Samantha Ferguson (5/7/2008-11/22/2017)

Samantha, June 2008

Samantha, June 2008

One of the best things about being a dog breeder, besides getting the chance to love and raise baby pups, is placing the pups with wonderful families and getting to follow their lives together.   Sometimes I even get to see and spend time with them. I love all the stories, pictures, and videos – birthdays, holidays, hikes, pool time, training, antics, and even the occasional “no, no, bad dog” story.  I love that “my” baby puppies are bringing the joy and companionship that we all as dog lovers desire.

Sam, Ed, and Paula one Christmas

Sam, Ed, and Paula one Christmas

There is the inevitable downside- getting that dreaded phone call that something has happened… something that I can’t help to fix with suggestions about the vet, food, training, or ear cleaning recipes.

That something happened this week.

I am so sad to report that we have lost Samantha, Ms. Purple, “One”, Tigana’s Sixpence Worth of Heaven.  She was the first of Sport’s puppies born, in the Famous Jingles litter.  She was apparently healthy, active, and doing fine, but died suddenly the day before Thanksgiving, while in the park retrieving a tennis ball.  The vet’s best guess was that Sam had a blood clot that caused a heart attack; there was no indication of internal bleeding.  My heart breaks for Ed and Paula, who are absolutely devastated.


Samantha over the years

As a baby pup, Sam was the one in the litter that was always watching me, and we had a special bond because of it.  I cried for a week after she left here, though she was in good hands with Ed and Paula.  My heart filled with happiness as I saw the pictures of her swimming in Lake Tahoe at 9 weeks old.  She lived in Las Vegas but traveled to Tahoe, Arizona, Utah, and sometimes back to the Bay Area, so Don and I were very happy to get to see her several times.  Paula and Ed sent pictures and stories about Sam.  I learned about cholla cactus after Sam got stuck by the cholla a few times.

Photo: Aeon Jones

Photo: Aeon Jones

Sam, like her mom Sporty, loved to find, carry, and bring things: keys, glasses, groceries, socks… as Ed said, “you name it, she’ll bring it”.  She was Sport’s biggest female pup, at 23″ tall and 70 lbs of muscle. She was an active girl;  besides her daily 3 mile walks, Sam was practically an olympic swimmer and would swim daily in their pool for an hour at a time without stopping.  I seem to recall her fur turning green one summer!  She was quite affectionate and went everywhere with Ed and Paula.

Our deepest condolences to Ed, Paula, and family.  Rest in peace, Sam…  You were well loved, and are sorely missed.  Somehow I suspect you may be swimming circles around everyone at the Rainbow Bridge.


Memorial photo from Ed and Paula’s family


I love this picture that Don took of Ronan yesterday.  I applied the post-process effect in Lightroom.



This was part of an obedience practice sequence that I was doing using Ob-ility.   I had a stanchion set up to send him around, then we would go into a fast heel, send him over the jump, heel again, etc.   I also rewarded by throwing his ball or dumbbell various directions, including over the jump.   This photo was probably taken when a ball was thrown, given the intensely focused look on his face.

Mmmm… ice cream…

Hi all, Ronan here. My mom gave me something the other day called ‘soft serve ice cream’. She said it was because I was so good on our hike when it was kinda warm out and even the doggies should have some. Rockie’s mom got him one too. We were hiking together at the Land of the Medicine Buddha.   It’s a really nice place to hike but there are parts where we have to be very, very quiet.

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In the 14 years I’ve been feeding a raw diet to the dogs, I’ve almost never had to brush the dogs’ teeth because chewing on meaty bones tends to keep the tartar off.   However, I noticed recently that the boys have more tartar than I’d like on their premolars.   My vet recommended CET Oral Hygiene Rinse 8 Ounce.   (<- That’s a link to Amazon, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the one I bought at the vet’s office).   (BTW, my vet’s typical recommendation for clean teeth is a raw diet combined with the oral rinse when necessary.)

Since I wanted the tartar off faster, I also purchased the CET Enzymatic Poultry Toothpaste and a toothbrush (but was smarter and bought it on-line).

After 1.5 weeks of rinsing and brushing Ronan’s teeth once almost every day, the tartar is more than half gone.   I just do a cursory brushing since it’s not easy to maneuver around the tongue and teeth.   After the tartar is gone, I may stop the brushing and just use the oral rinse occasionally.  We’ll see how it goes.   Ronan loves getting his teeth rinsed and brushed.   Next is Thistle’s turn– we’ll see how he likes it.

Incidentally, I tasted the oral rinse and can’t say it’s that pleasant tasting, but it isn’t too bad.  The dogs don’t seem to mind it.  I did not taste the poultry flavored toothpaste… yet.   😛

Ronan and Thistle are 3!

Time flies, and the boys have turned 3!   Happy Birthday to our handsome guys, and to the whole Artisan Beer litter.  We love you all!


Here’s a picture of our pack today. Lola (11 yrs), K’Ehleyr (14.5 yrs), Thistle, Ronan, and Momma Sporty (7.5 yrs).


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