Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From a six year old

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation and it has changed the way I try and live.

''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued, ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yellow Too

Hi Don,

Just had a look at the beautiful dog pics you have been getting lately and noticed not a yellow to be seen.  Thought I would try and fix that with a two recent pics of Ollie.  Take care.



Sable & Ken

Hi Don,

This is ken, my life long friend & dog lover.  He came in to visit bill last saturday and got a fan.

Sable was like a teen age girl looking at a rock star.  She showed off all of her training.  He was impressed.

Ken threw the ball for her, but she still doesn't play ball well.  She will not give it back...It's like tug of war. Any suggestions?


ken & sable

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tate Update (pics)

Hello there Don, and happy spring.

I'm writing with an update on Tate. She's made it through her first heat, thankfully, and she's now in Stratford, Ontario with me while I work on a show. She's doing great. Many people here have stopped me to ask where I got her, and compliment her great looks. I hope things are going well with you.

Here are a couple of recent photos.

Take care, Leigh Ann


Thoughts on Labradoodles

Dear Don Bates of Doindogs Kennels,

I would like to take just a moment of your time to ask some questions. I am a dog trainer and enthusiast living in British Columbia, Canada, who has been interested in the "Doodle" boom for some time now. I want to get to the bottom of it, and by doing so I decided to talk to breeders of both kennel club recognized breeds that are being used in developing new breeds like the Labradoodle, as well as Labradoodle breeders, the recognized Kennel Clubs, Veterinarians and whomever I can find to help answer my questions.

My goal is to compose a well thought out article that will be posted on Dog Gone Good Training Forum for all to see, and hopefully, to clear up some questions many other owners and dog enthusiasts may have as well. If you would like your words not to be quoted in the article, please let me know, otherwise all information you provide may be used in the article (full credit will be given).

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide for me!

Shara Slorstad
Dog Gone Good Training
Obedience and Master Trainer

Here are the questions that I ask:

1. In your opinion, how many generations of breeding are required between mixed (one purebred parent mixed with a different purebred parent) breeds before the offspring of said dogs are considered purebred?

Don: "Many and then many more. It has taken thousands of breeders many decades to bring the Labrador to its present day form with relatively predictable results. It will probably take as many to destroy that work and then start all over."

2. What genetic problems may be of concern in the Labradoodle that are also seen in Labradors and Poodles?

Don: "All the health and temperament concerns that affect each breed now, put together!"

3. What effect has the Labradoodle boom had on your own breeding practices?

Don: "It has made it easier to sort out the people who really appreciate good breeding from those who want to follow a fad. It has also made it easier to spot poor lab breeders who are chasing $$$"

4. What are your concerns for your breed of choice that the Labradoodle may cause?

Don: "Quite the opposite, my breed of choice will be better off because we will be rid of the aforementioned people and breeders."

5. Have you noticed a large difference between different "Labradoodles" that goes beyond a different breeders lines, or working vs. conformation lines?

Don: "I don't waste my time with mutts or people who do not want to improve the breed."

6. What are your thoughts on the "designer breed" phase that has been seen in the past few years? What are your thoughts regarding other "doodles" (such as the Goldendoodle, Shnoodle, Puggle, Maltepoo, and other breeds being bred together and claimed as a "designer breed")?

Don: "I think you should make your own study. Spend your time and money improving the Labrador breed and then see how much time you want to waste on people who are only trying to make money. Along the way you will probably learn that others have another scam, producing "Red Fox", "Silver" and even "Pointing" labs."

7. Do you find you are approached by the public for a Labradoodle puppy, or to breed your dog to theirs to create a Labradoodle? What is your general response, if so?

Don: "I have been asked but usually by people who would all ready know my opinion !!"

8. Are there any concerns you have for the future for your breed of choice, or even for its current standing that may be a cause of the Labradoodle?

Don: "I have no concerns about the future being negatively affected by these people, they are usually seen as scam artists. My concerns are from the "show people" , their top priority is to win. It is very difficult to find good breeders or good dogs at dog show, quite the opposite to the ideal."

9. Is there anything else you would like to tell me regarding the Labradoodle?

Don: "I have all ready given this topic much more time than it deserves."

Beautiful dogs!

Dear Mr Bates,

For the first time in my life, I am animal-less, and it is not a comfortable experience! I should explain... I have had gundogs (mainly labs and golden retrievers - with a side trip with a Jack Russell) all my life, as well as horses, but since moving to Canada six years ago and raising a family, it has really not been appropriate for me to get a new puppy.

However, with the two oldest at school, I can now 'scratch that itch'! I have been looking at breeders across Canada, and I have to say, you have THE most beautiful dogs! I wonder if, despite having young children, you would consider us a suitable home for one of your dogs? The children are 8, nearly 6, nearly 4, and nearly 2. I do not go out to work! We have a good-sized house in a semi-rural area, with a large fenced yard.

Naturally, if you would consider us, we would come to visit. We do have a light aircraft (big enough for six plus a dog!) so travel is not an issue for us.

I do look forward to hearing from you!

Kind regards

Beccy Fisher

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sable & Bill

I wanted to tell how Sable & Bill are bonding since his operation;

Sable sits beside him, sleeps by him & pays close attention...the only complaint he has is that she barks too loud.  I assured him it is for his protection. She jumps up and barks loudly when strangers are nearby. and even louder if they approach the door.

She follows all of her obedience commands,  people are raving about her. Thank you for selling & training this wonderful Dog,