Charlotte O’Shaughnessy MI


Charlotte crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon. I held her close…I kissed her face…I scratched her all over and tried to burn all the specialness of her earthly body into my memory. My little hoppy girl started to slow down a few weeks ago. On Sunday she fell down the stairs. We took her to the emergency vet. Luckily she had not broken anything, but she was not right. They treated her for an inner ear infection…she was beginning to circle, appear like she was blind and had rapid eye movements. We took her home and hoped for the best of three possible outcomes. She continued to decline. This morning she quit eating and would not open her jaw to let me give her any medications.

Just as Charlotte told us in no uncertain terms that she had no intentions of leaving our home and family…she also let me know that she had come to the end of her story. My heart is broken…the tears are flowing. I will miss my little hoppy girl until we meet again. Take extra special care of little Joy, Charlotte! I love you beyond words. Take care…

Charlotte resting her head on an old woman’s shoulder



Charlotte resting inside a box

Charlotte just came into rescue today – a 10-year old, mom-to-be, any day now, literally any time now. My vet said it would be in Charlotte’s best interest to have her puppies. She X-rayed her and Charlotte has three pups just waiting to be born. I read some literature my vet gave me on how to handle the birth of the pups (although the only experience I have is when I was 14 years old and our Wire Fox Terrier had pups), built a rather crude whelping box, recruited some help from one of our volunteers to get food and nutritional supplements for her, and am now just trying to keep her comfortable. Luckily, Charlotte has had two litters previously and should be a good mom. Wish us all luck!

Charlotte is heartworm negative (thank doG) but has a long road to travel before she can settle down in her new home and enjoy her golden years. If you would like to give Charlotte a loving Christmas gift and donate to SOAR, specifically to the Diana Muldaur Fund (which will cover her expenses), we would certainly appreciate it. You can go to our website at and click on the “Donate” tab to find out how. Please indicate your donation is for the Diana Muldaur Fund.

Her pups are sure to be mixes and Lynn O’Shaughnessy will be taking care of them personally until they can be placed. Since SOAR cannot pay for expenses for mixes, if you are interested in helping with any of the pups expenses or adopting one of them, you can send a PayPal donation or an e-mail directly to Lynn at

Thank you – from a very nervous first time whelper.


Charlotte had refused to eat yesterday and this morning – even with adding liver, yogurt, and cottage cheese to her food to tempt her. I was hoping it was because she was getting close to delivering. Well… she was. Her first puppy was born around 10:30 this morning!

Charlotte is a good mom. She cleaned up her firstborn and chewed off the chord. We have a girl! She actually looked more like an Airedale than anything else. I am scrambling now – what to do first? The puppy is a little chilly – too chilly? I had a heating pad ready in a box. The instructions I was given by my vet said the pup could wait until the siblings are born and then go ahead and eat. Put the pup in a box with a heating pad and keep her warm. But this pup wouldn’t stay in the box (well, she must be mostly Airedale!). I finally decided to cuddle her close and warm her up. That worked and it felt soooo wonderful to hold this tiny life close.

I tied a string around the chord per instructions from the vet and dabbed the end with iodine. Then I waited. Nothing. In the mean time, I got a call from Airedale breeder, Sue Kuhn. She said if I let the puppy nurse, it might stimulate the mom to give birth. The pup did manage to get a little milk but still nothing. It was two and a half hours since Charlotte’s firstborn made her appearance and all the advice I was given indicated that it was time to get her to the vet. After all, Charlotte is 10 years old and something could be wrong. E-gads! Can you imagine having a baby when you are 60 years old?

My husband helped get Charlotte in and out of the car while I held little miss firstborn in my jacket under a towel. She was the hit of the vet staff. But we didn’t spend much time in the lobby, we had Charlotte to attend to. To make a long story short, all efforts to induce labor failed. We were there for an additional three hours and still nothing. My vet had taken additional x-rays and found the remaining two pups were still up in the horns and had not yet dropped. Charlotte’s old muscles probably didn’t have what it took to push them down. A C-section was not what I wanted to hear, but it was time to do it. I gave her a big hug just before they took her to surgery and promised I would be back in a couple of hours. Little miss firstborn stayed with the vet in an incubator, which was probably a good thing. I just realized I had not had ANYTHING to eat today.

I went home to take care of the stomach grumbles I was now beginning to hear and sat down at the computer only to find 88 e-mails. OMG! So many of you were sending Charlotte and her puppies positive wishes. Charlotte has to be okay.

My husband and I were at the vets at the appointed time and all was well. Charlotte’s other two puppies seemed healthy and were “clawing their own way out of their sacs” according to the vet who did the surgery. Charlotte was just lying down – totally zonked after a really hard day at the office with three youngsters crawling all over her. Well, it was no mystery any longer as to Whoz the Daddy? He was most likely a Black Lab. The other two pups were black with a white blaze on their chests. We have three little baby girls. Awwwww.

Well, one of the e-mails I read during dinner was from Andrea Denninger. Today is Andrea’s birthday. In celebration, she wanted to name one of the puppies, sooooo… little miss firstborn is now Misha. Now I need to come up with names for her two sisters. Any suggestions?

It’s going to be a long night.

Lynn O


Charlotte feeding her three puppies

I will be sleeping in the guest room with Charlotte and her pups for some time to come. Last night I got sleep in two hour increments. I woke up each time I heard the pups crying. If Charlotte was not in the whelping box, I would put each pup on a nipple as she laid just outside the box and scratch and stroke everyone as they fed. Then put the pups away and get another couple hours of sleep. Charlotte was feeling a bit better this morning and was in the whelping box with her pups crawling all over her.

For the first time she finally ate!!! She got her liver, yogurt and cottage cheese on her puppy food kibble and wolfed it down. She is drinking well and she is such a good mother! She is cleaning her pups and will lay down when they go searching for nipples. I give her lots of pets and scratches.

I would like to thank everyone on Facebook and who e-mailed me with names for Charlotte’s other two pups. Their names will be Merry and Joy. Merry has a splash blaze on her chest and Joy has a horizontal blaze. Joy is the runt of the litter weighing in at two ounces less than her sisters, but I have been able to get her to latch on to a nipple. Sometimes I have to cradle her in my hand while she is suckling. Does she have me trained or what?!?

I got Charlotte up and out a few times today for a leash walk to go potty. She seems to be doing well since her surgery. Other than this, today has been somewhat uneventful compared to yesterday.

My husband walked in to the room where Charlotte and the pups are and caught me sitting in the X-pen just watching everyone sleeping in the whelping box. I wanted to get individual photos of everyone, but really did not see a time where I could complete the task. I did get this one photo of Joy – howling at the top of her little lungs. J

Maybe tomorrow…


Little Joy didn’t make it. 🙁 This morning I found her in the far corner of the whelping box. She died in my arms. I am writing this through so many tears….

Little Joy held by a hand


An old woman caring for puppies

This morning was very sad for me. It will be therapeutic to write about it and put into the web my connection with one very special little puppy.

I expected to be aroused every couple of hours or so by the sounds of puppies squealing…much like last night. For some reason I sat bolt upright in bed…looking at my watch and realized I had slept over 5 hours without a peep. I raced over to the box to count heads and found little Joy huddled in the corner. Misha and Merry were suckling on Charlotte. I picked her up and felt that she was getting cool. Her mouth looked like it wanted to suckle so I put her on a nipple. No luck. I put her in my sweatshirt close to me and aroused my husband. Within 5 minutes, she crossed the bridge.

I know now that little Joy was the one that aroused me so that I could hold her close as she went from this world into the next. I held her close and rocked and bawled…and rocked and bawled. I felt like I did something wrong. Still holding her, I went in and looked at Misha and Merry. They didn’t look as active as they were yesterday…but were still suckling on Charlotte.

After taking care of feeding and pottying Charlotte, I went outside in the rain. I picked out a special spot in my Spirit Garden for my dear little Joy…in my “family” section under a spruce tree and dug her grave. I held her close and bawled all over again…then laid my dear little Joy to rest. As soon as I can, I will get a little stone from our local garden center that says “Joy” and put it by her. Until then, I took one of my concrete birdbaths with a large leaf imprint, that I normally turn upside down for the winter, and placed it lovingly over her. After I went back into the house, it started to snow.

Joy was the run of the litter…weighing about 2 ounces less than the other girls. She had trouble suckling from the start. I had to work at getting her to stay on a nipple and would cradle her in my hand while she fed. I know that many have told me it was nature’s way of saying that she was not to make it to be an adult pup…but it didn’t seem to make it hurt less.

I called my vet just as soon as they opened and bundled up Charlotte and pups to see if Charlotte’s milk was good and find out if there were any problems. The mile was deemed good, but it seemed the only teets that expressed milk were the rather large “udders” in the rear. I know that the pups sort of took turns suckling just about every one of them, but maybe they were not getting anything with the front ones.

My vet suggested that I start to bottle feed so that I know how much the pups were getting…then let them suckle on Charlotte as much as they wanted for any additional. She taught us how to bottle feed and how to tube feed if the bottle feeding was not working. My husband was there so he learned how to be my helper if we ever needed to tube feed. Both Misha and Merry had full tummies by the time we left.

For all of you who have send very comforting words during this very sad day, I want you to know they were heard and read – each one. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. They have been a tremendous comfort to me. Just before I sent this to Andrea to post, I got this little note from Bogie Sherman:

  • “Brandy arrived at the bridge safely. But we had a tremendous surprise. Brandy was carrying something in her paws. It was a little baby puppy, Joy!’s a good thing Brandy took such good care of Joy and helped her make the journey. She is a real hero. They will both rest a short while then join us for all the Chanukah festivities. I am going to light the giant Menorah tonight and every night some other doggie will be honored . Love to Penny Sprague and all.”

Michele Morrissey Miller-Day wrote “…I have to say that when I looked at this precious picture of Little Joy I noticed that her marking on her chest is in the shape of angel wings. She must of come here to touch your heart in a very special way to let you know what a “Wonderful” person you truly are and to keep up the beautiful work you do.”

The tears flowed all over again. The Airedale community is very special…


Today was the first full day of ‘round the clock feedings for Noelle and Merry. This has been working out pretty well. I see full, round, little tummies after each one. Charlotte is still being a good mom, licking and cleaning her puppies each time I give them back to her after a feeding.

My night was interesting as the temperature in the guest room where my little four-legged guests are staying (and I am sleeping) is now 85 degrees as suggested by a breeder. It helps keep the puppies warm. This kind of makes sense because it seems when Charlotte was not in the box, the puppies didn’t always make it to the heating pad or under the heat lamp. However, it does make for interesting sleeping for me.

Noelle and Merry are much more active today. Sometimes, instead of suckling, they have started to crawl all over Charlotte. I had a really good photo op and no camera at hand. Merry had climbed up on Charlotte’s neck and fell asleep. How cute. But the best news of all is they both gained weight! Roughly an ounce and a half. Try weighing a wiggly puppy on a postal scale – taking averages of the wildly swinging needle.

I also got to get some individual photos of Noelle and Merry. But the best news of all is that a friend of mine is interested in adopting one of them when the time is right. They live close enough to come see them, perhaps several times as they are growing. Awesome news.

I have to admit that Joy was in my thoughts quite a bit today. Many more kind words kept coming and I appreciate it all the more. But at least today I knew that I needed to concentrate on Charlotte, Noelle and Merry and see them through all of this and into happy homes in Joy’s memory. It will be her legacy. Her short, little life will have meaning, at least for me.

Monday Evening – DECEMBER 10, 2012


Noelle and Merry each weighed in as about two ounces heavier than yesterday – YEAH!!! So far they continue to be good eaters from the bottle.

Today Charlotte wagged her tail for me and for my hubby! I am taking this to mean that she is beginning to feel better. Shortly after that, I noticed the puppies seem to be wagging their tails, too! Charlotte is also spending just a little more time outside of the box, mostly sleeping. She deserves it. She has a new rawhide chew in her area if she so desires, but she usually prefers snoozing.

Wishes keep pouring in for Joy. She has to know she was loved by many. Eva Brosco sent this little verse to me today:

Hi Lynn,
Thinking about Joy and sending you my thoughts.

  • The Irish dogs ran to meet her crossing the bridge. They jumped and danced and welcomed the wee one across…
    Oh wait just a moment, you bring a piece of the noble Labrador with you, a friend to all mankind. They are brave and honest and ever so kind, what a happy day to share with the Irish dogs.
    We too are brave, honest and kind but are heads are narrow not round..
    We welcome your shape and your tiny size for you bring a new spark of love. We terrier dogs get carried away by the admiration our humans endow, you give us pause to wonder and reflect that our purity comes from our purpose, to bring love to our human friends. So come on over our Emerald bridge we will teach you the bow and the butt-tuck run and you will forever be ours.
    We will learn from you the ways of the Lab and the Terrier makes a new friend.

Not much new today…but then I think I prefer that for now………

Wednesday Morning – December 12, 2012

Update that was supposed to come last night … but I was just so tired. ZZZZZZZZ

This photo was taken after morning feeding – mom and pups relax with full bellies.

Lynn O

Well, today Merry and Noelle hit the one pound mark! Merry weighed in at one pound, one ounce. Noelle weighed in at one pound. Awesome! They are really growing now. I notice Charlotte is beginning to pull away from them a little bit each day. I think she knows her milk is not producing very well. This means that I now need to stimulate the pups to pee and poo after feedings if Charlotte does not lick them to do so. Cotton balls work great!

At least once an hour I go in and check on Charlotte and the pups and sometimes I just sit and watch them for 10 or 15 minutes and scratch Charlotte behind the ears.

Wednesday Evening – December 12, 2012

Merry and Noelle provided some Kodak moments today…so today’s update will be a photo essay of these two little hams.

Split images of Charlotte and her puppies
Two puppies close to each other
Tomorrow we will have an interview with Charlotte. She promises it will be interesting! Tonight,I need to get some sleep.


Charlotte out in the woods

“Charlotte…you’ve been around the block…so to speak. Can you give me your take on a few things?”

“Why of course…ask away!”

“Well, lately it seems that your world has been turned upside down. You had puppies at the age of 10, and found yourself in a new home less than 24 hours before they were born. How come you seem so happy?”

“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Despite the fact that I have undergone a lot of changes in the last few weeks for an old gal…I already decided to be happy. Each day is a gift and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away…just for this time in my life. No one is in charge of my happiness but me.”

Charlotte enjoying her time out during the fall

“How do you feel about having puppies at age ten?”

“How would you feel if you had a human baby at age 70? Ouch! Having the pups wasn’t very much fun,but all I have to do is look at their little excited, wiggling bodies and my heart melts. I guess the other bad thing is my sagging teats. But, hey, I like to take each day as it comes. Every day I can open my eyes is a blessing and I am so grateful for it.”

Charlotte getting some sun

“If you had one piece of advice to give your pups, what would it be?”

“Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Lick their faces instead.”

Charlotte relaxing under the trees

Have you thought about what kind of new family you would like to adopt after you are finished raising kids?”

“Well, they would have to be absolutely head over heels crazy about me. They would have to love to give scratches behind the ears and belly rubs. I like rawhide chews, too…and cottage cheese and yogurt added to my kibble. And – I almost forgot – they have to like slow walls and would have to let me sniff and explore while we walk. I am not high maintenance. I just like the simple things.”

Charlotte panting while sitting on leaves

“If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?”

“Oh, that’s easy! I would love to have a day at the doggie spa and get a haircut and a bath. That ought to make me feel sexy!”


Two puppies drinking milk from Charlotte
Little Merry and Noelle are growing by leaps and bounds! As of this morning, they are 1 pound, 12 ounces. As you can see, they are almost as long as Charlotte’s legs when they suckle on her!
An old woman lifting a puppy near her face
Merry’s eyes are completely open now and Noelle’s have just started opening. I was playing with Noelle in this picture, getting a good whiff of puppy breath. See the glint where her eyes are just opening?
An old woman showing affection to the puppy
Noelle had enough of this “puppy breath” stuff and decided to try suckling on my nose.
An old woman showing love to a black puppy
Merry decided she would be just as happy rubbing noses with me – no kisses or suckles.
A black puppy of Charlotte
Merry is completely satisfied and snoozing. Did you know it seems a puppy’s tongue seems wider than it is longer? The girls sometimes open their mouths during sleep or try to “air suckle” and their little pink tongue is pre-folded into a little C shape in their mouth…probably to help them get a tight fit when they suckle.
Charlotte’s two remaining puppies
Did you also know little puppies have what I call “itchy spots” just like my adult dogs? I scratch them in certain places on their sides and their little foot moves up and down as if to scratch. Here are the two sleepy sisters just before I started testing my “itchy spot” theory.


A split image of Charlotte’s puppies
Today Charlotte had to go to the veto get her stitches out and everything looked A-okay. I took this opportunity to take the pups in to get a good weight on them since I have such a difficult time with wiggly puppies. They both weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces! Charlotte was such a good girl at the vets.
I put the pups in the same Styrofoam box lined with a towel that I transported them in as newborns. Now they are climbing up the sides and taking a peek at the world outside. Pretty soon, there will be no keeping them down.
Charlotte’s puppies yawning
By the time we got home and got everyone fed, Noelle and Merry were ready for a nap.
Two puppies sleeping next to each other on a blanket
It wasn’t long before they were off into dreamland.
Charlotte’s puppy sticking out a tongue
Noelle decided to show me her tongue today to demonstrate how the little sides of her tongue are folded over. How cute!
Charlotte enjoying the outdoors
Charlotte had an answer to her prayer today. During her interview, she mentioned that all she really wanted was a day at the doggy spa. Well, today, Beth Griffin of Poochies of Beverly Hills offered to make Charlotte’s dreams come true! We will see if we can make arrangements tomorrow! Charlotte is going to look and feel like a million bucks. Jackie McGuinness also donated a small sum towards Charlotte’s spa experience. Charlotte doesn’t know it yet, but she has some special shampoo and a bath waiting for her. J


Charlotte’s puppy trying to get out of the box
It has been a few days since I have sent in an update…and WOW…how Merry and Noelle are growing! They are beginning to climb up the opening in the box. It won’t be long and they will climb over it.
Charlotte’s puppy looking outside of the box
I have had to put boards across the front of the box. Charlotte loves to lay her head over it and kept crushing the box . Maybe an extra board will hold the pups for just a while longer???
Charlotte’s black happy puppy
How can you resist a face like this?
Merry and Noelle are almost 3 pounds each now and are beginning to show a little personality. Merry seems to get a little more frantic and carries on when it is meal time. Noelle still is wiggle and more than happy to receive her meal, but does not carry on as much. It will be fun to see how they progress.
Charlotte and her puppies inside a box
For those of you who are following the size of these rapidly growing pups, here is a photo of them with Charlotte. Charlotte is still being a good mom and putting up with these two little darlings.
A Christmas card with Merry and Noelle


Merry and Noelle are getting fat and Sassy! I am hearing and seeing a bunch of firsts – their first little squeaky bark, their first kisses, and their first BiteyFace play! They are getting more and more mobile and demanding of some attention.

I have spent a bit of time watching them interacting. Just when I think that Noelle is the instigator Merry instigates the next time. Their personalities are definitely beginning to show.

Their interview will be coming soon…

Merry and Noelle playing
With tummies full after a feeding…they certainly know how to relax.
Merry and Noelle sleeping
Merry got to visit briefly with my nieces…she was a hit!
Merry carried by women
Afterwards, I was holding her and she decided to suck on my chin. Guess what I got? A puppy hickey!
A smiling face of an old woman


Noelle biting Merry
Merry and Noelle are three and a half weeks old now! They have started to play BiteyFace after meals.
Merry and Noelle pushing each other
They seem extremely active at that time.
Noelle’s small puppy teeth
The needle teeth are coming!
Merry and Noelle stretching
Noelle has figured out Play Bows!
Merry and Noelle walking around
Even though Merry is colored like a black Lab, she carries her tail like an Airedale when active.
Merry eating from a spoon
I had a scare yesterday. At the advice of a breeder, I mixed up about a tablespoon or two of baby rice cereal and began to introduce them to it. They both lapped it up a bit…but seemed to get just as much on them as in them.
At the next feeding, Noelle didn’t want to drink her goat’s milk…not any of it. Merry happily ate all of hers. When I put Noelle back in the box, she just crawled off to the side and went to sleep. Needless to say, I was a bit freaked out. Of course, things like this tend to happen on a Sunday when the vet office is not open. I did get hold of a couple of breeder friends who said to hold tight for now since she was not dehydrated. Easier said than done.
Merry eating from a spoon
I sleep in the room with them and Charlotte and found myself getting up often to check on Noelle. About an hour before the next feeding time (2 am), Noelle was suckling on Charlotte along with Merry. When 2 am came, she was hungry again. I breathed half a sigh of relief. I still don’t know why it happened.
A third breeder friend called me in the morning to give me some advice of a few things to have on hand (Caro syrup and talk with my vet about getting some amoxicillin drops). I will skip the rice cereal and try softening a few kernels of puppy food later in the day and see how that goes.
Charlotte with a chew toy
Charlotte is just happy-go-lucky through all of this. She loves chewing on her favorite toy…a piece of rawhide.
We finally have a spa date set for Charlotte!!! She will be getting her glamour treatment on January 7, thanks to Beth Griffin from Poochies of Beverly Hills. Thank you Beth! And big thanks to Chris Zane who gave up her appointment for Charlotte so she can have her spa day before Beth went on vacation. You are both AWESOME!

Charlotte feeding Merry and Noelle
She is a good mom and still allows her pups to nurse and cleans up after them. Look how big they are getting! I wonder how long this will last with the needle teeth emerging?
Merry lying down on a pink blanket
Noelle is already starting to grow into her Airedaleness. I can already see the tan fur emerging underneath the black puppy fur on the top of her head.
Noelle sniffing Merry
Who said I look like Yoda???
Merry pulling the grey blanket
Try keeping a towel spread out in the bottom of the box. Charlotte used to be the one who would wad it up in a pile. Now Noelle is giving it a try.


Today Merry and Noelle ate their first solid meal. They took to the food like they knew what to do all along. This is a mixture of crushed puppy food and goat’s milk. I was so happy to see this ad they were getting fussy about drinking from the bottles. Could be they knew better than I they were ready to move on.

Merry decided to climb up the side of the box and fall backwards into what was left of the food. She got a little sponge bath.

Merry and Noelle feeding from a food dish
Today Merry and Noelle ate their first solid meal. They took to the food like they knew what to do all along. This is a mixture of crushed puppy food and goat’s milk. I was so happy to see this ad they were getting fussy about drinking from the bottles. Could be they knew better than I they were ready to move on.
Merry decided to climb up the side of the box and fall backwards into what was left of the food. She got a little sponge bath.


Charlotte and her puppies inside a cage
Well….today was a big day for Charlotte and Merry and Noelle. They moved out into the living room where they can begin to experience the sounds of a home and give them a bit more room. I had to devise something that would keep them safe and give Charlotte the feeling of safety from my pack…mostly Daisy and Sweet Pea…they are way too nosy!

The cage surrounded by wood barriers
I set up a panel next to the couch to keep my dogs from jumping off the couch into the puppy area. Next comes the X-pen. Then is a crate inside the X-pen. There is plenty of room for Charlotte to stretch out either inside or outside the X-pen. The two tables set on end offer a buffer between her and my dogs. So far…so good.
Charlotte inside the cage with Merry
Even so, with all that room, Charlotte wants to be in the quite small crate with her puppies.
Charlotte inside the cage sleeping
At first Noelle and Merry vacated the crate…
Merry and Noelle sleeping next to Charlotte
…but then they crawled back in and decided to play a game of BiteyFace behind Charlotte.
Charlotte caring for her puppies
Special mother/daughter moment with Charlotte and Noelle.
Merry sleeping at the corner of a cage
Now that they have this much nicer little home, I got Noelle and Merry some toys to play with. I read that at this stage in their development, they need some toys to play tug with and toys to “kill” and toys to cuddle with. I got two of each so that they can take one of each with them when they reach the age to leave the nest and SOAR!
Noelle sleeping at the other end of the cage
As you can see, they are totally content in their new little home. I have papers outside the crate and a towel in the crate. Another thing I read was that they will soon begin to potty outside of where they like to sleep. I am hoping that this will work out and make it easier to clean up. So far there has been much more pottying on the paper. Yeah! My floor out here is tile which is much easier to clean if need be than my brand new carpet in the guest room.
Merry sleeping next to her sister
Noelle fell asleep wrapped around her new little squirrel. It is a toy without any stuffing…but it does have squeakers in it (try to find dog toys nowadays that don’t have squeakers). It will be interesting to be around when they discover the squeakers. I know it will drive my dogs nuts.
Two pink food bowls for the puppies
I also got them two hot pink bowls. One will be for water and one for food…and each can take one with them to their new homes. I like this bowl design as it is difficult for them to tip the bowls over when they walk all over them. They are like little kids when I feed them…they get almost as much on them as in them. J
A shampoo and conditioner for the dogs
With Charlotte’s spa day just around the corner, I began to prepare. I will be giving her a bath the night before, so I wanted to get her some special shampoo. I wanted to get oatmeal shampoo and was drawn to this because it was a bit more natural. Oddly enough, it is “Isle of Dogs” shampoo with the silhouette of the United Kingdom for a logo. I say oddly enough because Jackie McGuinness of the UK donated some money specifically for Charlotte’s spa day. Thank you Jackie!
A paper bag with Christmas designs
I was taking down Christmas things today, including these two lovely ornaments sent to me by Andrea Denninger.
I remember thinking at the time I hung them there was no ornament for Merry. It didn’t dawn on me until today (with a little reminder from Andrea) that “Merry” was the bag they both arrived in.
Andrea had purchased them at a delightful gift shop and café called “Andrea’s.” It was perfect divine order.
Here is what Andrea had to say about the saying on the bag:
“Do you know where the saying on the bag comes from? ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ a WWII British mantra I thought of you and your ‘first whelping’ and thought it apropos, also.”
If I think about Merry’s emerging personality, I think of anything but calm, but I sure needed the sentiments!
The gifts will hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Andrea, for your thoughtfulness.


Merry and Noelle sleeping at the cage
So much is happening every day with Charlotte and her pups. Between yesterday and today, I noticed the pups prefer to sleep up against the front door where it is probably a bit cooler than in the crate I set up for them.
A collage of Merry and Noelle
Merry and Noelle are demonstrating 6 different ways to get some shut eye.
One time I almost panicked. I could not find Merry and Noelle at first and found that they had ducked under the crate door and were sleeping up against the front door behind the crate.
Charlotte looking at her puppies’ cage
Here are my nosy Airedales! Sweet Pea is just way too interested in what is going on inside the enclosure.
Charlotte checking on her puppies
Sweet Pea
Charlotte peeking from above the wood panel
Daisy was a puppy mill girl and seems to sense there are puppies in there somewhere. I think she would just mother them if she got nose to nose with them, but she would have to get through Charlotte first. The interesting thing is no one is putting their paws up on the tables.
Merry and Noelle drinking milk from mom
On the first day in their “new home” Charlotte was still laying down to let Merry and Noelle get a snack.
Merry and Noelle drinking their mom’s milk
Now, even though she wants to get into the pen with them occasionally, she prefers to stand. I have to believe the needle teeth and sharp claws are getting to be a bit much for her.
Charlotte watching her puppies feed
The pups are eating every eight hours now and are on a puppy food gruel mix with goats milk. They both weighed 6.5 pounds when I checked them this morning.
Noelle has an unusual habit of curling her tail like a little hook when she eats. Hmmmm…..
Merry and Noelle sleeping inside the cage
I have a bowl of water down for them now. As you can see, they seem to play with it and walk through it more than they drink it. Soooo much fun!
Merry and Noelle playing with their stuffed toy
Merry and Noelle fighting over who gets the stuffingless fox toy.
An old woman with Merry and Noelle
One of the things I am supposed to provide for the pups is something to climb on. The best thing I can find is me. Then, of course, I have to get some cuddle time.
Charlotte being dried with a towel
In preparation for her spa day tomorrow, Charlotte got a shampoo and conditioner bath with her new silky oatmeal shampoo. Stay tuned for the “new” Charlotte tomorrow.


A signage for Poochies of Beverly Hills
Charlotte had her big adventure today. Beth Griffin of Poochies of Beverly Hills welcomed Charlotte for her day at the spa. Thank you so much, Beth, for grooming Charlotte. You are awesome!
Charlotte wearing her pink collar
When I picked her up, Charlotte looked beautiful! She pranced and had a new spring in her step. Once back home, I took her outside for a photo shoot. This is the best shot.
Charlotte out in the snow
I tried to get a full body shot, but she was way too interested in investigating the snow and smells of the yard. When I did manage to get this shot, she glared at me and said, “That’s not my best side, you know.”
Charlotte with an old woman on the floor
Taking Charlotte’s advice and thinking it would be easier to get her attention for photos, I took her into the house and sat down on the floor with her. “Much better,” Charlotte said, “this photo makes me look much more trim.”
The old woman talking to Charlotte
I told Charlotte she looks beautiful no matter what and I especially liked the pretty pink collar covering Beth provided for her. Charlotte said, “thank you.”
The old woman hugging Charlotte
Then I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved her. She has been such a good mom!
Charlotte socializing with the woman
She replied, “I could not have done it without you!”
An old woman holding Charlotte’s face
We made a great team, Charlotte and I.


Charlotte’s hungry puppies
It has been a week since Charlotte’s spa day and everyone is still doing well. The puppies are on a puppy food gruel now in between still getting an occasional stand-up meal from mom. The blender does a nice job of crushing their Blue Buffalo puppy food that gets mixed with goats milk and water.
Charlotte’s two growing puppies
Charlotte decided to lay down a few days ago to let her not-so-little puppies nurse. What a difference in size from when they were first born!
Merry half-awake inside the cage
A full belly means it is time for a nap.
Merry sleeping next to Noelle
A full belly means it is time for a nap.
Merry wide-eyed awoken
Well, I will just do a good stretch and go to sleep somewhere else.


Merry and Noelle playing in the cage
What?!? It is time for our interview???

Merry and Noelle looking at their cage
Take me first! No me first!
Don’t worry, you will both get a turn.


Merry resting on a woman’s shoulder
Hi, Noelle! It’s your turn now. How do you feel about cuddling?
Cuddling is good. I like being close to my humans but then I start thinking about what’s next?
Merry resting on a bed
So what is your relationship with your mom, Charlotte, like?
I am glad she gave us a good start in life but now it is time to strike out on my own.
Merry and Noelle playing with a toy
And how about your sister, Merry? What do you think of her?
She is great fun to play with! I need to remind her every now and then who is boss, though.
Merry next to her toy
What is your favorite thing to do?
Can you spell P-L-A-Y? I can’t tell you how many times I killed my fox toy.
Merry sitting on magazine papers
I guess shredding newspaper comes in as a close second. I like anything that challenges me and keeps me moving.
Merry nibbling on a woman’s nose
I heard my sister say that she liked to give kisses. Kisses are okay, but I like to give nibbles along with them.
Merry lying down on her blanket
And what would your ideal new home be like?
They would have to understand that I would be high energy…after all, I am part Airedale! I want to grow up to be a good girl, but they will need lots of patience.
Merry standing on a blue blanket
But I guess the most important thing to me would be that they love me to bits.
Merry yawning
Thank you Noelle!
My pleasure.


Noelle resting on someone’s shoulder
Hi, Merry! Let me hold you a bit first and cuddle. How do you feel about cuddling?
I absolutely love it! I could easily fall asleep on your shoulder.
Noelle sitting on a blue blanket
What do you think of your mom, Charlotte?
She is absolutely a wonderful mom! She has taken really good care of us.
Merry and Noelle cuddling each other
What do you think of your sister, Noelle?
I appreciate having a litter mate to play with. Each other is all we have.

Noelle sniffing the blue blanket
What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to sniff! There are so many new and interesting smells in my little world.
Noelle licking the old woman’s nose
I also love to taste things! I have to experience all aspects of new things to get to know them better. Towels, toys, newspaper in my pen, people….and did I say that I love to give kisses? Don’t get me wrong. I can bite and chew with the best of them, but I really prefer kisses when it comes to the humans in my life.
Noelle standing on the blue blanket
What would your ideal home be like?
It would have to have some big humans that understand little puppies like me. I want to learn and please, but I can’t help myself and get into trouble sometimes. I hope they will be understanding and love me as they teach me the ropes of being a good dog. Little humans would be great, too!
Noelle sticking her tongue out
Why, thank you Merry! It was so nice talking with you.
You are so welcome!


A split image of Merry and Noelle
Noelle and Merry are back again with lots more news!
Merry and Noelle pulling at the toy
Merry was the first to discover that there was a squeaker in their stuffingless toys…more specifically the fox. It just became a call to her sister to a good game of Tug-of-War.
Merry holding the cage door
Noelle, on the other hand, loves puzzles. She had to figure out how to more the crate door away from the edge of the X-pen so she could get behind it. She tried pawing at it…
Merry pushing the cage door
…then figured out she could use her teeth to get it to move.
Merry and Noelle trying to pull the toy from each other
Now the girls play Tug-of-War all the time!
Merry and Noelle sleeping peacefully
Noelle sure knows how to relax!
Merry held by hands
Noelle has a big day today! She is going to meet her potential new family to see how she gets along with their Welsh Terrier. I needed to give them their first bath. Noelle is not quite sure what to make of it.
Merry on the floor with a white blanket
I finally get her washed, dried off, and her little nails trimmed. Now for Merry.
Noelle taking a bath
Merry was not too thrilled either…especially that long hose thing spraying water.

Noelle inside the bathtub
Like Noelle, Merry did relent and allow me to wash her and trim her nails.
Charlotte on the grass with Merry
“Who is this little monster?” Brodie asks.
Merry playing with Charlotte
“It’s me, Noelle! I just want to be your friend.”
Merry interacting with her mom
“I would love to come live with you.”
Charlotte walking with Merry
“We could run and play!”
Merry happy with her mom
“Hey, you are kind of fun to run around with, Noelle!”
A woman holding Merry
Of course, her new mom will love her just as much as Brodie.
Charlotte checking on her puppy
Her new dad was just as excited to see Noelle and cuddle with her. Brodie wanted some of the attention also!
 Noelle came back home for the time being until she got a bit older. But knowing she has a new home has her all excited. She hopes Merry will find one just as good.

FRIDAY – JANUARY 25, 2013 – Last Day Together

Merry and Noelle sleeping heavilly
Noelle is shameless when it comes to totally relaxing!
Noelle with a grey blanket
The girls are inventing fun games to play. Merry asks, “Who is that under the towel? Let me bite it and see if it moves.”
Merry and Noelle playing with their blanket
It’s me…Noelle! What fun this is!”
Noelle pulling a blanket off Merry
“You think you can get past me, Noelle? You are dreaming!”
Merry enjoying her time under a blanket
I will just let Merry figure it out for herself.
Merry opening her mouth
I went into the X-pen today to take some photos of the girls. Noelle wrapped herself around my leg. I won’t try to describe the contortions I was going through to get some photos.
Noelle wearing a pink collar inside the cage
Merry, on the other hand, just sat still and posed. She is going to be a ham for the camera.
Merry and Noelle playing inside the cage
The girls decided to play a game of bitey-face
Merry and Noelle wrestle inside the cage
First Noelle was on top…
Noelle roughing up her sister
Then Merry surprised Noelle and jumped on top. “What in the world is this?”
Merry and Noelle bite each other playfully
“Now this is more like it. Remember who is top dog here.”

Merry drinking from the bowl next to Noelle
I have noticed that Noelle and Merry have two different coats. Noelle will definitely be looking like an Airedale. Her coat is growing long and fuzzy. The tan is beginning to grow in under her black puppy fur. She has that fuzzy face look.
Merry had more of a Lab coat that is much smoother and not growing out like Noelle’s. She will have some whiskers though…although I don’t think she will ever have a full Airedale beard.
Merry and Noelle looking up at the camera
Another view showing the difference. “Aw…mom…aren’t we both cute?”

FRIDAY – JANUARY 25, 2013 – Noelle Goes to Her New Home

An old woman carrying a young Merry
Today is Noelle’s big day! She is going to her new home. This is a bittersweet day for me. Raising Noelle and Merry was a lot of work, but I am going to miss these little guys. Noelle had another bath this morning and is ready to go.
I sat down for some last minute cuddles with Noelle. I told her how proud I was of her and happy that she will have such a wonderful home.
A smiling old woman carrying Merry
She gave me a kiss and then snuggled close. “I will always remember you, Mom.”

A smiling old woman holding Merry close to her face
If you love something you let it go. It will always be in your heart.
A man and woman holding Charlotte and Merry
As often happens with rescues, Noelle took to her new family right away! They promise to send updates. Congratulations to Josh and Carolyn and best wishes to Brodie!
Big News! Noelle’s new name is Elle ! We like it .
Noelle looking at the camera
“What? Someone is interested in me?”

TUESDAY – JANUARY 29, 2013 – Merry’s Last Day with Lynn

An old woman carrying Noelle
Today is Merry’s big day. I tried to take some snuggle photos before we left. Merry preferred to nuzzle her head close into my neck rather than look into the camera. 
An old woman looking at Noelle
“I am going to miss you, Mom.” “I will miss you too, Merry! But we will get to see each other again.”
An old woman carrying Noelle close to her face
“That’s better, Merry! Now let’s get packed to go meet your new mom and dad.”


Two dogs sleeping at opposite ends on the couch

Now that the pups are gone Charlotte is beginning to come into her own. She is a delightful girl who gets along with all four of the other dogs in my house. You should see her try to do play bows with Kasey, our German Shepherd. As you can imagine, Kasey does not have a clue what play bows are all about. It is not a Shepherd thing. He does like being the only guy among four Airedale girls. Of course, I could not get a photo of the play bows, but I do have this one of the two of them sharing the couch.
Four different pictures of Charlotte
I am beginning to see where Noelle/Macy got her 101 different sleeping positions. Here are a few Charlotte uses. By the way, she LOVES the couch. This is one we saved just for the dogs.
Charlotte holding a white chew toy
A rawhide chewie still proves to be Charlotte’s toy of choice. She will often pick it up and carry it outside with her.
Charlotte enjoying the company of an old man
Charlotte LOVES butt rubs and will lean into us to get one.
Charlotte resting on the floor
When she is not sleeping, she is always on the lookout for critters. Here she is sitting in the doorway to our sunroom where she can survey the pond and a good portion of our 10 acres.
Charlotte looking at the camera on the floor
When are you going to put that camera down mom?


Charlotte has settled in nicely with our family. Interesting that we have three female Airedales and they all get along great! Charlotte has many of the traits Alice had and can bring a smile to my face as I notice them and remember my Alice girl. Charlotte likes to got out…come in…go out…come in…okay Charlotte…make up your mind! She likes to lay on the couch and sleep a lot…so did Alice. Charlotte is very independent and doesn’t always care to see what is going on with the other dogs…same as Alice. Charlotte also has many nicknames. She is sometimes “Hoppy” as she hops up and down on her front legs when we come home and when it is dinner time. She is our “Busybody” as she is right at the pantry door with her nose in the dog food bag just as soon as we open the door. My hubby sometimes calls her “Fat Thing” although Charlotte prefers to be “Fashionably Chubby” Despite our efforts to help her to lose some pounds…her metabolism seems to keep her right where she is.

Below: Charlotte loves to lay upside down on the couch. For that matter, she likes to lay upside down just about anywhere.

Charlotte peeping at the camera while relaxing
Below: What’s the matter mom…can’t a girl get some beauty rest?

Charlotte resting her head
Below: Yawn…..let me know when you’re done.
Charlotte yawning on the sofa
Below: Okay…fine. I will go find something else to do.
Charlotte relaxing on the sofa
Below: So many balls…so little time.
Charlotte next to her red chew toys
Below: Our Shepherd, Kasey, loves to chew Kongs in half. Charlotte likes the smaller pieces.

Click Here to read about Noelle (now Macie) in her new home.

Click Here to read about Merry (now Merrilee) in her new home.