I was planning on leaving this topic till last, on my list of projects accomplished, but I keep running into people or getting emails asking me about the pup. So I'll bump this topic to the top of the list : The Puppy
Yes, I'm nuts. Getting a puppy is totally insane. But for the past two years I've been considering doing it. At times I've thought "yes", and at other times I thought "no". But I know that time isn't on my side. I'm at a point where I won't be wanting to do the puppy thing much longer....one of the problems of growing older. Puppies take lots of time, patience, and training. They completely interfere with one's life. I always look at a puppy and think about that first year of agony and that second year of difficulty that comes along with puppy ownership. It takes about two years before a puppy becomes a real cooperative family member and the owner fully adapts to the pup. I've done it many times and know what to expect.
After much mulling it over, we decided to get one more puppy in our lives. (Oh, this surely won't be our last dog added to the family, but future additions will be adults who are in desperate need of a home.) With the decision made, which sort of pup will get look for? Initially I wanted to get one of another breed I was already very familiar with...either a Border Collie, a Shiba Inu, a Siberian Husky. Over time though, we changed our minds. These breeds would be very challenging. Although I kept toying with the idea of one of these, hubby suggested getting a breed that we've never had before. That way we wouldn't fall into the trap of expecting the pup to be just like a dog that we had before. And I agree. Comparing the new pup to past canine friends is destructive behavior often leading to disappointment. So let's look at other breeds that appealed to us. We both liked the labradoodles that we've met, so that became one of the top possibilities.
Labradoodles are a mixbreed. One usually never knows exactly what the end product will look and act like with a mixbreed pup. But enough litters of labradoodles have been bred to give a buyer a good idea what to expect from this mix .... almost as good a "sure thing" as with getting a purebred puppy. And with a lifetime of experience working with puppies, I felt confident that I would be able to evaluate the pup adequately to get what we were looking for.
Labradoodles can mean two different "breeds"......the Australian Labradoodle which is several generations of Labradoodle bred to Labradoodle (with the interjection of other breeds occasionally, especially poodle)......or......one parent being a Labrador Retriever and the other a Poodle. It is the second type that appeals to us. While looking for a pup we also came upon three litters of what is referred to as an F2 litter -- where each parent was the product of a Lab and a Poodle. This sort of mating results in a hodgepodge litter of pups with some physically resembling the Lab, some the Poodle, and the rest somewhere in between. And same for goes for personality....a spectrum running from Lab to Poodle, not necessarily correlating to the physical appearance. So the bottom line is that it's a crap shoot with an F2 litter.
While finding our pup took searching & persistence and a whole lot of luck, we are now the happy owners of a cool pup named Noodles......an F2 puppy! Yes, you read that correctly. We took the chance on an F2 pup, but he showed all the physical traits and personality that we were looking for. Yes, his name is Noodles. It just seems to fit him.
Noodles' future is destined to be that of a close family companion, a dog that shares our car rides, our time, our life. He will also be a general farm dog, not specializing in any particular job other than farm overseer. Time will tell us if he has the propensity to be a guard dog, a ratter, a herder. We shall see.