We will be at the Service Dogs of VA training center in Charlottesville, VA this Thursday and Friday, Dec 8th and 9th from 12-5 each day!
If you haven't seen our soaps please stop by!
This is a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas gifts AND check out the dogs in training at the center to learn more about the wonderful things they learn to do.
In addition to our soaps we will have our all natural cremes that contain no chemicals or preservatives and are scented with essential oils with beneficial qualities!
Also available - great treat bags that are waterproof and washable. Fun fabrics too!
Jennie Sue and I hope to see you this week!
Hard to believe that the year hasn't gone by so fast!
Our wonderful Christmas soaps are once again available to celebrate the season!
I had definitely forgotten about the fun of housebreaking a new puppy!
Ms. Jennie Sue will usually go when I take her outside but has not yet learned to tell me when she WANTS to go outside..... I have found the girl pups are not reliably house broken till 4 months old, the boys seem to catch on a little sooner. Jennie is 11 weeks old today and we have had her for almost 4 weeks so hopefully soon the light bulb with go on. She is a cutie! And so far - she shows every sign of being a good service dog candidate!
What has she been doing? She has learned to sit and walk nicely on a loose leash. She can settle at a restaurant and quietly wait in other settings. She can also run around the house like a banshee with a fresh roll of toilet paper that she has figured out how to remove from the holder! Then she rests....
We have been working hard the first three weeks on her recall (she definitely knows her name), 'trade' which means I have something better than you have and if you will drop what you have you can have it, and 'leave it' with a closed hand, open hand and food on the floor.
These last two cues have been extremely useful because of her talent for locating and bringing me mushrooms. Mushrooms can be extremely toxic to dogs and Jennie seems to have an uncanny ability to locate them. Just today they began popping up in the grass so I have to do a sweep before I can let her out in the yard. But last week she was finding ones I couldn't even see - heart attack city!
She has been to the grocery store, several restaurants, to Lowe's and to the mall. She has slept through the sermon at church, had the 1st graders read to her and endured an all day event helping sell soap and cremes at Maymont Herbs Galore in Richmond. She loves to walk on the trail and hang out in the creek.
So far she has not shown any fear of anything or anyone including some new dogs, the horses, our cats, a firetruck and ambulance with sirens screaming and a chainsaw.
We will continue to work on the skills she has started to learn and add some new outings this week!
I will also keep you posted on the potty training efforts!
After 4 months as a one dog household we have our seventh service dog puppy!
Her name is Jennie Sue and she came from Ravenwood Labs in Keswick, Virginia (the same breeder as our last puppy - Zinc).
This is the first puppy we have raised for Service Dogs of Virginia since Moe (our 15 year old golden) died in Feb 2015 and Jennie is also the first to not sleep through the night - she was not at all happy to be in a crate and made sure we all knew it! Poor River (our 3 year old released service dog) took the brunt of the complaints since she was sleeping in the same room. Things are much better this week though and Jennie is now sleeping all night!
I must admit - I had gotten used to not having to worry about a puppy. No run outside every 20 minutes to potty train ... no scheduling trips to town around puppy naps and bathroom habits ... no extra bag to carry on outings with toys/cleanup materials and special treats .... It was nice to have the extra time to myself but I did miss the fun of watching a puppy learn and grow and River missed having a buddy.
Today will be Jennie's first trip to ACAC to hopefully accompany me while I do body pump. Almost all of the previous pups fell asleep or happily chewed on a bully stick for the hour long class. Jennie Sue will go for a walk before we go to increase the probability that she will be content to lay on her mat and watch and chew and potentially sleep!
Wish us luck!
Today is a happy yet sad day at our house .... tomorrow Zinc will go to his new home - it's a wonderful home and that makes it a little easier. Zinc is the sixth puppy I have raised for Service Dogs of Virginia and a real sweetheart. He came from Ravenwood Labs in Keswick, VA and their dogs have wonderful temperaments. People always ask me if I have trouble giving up the dogs I raise when they are ready to go to their clients. I think that isn't as hard as letting them go when they are released from the program.
Zinc has elbow issues. It happens ... in spite of all the screening and care that breeders go through to produce sound puppies. He has had surgery but will likely need additional surgery with a fairly long recovery period to lead a comfortable life. That would delay his training and there is no guarantee that he will be totally sound. For a working dog that is not ideal. For a pet it is manageable.
Fortunately, through a coincidental coffee date, I was hooked up with some wonderful friends who were thinking of getting another dog after losing theirs. They met Zinc and fell in love with him (no surprise there at least for me!). They want Zinc to be a member of their family. They have nursed dogs through similar surgeries and want to do the same for Zinc. For that I am extremely grateful. I know they will enjoy Zinc and he will love his new life and home. The other good part is he won't be going too far and I hope I will get to see him often!
So.... until a new puppy comes along, we will be down to a one dog household ....
Take advantage of our 15% discount on all products through Christmas Day!
My blogging timeliness skills have not improved....
I won't bore you with the details but they say time goes by faster every year and I have to agree...
Gearing up for the shopping season - we will be bringing back our Christmas soaps soon so keep an eye out for them. Will be at the Montanova Fall Festival this Sunday, September 19th from 12 - 5. After all this rain the promised sunny weekend will be enjoyed by everyone.
The following Sunday, Oct 26th, we will be at the Dog Fest at Darden Towe Park.
And Saturday, November 8th we will be at Sts Peter & Paul Catholic Church near Lake Monticello church for their holiday bazaar.
Stop by and see our soaps in person!
I am not sure where the year has gone!
After a very cold winter for Virginia (during which I hibernated after foot surgery in December) - my daughter had surgery for scoliosis in March, spent 4 weeks at home recovering (prom is a wonderful incentive), graduated from high school and finally got into UVA (her first choice) after a harrowing few weeks on the wait list.
I am finally breathing a sigh of relief ....
I did make it to several artisan shows to sell soaps but have definitely neglected my blog!
BUT - We will have a booth at the Grace Church Historic Farm Tour in Keswick on Saturday June 14th - come out and support the vendors and enjoy the tour - Garth (my latest SDVA puppy) will be there! He is 5 months old and a real sweetheart - with a face to die for - we cannot figure out what makes him so handsome but everyone comments on how good looking he is - and he is wonderful in public. Just hoping one day he doesn't turn into a teenager!
Here is a picture of the little guy ...
After the Grace Farm Tour we are looking forward to the SDVA Ruff Cuts Film Festival on Saturday June 28th. Check it out - it should be a lot of fun!
In honor of River's birthday tomorrow (January 10th) we are offering a 10% discount on her popular line of soaps that benefit Service Dogs of Virginia (SDVA) - River's Chill Out! Shea Butter & Lavender Essential Oil Soap. Try a bone shape, paw print shape or rectangular with paw print shape all on a stretchy or order a rectangular slice people version. All handcrafted from a shea butter base and scented with 100% pure lavender essential oil.
I have to admit that the stretchy really helps me hold on to the soap in the shower!
One thing I have noticed since I started using soap that I handcraft is that I no longer need to use a moisturizer after every shower or bath! Each of the bases is a little different and my favorites are the olive oil, shea and aloe bases but the amount of glycerine in all of our soaps makes a huge difference.
On another note I have hidden our Christmas collection until later this year when we will offer them again. Instead you will now see an Essential Oil Soaps For You collection to let you easily check out all of our soaps scented with essential oils which have therapeutic value. There are a couple of new ones so take a look! We still have our fragrance oil soaps of course as they offer many scents not available in nature!
If there is something you are looking for let us know! You might want to try our new Honey soap with Almond Meal - a gentle exfoliant!