Murph Training, Week II: Introducing Stay and Reinforcing the Calm in Murph

murphalone
Murph
(photo by Tim Bronson)

Given the weather up here in the Northeast, not only do I feel sorry for Murph having to go outside but I feel pretty sorry for myself sometimes. Standing outside at 3 AM and waiting for Murph to take care of business is actually pretty comical, but not much fun, particularly when it is below zero. In retrospect, I would avoid getting a puppy in the dead of winter again unless I lived south of the Mason Dixon. But, and it’s a big but, I wanted this breeding. I’m thrilled with Murphy, and I’m finding ways to work around the weather both inside and outside when it’s reasonable.

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A follow up to ‘Canine Cancer Hits Home’: Riley and Josie Visit Orvis

Last week I posted a piece on my daughter Riley’s puppy, Willow, succumbing to canine cancer at just 6 months old (read the story here). So many of you wrote such kind things on Facebook and in the comments of my original post that I wanted to give you all some happy news.

Here is my daughter Riley visiting the Orvis home office with the newest addition to our family, Josie!


Riley and Josie Visit Orvis


I think they look pretty happy together, don’t you?

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Snow Hound

snowhound
Snow Hound!

Living in the southwest corner of a northeastern state has its advantages. For instance, when it’s 0ºF in Burlington, it’s a balmy 5ºF in my neck of the woods. When they get pounded with an inch of slush in Philly, we’re buried in a foot of snow. Some may not see this as an advantage, but I do. I like snow. And this year so far has been a doozy in terms of storm activity. But as long as it’s gone by Memorial Day, it can snow every day for all I care.

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Canine Cancer Hits Home at Orvis


Willow and Riley

Willow and Riley, 2010

We found out on Christmas Eve that Willow, our daughter Riley’s six-month-old golden retriever, had cancer. She was Riley’s best friend since we picked her up this summer. We waited until after Christmas to break the news. Needless to say Riley was devastated.

Riley asked a couple of times if we were sure that she couldn’t be saved. Unfortunately, the answer for Willow was “no”. All we could do was love her as much as we could in the time she had. Riley did just that, she got up before the sun and took Willow out, fed her, and then played with her all day. The only breaks taken were for Willow to catch a nap while Riley’s snow clothes dried out.

We lost Willow a couple weeks ago, two weeks to the day of getting the news. Riley kept Willow’s toys. Every night she puts them on her bed in the spot where her pup used to sleep.

This was heartbreaking for my family, but it hit home for me as an Orvis associate how important the Orvis commitment to helping end canine cancer is. I’m grateful, as well, to all of you, our customers, for your help in curing canine cancer. Thank you.

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Preventive Heartworm Measures Still a Necessity, Especially for Outdoor Dogs

Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Mack
Lying in Clover
Douglas, Chatham

We all want to make sure our dogs are as healthy as possible and do our best to prevent them from picking up ticks, fleas, and from getting heartworm.If you have a dog that spends a lot of time outdoors, its exposure to heartworm increases.

A recent study at California State University at Fresno, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, showed that heartworm prevention is still an important part of a well-rounded health plan for dogs in the Western states, especially if the dogs spend a lot of time outside.

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Murph: The Training Begins, Week 1

As I promised I’m going to keep a blog journal on Murph’s progress. Murph is the black Lab puppy I picked up at Wildrose Kennels over the holidays. That trip was chronicled in Picking up Murph Part 1 and Part 2.

I’m lucky enough to be able to bring Murph with me to work. It’s cold up here, but we get at least three good walks in a day (a good walk for an eight-week-old is about 100 yards). Since day one, his training is part of the walk. It doesn’t last long, nor does it need to, and mostly it is just reinforcing the things he does naturally.

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Finding a Cure for Canine Heart Disease

Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Rocky & Rico
Veterinary student Eva Oxford usually spends most of her nights and weekends in the lab at Cornell University trying to unravel the mystery of heart disease in boxers.

In 2004, Oxford was studying for a PhD at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where she was pursuing a career in human biomedical research. Her career track changed when her adviser’s boxer became ill with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), an inherited disease that causes arrhythmia, heart failure and death. That’s when Oxford met Dr. Sydney Moïse, a veterinary cardiologist at Cornell University who is funded by Morris Animal Foundation.

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Picking Up My New Pup, Murph

Saturday night, my oldest son Nick and I began a 3000 mile road trip to pick up the next member of the family: a six-week old black Lab puppy. His name will be Murph in honor of Bob Murphy, a good friend, a great sportsman, and a true gentleman, something I hope his namesake will become in the next few years.

Murph will become the fifth Labrador we’ve had in this family. The first was Mushroom, a yellow who was our first dog after Mimi and I got married. He lived up in the deer camp with us before we were married.

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Logan the Lab and His Laser Pointer

Logan oven
Logan Loves the Oven
Eric Weissleder

I would really like to blame my mother-in-law for this one. After all it was she who gave me the laser pointer as a gift. But it was I, unfortunately, who decided to see if Logan, my adopted Labrador, appreciated it.

When Logan first came into our home, we noticed that he had a mild obsession with lights and shadows. This is not uncommon; many dogs chase shadows, or stare at reflections. It can only become a serious problem if not addressed. In Logan’s case, he would often affix his gaze upon a wall or ceiling, mesmerized by the reflections caused by a wristwatch, a sunbeam, or in some cases, a glass of water. There were times when I’d walk into the kitchen to find him staring astutely at the ceiling as if there was a leak that needed repairing. In most cases, all I needed to do was remove or eliminate the light source and he’d be back to his old self. There were, however, times when it became necessary to ask everyone in Logan’s immediate vicinity to remove anything on their person that lit up, shimmered, or reflected in order to prevent him from thrusting his nose repeatedly into a wall in pursuit of the elusive reflection.

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Orvis Puppy Monday- Chocolates!

Orvis Cover Dog Contest - The Nethermead Puppies of Brooklyn
The Nethermead Puppies of Brooklyn
Stephen, Brooklyn
Enter the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest for your chance to put your dog on a future cover of the The Orvis Dog Book catalog, win a $500 gift card from Orvis and help us beat canine cancer! Enter online at www.orvis.com/coverdog.
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