About Sand Spring Chesapeakes

My husband and I have five "furry" children Nellie, Gambler, Glory, Guilty, MK the Cat and one furangel Norman. We breed Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. We are both avid hunters. We also enjoy competing with our dogs in hunt tests and field trials. That is where you can find us during the trial months which are April-September. We go snow goose hunting in Canada each year and do all the hunting that Wisconsin offers.

Snuffle Ball ~ Canine Enrichment



  1. an act of enriching
  2. the state of being enriched
  3. something that enriches: the enrichment’s of education and travel.

Now lets add a Canine to that and make it Canine Enrichment:

One standard definition of enrichment is: “Additions to an animal’s environment with which the animal voluntarily interacts and, as a result, experiences improved physical and/or psychological health.”

Types of enrichment: (Behavioral-Environmental) Any stimulus which evokes an animal’s interest in a positive way can be considered enriching, including natural and artificial objects, scents, novel foods, and different methods of preparing foods (for example, frozen in ice). Most enrichment stimuli can be divided into seven groups:[4]

  • Environmental; enhancing the animals’ captive habitat with opportunities that change or add complexity to the environment.
  • Feeding; by presenting food to an animal in different ways, such as hidden, scattered throughout their habitat, buried, or presented differently, natural hunting and scavenging behaviors are encouraged by requiring the animals to investigate, manipulate, and work for their food as they would in non-captive environments. Feeding enrichment is the most common technique used.
  • Manipulation; providing items that can be manipulated by the paws, feet, tail, horns, head, mouth, etc. This promotes investigatory behavior and exploratory play that is often closely related to behaviors that can be seen by the species in a natural, wild habitat. It is not uncommon to see manipulation and feeding techniques combined. Many objects offered to an animal in their habitat can contain treats that require the animal to open, break apart, and/or find the treats through obstacles within the enrichment object.
  • Puzzles; requiring an animal to solve simple problems to access food or other rewards. These puzzles can include puzzle feeders that contain the animal’s meal or manipulation objects that are presented.
  • Sensory; stimulating animals’ senses: visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile, and taste. Olfactory senses can be activated by presenting scents that the animal would encounter while hunting and mating in the wild. Caretakers include prey, predator, and pheromone scents within the enclosure. Auditory senses can be activated by playing recordings of the animal’s natural habitat, animal, and vocalizations that can be heard by the species in the wild.
  • Social; providing the opportunity to interact with other animals, either conspecifics or interspecifics.
  • Training; training animals with positive reinforcement or habituation. This technique not only helps the animal to become mentally stimulated, but also helps to create and form a bond between the animal and his/her caretaker; allowing the caretaker to get a closer look at the animal on a daily basis and allowing for easier daily and veterinary care. ~Wikipedia

Since we are learning that dogs need mental and physical activities to keep them from unwanted behaviors. We are finding more and more ways to enrich their lives so they can become better pets. When becoming better pets the dogs are happy as they are getting much needed mental stimulation and you are happy because your pet isn’t destroying things as it has a job to do when you give it one in enrichment toys. There are many different enrichment toys out there, store bought ones as in puzzles, kong toys, tug-o-jugs and home made ones as in a water bottle with holes and treats in it for the dog to figure out how to get the treats out or like below a snuffle ball. Last October I wrote about a snuffle mat and how that enriches the canines, if you missed it you can read it here. My gang loved their snuffle mat so I decided to do a similar thing using a ball.

I used left over fleece strips from the snuffle mat to fill the ball with holes in it. You stuff the fleece in the ball and then hide your dogs dry kibble in the fleece.

They will smell the kibbles and have to figure out how to get the tasty morsels out. Guilty was a pro at it.

If your pooch is a destroyer and eater of things this enrichment toy might not be the one for you. Guilty was able to pull out the strips of fleece to get at the kibbles, she doesn’t eat fabric so I can use this toy with her but if your dog likes to eat fabric you shouldn’t use to be on the safe side. The ball that I used is the Hol-ee Roller ball from Chewy.com. The ball comes in various sizes so if you have a small dog you can get a small ball. Now that I have a litter of puppies I am excited to try out these enrichment toys.

Speaking of the puppies I made each one of them their very own snuffle mat to take home with them when they go to their new homes. Right now it is a snuggle mat as I put the mats in the whelping box and let the puppies crawl and snuggle in them to leave their scent and moms scent behind so when they are alone in their new home they have something familiar.


American Bred

The niners are 11 days old today. They are all doing very well. Momma Glory is such a great mom and has been taking care of them beautifully.

We still miss little flag girl and wish she was still with us but for now she will be watching from above. We are enjoying these precious life’s each minute of the day.

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Say Cheese #chewyinfluencer

Chewy White

In Wisconsin we say cheese for many reasons, being one of the biggest cheese states and all so why not say cheese for Himalayan Dog Chew Yaky Churro Himalayan cheese dog treats which can be found at Chewy.com.


Himalayan Dog Chew is known for making innovative treats from Himalayan hard cheese, and their Yaky Churro Himalayan Cheese Dog Treats provide a uniquely delicious example. These authentic treats are made in the USA, but they follow an ancient recipe that converts milk into hard cheese using the same methods and techniques perfected by the people of the Himalayas. A dash of salt and splash of lime are added, and the cheese is sundried, smoked and made into a chewy churro stick. The result is a smoky cheese-flavored treat with a softer texture that’s easier for all dogs to chew, even puppies and seniors. ~Chewy

Key Benefits:

  • Himalayan cheese churro with cheese flavor

  • No lactose, grains or gluten

  • Softer texture that’s easier for all dogs to chew, even puppies and seniors

  • Has natural enzymes that help remove plaque from your dog’s teeth

  • The unique shape of yakyCHURRO gets to those hard to reach places between teeth ~ Chewy


Potato Starch, Cheese (Pasteurized Processed Skimmed Milk, Salt, Lime Juice) Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Vegetable Glycerin. Calorie Content: 3512 kcal/kg, 122 kcal/treat ~Chewy

Gambler was the first one to try the churro, he dug right in and broke off little pieces. You could hear the cheese squeak with every chew. He gives them paws up.

Guilty was the next one to try them, she liked them so much she had to make mean faces when she was chewing on them. She made them squeak too. She gives them paws up.

Momma Glory was next to try them, she just had a litter of puppies over a week ago and she was up at this time for a little snack. She savored the cheese flavor. She gave them paws up too.

Each of the dogs dug right in and enjoyed these treats. They didn’t last very long because of their softness but the ingredients and the extras enzyme to help fight plaque makes it a treat I would get again.

Why Chewy.com

Because: Chewy.com has more than 300 brands to choose from and is ready to fetch it and ship it, direct to your doorstep, anytime of the day. Have a question regarding the best food for your pet? Call us 24/7 and our helpful customer service team at Chewy.com is ready to listen.
Chewy.com lives and breathes pets. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chewy.com’s dedicated staff is committed to providing quality pet products to our customers in a fast and easy way. That’s why we have warehouses located throughout the country – so the products are delivered quickly and efficiently. Bottom line, Chewy.com delivers pet happiness – and there’s nothing really better than that. Their products are 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed (if your not happy call them and they pay for shipping the item back), they have expert pet care and product advice, over 200 of the best pet brands and 24/7 customer care. Another great benefit of Chewy.com is they have autoship for your pet food needs and orders under $49.00 are a flat rate shipping cost of $4.95.
Chewy.com 200 SW 1st Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 1-800-67-CHEWY
What’s new at Chewy.com? They now have autoship.

Don’t say cheese to long and get your pooch a delishious bag of yaka churro treat! A 4 count bag is on sale now at Chewy for $3.99.

I was given one bag of Himalayan dog chew yaka churro in exchange for a honest review from Chewy.com.




Fiesta Destruction

When oh when will I learn that I can’t turn my back on Gambler for one second?

I had an upcoming #chewyinfluencer review coming up and the product was made with cheese so I thought my friend has some cheese hats that will make a great prop. Well needless to say I did the photo shoot and they did make great props and then Gambler proceeded to tell me what he thought of the fake cheese!

So the sad part about this and I hate to admit it is he wrecked the sombrero one day and then today I went into the spare room where they were hiding and Gambler followed me in there. I turned my back not thinking and in no time flat he was wrecking not the wrecked one but the good one! My own stupity just cost me a internet order to replace these because I’m my house if I borrow something and wreck it I replace it! Oh Gambler you will need to start looking for a job!!

Stay tuned for the Chewy review stating the non wrecked hats!

Nothing But Norman #164

It is with heavy heart that I have to tell everyone that we lost little Miss Flag girl today. Today was my friend Patti’s funeral service that I had all intentions of going to as she was part of CRROW and loved the Chesapeakes with all her heart. She helped so many of them and was in favor of me and my breeding of Chesapeakes even know she rescued them and found forever homes for them. I only knew her a hand full of years but what she leaves behind in my heart will remain forever. The above little angel dog she made for me after Norman passed away. I will cherish it and her memory forever. I hope Miss Patti held little Flag girl as she made her journey to her new home.

Today I received a cherished gift that landed here at the most precious time. My friend Paulette herself is raising a litter of nine Chesapeakes that were born a couple weeks ago. While hand feeling them and caring for her litter she took the time to mail me her Aunts cross necklace. She said her Aunt always had custom jewelry and that she always told jokes and loved animals. I am blessed to have received this beautiful necklace and will hold it close to my heart along with little flag girl. It’s already around my neck.

The pups are one week old today. This picture was taken before I lost the little girl. The niners are no more. Miss Flag was the smallest from the start but she bounced back so well and out weighed the smallest boy. She must of aspirated milk when drinking last night and when that happens they can go pretty quickly, which she did. I took her to the vet near my home as I knew she wasn’t well, when I got there he told me she was doing fine got me some antibiotics and said I have nothing to worry about. Well nothing to worry about passed away 1.5 hrs later. I knew in my heart there was something wrong and there was. My friend was visiting and said something about not breeding as it’s too hard and John made such a valid point that if us the caring people that do everything for our pups and dogs stopped breeding no one would be getting good dogs. The heartache is a price we pay so others can have a faithful friend for hopefully many years. I feel everything happens for a reason, what that reason is I don’t know yet but for now I will be hugging and kissing the eighter’s and hoping nothing happens to them as one sad call is enough for a litter.

Peace and love!

Guilty’s OFA Hip And Elbow Screening

Guilty turned 2 years old on February 6th that means she is old enough for her OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) evaluation of her hips and elbows. Since I knew I had puppies coming and would be home bound for a couple of months I got Guilty right in for her evaluation last week.

This time around we tried out a new to us Veterinary Clinic. My pal Tom used this clinic and I’ve heard of others that have as well. I am always being asked where to go for OFA xrays since the famous Dr. Link retired. Well here is your place to go. Dr. Sondel used to work for Dr. Link so he learned from the best. He opened up his own practice which is:

Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic

M, T, W: 8am – 5:30pm
Thursday: 11am – 7pm
Friday: 8am – 4pm

1848 Waldorf Blvd
Madison, WI 53719
P: 608.497.1392
F: 608.497.1395

Our animal hospital offers preventative care, general medical, and surgical care for small animals, with a primary focus on dogs and cats. Dr. Sondel also specializes in canine reproductive care, and you can view the adorable results in our Nursery photos!

Your experience at Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic begins with a warm welcome for your furry family member and a reassuring smile for you. Here your pet will receive top quality care and you’ll receive the information you need to help your pet live the fullest and healthiest life possible.

Dr. Sondel came and greeted Guilty and I, he then took Guilty for her radiographs, she was back in no time, I didn’t even have a chance to grab a Keurig coffee. He led me into the exam room where he showed me Guiltys radiographs and explained what he saw. There was no need for sedation with Guilty as she was a good girl. I’ve heard numerous people tell me their dogs don’t need to be sedated either.

Here are her elbow radiographs, one is of her right elbow and one is her left. 

Here is Guilty’s hip radiograph.

He told me in his opinion she has normal elbows and good/excellent hips. They submitted the radiographs to OFA so I should know the results within a month.

I had a great experience at Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic, I went here so I could know first hand what I was talking about when I recommend clinics to other breeders and friends.

Side note: even if your not a breeder if you own a dog that is large breed or prone to hip dysplasia it is a good idea to do radiographs of the hips even if you don’t plan on breeding. It’s good to know the status so you know what may or may not happen in the future. If the doctor finds something bad you can address it earlier than later. Some surgical procedures need to be done at a certain age frame otherwise you will need to do different surgeries. If your going to do performance events or hunt your dog it’s a good idea as well to know what the hip and elbow status is.

I’ll report back Guilty’s results when I get them.

Puppies First Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day and my Valentine’s are the niners along with momma Glory.

They are only four day’s old today but up for a photo shoot to share with you that Chewy has now added cool bandana’s to their product line. Tail Trends LOVE bandana is just perfect for my little Valentine’s.

Description: Add a loving touch of style to your pup’s look with the Tail Trends Love Dog Bandana. This cute accessory features a handmade, adorable felt applique of brightly colored “candy” hearts spelling the word ‘LOVE’ on a 100% cotton polka dot bandana, expertly crafted by a skilled artisan. Thanks to its stitched edge and machine washable fabric, it’s ultra-wearable and easy to keep clean. Simply wrap it around your dog’s neck and she’ll be ready to share some puppy love while showing off her adorable, fashion-forward style! ~Chewy

Key Benefits:

  • Easy way to add a loving touch of fashionable style to your precious pup’s Valentine’s celebration.

  • Handmade, adorable felt applique features brightly colored “candy” hearts spelling out the word ‘LOVE’.

  • Made with 100% cotton that’s machine-washable so it’s ultra-wearable and easy to keep clean.

  • Artistically made with expert craftsmanship, including stitched edges and sequin details.

  • Make your mark with this fang-tastic accessory from a dog-loving company with a passion for puppy fashion.

I was given one Tail Trends bandana to help spread the word that Chewy has picked up this line.


Belly Upset Don’t Fret Dr. Lyon’s Is At Chewy #chewyinfluencer

Chewy White

Belly Upset Don’t Fret Dr. Lyon’s Is At Chewy.

From Chewy:

Dr. Lyon’s is Chewy’s latest endeavor. Dr. Lyon’s is crafted with pet happiness and health in mind we have created a new line of hip and joint health soft chews and probiotic digestive health support supplements that we are eager to share with you and your furry family. As of now, Dr. Lyons is catered to the dogs of the family but as we continue to grow we will be expanding to also cater to our feline friends!

How awesome is that for Chewy and us the buyers! This came at a perfect time as Glory was 6 weeks pregnant at the time and she was having some stomach indigestion because of her puppies. She was burping and passing gas like you wouldn’t believe so I was excited to try Dr. Lyon’s on her.

Oh my tummy is gurgling.

Description: You can trust Dr. Lyon’s Probiotic Supplement to deliver daily support for your dog’s digestive health. Four live, active cultures are chosen to help maintain the normal microflora in the gut and to promote intestinal health. This daily probiotic supplement is great to use when boarding, traveling with your pet or transitioning them to a new diet. Not only will it help maintain their normal appetite and stool consistency, but it also offers support for the immune system. It’s formulated for dogs of all sizes and comes in single-serve packets, so there’s no measuring involved to get the right dosage. Dr. Lyon’s Probiotic Supplement has a delicious chicken liver flavor that dogs love, and you can easily mix this powder with your dog’s regular food. ~Chewy

Individual packets for each meal.

Key Benefits:

  • Daily probiotic supplement that helps support healthy digestive function in dogs of all sizes. Dried chicken liver is added for flavor and palatability.
  • Delivers four live, active cultures that are naturally occurring to help maintain your dog’s normal microflora.
  • Formulated to help maintain proper intestinal health and a strong immune system.
  • Great to use for travel, boarding or while transitioning your pet to a new diet.
  • Comes in a delicious powder in pre-measured, single-serve packets, so it’s easy to sprinkle on top of your dog’s regular meals. ~Chewy

Sprinkle packet on food.

All you need to do is grab one packet at one meal time, open up and sprinkle on food, that’s it! You don’t even need to mix it or put in wet food. The probiotic sticks to the dry food and has a delicious chicken liver flavor that dogs love.

nom nom nom

Glory dug right in, no questions asked, she finished her bowl of food in no time.

Glory approves, she has been on this probiotic for over 2 weeks now. I approve of this as well because it has cut down on her gas. Now that she has the puppies and is caring for them it is important that her intestines are in good working order so she can feed the puppies.

Hurry up and get your’s now. Dr. Lyon’s has other products as well that you can purchase at Chewy.

Dr. Lyon’s sell’s for $19.99 for a 30 day supply compared to Purina Forta Flora at $26.59 for a 30 day supply. I’ve used Forta Flora in the past and it is a great product as well. If your looking to save a couple bucks Dr. Lyon’s is there to help you out and you get another great product.

Check out their hip and joint supplements too!

 Dr. Lyon's Advanced Strength Hip & Joint Health Chewable Tablets Dog Supplement, 250-count

I was given one box of Dr. Lyon’s probiotic in exchange for a honest review from Chewy.com.


Welcome To The World Little Puppers

Saturday was a big day here at Sand Spring Chesapeakes. It was the day we would be welcoming Glory and Bears puppies into this world via a planned csection. If your my Facebook friend you got to see the live feeds of the procedure. If not I will be doing some blog posts on the experience.

Glory was ready to have the pups enter this world.

The csection went great, no problems at all. 9 little puppers were born.

Glory was so alert after surgery, she woke up really fast and the puppers all got to nurse at the clinic.

The niners are adjusting well to their new life at Stancerville.

We couldn’t be more proud of Glory she is a wonderful mom and we have 9 precious little lives we get to care for before they go to their new homes in April.

Puppy Preparations

Once I found out Glory was indeed pregnant I began to prepare for the arrival of the puppies and their aftercare. Each day I would do something to get ready, I felt like I was the one having a baby and was nesting.

Prepare, who needs to prepare?

Modifying the whelping box.

The first thing I did to prepare was I bought a Lovett’s whelping nest. It’s the black circle in the above photo. It is a puppy heater, it has a lip on it, the puppies will gravitate to the warmth and all lay in the nest to lay warm keeping Glory cool as she lays by it and not on it. Keeping the puppies in one spot will hopefully keep Glory from laying on them. The nest is receded into the whelping box so I had to have John modify the whelping box by building a sturdy stand to set it on so the nest could lay flat in it. Once modified I set it up in the bedroom to get Glory used to it being there as that is where she will start out raising her litter.

Glory and Guilty approved.

Plugged in and made sure it would heat up to the correct temperature.

Soft mat put in the box to keep Glory comfortable and a whelping pad put over it.

The whelping box is all set. The whelping nest is heating up to the proper temperature so I put a mat in the box for Glory and a whelping pad over the mat and nest so the puppies weren’t laying right on the hard plastic. The nest has a red light that lights up when working so you know that it’s heating.

Whelping supplies.

More whelping supplies.

I dug all my whelping supplies out of the closet and went through them to see what I had and what I needed to get.

New puppy collars.

I sat down and made some new paracord puppy id collars.

Goodwill run.

Photo props and toys.

Glory and Guilty checking out the toys.

New jester hats.

Of course I’ve had to stop at goodwill and check out there puppy socializing toys and picked up some new hats that were on clearance. Have to have photo props for the pups as they grow and move around.

Blanket supply.

Fixing the holes.

I went through my blankets and fixed any that needed to be fixed.

Washing the toys.

I sorted through all my toys and washed them up and threw out the ones that weren’t safe.

New puppy scale.

I bought a new scale to weigh the puppies on, each day and even sometimes twice a day I weigh the puppies and make sure they are growing and not loosing weight.

Pee pads.

Of course there will be lots of peeing when they learn how to walk so bought a big supple of pee pads.

Glory doing yoga.

Glory doing yoga to keep herself limber, actually she thinks all these preparations are boring.

Second measurement of the pregnant belly.

The first measurement was done on 1/24/18 which was 33 inches, one week later on 1/31/18 she was up to 36 inches, she gained 3 inches in one week, she is really getting big.

Puppy belly.

Puppy bump.

A week after the surgical insemination Glory got an infection next to her surgical incision. The above photo is the before and after pictures of her boobs. She has healed up so nicely from the surgery. You can’t even tell anything happened.

Toys, toys and more toys.

Bigger toys.

Cardboard tunnel.

I got the rest of the toys out of cold storage, these toys will be used to enrich them as they are growing. They will be used to socialize them and will be used to get them used to different noises as some of them play songs and talk. I replaced all the batteries in them and cleaned them with waterless shampoo.

The romper room.  

Activity center.

I got the romper room set up, this is where the puppies will go at 4-5 weeks of age until they go to their new homes. I set up the activity center for them to play with as well. These items they can play with, it  may startle them but they will learn how to recover from new situations and will become confident puppies when out in the real world.

Temperature station.

I got a temperature station so I can monitor the temp and humidity in the bedroom. The pups have to be warm the first couple weeks of life as their temperatures are not at the normal temp when born, their temps raise and are up to 100 in two weeks.

Glory doesn’t want to eat her meal.

Glory lays flat out most of the time.

Latest measurement 37.25 inches

Latest picture taken of Glory this past Wednesday.

Glory is full of puppies and I think she is ready to have them. She doesn’t want to eat her meals like she should because there is really no excess room in her belly. I am happy with my preparations and had fun doing them. I’m sure there will be more preparations to come after the delivery and as the puppies are growing but for now I am set. Glory’s planned c-section is scheduled for tomorrow. I pray that all goes well and that she has a great recovery and that the puppies are all healthy.