and their familys' testimonials
A big thank you to all of the wonderful
families that adopted
our precious puppies.
We are thrilled that they are in
such good hands!
Aiko (Zoe & Takumi's phantom girl)
Katherine & Aiko bonded so quickly. Thank you for taking time with her. Aiko whined only s bit & then settled in for the ride. The only other peep we heard was when she needed to potty. When we got home she made fast friends with Bentley & Pax (one of our barn cats).
Katherine asked me to send this to you. Aiko is doing great with her training! Hard to believe she's only nine weeks old!!
Words cannot express the joy that Aiko is bringing our family. The bond she has with Katherine, the focus she has on her, her gentle spirit, and the enjoyment she clearly gets from working and interacting with everyone – other critters included -- is spectacular. Thank you. To say that you breed for outstanding temperaments is truly an understatement."
"Aiko is doing very well on her training. Today we took a break and took our miniature horse out for a "drive." I've attached some pictures. Carting is certainly something Katherine loves – and Aiko never wants to be left behind. My older daughter also enjoys it and we periodically take him to nursing homes etc with Bently for therapy time even though he's not technically certified. The older farmers LOVE it."
Aiko is still very much a puppy and her attention span is shorter than it will be as she matures, but she is incredibly smart and focuses on Katherine as if she is the only person in the room. Yesterday the two were working while springer spaniels and Burmese mountain dogs were working on rally skills. It was very busy in the room and the other dogs were excited and quite vocal. It was amazing to me that Aiko would notice them, but keep her focus on Katherine and follow her directions as they worked on more basic skills. It is Aiko’s centered, gentle spirit, though, that has wins over anyone
who meets her. It is not uncommon for folks to say that her mere presence is comforting and calming. We LOVE her!"
Aiko is now officially ready to take her therapy dog test - just have to wait til June 1 when she'll be a year old. Katherine ...has done a great job training and they'll also likely go to their first rally show this summer too. She continues to wow us in every way and is such an gentle & empathetic soul. Here are some pics we took the other day."
Susan Leathem Sanning
Assistant Director of Service Learning and Engagement
Lily (Zoe & Takumi's phantom girl)
"Lily is adjusting to her new home very well. She howls for about 15 minutes every night, but then settles into her blankie and pink pillow from her mommy. She is a very playful puppy with many, many puppy naps!! She is also quite the snuggler which we love! We are very blessed that she was raised in such a loving family with involved kids that handled her.
Thanks again for everything! We are so happy to have Lily as a part of our family. We will continue to send updates and pictures :)"
-Liz & Shaun
Zeus (Zoe & Takumi's phantom boy)
"Everyone is doing great! Rob and Zeus slept on the couch last night. Rob couldn't stand hearing him cry (he's a softy). Zeus has been napping in his room today and doing well with that. Only two accidents so far and they were right by the front door.
Reilly (Zoe & Takumi's phantom boy)
"He is soo adorable and we love him so much. Reilly on the poodle rug. He is a chew monster! Lol he loves his rawhide."
Annie (litter name was Starburst)
Zoe & Takumi phantom girl
"Hi Mary! I just wanted to let you know that we all made it home safely. Annie was too good to be true!!! We stopped a couple of times and she piddled, ran around following me and slept between us the rest of the way. My shoulder got sore holding the little munchkin, so we gave her space between us and she just stretched out and relaxed. What a good girl! Thanks again for meeting us!
"I just want to tell you I groomed a puppy you sold to Marlene Mafasanti (spelling ??) they named her Annie - what a beautiful dog - I will keep your name/number for when I'm ready for my own phantom - thank you for "creating" a beautiful - smart girl !!!!! Vicky aka puppy parlor grooming in Ironwood Mi - ill try to send you her 1st grooming photo ;)"
Punzcki (Polish name for donut)
Zoe & Takumi's phantom boy
Going to be a therapy dog for Hospice care.
"He has already been so great!"
(Zoe & Takumi's phantom girl)
"The vet commented on what a great dog she is. Two vet techs asked for your website. They think she is so beautiful and sweet. They can't get over how calm she is. Here is a picture of Elsa and Phoebe keeping me company last night while I was cleaning up the kitchen just before bed. Thought you would like to know the positive outcome. Our little 11/2 eared dynamo is really making friends and influencing people."
"We saw the vet tonight for the next well puppy exam and shots. Every time we go there the staff oo's and aah's over Phoebe. Our vet has standard poodles too and said, "I can tell you did your research. You went to a good breeder. This is such a sweet dog."
Thought I'd put a feather in your cap. ;)
"Here's a shot of Phoebe enjoying a warm fall morning. Oh, how we love her! She is sassy and clever at the same time. It becomes a challenge to scold her naughty streak while laughing at her ingenuity."
"Riley wanted to write her own testimonial, I helped her type it up:
Since I have been in my new home I have learned many things. Among them are sit, down, come , off and stay. When I do these well I get rewards. I love to run up and down steps and hills. I walk very well on a leash. I am most proud of the fact that I have slept through the whole night every night since I have come home, going to bed between 7 and 8 and not getting up. if I get my way, until 0630. I have made lots of friends both canine and human. Everyone I meet falls in love with me, they can not believe I am still a puppy due to my calm demeanor. Make no mistake, I have my puppy moments but they are brief. This week I have discovered squirrels, rabbits and birds, especially the geese flying above me. The squirrels still confuse me, don't know where they go once they get to the tree. I miss all my people and family in La Valle, but am loving my new life also. Riley"
"Riley is sleeping on the floor after our walk, stops at every home where she has met someone or where her canine friends live. She especially likes to walk past the grade school when the kids are being dismissed for the day, today she had 7 kids all petting her at once. Such a sweetheart. Last night she decided to sleep on the floor, not in my bed, missed having her there. Monica"
"Riley IS the socialite of the neighborhood. We went for a walk around the block at 4pm and just got home 2 1/2 hours later. She played with Sully, Bear, Zoe, Gizmo..., Heidi, Buddy, Bandit and Lucy. And those are just the dogs not all the people. She also received treats from one of my housebound neighbors who sits on his porch with his jar of treats, waiting for "his sweet little lady". I know she is a special girl but it still amazes me everyday the number of people who wait to see her "prance down the street" and come outside to say hello and pet her. Thanks for bringing her into my life.
I am still surprised at the infatuation and fascination that complete strangers have with my little Riley. It is such a privilege to be able to share her sweet personality and her lust for life with so many people. Where ever she goes, the smiles appear. Just love my shadow!!!
Monica & Riley"
Thank you for inviting us into your home on Saturday. It was a great adventure and quite an educational experience for us! Charles and Hobbes have completely bonded. Thank you for the opportunity to adopt Hobbes. He is indeed a sweet boy, and we all love him. I think he'll make a great therapy dog- he makes easy eye contact and being so soft to touch won't hurt either! Once he learns what his work is in a therapy setting I am sure he'll bring lots of smiles and connection."
"Hobbes is doing wonderfully. We cannot believe how sweet, gentle and laid back he is! All of us have bonded with him. Of course Charles and he are great buddies, nearly inseparable. We have been to the dog park three times and go for a long walk at least once a day. He always tries to initiate play and really loves to chase and be chased. He has acquired quite a few new toys as you might imagine."
"We have been all over, he comes with us many places, nearly every day he gets to the dog park to run and play, and every day he gets at least one walk. Charles' room is his room now, and now we just refer to them as one entity- "Where are Charles and Hobbes?"
Thanks again for such a wonderful dog."
"You will find a photos of Hobbes on Charles' couch. After reading Charles' AP World History text together, Hobbes was (understandably) tired/bored and went to sleep. Charles put a pillow under his head and covered him with a blanket because "the windows were open and I thought it was too chilly for him."
"We are all busy loving Hobbes to pieces! He goes everywhere with us and gets to the dog park daily. Today we took a 4.5 mile trail hike. Hobbes still has a tendency to pull on the leash so we bought a backpack for him and he carries our water, keys and cell phone. It really helps him focus and slow down!"
I hope you and your family of people and poodles are well!
Hobbes is still a joy and I think we keep each other on our toes!
I tell my "kids" (are 16 and 18 still kids?
) that Hobbes' early training for kids with autism was prescient because they too have problems maintaining personal space- but only with Hobbes! Seriously, one or the other of them is constantly touching, hugging, or laying on him. He never gets any peace! Charles loudly proclaims at least once a day "I LOVE YOU HOBBES!". Charles and Hobbes are alike in so many ways. They both wear their hearts on their sleeve, are both very sweet and not demanding, they both like to sleep and eat, and they both are still growing!
Next week we begin agility class. I think he will enjoy it. I take him to playgrounds and he has lots of fun running up and down the steps, across the wobbly bridges, and on all the different surfaces. Sometimes he even leaps over parts of the equipment while playing on it. It should be a blast!
As far as therapy work, I think I mentioned that we have been certified as a therapy dog team. We have visited schools, participated in the reading to dogs program for kids in libraries, and visited nursing homes. Lately, we have been visiting a residential facility for adults who have Prader Willi Syndrome. PWS typically causes low muscle tone, short stature , incomplete sexual development, and a chronic feeling of hunger that, coupled with a metabolism that utilizes drastically fewer calories than normal, can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity. The food compulsion makes constant supervision necessary. Average IQ is 70, but even those with normal IQs almost all have learning issues. Social and motor deficits also exist.
I came away from our last visit at the Prader Willi facility with Hobbes so impressed with his ability to remain calm and well behaved in a very high energy environment with all completely unfamiliar people and unpredictable situations.
When we entered the facility he was immediately swarmed with people wanting to say hi, there were many hands on him petting and touching and hugging him all over and from all different angles, and lots of excitement in the room. I am always very careful to watch Hobbes' reaction and body language to make sure he feels comfortable and he always does.
We then went into a small gym with about 15 residents. The activity director asked if Hobbes could be off leash so they could throw a ball for him and have him "fetch". I don't think this person had any experience with dogs and could anticipate the variety of issues involved with the dog and the people, but... Hobbes loves sticks, but is not much of a ball chaser, and when we do play with sticks, he would rather bring it to me, tease me with it, and try to engage me in a game of tug-of-war than drop it for me to throw again. With all the people and activity in the room, I did not want him getting overstimulated and jumping up on people, or lunging for balls, etc. They were all so excited to see him do this, though, and I trusted Hobbes' and my ability to handle the situation, so I set down some ground rules such as I am the only one to throw the ball, no chasing Hobbes, only the person who threw the ball can run at a time, etc. and gave it a try.
I let him off his leash and he of course he was in heaven running around the gym. All the residents stood and watched him and thought it was great to see him run like he does. They then took turns throwing a tennis ball. That is, they took turns for about 1 minute. Then the tennis balls starting flying! Soon we were in a gym with all kinds of people throwing balls for Hobbes to catch, and calling his name. He was having the time of his life! What I was unprepared for was the fact that the people did not give a second thought about grabbing the ball right out of his mouth. Of course in our family we don't hesitate to take things from Hobbes, he never has been possessive or reacted negatively, but as this was a completely different situation I was glad to see he took it all in stride and did not react in the least.
After our time in the gym, we walked through a few other rooms where residents were doing quiet activities like puzzles and paperwork. By this time Hobbes was obviously exhausted and was very happy to receive some calm attention and petting and the residents were happy to have him sit next to them while they worked. Needless to say he was all too ready to sleep the rest of the afternoon away!
You recommended the book "The Golden Bridge" which I read and was very informative.
Thanks again for all the information you have provided about Hobbes, and keep doing what you are doing with those poodles!
"We have a friend in Mary Osgood, who I have found to be tremendously helpful
in my work at North Star Foundation, where I serve as Executive Director.
We have had great success in our efforts to create social/emotional placements of specially bred and raised assistance dogs, into the realm of
helping children who have suffered a loss or a trauma, or are coping with a serious illness. The dogs both Mary as well as myself breed at North Star are ideal temperamentally.... We have been incorporated as a nonprofit for 12 years and have over 150 North Star placements in progress around the world."
Sweet Gum Drop went to CT to be trained with North Star Foundation as a service dog for a girl who needs him in NY. We just adore this precious boy; he is as comforting & soulful as they come. Take good care of your little girl Gum Drop. We'll miss you!! ~Mary & fam
Update from North Star: "Gum Drop is settling in nicely. His an affectionate fellow and so mellow. It is hard to believe he is only 4
months old as he is so composed. He came to us with excellent manners and is a quick learner. He has a wonderful soft coat. I have attached photos with Gumdrop & our daughter Quinn & Gumdrop napping with our son Ben. We will continue to send photos."
(Zoe & Zion's boy)
NorthStar Foundation is training this big boy to be a service dog for a little boy with Autism in Washington.
"Rome is a very sweet boy and his raiser really loves him!"
Thanks for all the great info, pictures and video! It is very much appreciated. He is a giant, maybe around 70 pounds. A beast! He is mellow during the day, and very energetic in the evening. He plays ball, and drops to pretty well.
Both my boys and husband love him, as do I.
We will be working with a trainer soon. He is strong, friendly, and confident. He pulled away from me while walking in the woods, and up to a small dog. It growled at him, he yelped, so I hope it will stop! He is learning how to heel. I bought a gentle leader to help this tugging. We have a lot of nice parks, but mostly, walking in our suburban/urban neighborhood. He loves his fenced in back yard to run around, and splashing in the baby pool.
I enjoyed hearing your personal stories about your poodles
Thank you for sharing this!
Charlie (Ireland & Zion's butterfly)
Sir Charleston Von Lichtenstein, Duke of Barkingham
"Charlie likes to dress up."
"Charlie is great. He has only had an accident a day and learned to fetch in 5 min. LOL. He also is great at sitting and lazes around a lot. He is awesome. :)
He is a snuggler. We call him Charlie Bear (Bear for short sometimes) as he is like a big teddy bear. London still calls him Sprinkle Donut as that is the name she liked. Ha! Happy to make your day!"
Lady Vienna (Ireland & Zion's girl)
"Hi Mary & Dean:
Great to meet you yesterday! Everyone is adjusting very quickly V is wonderful
And we are in love. She then went shopping at Petco for a new collar. She's very social
And a real "love muffin"."
"We go almost daily to the Woodbury off leash dog park where she has lots of dog friends. She's unbelievably social and very smart. A great playmate and we play lots of ball...A man at the dog park said that V is the most beautiful standard poodle he's ever seen!
Congratulations on your new babies - 5 big boys!!! They are darling and I'm having a really hard time not taking another. I just don't think we have the room since we're still in the townhome. Best wishes to you and your family for the New Year and many thanks again for giving us our beautiful girl! I tell Eric that V is the best gift he's ever given me."
Boo (Ireland & Zion's girl)
"I just put a deposit down for another wonderful puppy.
I remember leaving your house with Boo and looking back at the dogs that were outside...there was Zoe, outside of the fence calmly watching as I took Boo away. Ireland certainly has a presence and I am grateful to have her wonderful Boo, but Zoe left me thinking.......about how I would love one of her offspring also. I checked the website and found your posting of the upcoming match of Zoe and Taco (for short) next fall and thought YES. I would love a female phantom so please add me to your waiting list.
Boo is doing great. I had her out and in a situation where she saw some kids and was SO excited to get to them....tell your kids they did a great job and thank them for me for doing such a great job with all the pups."
"Hi Mary...I hope you are well and happy. Just a quick Boo update. She is such a great girl. So funny, happy, energetic and loving. Ziggy,(my 9 yr old PWD) and Boo are great together. Everything seems to interest her. AND she is beautiful on the outside too....very tall with that beautiful, soft, reddish coat. She is a bed hog.... Best to you"
Gracie (Zoe & Zion's girl)
Went to Linda Arndt, DVM & dog trainer
to be used as a training companion & model for demonstrating techniques.
P.U.P.S. on Cue
"I love this dog. Thank you."
Temple (formerly Minnie)
being trained as a service dog
"Temple continues to do very well. She is alert, willful, engaged and opinionated but very teachable and loves to learn and once learns retains everything. I've used `only positive reinforcement and I can't imagine anything else working on her. Linda is invaluable in instructing me in exactly how to do that. I think Temple is well on her way to becoming a first class therapy dog. She is pretty much housebroken. three months seemed to be the magic point with bladder control. Makes life soooo much easier. I hope you and your family are doing great. I'd love to hear from you so please keep in touch." "Hi Mary, Temple is doing terrific. We had a big social day today meeting new people and spending time with old friends. She does very well greeting people Without jumping up on them or acting foolish in any way. Gives them their space and yet is open and receptive to their interacting with her. I'm very pleased about that. Temple is full of self confidence and pretty fearless about doing stuff that requires her getting her body involved. Like crawling into things or under things or up on things. She moves like she is made out of rubber. I'm looking forward to Spring and grass so we can get busy doing agility games outside on the grass. I have had tears of frustration with Temple because she is very opinionated and resistant to my will rather than her own which is quite strong, But with treats and praise and more patience than I thought i had she is blossoming into a wonder dog. 'm so glad you sold me Temple. 'll keep in touch and I wish you great success with your new pups."
Buddy (formerly Humphrey)
"I got Buddy (Humphrey) last March. He is a great source of joy to our family. He is constantly making us laugh. My husband never thought he would have a poodle but he loves Buddy. Buddy is very smart and is doing a very good job training my husband. Buddy goes everywhere with us. He even walked the 4.5 miles for "Stepin out in Pink". He was a hit, everyone loved him.
He was so well behaved as always."
"I would love to have Buddy's pics posted on your website. I get so many compliments and people always ask where I got him. I tell them about your website.
Layla (formerly Pocahontas)
"She's a doll."
We absolutely adore Layla. She is such a great pup. She has really turned into quite the city dog. She goes to day care twice a week and goes for walks with a dog walker the other 2 days a week when my husband and I are at work. She is well loved by her dog walker and the staff. They often tell us that she is a sweet pup. All the neighbors say hello to Layla as we walk down the street. And all of the neighborhood kids run up to her and pet and hug her. People are always stopping to tell us what a cute/beautiful/fluffy dog she is.
She is known as the "girlfriend" to a few of the male dogs on our street. She has play dates with another poodle pup, who is about 6 weeks younger, that we met at the groomers.
Layla is starting advanced urban dog training on Sunday. This is a class that meets in different locations around the city (vet office, pet friendly retail, busy intersection, park, etc). Graduation for the class is at a dog-friendly bar!
We couldn't be more pleased with Layla. She is such a good girl. She has made a great addition to our family and we couldn't imagine our life without her.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Zoe (Ireland & Zion's girl)
"Hi Mary and Family,
Zoe is doing great. She loves playing with Quinn's cat, Tuxedo. Zoe also loves being outside, she laughs at the cold! She loves to go for walks and play outside. She really likes tracking deer or maybe I should say likes deer droppings! Quinn has taken on the responsibility of taking care of Zoe at night. Generally she sleeps through the night but now and then she wakes up. Quinn has been very good at taking her out at night. Her favorite toy is a tennis ball on a rope. Zoe is doing very good. We are enjoying her, she is learning new things each and everyday. I am attaching a picture, she is growing so fast!
It is great to see the updated pictures on your web site. Here is a recent picture of Zoe. Zoe is doing well! She is very eager to learn when there are treats. Zoe also loves rain. We are happy that she loves snow and rain but I will also be happy to have dry ground so we don't have mud. Zoe doesn't mind washing up- which is good.
We love her"
Zoe had her first big girl hair cut. The groomer was kind enough to send these photos. I thought you would appreciate the transformation. She is a big girl now.
Jet Sparkles (Zoe & Zion's girl)
Hope all is well at your house. We just wanted to send you an update on jet sparkles and some pictures. She is doing great. She only cried at night for three nights, ever since Tuesday night she goes out and then goes right back to sleep. She loves playing with the kids, and going for walks to the bus stop to see all the neighborhood kids too. Potty training is going good too. We are all very impressed with how smart she is and how quickly she picks things up. We 'll send more updates soon."
Larry (Ireland & Zion's boy)
Chili (Ireland & Zion's boy)
"Glad to hear all the other pups are loving life as much as Chili is!"
Delia (Ireland & Zion's girl)
"She is doing great! We love her....so do the other dogs."
Shadow (Zoe & Zion's boy)
Being trained as a therapy dog.
"Ok, this one's posed. But super sweet none-the-less. Thank you for Shadow."
Ol'Toodles (Zoe & Zion's boy)
Being trained through NorthStar Foundation as a therapy dog.
NEW RELEASE from one of our very own service dog families:
This book is based on a true story of a boy that received a service dog -- our Zoe & Zion's Ol'Toodles -- to help with his Sensory Processing Disorder. Service dogs can help special needs children make there everyday interactions more manageable. This book includes an afterword by Patty Dobbs Gross of The Northstar Foundation one of the largest children's Autism service dog providers.
Roxey (Zoe & Zion's girl)
Sioux City, IA
"Roxey is doing so well. Doing really good with potty training. Eating well. She is our sweet baby."
Ada & Phoebe
Two of Zion's baby girls went to live with the same amazing foster/adoptive family in Omaha, NE.
"Phoebe may be growing up to be a great therapy dog!!! She never ever leaves my side day or night. Until tonight. We added a very sad 15 year old to the house tonight. Phoebe seems to "get it". She kissed her and is sleeping w her!!! I am so happy to know this dog. Thank you so much for your amazing poodles. You have comforted a very lonely girl tonight because of your breeding program."
Sabastian (formerly Irish)
"Sebastian has become one of the family.
Sebastian is full of life and I've had two different groomers ask me if I wanted to show him! Haven't yet decided if we will go that direction."
Went to live with his new family, including his brother (Clay Matthews) from the same litter.