VIDEO: Zelda & River pups play outside

I decided to delay the bath, groom, still photos for a much more fun activity for all involved.  We made a trip outside for the first time today!  So much fun!!  The weather was far to inviting to stay indoors.  It was a little damp and muddy, but very warm and sunny.

This first video is learning what outside is and how to avoid a 10 month old silly Standard Poodle girl!  Jazz was all about the puppies, but I had to keep reminding her to be gentle.

This second video I put both Zelda and Jazz in the house, and decided to give the puppies something to think about and explore.

I hope to get the puppies groomed and ready for their 4 week old photo shoot in the next couple days.

And now for the litter details:  I have 4 deposits on this litter.  The last puppy will be held until a better understanding of temperament can be determined.  I have two other homes interested, but they have very specific needs which may or may not be met by this litter.  If you are interested, please contact me soon, so you can be put on my waiting list.  For those interested in adopting one of these little gems, price for a pet is $1500.00 on limited registration (no breeding rights). These pups should be suitable as performance dogs, therapy dogs, and wonderful pets.  The parents are very stable dogs with outstanding temperaments.  They will probably be small to mid size as adults (20-25 inches at the shoulders).  Contact me at for an adoption application.  References required as my puppies only go to the best homes and as forever members of your family.

Click the “LITTERS” link at the top to see more post about these puppies!

River (dad) and Zelda (mom)




The Average Standard Poodle coefficient of inbreeding is around 15%.  This litter is 2.66%  Lower % means lower inbreeding.


Lynda Richardson & 2 standard boys! - February 16, 2012 - 9:43 am

The videos at the 4-week point are so great! I see their personalities coming through! Some braver than others…some more independent & adventurous…some wanting cuddles more than others. Thanks for sharing!! We are off to do a therapy dog visit today. Blessings, Lynda, Boudro & Tibby

Whelping Box

I’ve had a few emails asking what I mean about the bottom of my whelping box not being attached. Most whelping boxes are built with the sides bolted / screwed / nailed to the bottom.  It forms a container.  Most people using a whelping box like this.  I just don’t like it.  When the moms are about to whelp they dig and dig and dig, making a total mess out of anything you place in the box.  After the babies are born, there is a risk mom can dig and cover up the pups with anything left in the box.  I had a breeder long ago show me how they set up their box and I have used this same design concept.  Below is a video so you can see how it works.

The sides are heavy enough that they do not move when mom rest against them.  It has worked for me for all these years.

If you have extra funds and want a traditional whelping box, I hear great things about the “DuraWhelp” box.  It is plastic, but the bottom attaches to the sides and it is not cheap.  If I had more than a litter or two a year, I might consider investing in something lighter and more long term.  However, my box cost me all of 10 dollars by using scrap wood I had around the house.  I think I can make a few of those over the years for the cost of one DuraWhelp.



Courtney - February 14, 2012 - 3:43 pm

Thanks, Becky. This is very helpful. I hope I have to build a whelping box soon. :)

Feeding Tripe, Probiotics, and Raw Meat

Sherri emailed me the other day with an interesting observation about Elvira.

Elvira (our bloat survivor) has always had a gurgling stomach, even after the bloat episode and surgery.  Gas X is our friend.  Another Standard Poodle owner and friend, has always fed raw diet to her poos as she felt it helped to prevent bloat.  Recently they became RV’ers big time and raw was not always available in their travels and their freezer is small!  So she switched to kibble but with the addition of green tripe. We decided to give it a go with Elvira.  We started adding canned green tripe (the brand is Tripett) to the Evangers about 10 days ago.  Gurgling stomach is gone.  We have not pulled out the gas-X in over a week.  In addition, Elvira loves it.  She finishes off her food quickly and completely. We rotate between 4 flavors, about 3 forkfuls per meal.


Great information, Sherri!  Green tripe is a great addition to a well rounded diet to provide for digestion.  If Sherri can feed kibble / canned and only a little tripe to help Elvira’s tummy, I am more than pleased.  I encourage you all to think about doing the same.  Do a search on the net for Green Tripe and research for yourself!

I stumbled upon a great video today explaining why it is important and not risky to feed your dog a raw food diet, add probiotics (I give live yogurt once week) and digestive enzymes (Green Tripe).

What you need to remember is that feeding raw to a dog is like feeding yourself.  You don’t have to make it complicated and balance every meal.  It can be as simple as giving your dog some of the food you plan to cook for dinner.  Think about what a dog would eat in the wild.  Meat… and that is about it.  Do not make it complicated by adding veggies and grain.  I simply thaw out enough meat for my family and the dogs.  Each night I cook for us, I break down all the meat into what the humans are going to have, and toss the extra bits into clean dogs bowels.  Last night, the dogs all ate chicken leg quarters… bone, skin, and all (raw bone does not splinter.  Only after it is cooked is it a danger to your dog).  You can’t get much simpler than that.  Feeding kibble alone is like eating highly processed meal like McDonald’s every day.  You can do it, but should you?

“But Becky, I don’t cook!?!”  There is an option for busy people and those who think meat is ‘icky’.

THE HONEST KITCHEN FREEZE DRIED RAW FOOD DIET -  Please note, some dogs do not like the texture.  Get a small bag to test if your dog will eat the ‘space food’ as we call it.  It is fantastic for travel!!

complete meal patties.  Just thaw and feed.  I keep these in the freezer at all times.

There are many other raw food options on the market that are fabulous.  I only suggest these because I have experience with both products.

So, please consider the addition of Green Tripe, if nothing else, to your Poodle’s diet, especially if your dog has a chronic upset tummy.  Consider giving your dog a little live culture yogurt once a week,  it must contain probiotics and not be heavily processed.  Lastly, consider the extra step and add in a raw meal.  I start a dog with only a small amount and watch for any changes in stool.  You might find it isn’t much harder than Kibble!


Courtney - February 14, 2012 - 11:18 am

Great information, Becky. Thank you! I didn’t know all of this. Where can I find green tripe? Is it in stores or ordered online? Didn’t you mention once that you sometimes feed your dogs raw eggs? If so, do you mix it with something? Is there a particular brand of yogurt you prefer to feed your dogs? And is any part of the chicken safe as long as it raw? For example, can I feed them chicken wings? I’m supplementing Georgie’s diet right now with the nature’s variety patties, are these other options good for her too?

Becky - February 14, 2012 - 12:28 pm

You can get canned green tripe at most pet stores. I know Petco carries a canned version by Solid Gold. Or you can order it, of course.

Yes, I feed raw egg. You can mix it with their food or anything or just give it straight. Zelda gets hers with her yogurt. As far as yogurt, anything with live culture is fine.

Yes, you can feed chicken wings. Any part of any raw animal is safe, just not the intestine and only because of parasites. If Georgie went outside and ate a rabbit whole, she would be fine, but she would probably get tape worms. I had to worm the dogs regularly in CO because of my bunny slaying Poodles! If you have a hunting friend who can get you deer, that is a great option and cheap. Just freeze it for at least a week before feeding, you should do that before eating any wild meat yourself as well.

Amanda - April 22, 2014 - 6:18 pm

Hello Becky,
I have some info on raw green tripe I’d like to share. Fresh frozen is the best containing more natural enzymes and probiotics found in the cows stomach. canned has most likely been processed killing off some/all of the good stuff in the tripe. When buying you want to look for grass fed beef that they harvested the tripe from so you dont get tripe from corn fed/antibiotic given cows. here is a website with some info
most holistic pet food stores will carry raw frozen green tripe. There are many online stores as well, I buy mine from my pet carnivore.

Being a Breeder / Rescuer

How do I do it?  How do I let dogs and puppies go to new homes?  How do I foster rescues, then let them go to a new family?  How do I keep from getting so attached that I can’t let them go?

I was emailing Barb, who adopted our Sadie when she was 5 years old.  Sadie passed away in November 2011, at 11.5 years old (I still have to edit and compile her tribute page.).  Upon my request, Barb sent me a bunch of great photos of Sadie and we have been talking about what Barb might do next.  Sadie lived the majority of her life with Barb and made a huge impact on Barb and her family.  Due to her age and health, Barb doesn’t think she should take on a dog long term.  She was mulling over the idea of fostering for rescue.  Barb was trying to understand how I could place a dog after living with them for 5 years, and at the same time she thanked me for having such a personality.  Sadie was so special to Barb, and she wouldn’t have experienced that if I had kept Sadie myself.

Many people cannot re-home a dog.  Once a person lives with a dog, they feel they are responsible for the dog, good or bad, even if that dog is not ‘right’ for them or their home.  Most of my family fall into this category.  They have dogs that they complain about daily, hardly speaking a positive thing about the animal.  It is said with “Oh well, you know <so and so>, we still love them”.  The media and animal rights activist also spew forth “A dog is for life, not until…”.  Personally, I think this concept is selfish and often harmful to the dogs.  My grandmother had a mini poodle when I was a child.  He was a sweet dog, but grandmother never had a nice thing to say about him.  He was not right for her personality or home.  She kept that dog his entire life, but only because ‘that is the responsible thing to do’.

Sadie and Barb. Sadie was an active therapy dog and a certified hearing service dog for Barb. These are things she never would have experienced staying with me, not to mention the help she provided Barb.

I have the ability to know if a home will provide a better environment for a dog.  Sadie is an excellent example.  When Barb contacted me and gave me the specific needs she had, I knew the right dog was Sadie.  She was everything Barb needed in a dog.  Sadie was not truly happy living with us.  She was a gentle soul, very sweet.  Merlot was dominant and I am a dominant person.  Even though Sadie came to live with us at 8 months and left with Barb when she was 5, she never was comfortable with Merlot or me.  He was to much dog for her, I was to much Human!  This caused her to develop some stress habits.  She would eat socks, get into things, cause issues.  I told Barb about her baggage when I placed her, but she never once ate anything that wasn’t food or treat while living with Barb.  It proved to me I had found the right home for Miss Sadie.  She thrived in a home with no other dogs, no small children, only two gentle adults who never told her to do anything.  Barb simply asked her very gently if she would please do <insert typical dog command> and Sadie would do it, with bells on!

Major, Merlot, and Sadie. When all three lived with us in Huntsville, AL.

The same could be said for Major, Merlot’s brother.  Major was with us for 5 years, and when Stacey and her family contacted me about adding another dog, I knew Major was a good match for them and their home.  I can tell you Major touched that family more than any dog they have owned.  Major was special to them, something more to that family than he was in ours.  It was the right choice and he was loved beyond measure by Stacey.

My sister first pointed out how I was different years ago.  She said it was rare, and that I should use it as a gift.  This ability made me the perfect breeder and rescuer.  I can take in an animal, evaluate them, and hopefully decide the best home based on the information I have.  I didn’t foster my breeding dogs when I was showing / breeding Shibas, so I had a lot of experience re-homing adult dogs.  I couldn’t continue to breed (and stay happily married) by keeping every dog after they were done having puppies.  Also, at that time I was heavily involved with both Setter and Shiba Inu rescue.  I lost count of the number of both breeds I took in and found homes.  For about 5 years we always had a rescue or two in house.  Once my allergies became an issue, Keith put his foot down on the shedding dogs.  I became involved with Standard Poodles and there are thankfully, very few that come into rescue that are not quickly fostered and found homes.  Both the Setters and the Shiba Inu took a more specific family dynamic and required extensive rehabilitation for problem behavior.  Ask anyone looking for an adult Standard Poodle and you will get an ear full about how few there are to be found.

I believe one specific event made me who I am today.  When I was 12 years old I decided I wanted to buy my own dog.  I talked to my parents and they helped me sell a few things (goodbye Barbie Dreamhouse!) to attain the cash for my first purchase.  This wasn’t going to be a family dog, it was going to be MY dog.  I researched breeds, looked in the paper every day, compared how much money I had saved to my options.  I found an ad in the paper about champion sired Irish Setters.  I talked to mom and I called to inquire.   She had one male left and after a short visit I brought him home.  Rip was 12 weeks old and the apple of my eye.  The breeder supplied me the number of Rip’s sire.  I wanted to try conformation showing, so I gave her a call, which started my lifelong love of dog shows.  My first dog was finally a reality.  I trained him all myself and teaching a hyper Irish Setter to walk on a leash when your 12 years old with zero experience was a sharp learning curve!  After a while Rip and I became a team.  He and I did everything together, we learned together, we made mistakes together.  I learned how to strip and groom a Setter for AKC shows.  I taught him how to stack for conformation showing.  I taught him to swim in our pool.  To jump our fence and open the gate with his nose (ok, not the smartest choices.).  He was my dog.  He only listened to me.  My dad would get so angry when he would tell Rip to do something, and the dog would turn and look at me for conformation.  That was the moment I knew he was mine.  Years passed.  I grew up and moved on to college.  My father passed away when I was 18.  My mother eventually remarried.  I was in my second year of college and my Mom and Bill were moving from Arkansas up to Michigan.  They asked me what we should do with Rip.  They didn’t have time for him.  He was suffering from lack of attention after I went to college, but they would keep him for me if I wanted.  I made one of the hardest decision of my life.  I phoned a lady who had another Irish Setter and asked if she would take him.  She loved my boy and eagerly took him in.  Rip and Amber, the sweet female Irish Setter, became best friends.  He had a great life after me, but boy… what a hard call.

I learned two things from Rip.  1. How to let a dog go, if it is the best choice for the dog.  2.  How to know if a dog is suppose to be mine.  This second thing is something I have only experienced twice in my life.  Letting a dog go, one that was meant to be my dog is something I will never do again.  I will never allow myself to get in a situation where I have to let the Rip or Merlot of my life go.  On the same note, I cannot allow a dog who wasn’t completely special to me stay here if a home came along that would offer that dog, and family, a chance to experience something amazing.  If you have never had the complete devotion of a “heart dog”, then I pray you have that experience sometime in your life.  I’ve been blessed twice.  The second, my Merlot,  I was there for his entire life.  I was there to hold his head when he passed on.  He knew I did everything for him I could.  I didn’t send him away to someone else, he was / is mine forever.

That’s why I do what I do.  If only one of you out there finds a dog that changes you, touches your heart like no other, then I am happy.  To most of the dogs in my life I am only a temporary caregiver, there until they find that special person.  Barb experienced that with Sadie and for that I am more than blessed.  Stacey had that with Major.  How many more people can I help experience this gift?  I don’t know, but I am going to keep doing what I do, until I am no longer able to do it.  Maybe someday I will strike gold again and be blessed with number three.

Merlot - always in my heart!

~ Becky


Sherri H - February 10, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Now that I have put the tissue box away……. great posting. More than ever, I know you are the perfect breeder for us. We had the privledge of of having “Merlin” for his entire life, brief though it was. He was meant to be with us. And as you know, Elvira is our Merlot. She has been one of our greatest gifts.

Lisa Gulledge - February 10, 2012 - 4:00 pm

Ruffy was another example of perfect re-homing. She was never quite at home with you. She was happy “enough”, but she found the “perfect” home for her last few months.
We have struggled for a year with this issue with Gatsby, deciding if he was as happy as he could be in our home. The funny thing is we found his special person within our own home.

Elizabeth Penning - February 10, 2012 - 6:14 pm

Becky – you are amazing. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Barbara Fitzgerald - February 11, 2012 - 1:17 am

Hi Becky, I just found your site/blog tonight while surfing the net and I love the new blog format! Your comments on vaccinations – totally agree. And thanks for the links/tips on flea control. I have not had any problem with fleas since back in the 80′s until our very dry weather last summer. I’d forgotten how miserable they can make life for a dog and I had to relearn how to deal with them.
I also love your explanation behind why you’ve chosen to ‘foster’ some of your dogs. I gave up breeding my collies because I stressed to much about finding the right homes for them. Several times I literally gave a pup away to a home that my instincts told me was the best for it instead of selling it to one that was just not right. I’ve often said I would love to just breed and have the litter but let someone else in charge of the selling/placement decisions. I love having the puppies and have always been extremely good at raising them, spending way too much time loving, playing & training them. And it was easy to do as I was working for myself grooming dogs and around the pups 24/7.
My mother used to raise poodles and her last one, a standard, became mine after her death in 2001. Lucy is an apricot and just passed her 13th birthday. She still acts like a puppy most of the time and is my buddy ready to go at a moment’s notice. I dread the thought of one day being without her. Maybe, as that time gets closer, I can check back with you to see if you might have just the right poodle for me.
Good luck with the babies! Barb

Becky - February 12, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Thanks for the great letter, Barb! Just let me know if you are ever in our area, we would love for you to visit. :) Give Lucy a big cookie from us here! She deserves it for having such a long life!

Sandy Tate - February 19, 2012 - 11:39 pm

What a great post. You placed a “heart dog” in our home when you placed Kipper. He is my third heart dog, so I will pray that you find yours. Although Kip is “on leave” from official therapy work right now since I am so busy he spent the weekend in the hospital visiting my mom and doing his puppy magic. Once again I was amazed to see how many hospital staff and patient family/friends recieved help from him. He has not lost his touch and it inspired me to get serious about getting certified again so I can hold the leash and watch him work his magic some more. I am so thankful you chose to share your gift with others and I hope you can see how it is multiplying.

Video: Zelda pups- a milestone

I was sitting in the puppy box today with Aiden and Kenzie, and just happen to catch a couple milestones on film.  I thought you guys would get a kick out of it.  Enjoy!


Rachel Bohl - February 10, 2012 - 9:36 am

That was hilarious! Kids, pups, moms – it has it all. The howling was so cute! Poor Zelda, I’m sure motherhood is a tad bit more trying now the puppies are bigger and moving more. Good thing you happened to be right there as they discovered the up and over!