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SoftMaple & Gunflint

It's time for us to fly!


Getting the pups used to the shipping crates

Aysa wondering how to get them out

Federal regulations require each kennel be properly marked as follows:

  • Display a "Live Animals" Label with letters at least 1 inch high, on top and on at least one side of the kennel.
  • Indicate the Top with arrows or "This End Up" markings on at least two sides.
  • Feeding Instructions Label: If food is necessary it must be attached to the outside of the kennel.
  • Feeding Certification Attached: Certification must be attached to the kennel stating that the animal has been offered food and water within four hours prior to dropoff (or tender) with Northwest. IMPORTANT: Do not feed your animal in the two (2) hours prior to departure, as a full stomach can cause discomfort for a traveling pet.
  • Contact Information Label: Label with your name, address and phone number at origin and destination cities. It is also a good idea to include your pet's name.


Long day today. I got up with the pups at 2:30am. Feeding and cleaning, then packing up the 4 that were flying out today. The weather forecast through the week had gotten worse and worse. It went from the high 30's and clear, to the mid 30's and 30% chance of snow, to low 20's and 70% of snow. It has to be above 20 in all destinations, stops and take-offs to ship the pups. Since when I start out, its too early to call the cargo office, I have to take my chances. Its 14 degrees here when I leave. I was so happy to see that airport sign say 24F when I drove in! It is always safer shipping in the cold than the heat. At least with this breed. I can imagine the cold gets to the real small dogs, and the hairless varieties!

First stop was the terminal to meet the gal that flew in from AZ. Green girl is traveling in the cabin in a Sherpa bag. Everything went smoothly, and she was as tired as I was, her still being on AZ time. Next to the Cargo office to start the yards of paperwork, and see if the flights are still able to take the pups. He told me good thing it was today, because they already have an embargo on for tomorrow! So the first two are checked in. I have several hours before I can check in the last pup. Not enough time to go home, so we take off to find a nice big plowed parking lot so liver yellow boy can get some of his energy out of his system. He gets watered and a snack, and settles to sleep in his crate. After lunch, we go back to the cargo office. Find out that Blue liver boy and Pink black girl both made it on their flights ok, and fill out the last of the paperwork.

Then I drive home to the remaining 5 puppies. Two now think there is no need to live in the puppy room, and they escape at will, and have the run of the downstairs with Beauty. The other three have plenty of space and toys in the puppy room, so they are content.


Tori and Grandpa-Jack

Grandparents are supposed to spoil the kids!


Blue boy looks out from his box hide out.

Of all the toys the pups love the most, things like boxes, or plastic milk jugs are their favorite. I don't give them old shoes to play with, since a pup can't tell the difference between a shoe he can play with, and the ones you paid good money for!

Green Boy and Tori just waking up from a nap

Green boy and Yellow girl run to meet Aysa

I think liver girl is tired of the same old slop!

Beauty is never tired of cleaning up after the puppies meals!

I wanted to share with you an article that appeared in the AKC Gazette's Curly Breed column, written by Ann Shinkle.

Educating a Curly pup

Your Curly-Coated Retriever puppy starts learning as soon as it is born. It's up to you to do the very best job possible in order to have a well adjusted, happy adult.

I have been raising a puppy bitch over the past few months, which has brought many important thoughts concerning puppies to mind. I shall now share some of them with you.

When you decide to acquire a Curly pup, be award that you need to prepare well before its arrival. On the whole, our breed needs quite a bit more socializing than some other retriever breeds. A once a week trip to puppy kindergarten is not enough. In the case of some of the more retiring, less confident pups, you should take the puppy on a daily trip outside the home to different places, once your veterinarian says it's safe to do so.

Good locations for these socialization and education encounters include parks and shopping malls, especially the parking areas where the puppy can experience the clatter of shopping carts, the roar of motorcycles, and the sight of people emerging from stores carrying strange packages. (Of course, you and your puppy should never enter any premises without having first obtained the management's permission.) My most recent Curly puppy has gone into shops, visited friends, attended obedience classes and matches as an observer and fun matches as a participant, and has been to puppy classes of various levels. this particular puppy needs a great deal of socialization because she is slightly less confident than other Curly puppies tend to be at this age.

When a stranger comes up to you and your puppy on one of these outings, ask them them to pet your pup and to offer it one of the treats you should carry in your pocket.

It's especially important that your puppy become used to being around children at this early age. First, ask the parent's permission , then have the children -one at a time with a puppy!-gently pet your puppy.

Remember, all these activities are learning experiences and should leave your puppy with positive memories. If your puppy shows fear of any object, walk up to that object and hold out a treat for the puppy to gently coax it to approach the object. If your puppy continues to show any fear or backs up and pulls away, do not praise it. Just ignore this behavior and try again. If the pup is still very much afraid, calmly walk away and have the puppy perform something it knows, such as sitting in front of you, then give it a treat. If you sympathize with the puppy as it demonstrates nervousness or fear, you will reinforce the behavior. It's better to ignore the fear and frightened behavior, and get on with something else.

While on the subject of socializing your puppy and taking it places in the care, please be sure that you've first done some crate training with the puppy. I think its extremely important to have a safe spot in your vehicle for the puppy, whether it's a car safety harness or a crate. In case of an accident, animals of people can be seriously injured as a result of a dog being tossed about. (your puppy's breeder should provide Crate-training information Readers who need this information may also contact me.)

Another important fact to keep in mind is that home is very different from that big world outside. Your puppy may seem very happy, outgoing and well adjusted at home, but take it to a strange, noisy place, and most Curly puppies will show some fear at first. This is why I stress a great deal of socialization in those crucial early months.

The Reverse can also occur. Many years ago I met a Curly who had been kenneled for the first few years of his life. He had never been inside a house. After he was placed in another home, it took three months of coaxing and living with his new family before he would set foot inside their home.

Let both situations be a lesson to all of us: The more varied the experiences a puppy has during its first year, the better off it will be for the rest of its life.

Originally printed in the AKC Gazette, April 1998 written by Ann Shinkle.

Aysa and Mini-me

Green boy and Liver girl go home this morning

I have had the pups out in the driveway a few times, to get used to the snow. Its easier if they go out in pairs, or with Beauty or Aysa, so they can see that there is nothing to be afraid of.

We just stay out a little while, since its pretty cold!

I have to show this, since it is soooo unfair. One of the puppy people sent a picture of Roxy, who is living where it is 72 shirt required!
this is Roxy and her new big curly sister. :-)


Tucker looking over the wall

All three pups are over the wall, and camped out on Beauty's dog bed

Beauty and Scout leave today. Beauty goes back home to Gunflint, and brings feisty yellow collar girl with her. I will get to see Spirit at regional and national dog shows. Hopefully they will be able to make the trip to the Finger Lakes shows this fall, and I can see how she acts (or acts up!) in the show ring.

I had Tori (My puppy) at the vets today for X-rays. (I told you all she was a problem child!) she started limping yesterday, and it got worse today. They did some films on her shoulder, to make sure she didn't damage her growth plates. Who knows what trouble she got into to injure herself. She is a climber.....something we will be working on!

The last pup flew out today. We had been waiting for a break in the weather.
Tori is by herself now. Today we worked on crate training, and she got a bath. She hated both! More leash work. Working on potty training. It's nice to have a new pup in the house. :-)

Keep sending pictures and updates on your pups!

Sky at home

Sky and his new buddie

Remy 3/18/2005

Information about socializing your curly pup and early training

Safe Toys for your Curly pup

Crate Training, House Training a Puppy & Submissive Urination

Collar and Leash for the new pup

Puppy training tips

Puppy proof your home

Things that can be done at home to socialize your new Curly pup

Kids and Dogs

Your Curlies General Health (ears/eyes/teeth,etc)

Gunflint's Gypsy Jazz
Gunflint Renaissance Artist
Gunflint's Cancion Hermosa
Gunflint's Beutiful Aria
SoftMaple's Yankee Pudel

SoftMaple Curly Coated Retrievers
Mark and Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan New York 13327


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