Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

7-24-09 Back on Duty

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Abby may be looking at the swans. They were beautiful and had their young swanlings swimming with them. Is ‘swanling’ a word? I don’t think so. What do you call a baby swan? I’ve found that they are called a ‘cygnet’ or a ‘signet.’ Did you know that? I’ve never heard that before, but I just learned it!


A far away shot of the swans!

Here is a closer photo of some swans. . .

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7-23-09 Camping Cozy Time

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Even a working dog like little Abby Sunshine needs a cozy time now and then. Even if we are busy camping. . .

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7-22-09 Continued Camping Canine

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Abby stood guard as we camped. Look at her posture and intent expression. She took on this job with a very serious pride. Not much escaped her “eagle” eye. (Actually we saw some swans, not eagles on the lake. Beautiful creatures, for sure.)

Anyway, in the picture above, Abby is gazing down the trail that gave us access to our campsite.


It was in this series of trails where Abby discovered horses (and horse dung). Abby actually kept watch for action other than horses. . .


Yes, bikes. Whenever Renae or Todd would leave the site, Abby seemed to take it upon herself to watch for their return. She was alert the whole time they were absent! Now I understand more clearly those old tales of dogs waiting all day by the door for their owner to return. . .


Abby’s tail would wag rapidly before I could even see or hear them coming! She knew they were near and was ready to greet them!

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7-21-09 Camping Canine

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Abby Sunshine made her way on a tenting adventure last weekend. Getting back to nature agreed with Abby, though she didn’t have a tremendous amount of freedom on this trip.


Lake Maria State Park is a beautiful oasis (near the city!) with hike-in campsites and rustic accommodations. It’s great!


One of the park rules, is to keep canines on leash at all times. There are groups of horseback riders that use the trails, so after noticing how excited Abby got when seeing the horses, we were happy that she was on that leash! It occurred to us that she hasn’t been around horses before. She was quite interested, but like the well behaved little dog that she is, she sat nicely when they passed. The riders complimented her excellent conduct. We were pleased that Abby didn’t spook any of the horses!

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7-17-09 Proud Dog

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Now how’s that for a confident dog. Do you have this air of pride when you have just gotten done swimming?

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7-16-09 Dock Dogs

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Look at Luna. What is she thinking about? Does she want to go off in the kayak? As exciting as that sounds, I don’t think that’s what she has in mind. She ponders a different game. Can you guess?


If you look in Abby’s mouth, I think you get the gist of it. Yes, it’s a tennis ball. The game would be called Fetch. In this case, it involves jumping off a dock and into the lake.


Luna looks out to sea as Todd prepares to fling the ball.


Look at that form! What a jump. Luna doesn’t hesitate to follow the toss. You can see the tip of the blue “flinger” aka Chuck-it on the left side of the picture!


Here goes Abby. Somehow her form doesn’t look quite as sleek and lovely!! She’s got spirit, though. She’s got the desire to get that ball. You can see ripples in the water on the right side of the picture. Abby will follow that splash.


Now it seems as if these two are racing. There were times when Abby would try to get control of both balls. She would have one in her mouth and she’d try to swim with the other, batting it in front of her. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of it, but it was pretty funny. She would eventually have to return with her ball, leaving Luna to bring back the other.


Look at these cuties!! I think they look like a couple of sea otters. I guess they will have to learn to float on their backs and hold the balls with their front paws to do a real imitation of a sea otter.


Who is this, Abby or Luna?

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7-15-09 Hoping for a Morsel

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Many dogs seem to have this skill in common. The moment someone is eating something that looks good to the canine, a sudden urge for angelic behavior takes over their bodies!

Look at Abby. She sits ever so nicely, as if to say “Here I am, please pass the chicken.” Luna, being only one year old, has not mastered the calm. She stands and asks with a bit more fervor.

By the way, there is some controversy over giving dogs chicken bones. However, many things you feed your dog could be potentially harmful, so make careful decisions.

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7-13-09 A Big Splash

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Ever known anyone to make an attention-grabbing entrance, only to be remembered as “a big splash?” Well, Abby literally enters the water with a big splash. Isn’t that a beauty? Look at the water droplets!


Her head pops out of the water, but no time is to be taken for wiping water out of eyes, or slicking back hair. Abby Sunshine is on a mission. That mission? Get the ball, of course.


See the ball in the far off distance? I think Abby does, too. Gently, yet assertively, Abby makes her way on this important retrieve.


Will she be satisfied when she gets the ball? Will she want to do it again? I think we know.

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7-11-09 Happy Birthday, Abby Sunshine!



Today Abby Sunshine is 3 years old. I think a nice game of fetch will be the activity of choice on Abby’s special day! What do you think would be a fun plan for Abby’s birthday? What do you like to do on your birthday?


Happy Birthday to Abby’s four littermates. There were 5 adorable little puppies born on this day in Forest Lake.

We hope you all are having a wonderful day, too!

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7-10-09 A Real Water Dog

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Ever hear about  people getting “water dogs?” I mean really, who could be more of a water dog than Abby Sunshine? I suppose you could say Bo, the president’s dog, right? He is a Portugese Water Dog. I guess there are different skills to have in the water. The Portugese Water Dogs were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore.

Couldn’t Abby do this, too? Here she jumps in to begin herding the fish.


Maybe in the next photo she is shown retrieving lost tackle or broken nets. (Yes, I know it looks like a tennis ball, but roll with me here)


And finally, the courier is delivering important stuff from ship to shore.


Sorry Abby Sunshine, the real Portugese Water Dog is pictured below. Where’s the water? I don’t see any water.

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