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*Happy Birthday Newfies

  • Posted on February 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

Today is a great day.  We are celebrating birthdays here… lots of birthdays.  Husband’s birthday was Tuesday and we’re still celebrating that.  Congrats Husband, I love you so much!

However 5 years ago today, a little of 12 Newf puppies was born in San Antonio, Texas, 4 boys and 8 girls – our Bucca and Corena among them. Happy Birthday to all the littermates – Paco, Calypso, Jorja, Ranger, Cowboy, and all the others.

We were living in Dallas and had decided the previous year, after much discussion and research, to try to find a Newf puppy.  We’d spent several months talking to several Newf breeders, but Bill & Pat Betchley (Bifrost Newfies), were a terrific source of information and answers to my never-ending questions about Newfs and the joys & trials of owning one.  We spent an enormous amount of time watching the puppycam they had going after their litter was born.

We met Bill and Beren, father of the litter, at the local Fort Worth show.  Although Husband was very familiar with Newfs, I had never actually met one in person.  Beren (Ch. Bifrost’s Beren O’Boradaille) was wonderful, gorgous and very sweet, he stole my heart with his soft, gentle looks and his warm sloppy kisses.  I was enchanted, of course.  Rest in Peace sweet Beren, you went to the Rainbow Bridge much too soon.

Ch Bifrost's Beren O'Borradaile

Ch Bifrost's Beren O'Borradaile

UKC Ch. Bifrost’s Bucca Dhu – Bucca

I guess we passed inspection as well, as soon Bill & Pat told us that they would like us to take one of the boys, ‘Red Man’ to come live with us.  We were thrilled and I watch ‘Red Man’, soon to be known as Bucca, on puppycam endlessly.

Red Boy

Red Boy - Bucca

At the last moment, there was a complication over a health question and Bill & Pat wanted us to wait and take another pup later.  I was in tears as this pup had already found his way into my heart.  After more discussion, we insisted and asked for the priviledge of loving him for 3 months or 3 years or however long he would live.  Today is 5 years and we are so grateful for the time and the love he brings to our lives with his loving, gentle spirit.

From cute silly puppy, Bucca grew to gangly teenager; and on to the handsome mature Newf he is today.  He loves to swim, not so big on retrieving endlessly “3 times is my limit Dad”.  He is loving with the girls, although he will always take the stuffies away from Corena, and he’s indulgent with RuShou, the new puppy, and always playful… or sleeping.  He loves his people and loves to go with us, but also enjoys laying by the couch, desk or fireplace if we are working, reading or relaxing.  His health is great (he was neutered at age 2) and we know we must treasure every moment of it, and we do.  We look forward to many more years of loving our Bucca and being loved in return.

Happiest of birthday to Bucca, our big gentle, loving boy.

UKC Ch Bifrost's Bucca Dhu

UKC Ch Bifrost's Bucca Dhu

UKC Ch. Bifrost’s Corena, Corena – Corena

Through a weird quirk of events, Bucca’s litter sister, Corena came to live with us at around 20 months, soon after we had moved to Arkansas.  We had been talking with Bill & Pat about wanting another Newf, not necessarily a puppy, but maybe a rehome if possible.  We had actually talked about a couple of other possibilities when out of the blue, they called and asked if we wanted to take Corena.

I had always felt a special place in my heart for Corena, who lived with Bill & Pat, and would occasionally pester them that if Corena ever needed another home to give me a call.  They called and I made the crazy trip from Arkansas to San Antonio before they could change their minds.

Corena is sweet and shy, it’s just her nature.  But she loves her special time with both of us on her terms and we are happy to give it to her.  She is obsessed with stuffies and absolutely always has to have one, so we try to be sure she has a plentiful supply to choose from, ducks seem to be the current favorite.  Corena love to pull the wagon and is actually quite good at it.  She’s not so big on swimming, preferring to stand in the water and watch the others… but she always wants to be included.

UKC Ch. Bifrost's Corena, Corena

UKC Ch. Bifrost's Corena, Corena

I supposed Corena’s claim to fame was soon after she came to live with us and she decided to counter surf to eat the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie that is Husband’s favorite.  I grabbed the camera and not the pie to capture the moment and she became Miss November in the Newf’s Gone Bad calendar a couple of years ago.  I always so pleased when other Newf people are kind enough to tell me they remember her from her ‘infamous’ Bad Newf appearance.  Thank you to our Newf friends out there.

Her health is also good, although after her spay at 2 years, she seems to have ‘yak coat’, but we try to deal with it.  She is shy, but likes to bark from the deck at any passing cars or people she sees across the yard.

Happiest of Birthdays to our shy princess, Corena!

Bifrost’s Olympic Gold – RuShou …. 6 months

It’s only 6 months, but Happy Half Birthday to RuShou, the newest member of our family, a little brown furball.  From a littler of 5 (I think), Happy Birthday also to the litter mates – Cricket, Major and the others.


We were thrilled to add young RuShou to our family in November. He fits in absolutely perfectly with the others and he has such a joyful spirit. He’s growing like a “Newf’, you can almost see him get bigger every day.  We can’t wait to see where our life with him takes us as he grows and matures.

Happy Half Birthday little RuShou.

Thank You All

Thank you all for sharing their lives with me.  More pictures of all of them are in the “Newf” section if you want to see more.  And as for me, I adore seeing pics of your pets (especially Newfs) anytime, so feel free to share them when you can.

Hugs…. Ellen, Husband and the furkids

*February Gardening Tips

  • Posted on February 2, 2010 at 4:00 am
Geranium, February 2010

Geranium, February 2010


Because we’ve had a  colder than normal winter with potentially more on the way, don’t be too quick to prune your shrubs.  Wait until spring before pruning to be sure what might be damaged.  Although if you have broken branches or limbs, those can be pruned to minimize the damage.

Get your pruning shears ready for late February, early March and plan to prune your hybrid tea roses, fruit trees, blueberries and grape vines.   With proper pruning your trees will be healthier and grow larger fruit.

For ornamentals, remember that the rule for pruning is based on when the plant flowers.  Plants that flower all summer long bloom on new growth.  These can be pruned later this month or next:  including crape myrtles, abelia, althea (Rose of Sharon), buddleia, vitex, clethra (Summer sweet), and summer spireas (Little Princess, Lime Mound, etc.)

Leave the spring blooming shrubs alone and only prume them after they show off their flowers.

You can also prune your pampas grass this month before the new growth starts.


Now is a great time to start planting cool season vegetables. They can tolerate light freezes. English peas, sugar snap peas and spinach can be planted early, with greens, beets, lettuce, broccoli, carrots and cabbage to follow close behind.


Now is the time to use a post-emergent herbicide for winter weeds, with a  pre-emergent herbicide or weed preventer by March 1.

This article based on my extension service suggestions.  Check in with your local extension service for soil test and other gardening info!  I can’t wait to get back to gardening…

Have a sunny day – Ellen

*February Greenroom

  • Posted on February 1, 2010 at 4:00 am

I have a lovely cymbidia blooming I wanted to share with you all.  It’s been teasing me for weeks with unopened buds, but just this week it opened up and is just lovely.


Cymbidia hybrid

I never had much luck with Cymbidia before we moved here, but I think the full sun, plus the night drop in temps has really been a big help for a lot of my plants.

Have a wonderful February 1 everyone… Hugs – Ellen