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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lord Help Us...

I've been saved by a Lord. Beth Lord came and picked up The Duke of Destruction. Beth, good luck. Be sure and call Ann if you need a sitter. She still thinks the duck is cute. I suppose you will be available to keep Toby while I'm on the cruise in January. He is missing Duckie so much he needs Puppy Prozac. The Greenwood kids were furious that Duckie was gone. They apparently didn't get the memo about him being a temporary guest here. Even Roel had misunderstood the situation. He came by in the afternoon and couldn't believe Duckie was really gone. Maybe I was a little hasty in having Beth drop her unpacking and rush over immediately with the entire family to gather up their Duck and all his belongings. Duckie took to the Lord family immediately. Every time Toby got close to them, he barked and snarled with all his seven pound might. Toby was totally entertained by the display of gnashing puppy teeth. Toby could not believe that they drove away without him. Greenwood is quiet again. Duckie, keep up the good work. You will rule the Lord kingdom in no time. This is Tracy Schagen signing out of Dakota's Tails.
For my final photos and videos of Duckie, go to You'll see Duckie at the vet and Dukie with fellow puppy raiser Sharon.

Duckie, Duke of Destruction

Puppyhood can be so hard. After a morning of tearing Toby limb from limb and chasing a chicken the size of a small goat, “the little duck of death” shipped out to Ann Beardon’s house for a playdate. You know things are getting rough when the sitter hires a sitter. The car ride over was scary for Duckie Duke, but he pulled himself together, bit at the tires and then got all vulnerable for Ann. She thinks he’s cute. I suppose he is cute as long as he is having things his way. Apparently she managed to see to Duckie’s comforts during their visit, because she was all giggly and sweet to him when I picked him up. The duality of this duck is amazing. If I complain a bit about him, people look at me like I’m cold hearted. They just can’t see through the fluff. There is a spooky quality about how the hair on his head never gets messed up. I see that round fluff head in my dreams at night…then I hear the scream, the groan…as he gnaws savagely at the bars of the crate. Two a.m., three a.m., four a.m. When I finally go open the crate, the big round head rises up at me...the big round eyes stare expressionless at the latch. He jumps out of the kennel with pathetic little whines of delight at being free. He quickly makes his way to the grass in the front yard to pee. Then he grabs a piece of trailing ivy from the garden and rips it away from its mother plant and runs out into the darkness. That’s when I remember that he needs to have on a leash. I check my pockets for treats… no pockets in my pajamas. I’m relieved to find that I don’t sleep with dog treats. I stumble back into the house for the leash. Ducky’s eyes pick up the glow from the porch light. His eyes follow me inside. He dashes for the door and beats me inside. For a moment, I imagine that he wants to lock me out of the house. Instead, he viciously seizes a sandal that was left by the door. He runs under the table with the sandal, daring me to come after it. That’s when I realize that I have no idea where my other two dogs are. Did they go out? Are they sleeping through this nightmare? I stagger over to the counter to get some dog treats. I whistle and call. Both my dogs come sleepily out of their beds to see what wonderful midnight snack we are having. They are not impressed with the puppy kibble I give them. Getting no attention for sandal destruction, Duckie decides to come lunging out from under the table and grabs Toby by the foot. Toby looks at me for permission to deal with the perpetrator. I turn and leave the room. Moments later, I hear Duckie yelp for mercy. He comes running to me as if he thinks I care what the monster Toby did to him. I scoop him up and gently dump him in his kennel. I wonder how long the howls will last this time. Toby drops his head and walks toward his kennel. He looks over at the puppy who is tuning his instruments with soft groans. He turns and goes down a dark hallway to the laundry room to sleep. I turn and go back to my room with my dachshund. I can only find one earplug. Ducky will poop earplug confetti in the morning.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Duckie's Revenge

Today Duckie got Toby back for all the batting and squashing. Roel held Toby down and let Duck beat up on ol' Toby for a while. We caught it all on tape, so go see the video at webshots.
Duckie is doing great on the leash. He loves to explore anywhere anytime. Even after a long day of play and yard work, Duckie walked on the leash for about a hundred yards. Then he was tuckered out. It takes a lot to get him tired enough to nap. He cat naps all day, but jumps awake anytime a person, pet or phone makes a sound. His most favorite napping spot is the hot back porch. He can sleep there by my shoes, all alone, not even a whimper. I'm a little worried that a hawk or vulture might fly off with him, so I've been making Toby nap outside with him. He doesn't seem to mind. Duck had three full meals again today and about a hundred little poops to go with his five hundred pees. No indoor accidents today, but we were doing yard work most of the day. He took one nap in the kennel with only twenty minutes of pre-nap hysteria. He had two breaks during the night.

Friday, July 25, 2008

8 Weeks going on 8 months

Ducky is ready for anything. He does not want to miss the action, so he is pretty much in the middle of everything around here. Since we are both too tired to think about this day, I'll leave it up to webshots to tell today's tail. I'm uploading some video clips and photos of Ducky's first full day of preschool. The day included chicken chasing, tug-o-war with Toby, an outdoor concert, first daytime nap in the puppy crate and Yeah! an entire cup of food! Ducky is turned on to kibble! Nothing like chasing kids and chickens to stimulate a duck's appetite.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Stop: Greenwood School

Duckie just arrived at The Greenwood School. He will be here until August 2nd. He is adapting well. He's a bit road weary, however, very sweet and tolerant of all the dogs, children, teachers, guinea pigs, chickens and roosters. He is not sure where he stands with children. He seems to be willing to play with one at a time, but two is a bit much. He is uninterested in food, but quite playful. His choice of sleeping place is under the office desk and therefore near the castors of the office chair. We’ll see how that goes. Toby, a rather large guide dog puppy, batted and squashed Duckie at their first meeting. Duckie is steering clear of the big guy now. He would like us to have a policy change about kennels. He’s pretty sure that doodles should not be kept in kennels.
See more photos at Dakota’s webshots album

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Dakota!

Hi, I'd like to introduce you to Dakota, the latest guide dog in training for Guide Dogs of Texas. This blog will be dedicated to the first 3 years of little Dakota's life as he learns to be a guide dog for the blind.

Dakota is a labradoodle from Dixie's Doodles in Georgetown, TX. He is the third doodle to join the guide dog family. Mason was our first ( and Trixie is our littlest doodle and our first girl, and now Dakota!

Please join us on this journey as we endeavor to make Dakota a great guide dog!

wag wag wag