All That and a Bag of Chips!
Dunes recap of our AKC Inspection:
It was a rainy dark morning, I knew something had Mom extra fidgety, she has been a little sniffly these days, I thought mostly cause Dad was away for 2 weeks doing Army stuff... but she was extra sniffly this morning... then lighting candles to cover up squawking puppy farts ... ! I knew something was up when she gathered files and her laptop from her fancy "no dog zone" office and came down to the kitchen... Then a big white car pulled up.. it looked official! A lady stepped out wearing plastic coverings on her feet like a doctor ...oh gosh... is this an at home neuter job for me??? OMG NO!!!... She seemed pleasant and then flashed her badge ... She's an inspector!!! "its about damn time... "In a minute I'ma need a sentimental Man or woman to pump me up Feeling fussy .." sorry I had that song stuck in my head...back to it the story... Its about damn time!! this joint gets inspected!!! maybe she will take these squawking puppies with her from the house, they've been ruining my restful snoozin' for weeks now... or Princess Mopface!!! YES!!! She then asked about chips, and they used a chip detector on GiGi and Cleo... Mom hasnt bought snacks in a while except for popcorn.. I havn't seen chips in weeks! But sure enough Gigi and Cleo beeped when the chip scanner hit em' ... what the heck? where are these chips? So then the Inspector Gadget Lady wanted to go to the Fancy Dog Kennel... of course she loved my new nemesis Skylar the big floofy chocolate boy that has slobbers that rivals Princess Mopface! Inspector gadget lady called him a beast... what am I chopped liver???? Of course Skylar scanned positive for chips.. so what does this all mean... these dogs in trouble for table scraps??? ok lets get with it... next Princess Mopface!! See ya later sister !!!! but nope... Inspector lady wanted to scan Hazel and Gert... oh gosh... these two fatty Mcfatty sisters are toast, if anyone has been eating chips here its this double stuffed duo! And sure enough Beep, Beep.... been nice knowin' ya girls... that's what y'all get for sneaking snacks!!!
Mom and the Inspector Gadget lady came back to the house... then shuffled some papers and talked about lawyers and my dog doctors Dr. Aaron, Dr. Jean and Dr. Havhav... then it got confusing and they talked about what happens if something happens to Mom and Dad... it got a little confusing with all the big words but Im pretty sure Mom said all their worldly possessions go to Dune Buggy... (finally something that made total sense today!) yes... one day The Great Dune of Pyla will take the throne, and be the King of the PInes!!! (then shit will be changin' around this joint!!!). After all that the Inspector lady, said stuff like "Almost Heaven", "Lucky Dogs" and "Keep up the Great Work"...and just like that she drove off... the rainy clouds seemed to disappear and the sun once again shown down on the Pines... Mom seemed happy, and I was certainly happy.... knowing one day I was going to be King
On March 27, 2022 - Primo earned his American Kennel Club Championship
Primos journey to his Championship. Grant began showing Primo in Owner Handler May 1, 2021 and over the past 10 months was able to succeed in getting Primo finished with his Champion title by attending 15 shows. Primo was awarded 3 separate Major wins, and never disappointed in his class.
His recent win of a 4 point major at the Hoosier Labrador Retriever Club Spring Specialty sealed the deal Thank you to Judge Pauline Mortier for noticing this special boy! Also, thanks to Brent Hadley for entrusting Primo with us, and breeder Katrin Ilyina (Rainriver Kennel).
We couldn't be more happy and a triumphant accomplishment for "us" West Virginia hillbillies without experience on the show scene... but it goes to show you, with passion, drive and determination... the sky is the limit Thank you Primo! and a big applause for Grant!
** Side note - I had a disappointing encounter a few months back, and around the same time we had Chinese take out lol... and I had the best fortune ever.. and whenever I felt discouraged I always read it..
For the list of shows and wins visit our webpage to see Primo's Show Record.
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong - Corinthians 16:13
On November 29, 2022, Vannah pregnant with her final litter had a beautiful litter of puppies, all went smooth and normal... however there was the tiniest little yellow puppy, I endearingly called him "little peanut". He was by far the smallest puppy I have ever had born at the Pines and I thought for certain that he would not live out his first week. I ordered a prenatal paste for peanut and gave electrolytes.. and also supplemented with formula.. he never had a strong suction, and never made a peep. Often at night when I fell asleep I thought I would wake up and he would peacefully pass over the rainbow bridge. The first week went by.. he didn't gain any weight, but he also did not lose any weight either, at this point I thought he would starve - from having his body trying to develop without having enough resources to keep up. I reached out to several colleagues and 2 breeders said it seems to be a classic sign of "liver shunt". Typically puppies just never thrive, they could live 4 to 8 weeks and then the toxins in their body start to shut organs down and eventually they pass. There is a surgery that can be done however there is only a 50/50 survival rate, and little peanut at 2 lbs? how could he ever withstand a surgery? At week 3 I made an appointment to our very knowledgeable guru vet Aaron Pollock :) He did an exam and bloodwork, shockingly peanuts liver count was down which was good... and all other tests didn't show anything real significant, after an additional 30 minutes of vet techs loving on little Peanut, the Doc told me to keep doing what I am doing, it would be a 4 month wait to see a specialist in Pittsburgh but he was happy to make a referral... Sigh... so this was good and bad - as we just didn't have any defined diagnosis still and we weren't sure what to expect.. I continued bottle feeding every few hours, I also gave a milk thistle supplement for liver support. by week 4 I added a plant based puppy mush to his diet and by this time he would be awaiting me each feeding with his little tail wagging... I wasn't sure how his little body would handle the more food .. so that was another test... it was the 4th week and 3rd morning I heard a cry.. a cry I have never heard before, and I thought oh my Peanut may have just passed :'( - but nope! to my surprise he was just wanting breakfast! As peanut progressed, a wonderful lady reached out and offered to give supportive care to Peanut (she then wanted to name him Tank!) I spoke with her on the phone and at 6 weeks old Peanut got a new momma <3 all the way in North Carolina! Sue P. his new mom continued caring for him just as I did, and wow after multiple vet visits and check ups and transition to a meat protein diet - he is now a thriving bouncing loving puppy! Tank is only a few pounds less than his siblings and living his best life - chasing balls, helping Sue with the gardening and playing with the cat ... oh and flipping and playing in any water bowl he finds. His story is a blessing and a miracle and makes me view life with a new lens.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
If you want to follow Tank on Instagram he is @tankofthepines
Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. Notice them... <3
Hank the dog behind the flowers- As Facebook removed the notes section... not too many people know his story... Hank was a Thor x Gypsy boy... and was returned at nearly a year old with aggressive tendencies. He was adopted by a first time puppy/dog family and had been in an abusive situation, we believe by the children of the home...when the family phoned to see if they could bring him back I of course said sure... every FFP puppy has a forever home here, always... When the family arrived they met me at the end of the driveway... as to not disturb the dogs as we had puppies in the house... and a nervous new momma "Daisy" ... When Hank saw me... I immediately thought he would need to be put down... he lunged at me from just seeing me from a distance... he literally looked like he would kill me... I had the husband tie Hank in the barn... I mean at that point ... I had no idea what to do... the family sobbed as they drove away... I mean Hank had been with this family for almost a year, had his own room, 3 trash bags full of toys, treats ... perscriptions... and here he was tied next to the wheel borrow in a dusty barn.... when the family left... I got my best girl and Hanks momma "Gypsy" his attitude switched completely... it took about 2 seconds for his mom to put him in his place... and he was actually playful with me and knew several tricks... he had after all been professionally trained as well! I thought all was great until he saw my mom... (ok Grant cue the Mother In Law Jokes! Lol ) Hank snapped and she did nothing except enter his field of vision.... Grant obviously with his militant background had zero issues with Hank.. and with all the time Grant spent with him taking him everywhere... we thought he had certainly been rehabilitated... aside from children... he still was very fearful of children and would avoid them at all costs... ;'( However... there is one thing we didnt take into consideration... which is my own "sensitive" and nervous personality... we did seek a professional trainers advice... a trainer that works with training search and rescue and police dogs in Charleston WV ... he clearly stated we did not have an aggressive dog... we had a dog that is highly sensitive... and plays off emotions and even subtle changes in heart rate... Hank doesn't necessarily seek out things to attack he is in a constant mode of self protection and then whoever he attaches to also feels the need to protect them at all costs as well... which is fine and dandy with Grant because... the Army dude he is... he never gets his feathers ruffled... me on the other hand... I get anxiety just envisioning in my head of "what can or is about to happen" all the time with every situation. When you visit he will be in the kennel with many warning signs, he will appear to be friendly and welcoming... but he is not... he has a heart that is only big enough to love me and Grant... with everything he has... He is the most loyal, loving boy... if I fell in the woods he would never leave my side... and I mean that in the most literal sense... he would die there... over the years many have said... he should be put down... we have even contemplated that ourselves... but we are all he has... sure Labradors are the number1 most friendly loyal dogs of all time, and they have lots of friends... but Hank doesn't..... he just has us <3
Links for many articles regarding issues encountered with early altering:
This link (below) is simply a dog magazine but they have a download pdf which sites 40 different references:
First off I am no vet, and do not claim to be! but well its springtime here in the West Virginia mountains, and everyone is looking at flea and tick preventatives... even as puppies went to their new homes in January during one of the harshest winters in history the vets were pushing Nexgard at the puppy visits of 8 week old puppies! (mad face)
Ok... are ticks a problem, yes... are fleas a problem... yes.... I live, well kind of live... in the deep woods and so know about ticks all so well! We have herds of deer behind our home... turkeys... bears... (oh my!) My protocol is K9 Advantix II every month or every other month.... I also like Frontline Plus - but in recent years there was speculation that Frontline wasn't as effective .. so I upped my game a bit to Advantix II. Topicals in my opinion are the best defense, I also like Seresto collars.. I know... I know... they recently got a bunch of bad press... as pet owners we know our dogs... we want to protect them... and if you try the Seresto collar and if you notice your dog being a bit "off" maybe acting sick or scratching or well, I mean no one knows our dogs like we do... just take it off and chalk it up to its not going to work.... ! Topicals have a repellent so in my opinion they repel biting bugs before your dog can get bit... this includes, fleas, ticks and mosquitos!
I do not like ingestible flea/tick preventatives... I mean I am just a country gal living in the woods mostly... lol... but if I eat a pill and then a bug bites me and dies... okay well first off ... I got bit :'( and so the silver lining is that little critter shriveled up and died after biting me... lol :D but can you imagine the type of chemical that is saturating all of your cells to kill a tiny insect that nibbles on you?
5 years ago, I only put Frontline on my dogs in April... and that actually suited them fine throughout the summer... now as ticks are worse... and lymes is so prevelant... I use Advantix in April, June and August... I will use every month if the dogs are swimming a lot... for my rascal of a barn cat that travels many miles under many moons I use Frontline Plus (after all he is just a cat... lol.. ok sorry... I love you Penelope!!!! ) I use one treatment in April and I have never seen a tick on him throughout the summer.... Penelope doesn't swim much so... I reckon it lasts longer on mouse catchers...? :D
** I wrote this in a jovial manner... but I am serious.. I love my animals and I have the "less is more" approach to most everything in life... I guess except for Labradors.. we obviously can not have too many of them!!! lol.. <3
May you and your pet be pest free this Summer season!!! <3
Your Labrador should have his nails clipped about every 1-2 months. Nail growth rate depends on the types of surfaces the dog has been walking and playing on, or if he likes to dig. You can learn to clip his nails yourself, or alternatively a vet or groomer can do this.
Get him used to having his paws handled very young. Touch, rub and lightly pinch his paws and toes often.
Though it’s not painful (unless you cut too much off), it’s not a pleasant sensation having nails clipped and some dogs freak out at this, so it’s important to let a professional do it right or show you how to do it right. Don’t clip until you know for sure you have the right angle and depth.
To start out, each clip of the nail gets an immediate food treat and praise until he thinks, ‘Oh this isn’t so bad!’ I usually like to clip, then lightly file the nails to take off any sharp edges.
Do not let the nails become overgrown. Overgrown nails can be painful, change his walking gait, change the shape of the nail and paw, and become more difficult to trim.
Nails have their own blood supply – the ‘quick’ of the nail. If you cut his nails too short the ‘quick’ will bleed. Apply pressure with a cold wet cloth and always keep some Styptic powder handy for application to stop the bleeding. With puppies, you can use a human fingernail clipper. Once his nails no longer fit in these clippers, get some dog clippers.
I have below a tried and true recipe for an ear cleaning solution... it was originally developed for Cocker Spaniels as they have long ears that tend to trap gunk, and moisture leading to ear infections... Of course if you have an issue with your dogs ear, please check with your veterinarian before doing any home treatment! Also, if you have lots of recurring infections please look at your pets diet... as many health issues start there...
Ingredients: White vinegar Powdered boric acid (if you can't find this locally, order it from Amazon.com) Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) Betadine antiseptic (or the generic version, known as Povidone-Iodine Solution) Please note: do not use "Betadine Scrub", use "Betadine Solution" Directions for mixing the solution together: Pour six ounces of isopropyl alcohol in to a plastic applicator bottle. Add one and a half teaspoons of boric acid powder. Be careful not to get any boric acid on your skin or clothes. If you do, wash it off immediately. Shake the solution extremely well, until the boric acid powder is dissolved, or for five minutes, whichever comes first. Add two ounces of white vinegar. Shake the solution some more, until the boric acid powder is dissolved, or for another five minutes, whichever comes first. Add one teaspoon of the Betadine antiseptic, and shake it up some more. Be careful not to get any Betadine on your skin or clothes. If you do, wash it off immediately.
The ear cleaning solution is now ready to use. To use the ear cleaning solution: It is recommended that you use the ear cleaning solution in your garage or outdoors, as the dog will shake it out of his ears and it will fly in to the air and stain things. Squirt the solution inside your dog's ear until the ear canal is completely full. Massage the outside of the ear to help slosh the cleaning solution around inside. Release the dog and let him shake out the ear cleaning solution from his ears. If you get any of the ear cleaning solution on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. Be sure to shake the solution up really well before each and every time you use it. The boric acid has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Store at room temperature. Use the cleaning solution daily until you start to see some improvement.
Gradually cut back to once per week when you are happy with the condition of the ear. When the ear seems completely free of infection, you can go two weeks between treatments. Warning: Do not use this ear cleaning solution on dogs with ruptured ear drums, or on dogs with open sores or wounds in the ear area.
An ear exam by a veterinarian is recommended prior to beginning treatment with this ear cleaning solution. This recipe came to you from Jim Zimmerlin - www.zimfamilycockers.com
Why do people recommend choosing a breeder who shows their dogs to folks who are just looking for a pet and have no interest in showing? Why should breeding to breed standard be important to a pet home? Does it seem excessive, or “snobby”?
It’s not, and here’s why.
Dog shows are a means of evaluating dogs against the breed standard, to evaluate soundness, movement/gait, type, and temperament.
Soundness: The state of physical and mental health when all organs and faculties are functioning properly, each in its rightful relation to each other.
Type: Breed type encompasses appearance, character, condition, bone structure, temperament, and movement; "breed type is all these things." Breed type also includes a character specific to each breed, a combination of behavior, temperament and carriage that demonstrate an essence of the breed.
Gait: The gait of a dog is its quality of movement. You want to see ease of movement, unimpaired by illness or poor structure.
Temperament: The general attitude a dog has towards other animals and people. From the Labrador Breed Standard "True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the “otter” tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog. Aggressiveness towards humans or other animals, or any evidence of shyness in an adult should be severely penalized."
So. That’s a very basic intro to what goes on at a show... why does this matter? You want a pet, a companion, not a show dog, right? Well, you chose a Labrador for a reason. You’ve done your research, and have read that they’re great with kids and other animals, they’re gentle, not aggressive, they make excellent companions and love spending time with their people. That their good and kind nature predisposes many Labradors to be excellent therapy dogs. Good, responsible breeders seek to preserve those definitive and positive characteristics.
What about type and structure? How the dog is put together, able to move freely and comfortably? Would you rather buy from someone who has proven publicly, over time, that the dog they’re breeding can move well, free of limp, or a structural problem? Or just trust someone who has no interest in proving their dogs? It’s your puppy’s quality of life and comfort (as well as your wallet) that’s at stake.
Not every dog in a well-bred litter is going to be show quality- there will ALWAYS be pet-quality puppies. Well-bred, but maybe with a slight imperfection, and those are the puppies placed in pet homes. You don’t have to want a show-quality puppy to get a well-bred puppy!
This is not about being snobby, being elitist, thinking that one dog is “better” than another, it’s about ensuring you get a puppy that acts and looks like the breed you fell in love with. It’s about ensuring that all puppies have the best start in life, and will grow into a loving family member. It’s about loving our breed enough to want to see everything that’s good about them preserved for future generations to enjoy. If you want a healthy dog, with a properly sweet temperament, choose your breeder wisely!