An Overview of this Page
Billy & Debbie Franklin
Owners of Wisteria Goldens
Billy & Debbie Franklin have been married for over 25 years! We are city girl meets country boy and living happily ever after! We live in the “boonies” in Arkansas, with our numerous English Cream Golden Retrievers, Mr. Tom Cat, cattle, and horses.
We have filled our home with “furry” children, since our human ones had the audacity to grow up into amazing young adults, move out, and begin taking responsibility for their own lives!
They have even blessed us with four wonderful grandsons. It is true what they say, “Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing our own.” (Just kidding – they were great kids and wonderful people and we are so blessed to have a part of our lives)
Debbie was born and raised a California girl and my friends that are there, still can’t believe I live in Arkansas – honestly, I still can’t believe I live here either! I miss the beach, I miss the weather, but I love to travel and make those items a priority when I vacation! I hate the humidity in Arkansas, but love that I have very few wrinkles, due to the humidity in Arkansas.
Billy & Debbie started raising English Cream Golden Retrievers in 2004. Those “furry” children are what we do for a hobby, after retiring from having eight (yes, eight) commercial chicken houses for 18 years! We are having a great time and enjoying all the puppies! (Who doesn’t LOVE puppy breath?) It is truly a team effort – especially taking pictures. Imagine two adults, one with a camera, and one with a puppy, both making little noises at the puppy, to capture the perfect shot – it is these moments that Debbie appreciates living in the “boonies.”
We have started horseback riding again after being without horses for several years. While Billy is a very skilled rider, Debbie is slowly gaining her confidence and ability to climb back on again, after a nasty fall several years ago.
While the dogs and puppies keep Billy very busy, he also has cattle that he enjoys raising, along with the summer chores of cutting and baling hay. He has feeding and playing with the dogs and puppies, checking the cows, riding horses, and fixing fence. Being outdoors – that is where you will find Billy!
Billy & Debbie love to laugh, work, and play. We believe all things happen for the right reasons. Our favorite moments are spent with family and friends and playing with all the adorable, teddy bear English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies! We consider it an honor and privilege that families choose Wisteria Goldens for their “furry” family members.
We have many people ask about where our English cream golden retriever puppies are raised. From the time we started raising english golden puppies, they have always been raised in a section of our home. We have a 1200 square foot basement that we used for a family room & homeschooling area when our children lived at home. We converted part of this area into our nursery/training area when we started raising the English Golden puppies. So, it is a short walk down our stairs, through our family room, and into the nursery/training area, which provides us the ability to constantly interact and take care of them through the day and night.
Over the years, we have wanted to expand this area, but just haven't taken the time to do so, mostly because we couldn't decide exactly how we wanted it to function. After much thought, paper drawing, and planning this year, we decided we were going to “get it done!”
So, we added an additional 800 square feet to the outside end wall basement area. This gave us the ability to still keep it attached to the house for easy access, plus now we are able to use the “old” nursery training area as a new family room/play area for more socialization with the puppies.
We wanted the nursery/training area to feel light, so we painted it a beachy sea color blue/green. It fits the space perfectly. I’m not sure it photographs well, but that is ok. We have organized everything so much more efficiently with the washer/dryer area, bathing/grooming area, play area, etc. We have a new linen closet and reorganized the meds/supplement/supply cabinet. Everything has a place and we have a new flow down that is wonderful.
This is an overview of the training/nursery area. This is where we whelp and raise our English Cream Golden puppies on a daily basis, doing laundry, grooming, and indoor play activities. Having the washer and dryer in the same room, along with utilizing a vacuum for cleaning, has allowed the puppies to have more exposure to daily household routines.
Having the washer and dryer in the same place has been such a time saver. Hauling laundry upstairs was a bit of a chore. We built the sink, counter and shelves with all the supplies within reach for making bathing and grooming easier.
Setting everything up to be convenient, provide storage, and the ability to stay organized was an important feature in our remodel. We love having this area for easy access to changing the yarn collars, weighing the puppies, as well as having their toys separated and picked up and put away when not in use. We have two sets of toys. One set is for the whelping box, where they are smaller and puppies are able to play with them easier. We have another set for playtime in the open area, where the toys are bigger, make noise, and are more durable.
We are remodeling our “old nursery/training area” that is attached to the new area. (You can see how it adjoins in the one picture where the door is open)
We will be moving the furniture from the other side of the basement area and adding the crates to that room for the puppies/young dogs to have crate time in there, as well as time to play within a home environment at a younger age.
We now have a couch, TV, appliances etc that provides a complete home setting for our puppies. We have always had this type of area of our puppies in our training program, but are now moving and expanding this area for all the puppies to be able to use.
Our TrainersBoth Melissa and Barbs completed Karen Pryor's Clicker Training Foundation course in the fall of 2013.
Melissa – Certified Clicker Trainer
Melissa is a tremendous help and blessing to us here at Wisteria Ranch in helping us take care of our English Cream Golden Retriever puppies. Melissa joined our team in 2010 after working for Southwest Service Dogs until they relocated back to Clarksville, Arkansas. They work with a few breeds, but primarily Golden Retrievers and have Mia, a Wisteria English Cream Golden who is now grown. Working with Kate at Southwest Service Dogs was great training for Melissa, and she has brought with her some wonderful skills. She works with our older puppies each day teaching them basic commands such as; sit, come, down, off, and jump on & jump off. The last two commands they jump onto a chair and then onto the grooming table where they are learning to stand still to be brushed. She is also working with them being in the crate and getting them leash trained.
Melissa also spends her time with new little English Golden puppies, taking them to new areas, exposing them to different sounds, textures, and environments. She introduces the puppies to grooming and basic training to prepare them for the transition to their new forever homes. Having an extra person provides our puppies with more interaction and playtime. We are thrilled with the love she has for dogs and puppies, the patience and care she is providing, and the extra special training the puppies are receiving.
Melissa is originally from Northern California near my hometown. How cool is it that we once lived close to each other and didn’t know it?
Melissa is married to a military man and has always traveled where his job has taken him, which included Hawaii. While living on the island of Oahu she became interested in wild bird rehab and rescue. Through this venture she received her first “Fancy Roller Pigeon,” Putter, who is now 9 years old. She began breeding and raising pigeons, but is still involved in wild bird rehab and rescue.
She also has a love of horses and her prize boy is Black Hawk, a Friesian gelding. Melissa has a heart and love for animals and it clearly shows.
Barbs – Certified Clicker Trainer
Barbs has been such a wonderful addition to our team as of 2012. Barbs was originally added to our team to help keep up with dog records, shot/worming records, ordering dog supplies etc. as it can get behind very quickly, so she joined our team to help Debbie keep track of those necessary administrative details update-to-date, so we can could keep things running smoothly.
Barbs transferred over to helping support Melissa in taking care of all our wonderful puppies — grooming, cleaning, and just loving and playing with them full time in 2013.
Barbs is a woman of many talents. She is a member of the Boles Volunteer Fire Department and has shown great dedication in training horses. She obtained her beloved horse Rebel last year, which she broke and trained to ride in the Waldron Quadrille. Quadrille is “square dancing” on horseback. They participate in the Grand Entry in Rodeos and ride in parades.
Barbs had an accident last year and broke her neck during one of the practices for Quadrille. She is our miracle lady and has made a full recovery.
Her love of horses, dogs, and animals has made her a perfect fit for our Wisteria Goldens family!