Puppy Brokers

Definition: What is a Puppy Broker?

A puppy broker is someone who purchases bulk “lots” of animals to re-sell instead of breeding dogs within their own kennels or between litters. Since these dogs are not seen in pet stores, they can be passed off as quality dogs, or from champion lines, or whatever the puppy brokers wishes the buyer to believe. Someone selling an entire litter which they did not themselves breed is likely selling puppy mill animals. A reputable, contentious breeder would never sell puppies in bulk or in “lots”.

Always be sure to ask the “breeder” if the parent dogs are onsite and verify that the dogs are owned by the breeder. At least one of the parents should be onsite and owned by the breeder. A reputable breeder will gladly show you the parent dog’s papers listing them as the owner. If you cannot verify that the litter belongs to the “breeder” this is a huge red flag; I would look for a reputable breeder.

Brokers will make excuses; “the breeder needed my help” or “an unforeseen set of circumstances happened and the breeder had to sell me the litter” don’t buy it! A reputable breeder will NOT sell their litter to another individual for re-sale purposes; the person who bred the litter is a puppy mill and the buyer of the litter is a broker who bought the litter to sell for a profit.

Unfortunately more and more Brokers are passing off litters of puppies as their own to unsuspecting buyers now that the word is out about pet store puppies. Fortunately you can protect yourself by asking the right questions and checking the information you’re given.

Ask the breeder questions such as:

1. Do you own the parent dogs?
2. Can I see the AKC papers listing you as the owner?
3. How often do you breed your dogs and why?
4. How are your dogs housed?
5. Do you have health certificates? Can I see them?

Reputable breeders will appreciate your diligence. Good luck finding your new family member.

Christine Weis

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Scamp’s Excellent Adventure Part 2 By Penny Atwell

We did some more training on the way. Mom calls it “Driving 101″….taking over when Dad gets out for gas. I have to tell you Graham, I can’t see over the dashboard! How can I drive?

We’re home…., are you serious? WOW……wait til you go to your new home Graham….traveling is really fun and you meet such nice people on the way. But now I’m home!

Gosh Graham, I really wish you could come visit. This is a nice place. Dad hasn’t mastered the technique of putting up a puppy gate so I’ve knocked it down twice. What a fun game to play with him. There was even a toy basket full of neat stuffed animals that my Dad said had been Bear’s and now they belong to me. You should see them all. Plenty for us to share. And a really cool place to eat on a placemat that came from a ship called the Queen Mary 2 that Mom and Dad sailed on lots of times. It was cool….my dish didn’t slide and you know what? Their water tastes just like home! So does the food! Wonder how they do that so far away from Tryon! And then, after my meal and a little walk, I came in for a nap. They have this really soft rug right by my Dad’s chair in the breakfast room. It has to be just for Golden Retrievers because it’s got one woven right into it to show you just which way to sleep. I took a really nice nap there.

There are some cool hiding places here too….

Wow Graham….this has been an amazing day. I had no idea there were so many places in the world. Wait til you get to travel and see for yourself. I’m really comfortable here and I like it a lot. I’ve got a nice yard, nice neighbors that I’ve already met on my walks but now I’m really tired so I”ll say good night. I miss you brother, but I”m going to be fine here ’cause my new Mom and Dad really love me…..I can tell those things since I got so much love when I lived with all of you. So good night for now…..I’m really tired.

Love, Scamp

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Scamp’s Excellent Adventure Part 1 By Penny Atwell

Dear Graham….and all my wonderful first family……

Wow, Graham, you have no idea how far you can go in a car! Much further than the vet, or even the park. I mean REALLY far. Wish you had been there brother, cause you’d have loved the fun trip I had.

My new Mom and Dad had made me a cozy nest in the backseat. It was really soft and comfy and I settled in really fast. Once I realized we weren’t going to any of the places you and I usually go I decided to take a little nap.

When I woke up Mom decided we should make a stop in this nice place she called a rest area. I don’t know why they call it that because I didn’t rest there at all. In fact, I met some really nice dogs……and some nice people too. And I charmed them all…well that’s what Mom said anyway. I must have because I had people stopping to pat me and say nice things about how well mannered I was. Well gosh, don’t they know I’ve been to school to learn these things? I had a really good chance to show off “come” and “sit”. I could tell I was making my new folks very proud of me when I did these things right away when told. It was a really great place to stretch my legs and take care of some important business too. You’d really have liked the brother and sister dogs I made friends with. They were really nice and friendly. SO was the little white dog who came over to say hello. Boy, that was a fun stop.

By then it was time for lunch altho I figured it wasn’t a good idea to eat too much on a long trip. I sure didn’t want to get car sick from too much food so I kind of had a little picnic in the back seat. Mom says they always eat in the car when they travel with a dog so they don’t have to stay alone in the car. This was really fun. I can see why they do it….munch a little, watch the traffic go by then munch a little more. Then I got one of Grandma’s special cookies and I took another nap. Napping in the car is fun. It just rocks you to sleep. Here I am having my picnic…..and then sleeping. Mom and Dad had bought this really soft furry thing……it made a great picnic and nap spot….there was even something that smelled just like you and our furry parents so I snuggled up to it and dozed right off. That was cool.

There was even some time along the way at one of our stops for a bit of training. Not good to have an idle mind on a long trip so we did some fun things too when we stopped. But really, I had to draw the line here. I just looked at Mom and said…” You want me to do what with that?”

About half way through the trip I suddenly had this neat idea….I don’t know where it came from but I just slid forward and settled on the console between Mom and Dad. Mom said that’s exactly what Bear used to do when they traveled with him and he’d always snuggle with both of them, just like I did. And then he’d put his nose behind Dad’s shoulder and doze a little…..just like I did. That really spooked Mom a bit when I did it I think. Dad loved it….it put a tear in his eyes. Gosh, I didn’t mean to make him cry. But then he hugged me tight and I knew I’d made him very happy. It was fun riding up there….great view of the road.

This has been a really long trip but you’d have been proud of me Graham. I whimpered a couple of times, Dad stopped and took me out and I piddled right away. They were amazed. However, 5 hours in a car is really long. REALLY long. ARE WE THERE YET????

Please check back for Scamp’s Excellent Adventure Part 2 – coming soon!

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Contest – The Most Adorable Dogs

Congratulations to our winners, Lexi (Twitter) and Brinkley (Facebook)! Please see below.
Send me pictures of your adorable dog; the winner will receive a Noble Goldens T-Shirt! Winner announced on 7/21/12. You can send me your pictures on Twitter – @NobleGoldens or Email them to christine@noblegoldenretrievers.com

Good Luck!

Leo the Goldendoodle was nominated by @thedoggiedish

Super Hero Goldendoodle In Princess Cape

Lexi – on her 2nd Birthday – was sent in by @GoldensRule999

Our Twitter Winner is “Lexi in the snow” sent in by @GoldensRule999

Bernard was sent in by @dinabeana19

Our Facebook Winner is “Brinkley” sent in by Cheryl Woodward

Napoleon was sent in by @amactechiegal

Pippin sent in by @SarahA

Zoe sent in by @TechieMother

Ginger sent in by The Aikmans

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Pound Puppy or Purebred

Pound Puppy or Purebred?

Let me start by saying that I have rescued two beautiful pound puppies, Bandit (picture below, left) a German Shepherd/Collie mix who lived to be 15 years old; and Smokey (picture below, right) a Samoyed/Husky mix who was the doggie love of my life! I lost Bandit six years ago and Smokey last June; however, they will live in my heart forever. With that being said let me explain the difference between my pound puppies and my purebred golden retrievers; I believe that everyone should own/rescue at least one pound puppy. They are amazing and so very grateful for everything you give them; in no way do I mean to criticize pound puppies or purebreds. I am simply pointing out what you can expect from both because I’m in a unique position to shed some light on this subject, having lived with wonderful animals at both ends of the spectrum. Here’s the story of four dogs: Bandit and Smokey, my beautiful pound puppies, Brady and Sophie, my purebred golden retrievers.

Bandit chose me as much as I chose him, during one of my visits to our local Humane Society I dropped off some supplies and did my usual walk through to say hello to the animals. Bandit was two years old and very unhappy in the dog run at the shelter, I stopped in front of him and spoke to him as I did each of the others, but when I stepped away Bandit cried so loud that I thought the windows might shatter! I went back and talked to him some more but each time I left he reacted the same way; long story short, I took him home with me that day. I don’t remember any problems getting him into the car but when we got home he cowered at the front door; after much encouragement he crawled across the threshold on his belly. Clearly someone had punished him severally for entering a house and he was afraid it was going to happen again. Bandit was very intelligent, easy to train, in no time he was housebroken and part of the family. When Bandit was five years old he developed SARDS – Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome, although we took him to a specialist he was blind in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately there was nothing they could do. (For the next ten years Smokey would be Bandit’s Seeing Eye Dog.)

We had Bandit for almost two years when I brought Smokey home. The day I brought Smokey home I wasn’t looking for a dog; I had gone to the Humane Society to take dog food & toy donations when I spotted a gorgeous puppy; I commented on how beautiful he was and that I was sure he would find a home in no time. The shelter worker told me that he was scheduled to be euthanized on Monday; it was Friday afternoon. I asked if I could foster him and spent the next hour filling out the paperwork. When my husband came home that afternoon I was walking the puppy that I was “only fostering until we can find him a home.” My husband laughed, shook his head and said “yeah, right.” Two weeks later, in the middle of the night, on Labor Day Weekend, I awoke to the sound of whining. I got up and when I turned on the light I saw Smokey laying in the hallway about ten feet from me; I said “Smokey what’s the matter.” When I spoke to him he got up and tried to walk to me; he took two steps and fell over on his right side. I knew that something was seriously wrong; I called the emergency clinic and we rushed him there immediately. They tested for Parvo, Distemper, and all of the other hideous things that he might have (even though the shelter had given him his first round of puppy shots) He was placed on an IV and at 2:00 AM they told us to go home and that they would call us if they felt euthanasia was necessary. I cried like a baby over this “foster dog.” In the morning I called to check on him and they said he was weak but he was doing better. We went to visit him and the Veterinarian told us that after much testing they had determined what the problem was; he had a dead parasite lodged in an artery in his head. Evidently when he was given medicine through the IV it dislodged and he managed to survive. They felt it was a result of the worm medicine he was given when he was vaccinated; basically the medicine did what it was meant to do and his system had several dead worms moving through it. When he was ready to go home they told us that the only side effect was that he would circle to the right when he walked, every once in a while, and that he might always do that; but if that was the worst of it than we were thankful! One week (and $1000) later I stopped trying to fool my husband and myself and we officially adopted him. By the way, he stopped circling to the right after only a few days.
So started the 16 year emotional roller coaster of loving this dog; when he was six years old he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia and placed on the anti-inflammatory pain medicine, “Rimadyl” and the glucosamine supplement “Cosequin” for the rest of his life. One day, when he was ten years old, I called him in from outside, he walked two steps and sat down; he just looked at me like he wanted to come but he couldn’t. Once again I feared I was going to have to say goodbye, and I wasn’t ready to do that. I was in tears as I asked my Vet what we could do and overjoyed to find out that there were three different types of surgery available. My Veterinarian suggested a surgery that was age appropriate (for example, if he were three years old, a full hip replacement might be recommended; but since he was ten years old, we were going with a less invasive surgery.) After his surgery I was told I could expect to have about two more years, and I was thankful for every minute. When he was twelve he developed a Thyroid problem, he was lethargic and started to lose his hair; he was placed on the Thyroid medicine “Thyroxine” which helped some but his coat never fully came back. Somehow I was blessed with four more years; Smokey lived to be sixteen years old. We had many good times with our Pound Puppies, we made many memories and everywhere we went people couldn’t believe that I got these absolutely gorgeous dogs from a shelter.

As our pound puppies started to age I promised my husband that I would not rescue another dog until we got the Purebred Golden Retriever that he had dreamed of all of his life. Although I knew better, (I grew up showing Arabian Horses, my Mom was a professional breeder, so I learned about bloodlines and pedigrees at a very young age) I didn’t research the breeder. I surprised my husband one day when a day trip ended at the breeder’s house. This was going to be his dog so I tried not to influence his decision; as it turned out he wanted the one dog that was not for sale. I was determined that he was going to have a dog he wanted and not settle for another, I told him that we could reserve a puppy from another litter or another breeder. Meanwhile the puppy that he wanted was doing everything she could to make my husband wish that she was available; while the others ignored him; she climbed in his lap and licked his face. It must have been fate, because in the end I was able to convince them to sell us the puppy. The wife had wanted to keep her, but her Husband had wanted to keep another puppy, and the wife finally agreed to the sale. We were taking “Brady” home! My husband had named her before he knew if she would be a he or a she, in fact he had named her years before. I asked to see her pedigree, although not impressive, the lady told me that she had some agility champions in her background. I asked about health issues for the breed in general and was told by the breeder that her dogs were healthy. (It really didn’t matter, at that point it was too late; my husband was in love with her.) When I received her AKC registration I searched her background but never found any titles. This, however was a turning point for me, I began my research on the breed. I used my years of experience with horses and applied it to dogs. I learned more about Golden Retriever bloodlines and genetics and I knew what questions to ask regarding Hips, Eyes, Heart, and Elbows. I also learned where to verify the answers.

I had no idea that I would fall hopelessly in love with the breed, we got this dog because my husband had always wanted a Golden Retriever. What I learned was it is truly one of the best breeds out there! I understood why Golden Retrievers are always on the top 10 list of the most popular dogs in the U.S. While I knew in hindsight that I had done everything wrong when we purchased Brady; I had learned that I really wanted to raise and show this breed. During my research and just after Brady turned a year old she started having seizures; I was more determined than ever to select dogs with excellent health records. When Brady was two years, 10 months, and one day old she had a seizure and died on Christmas morning 2010; it was totally unexpected and a shock to all of us. I will not go into the pain and anguish that comes from getting a dog from a backyard breeder; what I will tell you is that not all animals are equal. They are all loveable and worth every moment you spend with them, but if someone were to ask my advice I would say, ask questions about health records and pedigrees, if the breeder is vague or gives excuses, or you see any other red flags, look for another breeder.

When I purchased Sophie I was well informed. After years of research I had selected a breeder who was worthy of my standards and I traveled a great distance to bring Sophie home. This little bundle of energy had huge shoes to fill; although she has ten champions in her four generation pedigree with OFA Excellent and Good hips, Normal CERF eyes, Normal OFA Elbows, and Normal Heart certificates, she would inevitably be compared to our first Golden Retriever, the one who made me fall in love with the breed, the perfect Golden Retriever. Did she pass? With flying colors! After all she is a Golden. Sophie learns effortlessly, she was awarded the “Most Obedient” award in her obedience class and she is training for her CGC – Canine Good Citizens Certificate. Like Brady, she prefers to sleep on the bed but she will sleep next to the bed if you insist. Also like Brady she hovers over our children somewhat like “Nana” in Disney’s Peter Pan. Her registered name is “Heaven Sent Sophie’s Promise” and she lives up to that name every day. She is almost 2 years old now and she has already lived up to our expectations and I am certain she has many great things still to come in her future.

So, back to the question at hand, Pound Puppy or Purebred? There’s a great feeling that comes from rescuing a dog like Smokey or Bandit (or both) from a shelter. But it also comes with a life-long commitment to all that is wonderful, and not-so-wonderful, about that dog; genetically, socially, and otherwise. With Sophie, we knew what we wanted, what we needed, and in finding a reputable breeder we knew exactly what we were getting when compared to her ancestry. Genetically she is heart, eye, hip, and elbow sound; and she should live approximately 12 years based on her ancestry. Socially, she was handled and subjected to all kinds of things in the home from her first week of life; something we continued from the day we brought her home at eight weeks old. Our breeder gave us her history and so much more! Whether you choose to rescue a Pound Puppy or to purchase a Purebred be sure that you are able to commit to caring for your dog for life.

Please look for my next two posts coming soon; I plan to write about the definition of, and differences between, Reputable Breeders, Backyard Breeders, and Puppy Mills. I will cover questions to ask and what to expect from a Responsible Breeder. Followed by a Post about health, health testing, bloodlines, genetics, and why it is important that your breeder is familar with all of the above.

Posted in About Me, Dog News, Golden Retrievers, Life | Leave a comment

How to find a Reputable Breeder

I have had so many people ask me; “How do I find a reputable breeder, how will I know?” It is easy to search the internet and find the breed that you are looking for; but one of the reasons people choose a purebred dog is to get a healthy dog with proven genetic history. Listed below are the basic definitions of Reputable Breeders, Backyard Breeders, and Puppy Mills.

Puppy Mills
A dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits.
Puppy Mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Puppy Mill dogs do not receive treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. The puppies are taken from their mother when they are 5 to 6 weeks old and sold to brokers who pack them in crates for resale to pet stores all over the country. These dogs are more prone to developing respiratory ailments and pneumonia as well as hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia.

Back Yard Breeders
Back Yard Breeders have little regard for health issues and in fact often times don’t even know that there are such issues for the specific breed of dog that they are raising and selling. They are individuals who causally breed dogs without titles or clearances and without any clear regard for improving and maintaining the breed standard, the breed temperament, or keeping the dogs free of genetically linked defects. Often, Back Yard Breeders breed dogs with faults. This perpetuates fault and problems in the breed. They do nothing to prove their dogs are of sound temperament and that they are breeding good representatives of the breed.
This type of breeder is usually regarded by the Animal Welfare, ASPCA, and other groups as likely to exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
Ignorance of selective breeding goals and techniques, and lack of familiarity with the breed standard of the type of animal being bred.
Lack of adequate veterinary care and maintenance.
Excessive breeding from individual females, to the detriment of their health.
Sale of animals with genetic disorders or undisclosed illnesses before they become evident to buyers.
Lack of screening of potential owners or the provision of suitable information to prevent buyers from purchasing an animal that may be inappropriate for them or their lifestyle.

Reputable Breeders
Reputable Breeders insist the dogs being bred are good representatives of their breed in body and mind; they will research pedigrees and analyze what can be expected from a certain set of characteristics to try and improve upon their own dogs as well as add to the breed as a whole. Responsible breeders have a goal they breed towards; they do not breed just to see what will be produced. They have a working knowledge of the genetics behind the dogs (colors, health issues, etc.) They will test breeding dogs for hereditary issues such as Hip Dysplasia.
The American Kennel Club states that responsible breeders raise their animals with the intent to produce healthy dogs, and to ensure that all animals are provided responsible homes and socialization. Purebred breeding aims to establish and maintain stable traits that animals will pass to the next generation. By breeding the best to the best, a selection for superior qualities, one can develop a bloodline superior in certain respects to the original base stock.
A good breeder will always be there for you, they want to know how your dog is doing, they are your mentor and your friend. Above all else a reputable breeder will allow you to return your dog if you are unable to care for him and they will insist that you return the dog to them if you cannot find a suitable home. They never, ever will allow the dog to end up at a shelter.

So, how will you know? Let’s say you are looking at a breeder’s website; do they have their dog’s pedigree posted? If not my first question would be why? Shouldn’t a breeder proudly post their dog’s heritage? Do they mention anything about health? If not I would wonder if they know the health issues that are characteristic to the breed. The most important thing to any reputable breeder is the health of their dogs; I am suspicious of any website that does not mention health records and I am even more suspicious when a pedigree is not available. Did you know that you can look up vital information with a dog’s registration number or full registered name? The bottom line is, if you have a dog’s pedigree you can research the health records and bloodlines on your own; a reputable breeder is proud to show you how they have selected bloodlines to improve the breed. If a pedigree is not available I immediately think of a backyard breeder. Another thing to look for; are the dogs linked to other websites such as K9data where you can research the dog’s health history and background? Finally, do they have a contract or written requirements such as vaccinations, food and shelter, and a confined area for the dog when they are outside? I would look for all of these things and if they are not provided on the website I would probably look elsewhere or at the very least call the breeder and ask for this information.
All breeds have health issues, different breeds have different issues such as Hip Dysplasia in the larger breeds; heart, eye, thyroid, and skin problems. The most important part of breeding is to select dogs that will help prevent rather than promote disease in the bloodline. If you aren’t able to verify this important information then ask yourself why am I buying a purebred dog? I love my rescued dogs as much as my purebreds but the fact is, a good purebred should not have the health problems that a pound puppy could have.

Questions to ask a breeder:
1. What health tests have been done on BOTH parents of the litter?
If the breeder says they don’t want to put their dog through the testing or that there is nothing in the line so testing is not important, run don’t walk away from the breeder. Some health problems are polygenetic (more than one set of genes involved – not a simple dominant/recessive). Some health problems take years to show fully or may be there but not showing outwardly. For example, some dysplastic dogs never show signs of having it and it is only diagnosed upon testing.
2. What temperament testing and socialization has been done?
A good breeder will expose the puppies to as many things as possible like vacuum cleaners, children, house sounds, etc. and should be able to tell you which puppies are dominant and which are more submissive.
3. What does the breeder feel are the strengths and weaknesses in the breed?
4. Can you see the pedigrees of both sire and dam? Can you meet the parents? The sire may not be on site but the dam should be. If not, you could be dealing with a broker.
5. What type of contract does the breeder have? A big red flag is the breeder who has no written contract at all. All puppies should be sold with a written contract.
6. What does the breeder feed the puppies? This is a big one! Good nutrition is key to a responsible breeder; steer clear of the breeder who is promoting generic dog foods. Many breeders will send you home with a few pounds of the puppy food that they are feeding so that you can gradually change over to the brand of your choice. Don’t be insulted if the breeder encourages you to continue feeding the food that they have selected; a reputable breeder has spent time and research on the best food for the nutritional needs of their breed.
7. What vaccines have been given? Eight-week-old puppies should have had their first set of shots and you should be given documentation of this.

So ask questions and look for the red flags; and if you don’t get the information you are looking for find another breeder who will help you select a healthy purebred dog with a disposition that is right for you and your family.
Please check back for my next post about health, health testing, bloodlines, genetics, and why it is important that your breeder is familiar with all of the above. I will also teach you how to look up vital information with a dog’s registration number or full registered name.

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The Dog’s New Year’s Resolutions

The Dog’s New Year’s Resolutions…”I will not bark every time I hear a door bell on TV”

“I will not follow my first instinct to jump into and roll around in the horse poop or any other poop.”

“I will not eat any more socks and then re-deposit them in the backyard after processing” (Reilly)

“I will not steal Mom’s underwear and dance all over the back yard with it” 

“I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.”

“I will not walk under the big dog when he is peeing.”

“I will not drop soggy tennis balls in the underwear of someone who is sitting on the toilet.”

“I will not lick my human’s face after eating animal poop.”

“Dog cookies and human cookies are not necessarily the same; I will learn the difference.”

“I will not snore in my human’s face while she is sleeping.”

And a few from my friend Geter…”No more kitty box crunchies”. and “When it’s raining, I will go out and do my business quickly, despite not wanting to get my paws wet.” :-)

Happy New Year!!!

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My Birthday Cake Disaster

Friday was my son’s 6th Birthday! In preparation for Joshua’s Birthday I asked him what kind of cake he would like; his answer was much simpler than his older brother’s request earlier this year, he wanted a strawberry flavored cake.”That’s it” I said, “would you like a special theme?” “Any kind of cake will do as long as it’s strawberry” he said. Thinking to myself that it couldn’t possibly be this easy I tried again, “do you have a specific frosting in mind?” I said. “Nope, you decide” he said. Clearly he had more important things on his mind!

Let’s reflect for a moment on his brother’s response to the same question back in February. “What kind of cake would you like for your Birthday” was all I asked and Jake responded; “I would like a Monster Truck Cake, part white, part chocolate with chocolate and vanilla frosting.” Hmmm I thought, this isn’t going to be easy and I searched the internet to find a cake pan and utensils to pull it off. I was feeling pretty good about the Monster Truck Cake after a few days of research when Jake came to me and said “I want Maximum Destruction”. I said “what?” he said, “for my cake, I want Maximum Destruction” I said “oh, well, I found directions on how to make Grave Digger, you like Grave Digger right?” He said “yeah, but I really like Maximum Destruction” Maximum Destruction it was! Jake is detail oriented like his Mom; unfortunately I have absolutely no artistic ability what so ever. I searched Monster Trucks, printed out Maximum Destruction pictures; purchased a cake decorating kit for beginners and $90 later I was ready to get started. By the time it was over I was pretty darn proud of myself too; which brings me back to the present.

I got home from work, made dinner, took care of the usual stuff and got started on Josh’s cake around 8:00 PM. The cake was out of the oven by 8:45 and I tried to remove it from the pan around 9:15 before taking Josh up to bed; that was my first mistake! It was being difficult! I couldn’t figure out what the problem was; I still don’t know; I greased & floured the pan, let it sit for the appropriate amount of time and it was approximately the right temperature when I tried to ease it out of the “Jeep” Pan. I thought to myself “this is ridiculous, I made Jake a 3D Monster Truck cake and I can’t get this stupid 1D jeep cake out of this pan”. I got a spatula (second mistake) to help it along and, voila out came the cake minus the tires. Now Josh is in the living room saying “Mom, I’m tired” and I’m thinking “it’s a school night” so I scraped the tires out of the pan, fit them into place as best as I could with only a few minor holes and off to bed we went.

At 10:00 PM I’m looking at the cake like it is a living breathing thing and it is my greatest enemy. I start to frost the cake and I think “okay, this is going a little better” until I start to apply the pre – made black (tire) frosting that I bought at the store to save time, since I knew I would be making the cake on a Thursday night. Now I am only half way through the first tire and the tube is almost gone; yes, I only bought one, it was for the tires! How much frosting can one tire take? Quite a bit evidentially! I smoothed the tires into the best circles I could make using a butter knife and decided to move on. As I am applying the red frosting to the body of the jeep, the tire (that I am not even touching) starts to crack. I look up at the clock and it is now after 11:00 PM and I am getting up the same time tomorrow as I did today and every other day to go to work, 5:30 AM.  At this point I have lost all sense of reason; I am thinking that the only logical explanation for this disaster is that the cake is STRAWBERRY! I finished decorating (and I use that term loosely) the cake, spelling out “Happy Birthday Joshua” and using sprinkles across the middle to hide all kinds of problems. I stepped back to look at my masterpiece and thought to myself “this is the most hideous cake I have ever seen!” Before I headed off to bed I put no less than four Kabob Skewers in the side of the cake to try to keep the tire from cracking completely off.

Around 1:00 AM I was seriously thinking that it wasn’t too late to order a Kung Fu Panda Cake from the grocery store (since Josh had picked out Kung Fu Panda Cupcakes to take to school) the only problem was that it wouldn’t be strawberry. I decided to sleep on it and figure it out in 4 ½ hours when I get up. At 5:30 AM I was bright eyed and bushy tailed as I went to the kitchen to make some tea; I turned on the light and found that the tire crack had turned into the Grand Canyon.

Decision time; I asked myself “should I order a cake?” and the answer was suddenly crystal clear… Joshua’s only request was that he wanted a strawberry cake. I got ready for work and when it was time to get Josh up and ready for school I said “you have to see your Birthday Cake!” He said “why?” I said “because I made you a Jeep Cake but the Jeep was in a horrible car accident, it got crashed in the back end and there is a huge crack on the back fender by the tire.”  That got his attention! He jumped out of bed and went to the kitchen to see my masterpiece. I picked him up so he could get a better look; he grinned and said “Cool!” I thought “where is my staples ‘that was easy’ button when I need it?” :-)

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Jeter Went Home


Well, last night Meghan picked up Jeter (Geter) on her way home from Disney World; but not before he managed to steal one more peanut butter & jelly sandwich. He is a smart little booger; he stands only about 12 inches off of the ground from foot to shoulder and no more than 3 feet when on his hind legs but he is a resourceful little fella. I walked into the kitchen just in time to see him dragging a dish towel across the counter with his paws in order to get the plastic plate to fall so he could snatch the PBJ; and he can eat faster than lightening. He is a better problem solver than most people I know! I missed him last night when I woke up and was colder than I had been all week; my little heater was missing. I am glad he is home and safe and it appears that Meghan and I are still close friends. It will be interesting to see if I have changed his habits forever or if it was only temporary due to separation anxiety. We are looking forward to pet sitting again but we aren’t sure if we will ever be given the opportunity; my sister is looking for a pet sitter next month but for some reason she hasn’t asked me for my services?! I’m hoping that it is just that she lives 5 states away; maybe I will call her and see what she thinks… I will write soon with updates on my Goldens as there is never a dull moment where they are concerned either.

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Another Petsitting Jeter Update

Wednesday we learned that Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches must make Jeter very gassy because he cleared the room while we were watching Survivor. OMG! It was tear gas; everyone ran from the room with both hands covering their noses.
Thursday morning I took Jeter out to go to the bathroom before we left for a field trip to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg. He took two steps off of the front porch and did his business (or should I say both his businesses) right there next to the flower bed. I learned last weekend (with all of the rain that we had) that he doesn’t like to get his feet wet and the grass was a little dewey Thursday morning. He was very proud of himself as he jumped back on the porch with clean paws; I told him he was a good boy! He stayed with his new Grandma while we were on the field trip but he did sleep with us last night.
This morning I caught him rummaging through the pantry; I got to him just in time to save a bag of potato chips. I can’t even imagine what that would have done to his constitution. (Poor little stinky fella) I have learned that he loves people food more than just about anything, and I feel so sorry for him because I don’t give my dogs people food. So I have now created a little thief along with all of his other habits that I have changed. He has to resort to stealing when he is craving people food.
I hope Meghan isn’t sorry that she left him with us; I’m not sure if we have spoiled him rotten or if we have ruined him but I am certain he will remember us the next time he sees us.
I just have to keep him safe for one more day… gotta go, he’s stuck in the trash can.

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