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WATCHING AND WAITING


So the big question is, is she or isn't she (yes we still have snow on the ground)..... we will know for sure this week hopefully. If I had to guess I would say YES.... but what do I know. I am excited to have puppies running around but I also find this whole process fairly stressful. I still have room on my puppy list which is really out of the ordinary for us. I worry about Polly even though I have a great reproductive vet. I worry about the puppies... and YES I often ask myself why I do this to myself...... but i have some great great dogs here and have met some great people many of whom I now call friends.


I did get a puppy and his sister back for a couple weeks about 6 weeks ago. Rian who is Sheldons' littermate and his sister Orlan (not from us) came to stay here for a few weeks after their dad had a mishap while he was out of the country and ended up in the hospital for a while and then wasn't allowed to fly for a while. I had texted his owner out of the blue just to find out how things were going, Rian was being an adolescent putz and dad was in need of advice to get his little furry blonde butt back into line. When I texted he told me that things were going great and the dogs were doing great but he had an accident the day before and was in the hospital. The dogs were at home by themselves and while he had a dog walker and friends going in, it certainly wasn't ideal. Of course we immediately offered to take not just the puppy that he got from us but also the other family dog that was not from us. They arrived two days later when his friend drove them from Boston up to us here in NH.


Look, when you get a puppy from me or really any responsible breeder, you are also purchasing or shall I say renting that breeder for the next 15 years (hopefully). Don't think for a second that a commercial breeder will play host to your puppy in an emergency or that pet store... This is what reputable breeders do, because that puppy will always be our puppy. We will always be responsible for their health and well being and once they are at your house we will do anything in our power to make it work and help. I have had puppy families call me in the middle of the night with an emergency... and I have cried on the phone with them. Now I am not tooting my own horn here, that is not my intent, because every responsible breeder that I know would do exactly the same thing.




Rian and Orla stayed for about 3 weeks. There were definitely some growing pains here in the house as the dogs kind of figured it out but at the end of the day everyone did fine but adding two more adult dogs to the house is definitely not as easy as adding puppies. My dogs were like WHAT THE HECK MOM!!! We had some bickering as everyone figured out their place in the existing pack but I can tell you that Sheldon, Kenna and Curb really missed them when they left as did Craig and I. Thankfully their dad is sending us tons of pictures and I am hoping that we can go and give them hugs and smooches once the weather clears a bit.




So what else is happening here. I am solidly in plant mode. I am back to work at the Nursery where I play Garden Designer for the summer. It really helps me to not eat chips and such when I am not at the university. The greenhouses are full and the perennials will start coming in soon.


I convinced the nursery owner to get in a tree called an American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) also known as "Musclewood". This is a lovely understory tree. Birds don't want to be in the top of a large tree as it opens them up to predators from above. They also don't want to be in shrubs because of the risks from below, these understory trees that are about 12-15 feet in height are perfect for our nesting songbirds as well as others. If you look at the wood of an American Hornbeam, it appears sinewy, like the muscles of a runner or bodybuilder. It is a smoother bark than most others and the bones of the tree are just so interesting. Piet Oudolf, the great Landscape Designer always talked about how plants should look just as beautiful over winter when they are dormant as they do when they are in full leaf during the summer. The interesting branch and trunk formation on this tree do just that.


So that is all my news for now. I will keep you all posted when I find out about Polly next week. Stay safe and enjoy the spring.


Under the Oaks

Stephanie

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