Specializing in Breeding and Training Golden Retrievers for 40 Years.

My Mom, Barb Felt

Today Rolling Oaks is recognizing an amazing woman, Barb Felt, who would normally be writing this blog. But we all felt that it was long overdue that Barb was recognized. Many times she will write a blog entry regarding her personal life which is usually about her family. There have been many times that she has gone above and beyond thanking her staff for all the hard work they do. Today’s post is thanking Barb for a change.

Thirty six years ago Russ Felt bought his wife a golden retriever. A few years later the couple decided to have a litter of puppies. At the time they had three children and needed the extra money. Little did they know that the business would grow to what it is today. Russ and Barb now have six children who are all grown adults. Russ and Barb are still breeding golden retrievers. Barb is truly the one who is behind the scenes.

Barb talking with a client for a phone interview as part of the puppy application.
Barb talking with a client for a phone interview as part of the puppy application.

From day one when the female is bred, Barb spends the time to ensure that all of the puppies are growing properly. When the puppies are born the mothers generally go into labor in the middle of the night. This is where it all begins. Barb stays up all night with the mom and helps her deliver her puppies. She examines each one as soon as it is born and at times this can be a very intense time. Once the mother has delivered all of her puppies, Barb gives her a bath. She then cleans the area for the mother and puppies and makes sure that they are dry and warm. After a late night she emails clients to let them know how many puppies were born and to confirm with them that this is a good time for them to get a puppy. Every day Barb holds each and every puppy several times throughout the day. When she has puppy helpers she encourages them to hold the puppies up to their neck and to give them kisses. Every day this takes place and every day there is a mess to clean. Twice a day and sometime even three times Barb makes sure that the area the puppies are in is getting cleaned. As the puppies grow and begin to see, hear, and walk it is crucial to give them a lot of attention. But don’t forget about the adult dogs. They also need love and attention every day. They too need a clean area and good exercise. There are also clients that she needs to call for a phone interview or answer questions.

During the sixth week, Barb has no time to do anything except take care of the puppies and adult dogs on the farm. The puppies are brought to town every day. She coordinates with a new group to set up a time to bring the puppies to be socialized. She makes sure each puppy goes to the bathroom before they are put into crates and leave for a car ride into town. Once we arrive Barb assigns each person a certain number of puppies and we bring them into the building. We visit nursing homes, group homes, schools, preschool, the vet, daycare, and other dogs. Every time we go to a new location it is important to take photos so that the clients can see the puppy grow each and every day. The puppies travel home again to take a nap. When they are awake and ready to go again, the puppies have to be individually tested. Testing with each puppy is very crucial as we evaluate each and every puppy’s personality. After testing we continue to play and interact with the pups. At night each puppy has to run around so that they go to bathroom and wear off a little energy. When the puppies are ready to settle down, each puppy goes to sleep in an individual crate. After a long day, Barb has a few minutes to respond to emails and maybe throw in a load of laundry. In the morning it starts all over again.

But on top of all of this Barb continues to serve those around her. She makes wonderful meals every night for her family to eat together. She drops everything to console a client who just lost their golden. Not only that but she still has a teenager on her hands. This means running to town to the swim meet or band concert. With her five other children out of the house she maintains an amazing relationship with each and every one of them. I am not writing today to say that Barb has too much to do or this is all overwhelming for her. I’m letting you all know what an amazing woman she really is because at the end of each day when she is extremely busy, she is smiling and thanking every one for helping. She manages to give everyone a hug before they go to bed. It is simple: Barb is truly an amazing woman. She has been through so much and continues to work for the Lord God almighty and gives Him all of the credit. She would never brag about herself and so that is why I am doing it for her. If you ever get a puppy or have the honor to talk with Barb, you will see what we all see every day. The joy of the Lord shining through her and the way she truly cares about everyone around her. She does so much and would help anyone. Running a business is not easy. But Barb does it with a skip in her stride and a smile every day. I cannot believe how very blessed her entire family is to have her be a part of it. I am so proud to call her my mom. I love you mom!