Doodly Doright to the Rescue

Have you seen the bumper sticker, “My rescue dog rescued me”? I am here to tell you this is God’s own truth.

We lost our beautiful Boo in September. We got her ashes back, and there were many nights when I thought of taking a little of the ash and marking my heart with it. I didn’t (and I’m sure Scott is grateful for that!) but I was very, very sad. We planned to get a puppy in the spring, after we got some long-planned travel out of the way. I went online and started the search.

There were some rules. Our new pooch could not look anything like Boo – it would be unfair to the pup and painful for me. I also couldn’t handle another 65-pound dog. During Boo’s waning days, she needed help getting up and I just could not lift her.  Also, the thought of trying to manage a large, all-energy young dog on a leash was unimaginable. But we wanted Boo’s sweet temperament,  good heart, intelligence and soft retriever mouth. What to do, what to do…

The answer? A miniature or medium size doodle. Here’s the scoop. You breed a standard-sized golden retriever or labrador retriever mom to a medium-sized poodle and you get…a small doodle! Brilliant.

So now the hunt was on. Soon I was up to my neck in figuring out the differences between F1s, F1Bs and multi-generation puppies. I learned about genetic diseases and traits. I looked at loads of breeders, trying to figure out who was a puppy mill and who was an ethical, caring breeder. Thanks to my friend, Jillian Dorman, I got in touch with a terrific breeder in Atlanta who was planning on puppies in the spring. I was on my way!

doods

 

Until my beloved got wind of my plan.

“Atlanta? Like in, Georgia?! You have lost your mind,” he bellowed. “And you’d do that because there are no dogs that need a home in Los Angeles? No dog who is living in a crate, waiting for a family to love him?”

OK. The big guy had a point. I whined about wanting a specific dog and how it would be so impossible to find one through a rescue organization. He didn’t budge. So I went back online. And found this face, looking for a home.

polar pose

Rescued from a kill shelter, Pups and Pals took this little guy to a safe place, cleaned him up, got him his shots, neutered him (uh, sorry, dude!), and starting assessing him for a future home. Eight to ten months old, the goldendoodle puppy was happy, friendly, and healthy – but stone cold deaf. And that is a challenge for any dog owner.

I immediately sent in an application for him, and then started doing homework on raising a deaf puppy. There’s not a lot of material out there, but I found one terrific book and a lot of good advice. Armed with our new copy of the American Sign Language dictionary, Scott and I started to figure out how we would work with our new dog, if we were lucky enough to get him.

The pup – now known as Doodly Doright (named for Dudley Do-Right on the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show), the “Dood” has quickly become a member of the family. He’s progressed from sleeping in a crate to sleeping in our bed, and he is quickly picking up sign language. He’s a joy. And we are so grateful to Pups and Pals for their rescue and their caring (thank you, Valerie and Dianne!).

My boy

 

And my darling Boo? Not replaced. Not forgotten. Tucked into my heart. Where Doodly is making a home of his own.

Good dog…

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