National Dog Day 2017

Happy National Dog Day! In honor of this special day, here is a mish-mash of pictures of my dogs from today.

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I just love that happy Golden smile and the distracted setter stare.

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Timber and Mia having a good chase.

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I finally got some decent pictures of this handsome boy. He’s always on the move, so it’s hard to catch him in a nice pose.

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There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a setter on point! (This isn’t a true point, but he’s alert and scenting something interesting.)

Of course, I can’t do a blog post without a puppy update! Duchess and her babies are doing very well! Duchess is back to her happy, lively self; and all the puppies are growing and active. In comparison to the first week, the last two weeks have been a BREEZE! I feel like we are back on track and back to normal. Praise God! The puppies’ eyes have opened, and they are on their unsteady little feet. We have added a potty area for them, and they are already beginning to use it and keep their bed a little cleaner. (These setters are going to be some sharp little pups!)

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This is my happy place.

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Enjoy this beautiful, sunny weekend! Post a picture of your dog on National Dog Day in the comments- I love seeing your furry friends!

 

 

Summertime Happenings

Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of my puppies. Some days, anyway. So here is some photographic evidence of my life all crammed haphazardly into one post.

Zach loves to garden, so each spring we plant a large garden. This year we planted strawberries, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, onions, green peppers, sugar peas, hull peas, corn, green beans, yellow beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and sunflowers. (The sunflowers are just for fun.) This is in addition to our apple trees, black raspberry patch, and concord grape arbor. Even though I didn’t grow up with a garden, I have learned to enjoy gardening. It’s so rewarding to pick the produce that we planted and maintained ourselves.

Summertime means a lot of time spent outdoors. It’s not unusual to find Zach, me, Reese, and all the dogs outside in the evenings. Sometimes we are working, and sometimes we are playing. Especially since having a baby, I have really begun to cherish the time we can spend together as a family, even if it’s just a few minutes after working outside.

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Life is a gift, you know. I’m thankful for every day that God gives me to spend with these two wonderful people.

Last weekend, we took Reese and Jade hiking on some trails near our home. It was a bit humid and sweaty, but the ice cream afterwards made up for it. Unfortunately, Reese and Jade missed out on the ice cream.

And this little girl is growing so quickly! At five months old, she is rolling like a pro, reaching for toys, giving slobbery kisses, and being the best and smiliest little human I could ask for.

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My days are busy, but my heart is full. And, it’s about to get fuller… because, guess what, MORE PUPPIES ARE COMING! (I try to tell myself I have a life outside of puppies, but these puppies are honestly trying to take control.)

My beautiful red fur baby is going to be a momma for the first time in a few weeks.

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She’s looking pretty good for halfway through pregnancy, don’t you think? Our vet confirmed her pregnancy today, and we are so excited to welcome our first litter of setters later this summer.

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This handsome boy here gets to be a daddy, although I question whether he’s emotionally mature enough for the job. What do you think?

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Hmmm, it’s a good thing mom does all of the work. 🙂

Well, that is a look at my normal summertime life in a very small nutshell. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and taking advantage of the time to spend outside and with your family! To close out this post, here are some pictures of the puppies playing this afternoon.

 

Oh, Baby!

I try to keep my blog mostly dog-oriented, but this news is too big not to share here. 🙂

On Saturday, January 21 we welcomed baby Reese into our family. She was 6 pounds 14 oz, so she is just a little peanut.

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We are so grateful to be blessed with a beautiful and healthy little girl. The past ten days have been the biggest adventure of my life thus far. It has definitely been a huge adjustment, but I have the greatest husband ever. He has done so very much to help this new momma keep her sanity as we both adjust to a new baby in the house. We also have had great support from friends and family. I have a refrigerator full of food and several meals in the freezer that people have dropped off for us. Today is actually the first day that I am alone with Reese. My mom, mother-in-law, or Zach have been home with me other days.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and happy thoughts in the last ten days; but overall, it has been good. Reese is a very content, sleepy newborn. She is finally starting to be awake more; but for the first couple of days, we hardly saw her eyes at all. As for me, I’m hanging in there. The nights are long, but she actually sleeps well for a little baby. I really can’t complain. I try to take a nap during the day, and I usually spend most of my days right now in my pj’s. That’s allowed, right? 🙂

Dear Mia is adjusting well, too. She is very forgiving when her breakfast doesn’t come until 11:00 am or when I accidentally step on her on my way to the nursery at night. She is excellent with Reese and checks on her periodically throughout the day to make sure she is okay. Mia likes to know where Reese is, and she doesn’t like when we put her someplace new. The first night that we put Reese in her crib in the nursery, Mia was very worried about her. When we lay Reese on the floor, Mia likes to snuggle with her. The other dogs have only had an introduction through the glass door, but they are very intrigued by this new little bundle.

Here is a picture of Reese in her carseat to come home from the hospital. She looks a little lost in there!

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And this is a post-bath picture. She may look happy now; but, believe me, she HATES baths. img_3161

This sweet little girl looks just like her daddy’s baby pictures. I haven’t been able to claim much of her appearance except for her ears. 🙂Version 2img_3128img_3163img_3150img_3153

Have a blessed week!

 

Happy Fall & Four Weeks Old

This week’s blog update is going to be mostly pictures. I have some pictures of the big dogs enjoying the beautiful fall weather, of Duchess hunting, and of sweet Noel, of course. Enjoy!

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Pennsylvania is truly beautiful in the fall!

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Way to go, Duchess!

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Little Jade isn’t so little anymore.

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My 60 pound love bug.

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I lied. We’re not selling a real puppy. She is a stuffed teddy bear.

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Noel enjoyed exploring outside one warm afternoon.

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She started eating a little bit of softened kibble this week!

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This is Noel’s new favorite toy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

My Promised Review & Summer Catch-Up Post

Is it really July already? It’s been much too long since I have posted, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening around here! Summer is such a fun and busy time in this house. 🙂

But before I get started on that, I want to give my final review on Wondercide. A few months ago, I had posted about this flea, tick, and mosquito repellant that I was trying on our dogs. Now that I have been using it for awhile, I want to talk about it again and give my final opinion. If you’re new to my blog, take the time to read my original post about Wondercide.

I suppose the best way to give my opinion is to tell you that after more than three months, I am still using Wondercide and plan to continue doing so. It works well, but it is definitely not for everyone.

The main drawback is the fact that it requires thoroughness and consistent application. Frontline and other monthly treatments are great, because one treatment protects your dog for thirty days. It’s super easy. However, Wondercide needs to be applied 2-3 times per week. I find this manageable, because all three of my dogs have long hair that should be brushed a few times a week anyway. I simply combine grooming with the Wondercide application.

I also learned that thoroughness is key! After a mild winter, we have seen an unfortunate increase in the ticks on our area. When I first began using Wondercide, I avoided rubbing it on their faces and muzzles. Then, I found a few ticks- on their faces and muzzles. 😦 Since I have learned to be very thorough and to rub the spray ALL over, I haven’t had any trouble.

Over all, I like this product and will continue using it for myself. It is cost effective, and it works well if used properly. It’s natural and gentle. However, I don’t recommend it for everyone. Wondercide takes more work than your average flea and tick prevention. Sometimes easier is just better!

Ah, now that business is taken care of, I’d like to share some of the fun things that have been happening around here lately!

Little Jade has been growing like a weed! She is such a laid back sweetheart, and I love her dearly.

These pictures are already out dated, but they were too cute not to post. We had a cookout by a lake with some friends, and we did some fishing. Jade came along on our outing and was very interested in the fish we caught and the cups of peach tea we weren’t watching.

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When she wasn’t trying to steal our bait or drink from our cups, I managed to get a few pictures of her. Is there anything cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy?

Now that it is getting warmer in the summer months, it was time to give Mia her summer hair cut. I like to let her hair get longer over winter; but when summer time comes, all that hair gets HOT!

This is before the hair cut.

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This is after.

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We also had one not as good happening this summer. We had a very unwelcome guest make an appearance in our yard. My husband was outside working one evening when he noticed the dogs were crowding and jumping around something in the back yard. When he went out to investigate, he discovered a large snapping turtle!

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We don’t have any creek on our property, so this guy was wandering pretty far from the water. I am thankful Zach saw what was going on before any of our dogs got hurt! A bite from a snapping turtle could do some serious damage to a curious dog. Mia did get bitten on the nose, but luckily the cut was minor and superficial.

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I made sure to clean and sanitize the cut, and it healed well within a few days. As far as the turtle, we captured him in a bucket and released him. I’d really prefer if he stays in his creek now and doesn’t make any more visits to our backyard. 🙂

Now, you are almost caught up on our adventures. I do have one more recent picture and a video of Jade to show you all how big she has gotten! The past week has been very hot and humid. Zach thought the dogs might enjoy some cold water, so we filled a kiddy pool for them. Duchess was unimpressed, Mia waded in it for a little bit, but Jade LOVED it!

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Enjoy these dog days of summer!

Growing By Two Feet!

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The next little munchkin we add to the family will not be of the canine variety. In January, Zach and I are expecting our first child!

(In case you are wondering how we managed to get all three dogs sitting nicely in a line for the photographer, please note that it is extremely convenient you can only see them from the neck down. Two of the three dogs are on leashes. Only sweet Mia, sitting right next to me, is obediently sitting without any help. 🙂 )

Jade

We have a new furry face at our home! I would like you to meet Jade, an 8 week old Golden Retriever.

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We picked up Jade on Thursday evening and brought her home to meet our other dogs. I was very interested in seeing how the dogs would react to each other. From her litter, we were told that Jade has one of the most laid back personalities, and we thought this would help her adjust to living with two older dogs. With a laid back temperament, she shouldn’t mind being bossed around so much.

The introductions went better than we anticipated. Mia and Duchess were THRILLED at seeing a puppy. Jade was a bit scared at first of these two bigger dogs licking her and knocking her over. However, once she realized she wasn’t in any danger, she began to play.

 

I took some time to make sure that Jade was all settled in that first night.

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The next day was a big day for Jade. She got her first bath and had to go to the vet for a check up. I think she liked going to the vet more than getting a bath.

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After those two things were finished, she was free to play with Mia and Duchess for the rest of the day. Mia absolutely adores Jade and spends all of her time “mothering” her. She doesn’t let Jade out of her sight.

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Jade and Duchess get along great as well, but Duchess isn’t quite as interested in Jade as Mia is. This next picture is the perfect description of our dogs. Mia and Jade are playing together close to me in the yard. Meanwhile, Duchess is racing wildly up and down our property doing her own thing.

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Jade desperately tries to keep up with the big dogs, but she often just gets run over. This was a new toy, and all of the dogs wanted it for themselves. Poor little Jade didn’t stand a chance, but she got an “A” for effort!

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Eventually, the big dogs forgot about the toy and busied themselves doing other things. Jade was then very pleased when she got the toy all to herself.

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As it got towards evening, everyone was tuckered out, especially little Jade.

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Have a blessed week!

Kiss Me… I’m Irish!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an important day for an Irish Setter.

“Kiss me! I’m Irish.”

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“I mean it. I need a kiss!”

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*SMOOCH*

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These pictures are back from October when we still had Mia’s puppies, but I couldn’t resist posting them anyway!

 

Gratefulness

This post is maybe a slight deviation from my normal post topics, but I thought I would share it anyway.

If I had to pick just one quality to become part of my character, I think it would be gratefulness. The reason I would choose gratefulness is that being grateful effects so many areas of life, and it is a character quality that becomes very evident to others. This summer, I remember talking to a woman at work. After that conversation of mainly small talk and such, I remember feeling very blessed and inspired by her. She hadn’t said anything particularly profound or meaningful; in fact, I don’t even remember what we talked about. What I do remember is that she expressed gratitude and contentment in everything she said.

Her positive attitude and grateful spirit made a definite impact on me, and it made me wonder what impact I leave on the people I talk to. I will confess that after thinking about my attitude and the things I say, I came to the conclusion that people probably aren’t always inspired after being with me. I wouldn’t say I am a negative and grumpy person, but I can err on being a bit pessimistic. I am striving to engrain gratefulness into my thoughts, words, and actions. Instead of spouting off whatever complaint or disgruntled thought that crosses my mind, I am trying to find something to be grateful for.

I know God has richly blessed my life, and He sufficiently meets every need I have. When I remember that my life is His and trust in His provision, I realize that I have no reason to complain. There is no reason for me not to be grateful. This is a very freeing and inspiring realization.

This week, we got some snow again, and it made for some stunning scenery! It was a wet snow that stuck to the trees and worked well to make snowmen. It was a good opportunity to observe the different perspectives of snow. Some people complain about the inconveniences that snow brings- poor roads for traveling, extra work with shoveling, wet boots and socks, and the list can go on. Instead of focusing on those unpleasantries, other choose to enjoy God’s beautiful handiwork and soak in the child-like thrill that snow and winter time can bring.

I loved watching Mia and Duchess in the snow. They definitely fall in the grateful category. In fact, they always fall in the grateful category. They are happy and content with whatever life brings them. Am I?

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. {1 Chronicles 16:34}

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And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. {Colossians 3:17}

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I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. {Psalm 9:1}

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In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. {1 Thessalonians 5:18}

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Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! {2 Corinthians 9:15}

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. {Philippians 4:6}

The Blizzard of ’16

Well, folks, we survived the blizzard of 2016. 🙂 From Friday evening into Saturday evening, we got over two feet of snow; and, let me tell you, this family couldn’t be happier!

This was the second time that Duchess saw snow. (The first time was only a half inch, so that hardly counts.) With the amount of snow we got, it comes well over the dogs’ backs. Luckily for them, they are light enough that they don’t sink the whole way down with each step.

We spent some time out Friday evening and Saturday, shoveling the first foot of snow and letting the dogs romp in the wind-driven snow. I tried to take some pictures with my camera wrapped in saran wrap to keep it from getting wet with snowflakes. I didn’t get very many good pictures from Saturday during the peak of the blizzard, because of the blowing snow. However, you can still see Duchess and Mia thoroughly enjoying running through the fresh, powdery snow.

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There’s nothing like a good tussle in the snow!

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We made the unwise decision to drive a few miles to Zach’s parents’ house Saturday to use their snowmobiles. On the way there, it wasn’t windy, visibility was decent, and the roads only had a few inches of snow covering them. About an hour later, conditions had gotten much worse, and we weren’t sure we could make it the few miles back to our house. This is what driving home looked like. It had gotten windy, and snowfall had increased to roughly two inches per hour!

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We did, however, manage to make it home. Then it was back to shoveling and plowing.

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Sunday dawned clear, still, and beautiful!

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And then it was in by the wood stove to warm up and dry off.

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Another funny adventure of the day was digging out our mailbox! It was buried in this drift.

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I hope you all have a great start to your week!