my work.  The best part is the daycare is only $12 per day with long hours of 7:00A.M. - 6:30P.M which is especially convenient if either of us has a work conflict spring up.  It is nice to be at work and not have to worry that our boy is home alone chewing on the dry wall, disassembling our bathtub drain, etc.  I cannot even express how much our goldendoodle loves this place.


Milton's first day of daycare was spent with a celebrity - Biggie Smalls!

Downtown Dog consists of multiple large indoor and outdoor play areas.  The dogs generally spend the morning hours outside dashing through mazes, romping in kiddie pools, or channeling through tunnels.  If you have a dog, like our Milt, all he wants to do is wrestle with his new buddies.  The dogs even have a mandated nap time, complete with some human-style beds, from 12:00P.M. - 1:30P.M. when no visitors are allowed.  Once about 3:00P.M. hits, the dogs are brought inside for the duration of the day to wait for their owners to begin arriving.  Our dirty dog delights in mud puddles, so he always requires a rinse and a brush, at no extra charge.

Milton greeting a new friend

Joining the pack

When Milton first arrived, the staff eased him into the routine by placing him in an enclosed area of the play yard.  Through a chain link fence, dogs could come up and say hello but not possibly harm or scare the Milt. Once he appeared comfortable, the workers would put in a few friendly, "feeler" dogs with the Milt to test the waters.  Our goldendoodle jumped right in!

Every morning when Milton leaves, I remind him, "Don't worry when all of your friends begin getting picked up this afternoon.  Your Momma won't forget about you."  Likewise, as the caring parents we are, we call daily, at about noon, to check on our little goldendoodle.  The comment I always get is, "Your dog really likes to get dirty."  It makes a mother proud.

Dirty Dog

Downtown Dog can accommodate 100+ dogs per day, and it really warms my heart that so many people make the effort to drive their pup and pay in order to avoid a tedious day of monotony in the crate or gated off room.  I know that dogs sleep a lot of the day, but after too many long hours, boredom can settle and mischievnous creep in.  Since Milt is incredibly social, this daycare has been a huge hit with him.  The best part is our goldendoodle puppy is ridiculously tired after a hard day of frolicking and rollicking, that he drops as soon as he hits the car and about three hours after we get home.  This usually frees me up for an evening activity too, like yoga, if I want to take it.

If you haven't tried it yet, I strongly suggest that you think about a doggie daycare for your guy or gal (google around and see what you find).  Your pet doesn't need to attend every day of the workweek, but one or two days can really break up the home alone pattern and make for a happier doggie, and as we all know, "Our goal in life is to be as good of people as our dogs think we are." - author unknown.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Puppy Photo of the Week

Some people live by the ocean, while others have a lake in their backyard or a pool all to themselves, but we have the poor man's pleasure - a bathtub.

Lately after a nice, long walk or whenever Milton is feeling a bit of ennui, he likes to hop in the tub to amuse himself - drink from the faucet, paw at the drain, bat around his bath cups...  It is much more fun than simply drinking from his water bowl - it is his own private haven from the world that we find him escaping to almost daily.  We help him out by turning on the water, but after that he likes to be left alone to soak.  Since today is Labor Day, he deserves his personal respite more than ever. 

Enjoy your day off, everyone.  Remember if you don't have easy access to recreational water, the bathtub is always a viable option for quick and easy fun!