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Abby, the RV Dog

Return to "Next Adventure" Summer: 2019
Searching for the ocean

We hear it but don't see it.Sit, Abby, Sit

Sunday, September 13, 2020: The air quality from our wildfire smoke was as bad today as yesterday. It measured 575 this morning but the visibility was much worse than yesterday. Only 50 feet this morning. I was told it was because we had fog as well as smoke. Once our visibility returned to 200 yards we decided to take an hour drive to the coast where the air quality was 100. However, the visibility was just as poor on the coast due to the fog but it did smell better. It wasn't a smoky smell but a wet ocean smell. We visited the same Douglas County Beach as our trip in July. But this time you couldn't see the water until you were within 50 feet due to the fog. With an air quality of 100 we felt comfortable without masks and there was no smoky odor in the air. In Sutherlin we were wishing for better masks and Sutherlin had a strong odor of smoke. We noticed a wind blowing up river on the way to the ocean but no wind here at the beach. We need a good wind in Sutherlin to clear the air but that might feed the fire so must keep our wishes to ourselves. Click the photos for more views. The ocean is out there somewhere, we can hear it, just can't see it.

Say What? Abby gets her first box

Monday, August 24, 2020: Abby got a box of toys and treats. I watched a YouTube video with a lady who reviewed ten monthly dog boxes. "PetTreater" was her number one choice for various reasons. I ordered a sample box without subscribing to the monthly service. The box came today and it was like Christmas for Abby. She got a neckerchief, several kinds of treats and two toys. Of course she loves everything. One toy was a cloth fish with lots of fins, tails, whiskers to tug. She tore the stuffing out of it in about 15 minutes. The second toy was a hard rubber dumbbell covered with a felt like material similar to the dog tennis balls. She ripped the cover off and nearly chewed it into two pieces with little rubber bits all over the floor of the motorhome. So I decided Abby must be an "aggressive" chewer as described by "BullyMake". I'm not ordering PetTreater but I did order BullyMake today. Their items are guaranteed not to break or she gets a replacement free. The question is, will she like to chew on the BullyMake toys? One of the treats in this box was a bag of "Water Buffalo Lung". Say WHAT? Where does one find a "Water Buffalo" in the USA? I searched the bag and learned the Water Buffalo are "Free Range", "Grass Fed", Antibiotic and Hormone Free, Gluten and Grain Free. The treat is made in India. She also got "True Venison" from Germany. She likes both! We will learn what BullyMake sends her in about ten days.

Plat I Reservoir
Sunday, August 23, 2020: Remember a couple days ago when I checked out the park at the Plat I Reservoir? Well, the sign said, "No Dogs in the Park", not in the lake. We found different access to the lake outside of the park and went for a swim. Abby did great and her CFD gave her confidence. I would swim out into deeper water and she would jump in, then swim to me. She still wants to put her paws on me and I couldn't keep ahead of her even when wearing fins. I believe I will wear MY PFD next time to give me some floating help when she wants to rest her paws on me. Click the photo for another view. So far, every time she has gone swimming, she got a bath afterward. Hopefully she won't catch on because she hates bathes. Only three weeks and she will be allowed in the park!

Please let me in


Friday, August 14, 2020: Abby had moved the knot on the guide line to be able to reach the door again. She has also learned to slide the hatch on the screen door to be able to stick her head inside. Then she just "asks" to come inside. That doesn't last long before she wants to go back outside again.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is 107°. Erik and Glen still want to ride so we have chosen an early morning ride beginning at 7am. That should get me back early enough to go to the Oakland City Wide Yard Sale which is usually a very good one. The last time, we just walked all the downtown streets from one sale to another. No, we need nothing but it's fun to look.

The CFDTime to try the CFD

Monday, August 3, 2020: It is time to let Abby try out her new CFD (Canine Floatation Device). Abby and I drove to Cooper Creek Reservoir where the water is like bath water. We waded in until Abby was swimming then she wanted to return to shore. She swam back until she could touch. Then she turned around and swam back into the deeper water. We did this several times. I hope she begins to feel more confident in her swimming ability.


August 2, 2020: We began the day by watching the SpaceX capsule return from the International Space Station. We were very happy everything went well.

I have mentioned the long lead Abby uses to access the hill behind our motorhome. That lead also allowed her access to our steps and deck to enter. Unfortunately she began to scratch on the door to gain entrance. I thought it would be a good idea to apply double back tape to the door, the kind which comes in a kit to prevent a cat from scratching furniture. That wasn't such a good idea. I didn't work because Abby grew enough she just reached above the tape to scratch at the door. I decided to put a knot in the guide line to limit her access to the door. That worked well. Today we worked at removing the double backed tape. Not an easy job. The tape would tear rather than come off in one piece. However, with a lot of work, it was all removed. But then adhesive was left on the door. I purchased "Goof Off" and with a lot of "elbow grease" (my grandfather's words), I removed the residual adhesive residue. I see no permanent scratches on the door.

Next, I went to trim some tree limbs with these little hand trimmers. Abby found them. She knows the drill. If she grabs something which isn't hers she'll get a treat to release it. Pass your pointer through the photo.

Abby stays closeAbby learns to swim

Tuesday, July 21, 2020: It is time to get Abby into the water. She has never been in water above her chest and never been swimming. Only three miles from Timber Valley is the Cooper Creek Reservoir. It is a very hot day so time to get her into the water so she can learn to swim. Apparently the dog paddle comes naturally because her front paws keep her head above water. I'm thinking her rear paws may need to learn more. Here rear end tends to sink but she keeps her head above water. I've order a CFD (canine floatation device) for her so I don't have to worry about her. She need confidence because she swims to me then wants me to hold her. Still, she repeatedly swam to shore then back out to me. I had her on a long lead so she could do this. We will do this again. Here is a short video of our swim.

What happened to the bandWhat's left.
Saturday, July 18, 2020: I found my watch and band parts several days ago. Abby had chewed off the band and thankfully spit out the metal parts. Three days later she vomited this much of the band on the right. Now we are wondering about the other half of the band.

Oh well, It started out good!Abby loves this solar powered water pump

Tuesday, July 14, 2020: A week ago we received a solar powered birdbath water sprayer. Unfortunately, when spraying in a birdbath the wind eventually blows all the water out of the bath. So I got the idea to put the pump in Abby's pool. She loved it. It was a new toy to her. She played with it for a while then decided to carry it to another part of the yard. So much for good ideas. Click the photos for more views. Here is a six second video of the action.

Meeting other dogsLesson 2

Thursday, June 11, 2020: Lesson 2 of puppy classes. We learned how to sit and wait at a door, sit, down then stand from the down position. We also learned to hold the dog waiting for her to calm from excitement. Abby did not do as well this time as with lesson 1. Remember, lesson 1 she was the only dog. She is "shy" as the instructor calls it of other dogs. She would not play or interact with the other dogs. This is new to us because Morgan loved to meet other pets and people. Also, Abby became restless toward the middle of the lesson. None of the other puppies were as restless. We decided she has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The instructor said by next week she could tell which dog masters would fail the course. I'm afraid we may be on that list already.

Deb Walker is Abby's trainer Teaching a game Visiting Petco after training
Thursday, June 4, 2020: Today was Abby's first training lesson in puppy training class. She was the only dog in the class because she was chosen to be the "Demo dog". She did very well with the instructor. She would "sit" when told to sit and behaved exactly as the instructor wanted her to behave. She DID try to carry on a conversation with the instructor so Deb gave her a Kong with a bone and other treats inside. That kept Abby busy for most of the rest of the class while Deb explained other details. After class, we took Abby to Petco where she went into the store for the first time in ANY store. Here is a short video of her activity inside the store. Click all photos for more views.

Abby gets a new harnessReady for the next pandemic

Wednesday, June 3, 2020: We have a new harness for Abby. This one has a loop in the front which is advertised to stop a dog from pulling when walking on a leash. We have been using the Gentle Leader which Abby hates. The loop in the front of the harness works. She walks next to her master 95% of the time. She has been on two walks today and is ready for bed a 8 pm.

Tomorrow is our first day with puppy classes. Students are told to leave their puppy home on the first lesson but I got a call today from the instructor wanting Abby to be the "demo puppy" at the first class. This should be a challenge for all of us.

Abby likes paper so now she is ready for the next pandemic.

Abby at 4 months


Monday, May 19, 2020: Abby is four months old today. It has not taken her long to train us. She barks, we jump, especially if she is at the door. I will give you an example. She recently woke from a nap. I always immediately take her outside after a nap and she always sits or stands quietly at the door while I connect her collar and leash. However, this time, she would play "stick my neck out, then jump back game". I'd start to put on the collar and she'd pull back just enough so I couldn't reach her. I'd sit back, she'd come forward for the collar. I'd stretch out to put on the collar and she'd pull back with a little hop and laugh. "OK," I said, "if you won't cooperate, I'm teaching you a lesson, we won't go out." Then I got up and walked away. She looked after me, walked to the middle of the floor and peed. She hadn't peed in the house for more than a month (she has NEVER pooped in the house). Well, I learned MY lesson. It's been two weeks and neither of us have had an accident in the house.

She has had her last shots for the year today so I called to get her into puppy classes recommended by our Vet. The instructor emailed me four instruction pages to read before the first class. We have been told not to bring Abby to the first class, there will be an exam of the owners concerning the pages she has emailed. From what I have read so far, we have been doing most everything correctly, but need to change how we react to her puppy biting. More lessons for us. The classes are six weeks long which will take us into mid-July so no more traveling during those weeks.

Everyday is a training dayGwen is training too


Sunday, May 17, 2020: Each day we put the "Gentle Leader" onto Abby and walk her around the park. So far we have learned that she behaves terribly while on grass, she's good on a trail and excellent on asphalt. When on grass, she has her nose in the grass trying to remove the lead. On the trail there are too many smells she must explore. The asphalt has the least distractions. But, we also learned that she can have a tough time even on asphalt when she needs to poop or pee. We aren't sure if we are training her, or she is training us but we now make sure she takes care of body functions before the walk and we have an almost perfect walking dog. Click both photos for expanded views.

Sit, Abby, SitAbby the lap dog



Thursday, May 14, 2020: Another rainy day. Gwen spent much of the day with a sick friend. When she returned we spent time with Abby.

We have a head collar called a "Gentle Leader". We have been putting it on Abby over the last week. Just putting it on and off, not walking with it until today. It is used to train Abby not to pull why walking. So today was the first day Abby went for a walk around the park and she did very well and I'm looking forward to another walk tomorrow.

Special ice cubesAbby gets an "N Bone Puppy Teething Rings"


Friday, May 1, 2020: We did a lot today other than play with Abby but I decided to show her on the first day of May. She will be 14 weeks on Monday.

Our normal routine is usually up by 6 am for the first potty break then back to bed, sometimes. We talked to the Vet about Abby's puppy biting and she recommended the "N Bone Puppy Teething Rings" might be helpful. I usually save the ring for the time when I'm enjoying my morning coffee. Our hope is for the ring to last an hour, but it lasts only ten minutes at the most. I got the idea to freeze the ring hoping it would increase the time it takes for her to consume it. The first frozen ring took her 20 minutes but the subsequent frozen rings only take ten minutes so I don't expect to freeze them until she is actually teething.

I made another perfect treat, I blended two bananas, two carrots, a handful of blueberries and water. I poured the mixture into the ice tray and Abby will have the tastiest ice cubes we have made.

Click the photos for additional views.




Thursday, April 30, 2020: This is the crate we purchased for Abby. Two nights ago Abby was not ready for bed at the usual time. She complained enough Gwen eventually pulled her new bed out of the crate and she sleep in the living room outside of the crate.

Last night we put her bed in our bedroom. She slept so well we all got a good night sleep. It was the best sleep any of us (Abby, Gwen and myself) have had since bringing Abby home.

We decided to give Abby the best shot and moved the crate outside for storage. She was so excited about moving the crate she raced around the furniture at full speed. Not sure she understood she would not be sleeping in it or just excited about having more space to roam.

I hope this isn't too soon. We'll still have the crate handy if needed.


Abby gets a new bed

Wednesday, April 22, 2020: After delivering my Fuji bike donation this morning I went shopping for a new bed for Abby. Abby uses her crate well. We first installed the divider to give her only partial access to the crate but now, she needs the whole crate. The divider has been removed and I purchased this new bed to fill the whole crate floor. The bed is actually larger than the crate but I squeezed it to fit. Once she is out of her crate the bed will expand another six inches or more to fit her body. Here is a "Fetch" video of Abby a few days ago.

Abby likes the hill behind our parking spaceCutting a dead tree

Tuesday, April 14, 2020: Abby loves to run up and down the hill behind our home base. I have one end of her overhead line attached to a tree at the top of the hill but there is another tree about ten feet away which is dead. I requested the park send a "chainsaw crew" to cut it down and haul away about a week ago. Abby will often run up the hill then wrap here line around the dead tree and I must go rescue her. Well, today I got tired of waiting and with Gwen's help we removed the dead tree ourselves. Click on the left photo to see Abby's view.

Ready to charge


Saturday, April 11, 2020: Today I replaced the broken umbrella clothes line. I also did the paperwork for the rebates on the new phones.

In the afternoon I took photos with the new phone. I tried something called, "Single Take" which takes several still photos as well as a short video. The photo to the left is what I got. Abby was entertaining herself with a yellow rag (dogs can see yellow and blue but no other colors). So those red Kongs look gray to dogs. I wanted to get some movement from Abby while using Single Shot so a whistled. I wasn't exactly ready for what happened next.

Abby stealing slippers


Friday, April 10, 2020: Today was a busy day upgrading to new phones. Our current phones were five years old. Mine was cracked and Gwen's phone was erratic and she swears it isn't the operator! We searched around for the best deal and came up with Costco. The rest of the afternoon was trying to learn how to use the new phones. We quickly learned we will need new cables to connect the phones to the computer to transfer photos. These phones use the new USB-C connector and the charging cable has a USB-C connector on each end, so we can't connect to our laptops. The new cameras on these phones promise good things, we shall see.

I had to take the photo at the right (with the old phone). Abby has a dozen toys but she prefers our slippers. She will sneak into the bedroom for them even if only a crack in the door. This time she got through the crack in the door but couldn't figure out how to get the slipper through the crack. She has learned to play "keep away" with slippers, napkins and anything else she shouldn't have.

Ashley, Vet assistant, in charge of Abby during the visitAbby's Vet, Dr. Laura Bailey


Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Today was Abby's first visit to her doctor for the normal first check-up and her second set of puppy vaccinations.

Dr. Laura Bailey of the Calapooia Veterinary Center was Morgan's doctor and is now Abby's doctor. Dr. Bailey is on the left. I don't know how she and her staff were able to get Abby to pose so well. We had many questions for Dr. Bailey but we had to wait in our car and ask the questions over the phone due to the COVID-19 cautions. Someone from the Calapooia staff took these great photos.

Ashley, on the right, is Dr. Bailey's assistant and held Abby the whole time when she was not being examined. Since Abby has not finished her vaccinations, it was important to keep her paws off the floor. Click these photos for more views. Abby can be a heavy, wiggly bundle but Ashley figured out a new way to hold her, just click her photo to see it.

Abby at 10 weeks


Monday, April 6, 2020: Abby has gained four pounds in two weeks. That may not seem like much but we must still pick her up much of the time because she has not completed her vaccination series yet. She feels pretty heavy. Tomorrow is her first veterinarian appointment as our puppy. It will be a strange appointment because the Vet office has already told us we are not to enter the office. They will come to the car to get her and communicate by phone during the exam. This is all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I took a very short video of one game Abby loves to play. We also love to play because she isn't biting us during this game.

8 weeks old

Tuesday, March 24, 2020: Abby was 8 weeks old yesterday and weighs 12.6 pounds (probably another pound heavier today). We couldn't get her to hold still long enough to get a good photo. Our daily routine is to put her in the crate around 9:30 pm for the night. Very little fussing before she is asleep. She wakes at 1:30 am when I take her outside. She immediately pees and I return her to the crate for the rest of the night. She has slept until 6:30 am except for one morning, 5:30 am. She is very active at this time of morning. Generally she will pee and poop before I bring her back inside. Breakfast and water at this time so we take her back outside in 30 minutes after breakfast. After an hour-plus-half, she is ready for a nap. We make sure to take her outside immediately after a nap. Now she has lots of energy and wants to play. We must have her on a leash outside because there is no fence and she is too fast for us to catch her if she darts toward the street. We have an overhead line to connect her leash so she has about a 25 foot run. Water and a potty area are within this run. She likes the shaded area most. She also like to chew on weeds so we have pulled all weeds in her area but she seems to always find something in the ground to chew. When taking a nap outside, she likes laying on the cool concrete best. Lunch is at noon with a half cup of dry kibble covered with water. She normally cleans it up in a few minutes. Dinner is a 6 pm, same amount but water is taken away at this time. She will often have another nap after dinner and, of course, an immediate potty break when she wakes. Her favorite toy is a two inch, blue, spiked ball and a stuffed alligator given to her by the breeder. She has learned to enjoy ice cubes. Her favorite are the cubes with a banana slice frozen inside. We take her for a short car ride each day but stop to walk her at the halfway point. She has learned to pee or poop at this point which is the purpose of the ride. We will be traveling back to Oregon soon and she needs to be comfortable with the ride and potty breaks. Click the photo for a view of her in the car.

I will chew your toes!Introducing a new chew

Sunday, March 22, 2020: It was a perfect night for Abby, her first night. She was up at 1:30 am, I took her out, she immediately peed then went back to bed and slept until 6:30 am. That time she peed and pooped when I took her out. She doesn't really have the idea of only eliminating outside, it is all a matter of timing on my part. Hopefully she will get the idea sooner than later.

Later today, I introduced her to a new chew, carrots. They hold her interest slightly longer than her other toys but she hasn't become a real fan yet.

She likes toe biting, especially Gwen's toes. Gwen is working to get her interest in toys, not toes.

Now for night #2.

Abby coming home from the breeder First nap on the patio Checking out the crate
Her first bathSaturday, March 21, 2020: We are beginning a new experience today. We brought home Abby, a Red Golden Retriever. We chose Red because we did not want to confuse her in our minds with Morgan. The breeder kept the pups inside for the last eight weeks so this has been a huge day for Abby. It was her first time away from Mom and her litter mates. But also her first time outside, first time to see the sun and sky, feel the wind, stand on gravel, grass, concrete, tile and carpet. It was her first car ride, although short, about 30 minutes. She also met Jeanne and Gary's dog Hershey so her first time to meet another dog other than her parents and litter mates. Finally, her first time on a leash and first bath. That is a lot of firsts so she is exhausted tonight. Maybe it will be her first time to sleep all night but probably too much to hope for. We have begun house training all ready. The breeder used Purina litter pellets for dogs so we set up an area outside to scatter the pellets hoping she would get the idea about eliminating outside. So far, it has worked. We've had two poops and four pees, ALL outside. She has been very cautious when investigating the new surroundings outside and inside. She easily walks in/out of her crate. She eats and drinks well. When awake, she is exploring or playing at lighting speed. Fortunately for us, she tires in about 30 minutes and takes a short nap. It has been 20 years since we have had a puppy (Morgan) so we have done a lot of reading to prepare for the experience again. We are in love with Goldens. We don't believe there is a better breed for us. They become part of the family, love all people, dogs and cats. Eventually they seem to read your mind and anticipate what you want. Morgan was with us 17 years and 25 days and we have missed her. We don't expect Abby to replace Morgan but we do expect Abby to become part of the family in much the same way and in her own way. Here is a short video of Abby's first day.


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