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Abby, the RV Dog

Return to "Next Adventure" Summer: 2019

Do you want to go for a drive?


Saturday, April 16, 2022: During the winter months it is cool enough so Abby gets to go shopping with us. I will ask her a question and she will cock her head as to say, "I hear you but your are speaking Chinese and I don't understand what you are asking".

When I am going in the golf cart, for example to take the garbage to the dumpster, I will ask her, "Do you want to go for a ride?" She understands that and will head straight to the golf cart.

When we are going to the store, I will ask, "Do you want to go for a drive?" She seems to understand that too. But she always want to pee first so I make sure she gets the chance to releave herself. Then I'll open the car door and she jumps right in.

Today, we went for a drive to Costco so Gwen could pick up her prescriptions and for me to turn in the vet prescriptions I got yesterday.

After a spa day

Wednesday, February 9, 2022: This was Abby's "Spa Day. She really didn't want to go but Tiffany, her groomer said she was perfect. She got he ears trimmed and cleaned, got all her feathers trimmed, got all straggling fur trimmed, got her fluffy feet trimmed, nails cut and got a bath.

When we got home, I rewarded her with a walk around our park.

Since it was getting late in the day, I joined Ben on a Zwift ride.

The rest of Abby's evening was relaxed. She has acted like she ran a marathon today and has needed a lot of recovery rest.

Abby gets out of the motorhomeAbby on the trail


Thursday, January 6, 2022: My day began with the Covid-19 booster vaccine. So you may be wondering if I had any reaction. The answer, I don't think so. I'm having to decide if me sluggish feeling is from the booster, caffeine withdrawal, or too much Zwifting. Right now my vote is on caffeine withdrawal (after looking up the symptoms on the Internet).

Next came Fred Meyer to return a phone case which didn't fit. They had no problem refunding my money even though I purchased it a month ago.

My next stop was Costco to return some ear pods which just would not stay put during exercise. I also picked up four items on the list so I didn't come home empty handed.

Once I got home with the Costco items I took Abby for a hike on the trail. That may not have been the best decision since we just gave Abby a bath yesterday. Abby found the puddles and a creek to walk in, Darn! However, she ran like she found a rabbit to chase and had fun outside the motorhome.

Bath timeBlow dry time


Wednesday, January 5, 2022: Abby gets a bath every 2 weeks and sometimes more often. She jumps right into the Tractor Supply Store tub and enjoys her warm water and body rub down. She has learned to enjoy the warm air of the blow dryer too.

Of course I went for an hour long Zwift ride after bath time. Today was with "The Herd". It was a group of 717 riders riding at a relatively relaxed pace but enough to make me sweat.

Advent Calendar for Abby

Sunday, December 5, 2021: Costco had a special gift for dogs about a month ago, an Advent Calendar for Dogs which I couldn't pass up. There are 16 drawers with treats and 8 with toys. Abby started getting her drawers on December 1 with one drawer each day until Christmas. On day three she got her first toy, a squeaky ball. She played with it most of the day then destroyed it in the evening.

Tomorrow is day 6, look at the size of the number 6 drawer. Must be a nice toy in that drawer.

Abby is already looking for her drawer each morning. We have already decided to keep the advent calendar for next year and fill the drawers ourselves.

Click the photo for a view of Abby asking for her drawer.

A birthday gift for Gwen


Monday, November 22, 2021: Abby gave "Mom" (Gwen) a special gift for her birthday. These are socks with Abby's photo on them.

Tired dog


Friday, November 19, 2021: Abby got a good walk and run today in the back forty. Then she got a bath at our local Tractor Supply Company. They offer a very nice dog bath facility with several choices of shampoos and equipment. She has been there so often she knows how to jump into the tub without help or coaxing. The best part, it is only $10.

This day was exhausting for her so time to nap in her favorite chair. Actually, all our chairs and couch are her favorites.

Playland for Abby
Friday, November 12, 2021: During the winter months in Sutherlin, the challenge for Abby is to find a place she can run with as little mud as possible. The best we can do is the graveled storage area of the park. It is about 3 acres of gravel, enough space for Abby to run and very little mud. Of course, even though it has little mud, Abby usually finds it.

Abby like to bury ears



Wednesday, November 3, 2021: Abby is not a fan of pig ears. She does like to bury them. She also likes to carry them around.

Abby made her own video
Friday, September 24, 2021: Abby and I spent the last three days making a DogTV video just for Abby. She enjoys watch the DogTV videos available on YouTube so I thought we would make one to reminder her of her Oregon home when she is in Arizona. Click the photo for a one minute video. The 49 minute video is here.

Abby and Ted



Friday, September 17, 2021: This is Ted with Abby. I was not aware that Ted has taught Abby to raise her left paw on the command "Hello". Of course, Abby gets a treat every time she raises her paw and I believe Ted gives "high value" treats.

My morning started with an Abby walk in the back forty. She got to explore the trail and road for 30 minutes before Gwen and I had to go shopping.

Gwen and I did grocery and Costco shopping for most of the afternoon. Gwen had some coupons to use at Fred Meyer but we also needed to visit the grocery store and Costco for specific items.

Once we returned, that is when I learned about Ted and Abby. I will have to begin using the "Hello" command to learn if Abby will raise her paw for me too. Between Ted and Nate, Abby will soon have the whole neighborhood trained to give her treats.

After dinner, I took Abby to the back forty again for a good run before settling down for the night.

Running in the back 40Lots of blackberries and poison oak

Thursday, September 2, 2021: Part of Abby's daily routine is to take a run and walk in what we call the "Back 40". It is a large empty field with a dirt road on one side. This is located behind the Timber Valley Park. She can run off leash and explore all the smells with her nose.

There is a creek on the opposite side from the dirt road but it is surrounded by blackberries so not accessible.

There are bushes of Poison Oak on the edges of the field so we stay out of the bushes.

A member in our park has built a trail on the south side of the field which passes through the forested area for 1.2 miles. Abby like to hike that trail so we often use the trail on our return walk. The trail is also shaded so a nice place to walk when it is hot.

Abby gets to run and walk in the field once in the morning and once in the evening. Of course, to get to the field we must drive our golf cart. She loves to ride in the golf cart. She will stand on the floor with her head outside on the way to the field. On the return ride, she is tired so she sits on the seat watching through the windshield.

This is also part of Gwen's exercise routine so it is convenient for both of them. Today, I took her to the field when Gwen attended a meeting.

Nate visits Abby every day Treat in hand Abby sits patiently waiting for her treat
Monday, August 16, 2021: This was a travel day from Brookings to Sutherlin, Oregon. Abby sat between the pilot and co-pilot seats the whole trip watching the scenery. Once we arrived back to home base, she noticed her friend, Nate, coming up the street with his walker. Nate always stops to greet Abby and give her a treat. Abby sits perfectly waiting for something special. Nate talks to her, she listens to every word. She doesn't jump on Nate but sits perfectly for him every time.

Abby has a new stuffed toyOnly pieces left over

Thursday, July 1, 2021: I washed both the motorhome and the car early this morning while it was still cloudy.

I took Abby for a run in the "back 40".

Gwen and I shopped for groceries nearly all afternoon. One of our shopping locations was Costco. They had a new item for sale, three stuffed dog toys for $10, a little more than $3 each. We knew what Abby would do with them but decided to get a package anyway.

She immediately pick out the new stuffed animal from her toy box. Click the photo on the left. The little bear has lost its nose. Gwen pulled out the squeaker knowing Abby would pull it out soon.

Most of the little bear is now spread over the motorhome floor.

She will still play with the cloth body for weeks.

Abby after a bath


Friday, June 18, 2021: We have a Tractor Supply Company in Sutherlin. It has been in our little town for less than a year. We have learned to enjoy their dog bath for $9.99. They supply everything including towels, shampoo, brushes even nail clippers. Abby even seems to enjoy her bath because she gets massaged all over her body. The Tractor Supply Company provides an industrial size blow dryer but it doesn't seem to work well so we have learned to bathe Abby on warm days and just let the sun finish drying after we towel dry her. This is what she looks like once she is back in the car.

For the rest of the day, Gwen moved her sewing machine to the patio under the gazebo. I drove to Roseburg for supplies to build a new project we discovered while visiting IKEA in Portland. Had IKEA had exactly what we needed I'm sure it would have been cheaper than what I plan to build. The reason I say that, the wood alone for this project has cost $50 and it's a small project.

Abby in the rainforestLots of stuff to sniff



Friday, June 11, 2021: This was a threatening weather day with lots of wind but little rain. I took Abby for a hike into the nearby rainforest. Usually she likes to run and explore but the wind was making tree trunks knock together and other noises so she stuck pretty close to me.

Thursday, April 1, 2021: We make a trip up the Chetco River specifically to give Abby some recreation in the river. Actually, Gwen and I spent much of our time collecting the perfect river rocks for our walkway back home in Sutherlin.

Fits Abby perfectlyElevated food bowl

Sunday, March 7, 2021: Today's project was to build a table to elevate Abby's food bowl. This table stands 16" tall, perfect height for Abby to eat without bending over.

The project is not finished. I will stain, then polyurethane the table tomorrow.

I wanted to get these photos for this report so had to do the photos today, before the table was finished. Abby approached her new table and bowl cautiously but with the right food she soon enjoyed her food at a new height.

Click these photos for more views.

I'm bored



Friday, March 5, 2021: This is Abby's "I am bored" look. "I want to go outside" or "play with me" or "let's go for a golf cart drive".

However, it's raining and we don't want a wet dog. That means finding something for Abby to do inside the motorhome. I told her she "needed a hobby". She has a basket of toys which end up spread around the motorhome. However, it is more fun if someone would throw the ball or play tug-a-war.

The top of her nose is skinned because she has used her nose to bury her bones yesterday when it was sunny outside.

Besides using her eyes to get what she wants, she "talks", sometimes in a quiet voice and sometimes in a demanding voice. When I talk back, she cranks her head as if she is trying her best to understand my English, tentatively listening for a word she knows, such as "ball", "ride", "mom", "dad", "breakfast", "dinner", "outside" and "bed".

At 12 daysAbby spay incision

Thursday, February 18, 2021: Tomorrow is 14 days since Abby was spayed. The photo at the left was taken 24 hours after surgery and the photo at the right was yesterday, 12 days after surgery. She has been wearing her surgery suit until today and it has worked great. She has never attempted to bother her incision. She didn't wear the suit today and tomorrow she gets a bath, something the vet told us we had to wait two weeks after surgery. It has been tough to keep her calm without running and jumping. The vet gave us pills to help in calming her and they have worked well after and hour. She has not acted as if she was in pain.

If we put her on the outdoor overhead lead, I suspect the first thing she will do is climb the rocks to the mud at the top. We may have to restrict that for sure.

Abby returning from the vet.


Friday, February 5, 2021: Boy does Abby look sad! This was "spay day" for her and she is just now returning from the vet after surgery. She is only half conscious as she walks to the car. We must keep her calm for two weeks while she heals from the surgery. We feel badly for her hurt but don't want puppies.

We purchased a body recovery suit to use instead of a cone around her neck. Click the photo to see it.

She did nothing but sleep for five hours after we got her home. We will make sure she is not too active until she is healed.

Abby climbs the rock wall


Monday, February 1, 2021: There must have been something very interesting at the top of this rock wall to get Abby to climb up here. I was doing a ride on the spin bike so didn't notice the climb nor did I notice any of our wild animals that might have gotten her interest. We have wild turkeys, deer, squirrels, and lots of rabbits.

She didn't come down on her own. Gwen used our neighbors stairway to climb to the top of the hill then bring Abby down the same way Gwen went up. If Abby learns to go up and down, it might be a good thing for summer. There is a nice tree at the top where she can lay to stay cool. You can see the rock are wet from all the recent rain. Click the photo to enlarge.

Abby takes her duck apartHappy Birthday, Abby

Wednesday, January 27, 2021: Today is Abby's first birthday. This is what she looked like when we first picked her up last March. Now she has spent a year training us to meet her every wish. Her favorite toy was a duck but she finally destroyed it several days ago. We got her a new one and she nearly has it in pieces already. The first thing she does is tear out the squeaker so once the fabric was torn, Gwen removed the squeaker. It has been raining all day so she has missed her daily run. We did do a short video of our very short birthday party. She got a treat but no cake for us. Click each of these photos for a couple more views.

Abby finds all the puddlesFords Pond

Friday, January 22, 2021: After our hike yesterday at Cooper Creek Reservoir I decided to take Abby for a hike at Ford's Pond. The pond is in the opposite direction of Cooper Creek Reservoir but still only 15 minutes. Neither Abby nor I have ever walked the 2 mile perimeter of Ford's so we didn't know what to expect. Gwen was worried about the tall grass figuring Abby might pick up ticks. Fortunately Abby stuck to the trails. What we didn't think of were the puddles surrounding the lakes. Abby didn't mind walking through each one she found. I did my best to avoid them and the mud. We got back just before a shower began. Click these photos for more views.

Abby on trail


Friday, January 15, 2021: I did the longest ride to date on Zwift, Stage 3 of the Tour de Zwift it was only 19 miles but took 1.5 hours. Riding a spin bike for 1.5 hours is tough. Today was the "mountain route". Even a virtual 16% climb hurts. A virtual climb is created by showing the grade then reducing the speed compared to the work output which simulates a climb. In other words, I must do much more work to go a much shorter distance, just like real climbing.

After the ride, I took Abby for a long walk on our park trail. She ran most of the time. This is our daily walk and run to help Abby get rid of some of her puppy energy. Today's hike was longer than usual because we don't usually take the trail, afraid of mud.

We have one member in the park, Bob, who created and maintains this trail. He has made it enjoyable for all in the park.

Abby is introduced to snowArchie Creek Wildfire

Mt Thielsen behind Lemolo Lake

Thursday, January 14, 2021: We chose a sunny day, today, to take Abby to the snow. This will be the first time she has seen snow. On the trip to the snow we had to drive through the area of the Archie Creek Wildfire which was finally contained last December. It burned 131,542 acres and destroyed 109 homes. It is awful to see such destruction. It took about 1.5 hours of driving to finally reach the snow. We chose Lemolo Lake area because we were the only ones there so Abby could run free. She carefully inspected the new surrounding and was cautious with the snow at first. After about ten minutes, she was running and rubbing her nose in it. On the drive back to the main road we caught this view of Mt. Theilsen across Lemolo Lake. Click the photos for more views.

More runningRunning in the storage area
Saturday, January 9, 2021: It was foggy this morning but sunny in the afternoon. This is a rare day with no rain. Abby gets really restless when she doesn't get to run. I took her to our storage area where she likes to run. As soon as I disconnect her leash she runs hard and fast. I use to take her further into the "back 40" but it's too muddy now. If Abby misses her run, she takes it out on us inside the motorhome by running front to back and over the furniture. Of course I drive her here in the golf cart so the excitement begins as soon as we start toward the storage area. Click the photos for an enlarged view. There were three NFL playoff games today so I took Abby for the run between games.

"Golf cart, NOT car!"



Wednesday, December 9, 2020: This is the look I get when it is time to go for a car ride. Abby moves toward the golf cart and lets me know she wants a golf cart ride, NOT a car ride. Her attitude is, "just try to make me move toward THAT car!"

Click the photo to enlarge.

A bath for a stinky dogDon't roll in stinky stuff
Saturday, December 5, 2020: I took Abby for the usual golf cart ride to the back forty and we walked (she ran) around the field. She was about 100 yards from me when I noticed she was aggressively rolling in something on the ground. That usually means something stinky or dead. I never found what it was but she couldn't come into the motorhome any longer without a bath. So off to Tractor Supply. She got a double bath to be sure all the stinky was gone. Not sure what I can do about the run in the back forty.

Mud on the nose



Wednesday. November 18, 2020: Today was dog bath day for Abby. It was pouring rain so we decided it was a good time to give her another bath at Tractor Supply Company. That took about an hour then we shopped for some new kibble dog food. We mix the kibble with some homemade dog food Gwen makes from oatmeal, liver, ground turkey, peas, and beans.

Abby has begun to bury the bones we give her. Last night she buried her bone in the gravel near the golf cart. Before her bath today she dug up the bone from the gravel and buried it again in the mud at the base of the backyard rocks. So she had a pile of mud on her nose. Just after I took these photos, she walked to the grass and cleaned her nose and face with the grass. Let's see YOU touch your nose with your tongue. Click the photo for another nose view.

Abby is watching a YouTube video


Friday, October 23, 2020: Abby is watching a YouTube video about driving a golf cart. She figures with study and practice she could have her golf cart learner's permit before Christmas. Right now she settles for being a passenger.

Homemade Abby food


Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Gwen decided to make some homemade dog food for Abby using the Instapot. This will be the best fed dog in Douglas County. We have been buying Costco Rotisserie Chicken and mixing with oatmeal, hard boiled egg, kibble, sweet potato and pumpkin.

Gwen chose calf liver and ground turkey as the meat ingredients. This was mixed with brown rice, carrots, peas, hard boiled egg, sweet potato, green beans, chicken broth, water, and coconut oil. This mixture will be added to kibble.

Click the photo for a wider view.

Won't lose it under the couchGreat Idea?


Friday, September 25, 2020: I thought I had a great idea of buying a rubber ball for Abby to play with. This ball is too large to go under the couch and too large to bite, I thought. She could play with it for hours, I thought.

Well, it took her less than five minutes to turn the ball into a hunk of rubber.

Click the photos to see what I mean.

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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