One thing I have learned about Barley, he shares many of the same traits as Ginger, their looks, as well as their habits. I don't know if that is the same for all doodles, for all goldendoodles, or just these 2, but both will steal toys, no matter the consequences. For Barley, it's a great game he could play all day; for Ginger, this is a territorial threat. I can't tell you how many times I have to break up an argument over a toy, even though we have 2 of nearly everything.

So how do you handle 2 leashes and a camera? I know I can't do it, and sadly, I miss some of the best photo ops with these 2 doodles. This morning, for example, on our first walk, Barley found a rather large ball of tree moss (everywhere in Florida) on the ground. We know how much fun it is to tear apart these treasures, and while he was enjoying this distraction, Ginger, naturally, decided it was HER tree moss, and tried with all her willpower to abscond with it. Barley eagerly grabbed it back and while he was just playing, Ginger took it as a personal attack on her authority. Needless to say, the battle began, (she was) growling, jumping, ripping the moss apart between the 2 of them, as we walked on.

Ok, enough. I kept their chins up and the moss dropped to the ground, and we walked on without it. Like all moms trying to teach her kids to share, if you can't play nicely, no one gets it. Ginger immediately calmed down (at least he hadn't won), and Barley promptly diverted his attention to an alluring stick, about 2 inches thick and 18 inches long. And here we go again!

Barley grabbed one end of the stick and Ginger quickly seized on the other, trying to tear it away from him. No luck, this is one determined little boy with a good grip (he is now as tall as she is, and she cannot match his strength). I wish I had my camera, seeing them walking on, side by side, no growling this time, just gentle tugs back and forth...it was like I had yoked them together....all the way home and into the back yard. Barley quickly made a triumphant leap with the stick, then took his victory lap around the yard, as Ginger eyed the cool water, and he ran off to enjoy his new treasure while she took a good long drink.

Naturally, with Ginger less interested, it wasn't as much fun for Barley, and he joined her at the water trough. At least they can still share a drink together.

P.S.: Aaahhh, where's my camera? the 2 of them are nose to cone-head, at my feet, finally napping.

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Comment by Kim and the doodle boys on June 19, 2011 at 4:49pm
Sounds like everyone is having a good time together.  Barley is quite a character.
Comment by Susan Harms on June 19, 2011 at 11:49am

Today's walk started much like yesterday's. Barley found an old towel rag along the road, more fun! That rag looked pretty good to Ginger too, and the game of tug began. Barley literally could take her lying down. Ginger flailed and tugged, but in the end the rag tore in several pieces (whoever got the bigger one was instantly on guard for attack in the next round). After several minutes and each dog had only a small piece, about 2 inches, and threads, Ginger just dropped hers. She then proceeded to dig a shallow ditch in the dirt (which she knows she isn't supposed to do) and throw herself into it letting out a huge sigh (my little drama queen)! She was spent, exhausted (she does have a heart murmur and we worry it may affect her energy level sometimes). I let her sulk for about 5 minutes before we proceeded on our walk, and by the time we got home Barley was up for another romp in the yard. A few frisbee tosses and he was done and met Ginger for a long cool drink.

BTW, the water we have outside for the dogs (and other wildlife) is the collection of condensation from our air conditioner, which runs nearly 24-7 these days. The drip line is about 8 inches off the ground; I connected a long PVC pipe to it which runs to a sunken window box shaped planter. The water drains into the planter, creating a watering trough of fresh clean and cool water. When it is full, the rest just runs out into the grass. On occasion, I have even seen signs that armadillos bathe in it (then it's not so clean, and needs a good rinse). I use this fresh, chemical-free water for my plants, and for our turtles, who live in a bathtub on the patio.

Comment by Nancy, Ned, Clancy, and Charlie on June 18, 2011 at 11:37pm
I love these updates and insights into Barley's personality.
Comment by Susan Harms on June 18, 2011 at 1:43pm
Ginger has other doggie friends who always give in to her selfish ways. Barley will not accommodate her princess attitude by bowing to her will. I am so glad he will be staying in the neighborhood, and hope we will have puppy romps in the yard as he grows up. Yesterday we had the 2 doods, one golden (Ginger's boyfriend), and one mini poodle who follows us everywhere, all here having a good run together. It was wonderful! Though the boys wanted to jump in the pool, it is too soon for Barley to go swimming after surgery. Maybe next week we'll set up a kiddie pool or sprinkler for them to cool off in the yard. (Ginger will hate that! Should be fun. ;))
Comment by Deborah and Lettie on June 18, 2011 at 1:30pm
Susan what you are experiencing is the joys of two dog ownership.  I have one dood and one bassweiler.  This activity goes on all the time.  Luckily my dood, Emmett, is not too teritorrial so he gives in to his younger sibling all the time.  When I get a foster in who isn't so accomodating all "h____" breaks loose and no one is allowed with any toys.  Down at our dog park the "stick" activity goes on all the time, too.  I've seen as many as four dogs trying to get the stick from the others all at the same time.  We humans sit and laugh but I can tell its serious business to the dogs.  Each time a new dog comes in Ginger will get a little more used to the competition and the playing.  It was tough on both my dogs the first time a foster came in, but boy were they both sad when the foster left, especially the bassweiler who had just gotten used to playing with another dog nicely.  You and Ginger are both doing a great job with Barley and we really enjoy your stories.  Send some moss balls up here to Atlanta, sounds like a great toy!

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