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Aisling Labradors of N.E. Florida

'Round Aisling

Gazebo Time

Our Latest Blog Entry

1/19/2023

We call it Gazebo Time and we've done it for nearly 19 years. The dogs who hang with us out there now are not the same ones and there are mornings where my heart is remembering the ones now g one, but still, there is joy and peace found out there no matter how hectic life may become. It is one of my happy places!


We moved out here in February of 2004 with two dogs, our 15 year old Yellow named Shanna and a 2 year old Black rescue called Murphy. The property was unfenced and while the house was in need of lots of renovation (built in 1909) the outside was an oasis. Pecan and cypress trees that were nearly 100 years old; giant azaleas that were about the same age and 100's of bulbs that came up as the seasons changed.


We called it "Doggy Disney World" because the dogs loved the freedom they found out here. Shanna soon crossed the bridge and we brought in another Black rescue called Indie, then a little mixed breed named King and finally, our Yellow Callie. They were the "Doggy Disney World" pack.


One of the first things we had done after moving in was lay a slab to bring in a hot tub. Every evening, we sat in that wonderful thing with the dogs laying beside us, dreaming of the Gazebo that would one day surround it. It slowly took shape over the years (I used to call it Stonehenge because for more than a year, the posts were up waiting for the roof and the walls!).


Callie had long been playing fetch with Jesus before that Gazebo was finally built, but the rest of the Doggy Disney World Pack would race to join us when we called "Gazebo Time".


Then the Aisling Pack began to arrive; first was Kona, then Dreama, then Cain, Roamin and Bree. With Roamin and Bree, the evening ritual soon was joined by a morning one. These last two, seven weeks apart in age, were a challenge to socialize and train. It required that they be kept separated for most of each day as their training progressed and morning coffee in the Gazebo made sense for all of us. And then lunch in the Gazebo.... and mid afternoon snack....


My day became one of two hour timers (if you've spent any time with me, I'm sure you've heard them go off). Every two hours, the pack was shifted. During the first two hour period of my day, some were running the yard, others were in the exercise pens that pre-date the paddock; and the others were in the Gazebo. Every 20 minutes, I'd rotate them all. This gave me the ability to work with Roamin and Bree separately; to get some yard work done and to just sit and enjoy the dogs a bit better - as long as I kept it all moving.


"Gazebo Time" became "Gazebo" and this new pack raced for the door to spend time with us in there.


When that two hour timer would go off, the "littles" as they were known then, were put in their crates and I went inside to get house work and office work done. Then, with the next timer, we'd all go back outside! No matter the weather, unless it was storming, Gazebo Time was a part of each day - as much out of necessity as it was because I loved it out there.


As Roamin and Bree learned to be with each other without constant full out play, the daily schedule shifted, became less "organized". Afternoons in the Gazebo became less regular, and then, without the hot tub, so did the evening time. But morning coffee in the Gazebo with the whole pack remained. And soon, "Good Morning From the Gazebo" photos were being shared on our Aisling Facebook Page and Instagram.


We still have two hour timers, and rotations within the two hours outside, and there are two others who now take those crate naps....our 7 month old Aila and her big sister Latte who refuses to give up her nap time!


I no longer have to be out there no matter the temperature because the dogs are what we called "packed" - which simply means they all know the rules and either relax or play quietly as a pack inside the house or Gazebo, saving their rough housing for free time in the yard.

So in the winter months, when the temperature is so low that even the fire pit won't keep me warm, our mornings are now in the warmth of the kitchen. But as we get more daylight and the early mornings are warmer, the dogs and I will be back out there and "Good Morning From The Gazebo" posts and photos will once again be seen!


I can't wait! 


Our Second Blog Entry

January 20, 2023

We are just about to enter "puppy watch" with Bree and Jette.  With the holidays, these pregnancies have flown by and it's hard to believe we are nearly there.  For those who aren't in the know, Puppy Watch begins the 57th day since the last breeding; its when we don't leave the house unless absolutely needed and if we do, we get in a sitter or take the pregnant girl with us "just in case"!  And it's usually something I don't especially look forward to because I know that it marks the beginning of two months of pretty much a lockdown state to protect the girls and their litters.  


But, this has been the longest we have had between litters since our adventure began and I'm not sure I like having this long a break!  I thought I would after raising 18 puppies between Jette and Latte's litters last summer!  But, I miss having all that work to do LOL; I begin to feel laziness creep into my days.  


The whelping kits are restocked (just a few items yet to arrive); the girls are in their isolation period and it's too soon to begin to sterilize all the towels that we will be using, so, I clean! And wait.  And watch. 


I'm watching those tummies for a glimpse of puppy movement!  If Jette would lie still enough, I'd be able to see her puppies moving already!  But, she is a wiggler.  Her Mama Kona used to lie at my feet content to simply be touching me.  This meant that I saw every little ripple from the moment it would be visible.  I could lay a hand on her tummy to feel the pups, but not so with our Jette.  Touch her and she is wiggling to get as close to you as she possibly can.  


Bree is much the same.  Perhaps it comes from being part of a larger pack than Kona was way back when; after all, I have less time to spend with each of the dogs than I did when our pack was smaller. 


Anyway, now they are in "isolation" from the rest of the pack, to protect those growing baby bellies; I can sneak in to the dining room while they are napping and hope to catch a glimpse... and, once the others are all in bed each night, the Mama's are allowed in the living room with me until my bedtime - as they grow larger and move more slowly, there will be plenty of time for spying/feeling that puppy movement! .   

Our First Blog Entry

January 15, 2022

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