We have a sweet, but furry, golden retriever. His soft gold fur begs to be fluffed and caressed by family and friends. He is indeed the "popular" resident of our house. He is loved at the groomers for his gentleness and co-operation. He is loved by our UPS guy who also has three goldens. He is loved by kids who visit at Halloween. Along with all of this lovable hunk of fur there is fur and footprints to deal with. And, when he sleeps on his side saliva leaks out the side of his mouth creating spots on the hardwood. There is much cleaning that goes into the raising of a golden, or any other dog for that matter.
Mikey is a dear sweet soul. I had the mistaken notion that he would be an outside dog like our previous farm dogs. Pre- Mikey we had two rescue dogs. The first one was a border collie who when the neighbors cows would get loose would keep said cows in our yard. The second one was a mix of german shepard, chow, and wolf according to one vet. He was large and in charge...and was a great security system. Those dogs stayed outside all of the time. Along comes Mikey...and he was not going to stay outside. He wanted to be with his people 24/7. We became his new pack!
I have always been a bit of a neat and clean freak...and never had a dog or cat in the house. For me to have a "house" dog was a big stretch. But since I am the one who went to get Mikey from the breeder, near Lake Cumberland, and take him away from his canine mom and dad I had a new responsibility. As a little bitty pup I could not leave him alone outside on the back porch with so many night time critters outside. So...guess what? I became a person with a "house" dog. ha!
I love Mikey, but, he sure creates lots of house work. First there is the glorious golden fur! It gets everywhere. Then there are the necessary trips outside...and sometimes we get wet pawprints on the hardwood, despite the rugs on both sides of the door, and a towel for quick wipe downs. Pawprints are part of having a dog. Next, there are the drool drips from the side of the soft mouth when he sleeps or rests on his side. And then there are the occasional times when he gets sick at this stomach and well, there is a mess to clean. Yuck!
So, how do I deal with these clean-ups? Well, after eleven years we pretty much have this down to a science. ha! Keep reading.
I will go back to the puppy days when I first brought him home.
I purchased a large crate to put in the corner of the kitchen. I put an old blanket and towel in it...with some puppy toys. His crate was his safe zone and I would put him in it at night, and other necessary times. He used his crate until he became too large for it...and then we gave him a large cushion for nap time.
Fortunately, my kitchen had/has hardwood. We moved, but both houses have hardwood floors almost everywhere. Also, my kitchen had doors to make a secure location for my new buddy to hand out.
Mikey house trained very quickly...but there were drips on occasion. White vinegar to the rescue! White vinegar will kill bacteria/germs. I mixed up a clear spray bottle of 1/4 water and 3/4 white vinegar. I purchased a swiffer type of mop with disposable wipes. First wipe up the puddle. Next, spray the spot with the vinegar spray. Wipe with mop/or paper towel. I would do that a couple of times. Then...because I like to be extra sanitary...I would vinegar mop the whole kitchen floor. In fact, that is about all I did those first couple of months. We played outside a lot too.
Still, with being house trained, there were dribbles to clean up from time to time while he was still young. Sometimes he would get excited if someone came...and he would leak. Out would come the white vinegar and paper towels.
To deal with the fur...I always have a "quick up" stick vacuum. I vinegar mopped hardwood floors each week too. The bedrooms were upstairs and he never went up there. At night he slept in his crate, with public radio on for white noise.
I felt that white noise was a good idea so that he would not hear the sounds of the other animals of the night. In our part of the country we had coyotes(http://fw.ky.gov/Wildlife/Pages/Coyotes.aspx), 'coon dogs, other dogs, birds, airplanes, helicopters, etc. Public radio worked! He was such a good new baby.
Mikey did not wimper or cry after the first couple of days. I think he looked around and figured out that he could "whip this family into shape" in no time. We gave him his baths in daughter's tub and he did just great. (Daughter was in college and not too pleased that we were using her bathtub.)
Mikey learned that it was his job to lick up milk spills or cereal crumbs in the kitchen. He learned that it was his job to bring me the ball or stick...but after three times he would just sit or lay down. He was done. So much for the "retriever" part of this boy. At eleven years old...he does the exact same thing. Three retrievals. No more.
Back to cleaning the house...
In our new house, I have have the following items in my arsenal of cleanup tools.
1. Dyson vacuum. I use it on the wool rugs.
2. Quick up small style stick vac. Loose fur and crumbs.
3. Steam mop. To sanitize sealed hardwood and ceramic tile floors.
4. White vinegar & paper towels. Spot cleaning on sealed hardwood and ceramic tile.
Mikey's food and water stay in the laundry room, which has a tile floor. Easy peasy cleanup with vacuum, steam mop, and white vinegar.
I will have more doggie related info...and will weave those posts into my other topics. I will be starting a "golden" page that you will find just under the blog title. I will post links, information, etc. for you to read. Also, if you have any good tips, websites or links for me, please leave in the comments section of the "golden" page above.
Meet CeeJay! I am so proud of this little guy. He is a certified reading paws companion in the Atlanta area, and one of our family of goldens. His "dad" and "mom" are my brother and sister-in-law. CeeJay goes to the library to help children read... in a relaxed, non-threatening environment.
If you have a home and a heart that would like to welcome a golden that needs a home and a family, please check out the following links. Goldens are wonderful "companion" dogs for young and old! They love children, and will sit for a spell with older folks. They are just wonderful family dogs who attach to your heart! (see info below)
Louisville, Ky area Golden Adoption http://grrand.org/about-grrand/
Adopt a Golden Atlanta*, http://www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com/
A few orphans in the Atlanta area http://www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com/orphans.asp
Golden Rescue of Atlanta, GA http://www.grra.com/
Reasons to Rescue, http://www.grca-nrc.org/
About Rescuing Goldens, http://www.grca.org/allabout/rescue.html
Compatability quiz, http://www.grca.org/allabout/profiler.html
*(My brother volunteers with Adopt a Golden in Atlanta
This post was featured on Rattlebridge Farm Blog. Thank you to Michael Lee!
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