Greetings from the small, picturesque town of Greensboro, VT! Milly and I arrived yesterday and are having a blast! We spent our first two nights in Arlington, VT where Milly enjoyed romping around the countryside with my brother's Polish Lowland Sheepdog and sniffing at my infant niece's feet - it was very cute! I'm telling you, there must be something in the water in Vermont, because Milly is acting like a puppy! She has the "zoomies" multiple times a day, and yesterday enjoyed a picnic lunch and hike up a small mountain/large hill with my parent's dog Lucy.
As I've briefly mentioned in the past Milly does not like swimming (or did not) and is very hesitant about getting in the water. We are lucky enough to have a sand bar on our beach at the lake up here, and Milly was able to walk out for quite a ways, actually it was more like a hopping, splashing run, and actually ended up swimming! She swam for the first time yesterday, only about five feet before she turned around for shallow water, but today she went out about 20 feet, and really seemed to enjoy herself! Lots of treats and coaxing got her in the water initially, but after that I just let her do what she wanted, when she wanted, and she started swimming! I was thrilled! She still is unsure about just walking right into the lake near our boat house (it gets deeper quicker there), but she really seems to enjoy the security of going in off of the sandbar, and I'm more than happy to let her have that sense of security. It has been really neat to watch Lucy (she is almost one year) gain confidence about water after seeing Milly gain her own confidence regarding the lake. Lucy is now wading up to her belly, a big feat for her!
On a sad note, I took Milly to the vet on Friday for her semi-annual exam. About 7 months ago I learned Milly had a few (minimal) crystals in her urine, but the vet assured me this was probably nothing and we should wait and re-test at her next exam. Well, I got the call on Saturday that Milly's latest urinalysis shows an increase in crystals, and she now has moderate urine crystals. I was pretty upset, to say the least. The vet explained there isn't much beyond diet change we can do for this right now, and she is hesitant to change Milly's diet because of all of the skin allergies Milly has had. Just when we finally get the right food combination and this happens. I am in contact with an animal nutritionist, and hopefully she will have some ideas. In the meantime, I am continuing to force/bribe Milly to drink as much water as possible. Milly hates drinking when I am not home, and even when I am home she wants me to sit with her while she drinks. I am now adding her food to almost an entire bowl of water, and sit on the floor and hold the water bowl for Milly an addition three times a day. I'm hoping this will up her intake of water, and perhaps this will help.
As you all know I am slowly hunting for THE PUPPY to be my first show dog. I am hooked on Golden Retrievers, and the process of finding the right breeder has been long and slow. I found an amazing litter, and was offered a male, but turned it down because I really wanted a female. I found another litter, sired by an amazing dog, and I've seen an amazing dog from the same breeding, but decided to wait for a breeding with fewer outcrosses on the bitch's side. Now I am really regretting this decision. I told the breeder two days ago I was going to pass on a female from this litter, but I really want to e-mail her and say I changed my mind. I know down the road some people might turn up their noses at this dog's pedigree, but having seen a puppy from the first mating, and really trusting this breeder, I am starting to think I made a big, big, big mistake. My boyfriend really does not want me to get another dog, but I am dying to start showing, and I think I will just have to follow my gut. I'm going to reflect on my decision for the next few days, and talk to my parents about it a bit more, and then decide if I should e-mail the breeder when I return from vacation. There is a big chance all puppies will be spoken for by then, but I really am regretting passing this one up. On a happy note, I have found an incredible mentor of sorts in a woman from Michigan that I met through the Golden Retriever Forum. She has really helped guide me down the right path in finding my future puppy, and I am incredibly grateful for her insight as she has guided me away from some novice mistakes I was close to making.
I want to publicly thank all of my guest bloggers for their posts. I have a few more guest blogger posts to post in the next week or two, and I am sure you will all really enjoy them! If you e-mailed me a post and haven't seen it published yet, please be patient. I have a very slow internet connection and some of the guest bloggers e-mailed me some GREAT photos! I'd hate to publish these posts without the photos, but with the slow internet connection I'm having trouble posting more than one or two photos at a time!
Well, time for me to get back to vacation! There are three Golden Retrievers across the street that Milly is telling me she wants to go play with, and afterall, this is her vacation too!