Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Heading Home!

The house is growing quiet and is already much cleaner :-). I always revel in this week: It's always nice when our lives return to normal but I love even more when the new owners share their joy and excitement over their new pup's first week home. I love the calls, the stories, the questions. I love to hear about the flights home (so far, all the pups have been good), the first night, the first night the pup sleeps through the night :-), new adventures, new training. All of it.

Early yesterday morning, Mr Blue headed to Manitoba. An hour or so later, Miss Raspberry flew off to Louisiana. An hour after that, Lauran (and Katie) came to pick up Skye before the snow arrives. Mr Rust then left this morning. Peggy Sue now has a Peggy-Sue-sized x-pen, with her own bed, potty area and toys. We're kicking into house-breaking with her, too. She's starting on her training--little things like learning to sit for her meals, wait to come out the gate, walking nicely on leash and more. Of course, there is an equal amount of playing, cuddling, visiting.

It's hard to believe that our part is done with the pups. What fun we had with them. Hopefully, we prepared them well for their lives and we will all enjoy them for the rest of their lives. Even if the time feels like it was short, my body is telling me that I've earned a rest so I'm off to do so.

I hope you've enjoyed following the Southerners. You'll be able to see them on the Gaylan's website soon. I'll post more about Peggy Sue as things develop.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And then there were three

Seven of the pups have headed off to their new homes. Yesterday, Miss Green headed to Florida, Miss Lilac to NJ and Mr Red to CT. Mr Blue already flew out this AM for Manitoba. Miss Raspberry leaves in a few hours for Louisiana. At that point, we'll be down to Mr Rust and Peggy Sue. Thank goodness because it is turning very cold. It's much easier to exercise two pups in the cold than ten!

We've been messing around with the videos. I think you'll get a chuckle out of our night videos. We were making the next Blair Witch Project :-). We've also posted more walk videos. And of course, the going-home photos are up, too.

I'm off to pack some orders and get some work done before Miss Raspberry heads out.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Going Home

The pups are heading out but we are still pretty busy here. Miss Black flew out to California yesterday and, from what we've heard, the flight was uneventful (although the car ride to the airport was a bit noisy :-}). We had lots more visitors yesterday as new owners arrived in NY and prospective owners wanted to meet some of our pups before committing to a puppy.

In between visitors, Mom and Rosie put together the Puppy Books and bags. This is a big job around here since our pups get so many gifts from Gaylan and Topmast owners and my Puppy Book has grown into a 3-inch binder. Toys, treats, supplments and more fill the bag and the binder has everything I can think of to get buyers through their pup's first year.

There are lots of videos up from our morning walk. It was 50 degrees this morning so the pups and I headed out for a short walk. During it, Skye started playing with the pups and I got it on video. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do; they are very special. We also learned about stairs so enjoy them.

Miss Pink left for Virginia while Liz MacArthur's bulldog babies came to visit. There are some short clips of our pups figuring out what the heck a bulldog is and then playing with her. Liz's dogs have fabulous temperaments so it's great for our pups to learn about other breeds.

God speed to our babies who have left! We are enjoying the diminishing work with the diminishing numbers and are happy to hear about those that have left.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a great day! New photos and video are up! Pups start goinig home tomorrow so we'll be very busy and may not have time to post.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting is the worst, I know!

It's the morning after the temperament test and I know there are nine folks out there dying to hear the results. Alas, I'm going to make you wait a little bit longer since eye exams are this afternoon. That will be the last piece of information we need to start deciding which pups go where.

However, I'll share with you some results from yesterday. First, the pups across the board did great on the temperament test. They were confident, stable babies who actually returned with retrieve objects :-O! That is unusual for Gaylan's pups. I always say that we can teach a dog to come back much easier than you can teach a dog to love to go out. We have come to call the more typical Gaylan's puppy, the one that races out, grabs the item and races away, as a triever rather than a retreiver :-). Well, this crew was fabulous--out and back, out and back. I got tired of writing that after a while :-).

I do want to publicly thank my helpers for the test. Marcy Burke was our tester, despite a sore back. As always, she was fabulous! Lise Pratt was the videographer, making sure everything was captured on video. Buyers will receive a copy of the video with their Pat McKinney was wonderful hauling puppies and equipment. Pat Swallows made sure Marcy had everything she needed at the right moment. Stephanie Schmitter, her friend, Marie, and Brass's owner, Jack Belicka were also here. I couldn't have made it through the day without everyone. Thank you!!!

My mom has just arrived so I have to cut this short. More tomorrow.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

No Puppy Walk But We Still Had Fun

We were very disappointed to have to cancel the Puppy Walk but it was the best decision. You probably know about the major snowstorm that is hitting the East Coast. Many of the Puppy Walk participants were coming from NJ, which is getting snow this morning. The temperature hasn't gone above 23 degrees so it is cold! We've held Puppy Walks in colder weather but not during snowstorms.

Don't worry, the pups have had a good day regardless. I've posted lots of video and photos from today. They've played for hours, had visitors, gone for a walk and a few even went swimming. They had turkey (blech!), ostrich (yum) and elk (yum, YUM) to eat. They are being entertained by all of our sound CDs. And both Corey and Dreamer have played for hours with them.

I'm exhausted but in addition to the above (except for the meals :-P), I've had the opportunity to do laundry, clean the pen, clean the dog yard, feed and water the pigeons so they'll be okay if we can't get to them tomorrow and clean the house. People always ask how I can let the pups leave at 8-9 weeks. Heck, I need a vacation at that point :-).

The pups' scrapbooks arrived today, along with other goodies from Pat Swallows. The Southern litter owners are going to love these books. They are just beautiful. Now for me to find all the photos to put into them. Mom and Rosie are coming for Christmas so I'll have some extra hands :-).

Enjoy the videos. Oh, there are some new ones on Week 6. Turn your sound down--one gives you a good idea of how loud the pups are in the morning.

Finally, we send our congratulations to Mike and Mary Ducross and the first Canadian Triple Champion golden retriever, Push. Push is granddaddy to this litter and finished his Canadian UD this morning. Very exciting!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Videos and Photos are Up

I'm out of energy tonight but wanted to let you know that new photos and videos are up. The pups are doing great going outside so we are walking three times a day. It's cold but they don't seem to mind. I think the Puppy Walk will be fine! Whew, I was getting worried.

Gotta hit the hay!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So much to tell, so little time

We've had an exciting time since Friday. The pups have quite the social calendar. Saturday was visitor day. After Amanda and I took 6-week stacked shots (posted to the right), the guests started arriving. From 10 AM till 8:30 PM, the house was non-stop. Stephanie and Gail came from NJ. Stephanie is taking one of the girls so this was her first time to meet them. I don't know if she and Gail planned to stay till after 1 but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Marcy and Lise rolled in around 11, following shortly by Maggie, Flaire and Scorch. Marcy is testing the litter so she can only play with Peggy but the two of them had lots of schmoozing time.

We had a few hours of playing and cuddling (and cleaning up) before Deb and Pat arrived with Zahra and Bryce. We all went out and played with birds for a while and let the pups rest. The young dogs did great on the birds so it was a good afternoon. Then back in for more puppy snuggles and dinner.

Most of the dogs didn't come in but the pups have spent time with Cruise this week. Cruise is a 5-month old from our last litter and he's been very good with the babies. Flaire also met the pups and was intrigued.

Sunday was hunting day for the big dogs so Una, Dreamer, Andy and I headed south with Maggie, Scorch and Flaire to pick up pheasants with George and Emma. (I hope you are keeping all these people and dogs straight since there is a test at the end!) We had a fabulous morning of hunting and all the dogs did well. Una and Emma are like twin working machines out in the field. I could watch the two of them work together all day.

Sunday was the first that either Scorch or Dreamer had hunted but it was a pleasure watching them figure it out. Given how little Dreamer has worked this year, I was thrilled at her quartering, marking and retrieving to hand. What a good girl! Scorch also did a very nice job, once he stopped lusting after his mother. Boys! He then really focused on finding the birds, putting them up and bringing them back. We quit after a few hours in the rain but were still smiling! It took 4 hours to drive the normally 1 1/2 hours back home and it was worth every minute. Thank you, George for another wonderful day!

Today the pups got not one but two walks. It was finally above freezing so Amanda got them out this morning and I took them out this afternoon. I actually got five of them all the way to and down the path aways which is pretty good for their first real walk. (For those who haven't been here before, that's about 250 yards from the house, across parking lots, lawn, past chickens, trucks and wood piles, which apparently are lots of fun.) Peggy Sue was up with me on the trail but I did have to carry her part of the way home.

Then we introduced the pups to dead pigeons. They were all over that bird. Miss Pink was crazed and though she was the smallest, she was able to get it away from the other pups. Mr Red, Bobbie Jean, Miss Green, Mr Blue and more were in the mix. They are now tired and sleepy puppies after an exciting afternoon.

Photos and video will be up later.


Friday, December 11, 2009

The finished not puppies!

I thought everyone would enjoy seeing the finished portraits of the pups and Skye. Yes, we really did get all (or almost all) the pups in the photo at one time. No, we didn't have to photoshop them in. Yes, we were really tired by the end. No, it didn't take all day, just a few hours. Yes, Skye and the pups were amazing!

The hunting set was particularly fun because I put Flyer's portrait in the photo (that's her on the left behind the pups). Flyer is the pups' great-great granddam so it was fun to have her with them. You can see the pups peeking out around the boots--they did that themselves. We do however, only have nine pups in that photo but we never could figure out who was missing so we went with it. By the time we realized it, the pups were too tired to pose again.

Copies of both portraits, framed and unframed, are available for purchase. You can do so before you come to get your pup or you can check them out while they are here to get your baby. The photographer is Barry Rosen (, another golden person, and he does great work. He also has the patience of a saint, as you can imagine.

Off to feed the crew! We are going through nearly 20 pounds of food a day at the moment so there is a lot of thawing, preparing and feeding happening in this house.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Puppy Portraits

I have always wanted to get formal portraits done of my pups but most of the time, I just can't get it organized. I think 5 weeks is the perfect time for photos like this because the pups look pretty mature but are relatively controllable. I say relatively because it really is chaos trying to get 10 puppies to sit still but somehow it happens. Well, it happens if you try it when they are 5 weeks. By 6 or 7 weeks, they are just too energetic and independent.

My big work project finished up yesterday afternoon so I decided to schedule a photo shoot for today. Barry Rosen, a friend and excellent photographer from my town, Amanda and I prepared ourselves. I wanted to do two themes: one hunting and one Christmas. I hoped to get Skye in but that would require the pups to be really full so they didn't spend all their time trying to nurse.

You will see the formal results of our session soon but in the meantime you can enjoy some photos and video that I took during the pauses. The people were all exhausted afterwards and, come to think of it, so were the pups.

I've also posted lots of video from this week.



Saturday, December 5, 2009


I've been getting lots of questions lately so I thought I'd take a moment and answer some of them.

How much do the pups weigh now?
The pups range from Miss Green at 4# 12 oz to Miss Lilac (Bobbi), who is 5# 15 oz. Most pups are over 5# now. All are eating well and growing fast.

What are the pups eating?
Skye was having trouble keeping up with the nursing demands so I started feeding the pups this week. Since we begin feeding when the pups have teeth, we transition pups directly to Bravo, ground raw meat/bone/organs and veggies. We add a little Dr Harvey's Canine Health, which is a mix of grains, as well as a multi-vitamin supplement, probiotic and salmon oil. The pups dove in their first meal and haven't looked back. They still nurse a number of times each day, too.

So far, the pups have eaten chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and pork. They liked them all but beef is the favorite!

What have the pups learned so far?
At this point, our primary focus has been housebreaking. This is a time when pups can either grasp housebreaking or miss it completely. Early in the week, the pups were struggling to "hit the spot." I had the smaller pans in the pen for ease of entrance (the lip isn't as high on them as it is on the box) but they are slippery and require better aim and balance. We had started feeding solid food, which does increase pooping, so there were lots of missing.

When I didn't see an improvement in a few days, we made some changes. The smaller pans were replaced with the larger box so that half the pen area was now potty. A few challenging days and then yesterday, it all came together. The pups are now hitting the spot 90% of the time. Whew! That was a good thing!

What else have the pups learned?
Although housebreaking is important, it is not the only thing the pups are learning. We are teaching them to come to the come-in whistle and "here." We signal meals with one of the other of these "commands" and the pups are really tuned in to them now. They hear those sounds and start moving fast!

We also use mealtimes to introduce new places and eating utensils. The pups have eaten in three different rooms with three different kinds of dishes (metal, plastic and paper). As the pups get more mobile, we'll feed them in as many areas of the house as we can move them.

We are also doing physical and mental stimulation with sounds, scents, textures and anything else we can think of. The pen has different floorings, toys of all shapes and textures, hanging toys and mobiles and things that make sounds. All of this is changed twice a day.

As of tomorrow, we start the sound introduction. We have tapes of all kinds of sounds, including gunshots. We start playing them every day at low volume at 5 weeks. As the pups age, we play them louder and in different locations.

Of course, the pups are learning all about people and dogs. They've met people of all ages, shapes and sizes. They play regularly with their mom, Corey, Dreamer and Una. Tonight, they even got to meet a cairn terrier puppy.

We've got lots more to do with them but I'll tell you more about that in future blogs.

Are the pups going outside?
We've had one trip outside thus far but tonight its 30 degrees and snowing so it will be a week or two before they go back out. Even at 60 degrees, the pups got chilled within 20 minutes. I'm sure we'll have more nice days and, even if we don't, the pups will be able to handle the cold within a week or two. Then we'll hit the woods!

When will I know which pup goes where?
I know it's hard to wait to find out which pup goes home with who but we wait till the temperament test is over and all the health checks are completed before we figure out which pup matches well with new homes? The temperament test isn't till December 22 and the health checks are around the same time so looks like we might have some great Christmas presents for our patiently waiting owners.

Just to reassure everyone, so far the pups look terrific! They are developing normally, both physically and mentally. So far, so good!

How are Miss Lilack (Bobbi Jean) and Miss Rainbow (Peggy Sue) doing?
Bobbi Jean is the pup whose tail had to be docked at two days of age due to damage it sustained before she was born. Bobbi is a terrific pup who shows no indication that she misses her tail. She is active and curious.

Peggy Sue is our pup with only three normal legs. She has one front leg that is stunted. She took a little longer to learn to walk but she is doing very well now. She loves to carry toys in her mouth, plays with her brothers and sisters and climbs on everything.

Peggy is incredibly sweet and very pretty. We are thrilled she is doing so well and expect she will continue to develop well. She'll be a 3-legged dog but a very happy one.

Well, that's all. There are videos and photos posted under Week 5.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The great outdoors!

Sixty degrees in December and we were out the door as soon as possible this morning. The pups did great on their first outing. At 5 1/2 weeks, the pups are just barely following. From what we can tell, following triggers or starts at around 6 weeks. So, the pups followed for 4-5 feet, then stopped. Once they are 6 feet away, they can't see very well. People look like...trees, vans, woodpiles, other dogs, and more.

But despite the fits and starts, we ahd a great time outside with them today. They went down along the tennis court to the trail head before getting too cold to continue. The slept for a few hours after getting home :-). Hopefully, we'll get them out again soon.

Photos and videos are up!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick Update

Just a quick note. Photos and videos are up. Pups are now running around the dining room and kitchen. Hopefully, they can go out in the next few days, depending upon weather. They are eating well and really interacting now. Come visit!!!