Stanley’s long journey

Stanley went home on Wednesday. It was a long journey. If you have a minute, sit down and I’ll tell you the story.

Stanley was matched with his family weeks ago and plans were put into motion for them to come pick him up. His “dad’s” work schedule didn’t cooperate and we agreed to keep Stanley a bit past his scheduled Puppy Delivery Day.

Stanley’s family lives across the northern border from us. We had hoped that by the time Stanley would go home that the border would be back open again. His dad was going to give it a shot and do whatever he could to make it happen.

I had scheduled an appointment for Wednesday for Stanley’s required health certificate so he could enter his new country. His dad had planned to leave his home early that morning and meet me at the vet around noon.

Unfortunately, I received an email early that morning that Stanley’s dad was turned back at the border. He could not make it down to get Stanley. The family was heartbroken. I guess we should’ve seen it coming, but we had hope it would all work out.

I hated to, but my next step was to cancel his vet appointment and start writing a post to find him another family preferably in WA so we wouldn’t have to make the 100+ mile round trip to the vet for the health certificate. And the sooner the better. Not that I wanted to kick Stanley out! No, he deserved to be with his family as soon as possible!

But before I had a chance to post anything (thankfully) more emails started coming in and conversations passed between myself and his Canadian family. They were committed and trying to think of any (legal) way to make this work.

Did you know that there is a park in the most northwestern corner of Washington state that straddles the boundary between the US and Canada? The park is called Peace Arch Historical State Park on the US side and Peace Arch Provincial Park on the Canadian portion. But it’s just one big park and residents from both countries can go visit  and enjoy the whole thing on both sides of the actual physical border. “But are warned not to cross the boundary of the park to enter the adjacent country without being cleared to enter by the respective customs authority, as violators are subject to prosecuted.” (from Wikipedia).

The actual giant stone arch for which the park is named was built to “commemorate the Treaty of Ghent and the Rush-Bagot Agreement, which “provided for peaceful resolution of U.S.–British disputes and an unguarded U.S./Canadian border. “(Wikipedia).

International families which have been separated by the Covid-19 shelter-in-place mandate and the closed borders have been able to recently meet at the park to spend time together.

So a plan we set in motion for us to meet Stanley’s family there. I know, it’s weird. We can both go to the park, meet, mingle without going through border security. His family would just need to make sure and go through their border security at the end of the park as they reentered Canada.

But first, I had to call and see if I could reschedule Stanley’s appointment for his health certificate for that day. Wednesday was the only day I would be able to make the drive and drag hubby along for company. The vet is almost back to normal hours (although they are still not allowed to do non-essentials surgeries and such) but since they are still doing parking lot drop-offs and owners can not go in they are spending more time on the phone. So all I could do was leave a message explaining my mission and wait for them to call back.

Fortunately, later that morning they called and had an opening at 1 pm. (See my previous post about Stanley’s boat ride).

When I got home from his appointment, I had to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening preparing for an early departure on Wednesday morning. Thankfully, my grown kids are staying with us so there would be someone home to watch the puppies and take care of things for the day.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning we loaded up and set out with our precious cargo.

He is such a good traveler.

When we’d stop for breaks, Stanley would get a break too in the bed of the truck. It gave him a chance to stretch his legs, go potty and get a drink. He had an early lunch in his crate since he had breakfast much earlier than usual.

The route we took is the scenic one that runs across the northern part of the state. The weather was perfect too.

Finally we arrived at our destination and started into the park looking for the great arch where we had gotten the message that Stanley’s family would be waiting near.

Finally all together!

It was a really long drive, but worth it to see those big smiles. 😀

The Arch with the Canadian entry on the far right and the US border crossing to the left out of the picture.

The park had some gorgeous flowers.

And since we didn’t have a deadline to meet on the way home we made a few stops along the way for pictures of the beauties of the Pacific Northwest.

I’m just glad it all finally came together and Stanley was able to finally go home with his forever family. ❤

*P.S. This was a one-time event. Stanley’s family compensated us for taking time off from our daily schedule and making the almost 800 miles round trip (vet appt. included) to make this happen.

I do not plan on doing another delivery like this. So we will only be matching puppies with our northern neighbor’s on upcoming puppy matching days if the border is reopened at that time. No more “hoping” it will be reopened by puppy delivery day. And if you cannot meet us in Spokane on your intended puppy’s Puppy Delivery Day, please pass and wait for another litter. As much fun as it was to have adventures with Stanley, it’s not fair to the puppies I have at home that I’m raising for myself. They get put on the back burner so to speak because I feel I should be concentrating on socializing the puppy that is staying longer.

The adorable “Thank you” card from Stanley’s new human “sister” who, by the way wants to write a book about Stanley. I can’ wait to see it!

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They’ve graduated

Sky and her puppies have graduated to the next step in puppy hood, the puppy pen. It was time they moved into bigger quarters. The pups are still at the crawling/toddling stage, but it won’t be long and they’ll really be up and about more.

The small puppy pen works great for this transition time. They have a large fleecy bed that takes up about half of the puppy pen. And the other half is almost filled with the UgoDog (a commercial litter box system).

I like using the UgoDog as their first litter box. It is flat and when they move off their bed to potty (something dogs naturally do as they don’t (usually) want to soil their sleeping area) they crawl right across to the UgoDog. It works great! Later we’ll present the other litter box to them.

And now is the perfect time to start introducing different toys to them also.

I think Sky likes her new house 🙂

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Stanley rides a boat

Yesterday was Stanley’s vet appointment to get his health certificate so he can go home today (if all goes as planned).

I had a package that needed to be picked up at the post office so instead of going my regular route to town and on to the vet, I headed the opposite direction to our little town where our post office is to pick up my package.

From there I headed down to the river and the ferry. This route takes me across the river, then over a little mountain pass where I come down and connect to the highway and on to the vet’s office. It’s the scenic route. I don’t usually take it in the winter because the road is windy, shady and can get pretty icy. It’s shorter then my regular way on the main roads, but only if you hit the ferry right on time.

Summer hours are 6:30 to 9:45 and it runs every fifteen minutes. It leaves our side at the top and bottom of the hour and the other side at a quarter after and a quarter to the hour. It’s a free ferry and mostly sticks to its schedule. Unfortunately when I arrived today (early) it was just leaving. What?! And then I saw it; either a propane or gas truck. When that happens the ferry takes just that one vehicle which gets them a bit off schedule.

So we sat and waited a while.

Once we had driven on and parked and the ferry took off, I got Stanley out so he could experience the ferry; noise, sights, sounds and smells.

We docked safely on the other side and drove off to our appointment where Stanley got his exam and health certificate issued. All set!

He had a potty break, some water and some lunch and then we headed toward home on our usual route.


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All the puppies

All of the current babies are doing great!

Today Sky’s pups turn three weeks old (stay tuned for new pictures and names!) They are started to toddle/crawl and interact with each other. They’re not really interested in toys yet. Mom is still their favorite “thing”. Soon we will move them to the small puppy pen and introduce them to the UgoDog litter box.

Next in line are Raven’s pups who are eleven days old. Their eyes and ears are not even open yet. They crawl around their bed to find each other and mom. They are small like their mom but gaining weight steadily.

Raven likes to drag hooves, antlers and other chew toys back to her crate 😉

And lastly, we have Smudgie’s singleton girl. She is doing super and so is Smudgie. I’m sure animals grieve, but she seemed to adjust quickly and got busy taking care of her one puppy. She’s her happy, tail-wagging self! And her puppy is quite the little sausage since she has all that milk to herself. She is a week old tomorrow.

And in another week or so we should be welcoming Amber’s litter. That will give us a full house for a while and keep us plenty busy! Having the litters spread out a bit makes things nice as they will each be hitting different stages at different times.

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Stanley goes to town

I had to go to town on Friday to get some chicken food and other animal feed so I thought it would be a good opportunity for Stanley to see some new sights and sounds and get more travel time in his crate. He’s still not thrilled when I put him in a crate and close the door and he let’s me know for a few minutes about his displeasure. Luckily, within about five to ten minutes he has stopped because I ignore his protests from the backseat.

Once we got to town we pulled into a parking lot so he could practice his driving skills and visit with “auntie” Karen.

Then we went through the drive-thru so he could meet some new people and experience so new sights, sounds and smells. (Don’t worry, he travels safely in his crate and came out to go through the drive-thru).

Then it was off to the feed store where Stanley had to check out the cute chicks. 😉

You can see how “terrified” he was of the cart. He laid down and decided to nap.

We stopped at the second feed store in town to pick up something that the other store doesn’t carry. Stanley and I had to see what chicks they had here too.

Practicing social distancing as we wait out turn in line.

Next we stopped at the nursery to pick up some plants and Stanley had another potty break!

“What? Isn’t this bag for me to chew on?”

Watching the cats go by while we sit in the truck.

Nap time (don’t worry we were sitting in a parking lot).


It was a successful trip to town with a curious puppy.

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Saturday snapshots

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Things don’t always go as we hope

As suspected the other day, Smudgie was in pre-labor. Dogs will sometimes go into nesting mode before they go into actual labor. Smudgie was nesting on and off for about 24 hours, digging in her bed and after I switched it out for some newspaper she went to town ripping and shredding that.

I had hoped Tuesday, as the day progressed, that she would go into active labor and have the babies. But no, instead we had a restless night of waiting. Finally in the wee hours of the morning things started happening.

The first pup arrived with no issues, fat and sassy. Unfortunately, the next two did not fair so well. Both were bigger than the first puppy (they were all 8+ ounces), came out breech and got stuck. I had the unpleasant job of pulling them as mom tried to deliver. I’m sure it was very painful and uncomfortable for poor Smudgie, but I had to get the pups out.

Sadly, the first one was already gone by the time I got it out and the last one I was not able to revive even with considerable effort. I felt so bad for poor Smudige.

Sometimes this job is hard.

At least she has one healthy puppy to mother. I’m grateful for that.  ❤

It’s a girl by the way.

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