Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jeepers Peepers, It's A Golden Doodle!

This post is in memory of Buster The Wonder Dog who left for Doggie Heaven in 2009.

I had just settled into my seat in First Class when I heard whining and smelled the familiar sweet odor of a new puppy. As the stewardess passed out water to the passengers, I heard her ask, "What kind of puppy is he?" The reply surprised me.
"Why he's a Golden Doodle." I pondered for a moment what kind of animal this was. A childhood story about a goose who laid a golden egg popped into my head, and I couldn't help but wonder if this dog laid golden "doodles." Fortunately, the puppy was quiet during the flight and I was left wondering just what kind of critter he was.

When I returned home, I couldn't resist Googling Golden Doodles on the WEB. As it turns out, they are a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Interesting. But what is even more interesting is the fact that this is only one of hundred of new "hybrid" dogs available to today's crazed pet owners. It seems that dog breeders have finally realized what us average folks knew all along...mutts are better!

Having owned everything from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane,purebred and mutt, I have to tell you that my favorite dogs have always been the mutts. Now some may disagree, but this new trend is something to look at. Breeders are saying that these dogs of "dissimilar parents" grow better, have better temperaments and less physical problems. They are currently being marketed as "designer" dogs, and people are paying big bucks for them, I mean thousands of dollars for a mutt. Go figure.

My first mutt was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Black Labrador mix, and he was a great dog. He loved everyone, especially children, and you could teach him any trick in a minute. The children taught him to sit up and beg, roll over, and retrieve anything they pointed to in minutes. His shiny, black coat was curly right down the middle of his back. His eyes were black as coal, and he always looked like he was smiling. I can't remember why, but the kids named him Peepers.

We got him free because he was a "Mutt." He loved to retrieve anything from gigantic rocks to bullfrogs (which he never injured in the process). He could climb ladders and open doors. Needless to say, he was the children's all-time favorite dog. One hot, muggy Maryland Summer I cam home to find a gigantic snapping turtle in the kiddie pool in my back yard. When I asked the children how it got there, they described in detail how they had gotten Peepers to herd it through a drain pipe and into a large trash can for them. Then they carried it home and dumped it into the pool. I am telling you this to show you that there is nothing this dog wouldn't do for those children.

I have owned several purebred dogs: an Airedale Terrier (beautiful, sweet, but very high-strung), a Great Dane (large, friendly and a complete klutz) and a Chihuahua (who only loved me, and attacked everyone else). I owned a really great purebred German Shepherd when I was first married, but he wasn't very fond of my husband. As it turned out, he was a better judge of character than I was. The mutts are still my favorites.

Examining the list of hundreds of "designer" dogs currently available, I didn't come across one with Pepper's background. Guess the American Canine Hybrid Club has not recognized that mix yet. Could call it a Chesalab? I did find some others that made me raise an eyebrow though, like the Papi-poo (there's that poo thing again). How about the Bagle Hound? Do you eat it or walk it? There are endless numbers of others from every letter of the alphabet: Afollie (Afghan Hound/Collie mix), Beagleman (Beagle/Doberman), Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Japanese Chin) and the Cock-A-Mo (American Eskimo/Cocker) sounds like a bird to me. The list is long, some with such ridiculous names that any respectable dog would be embarrassed to be introduced as such.

When I think now about how many times I have had someone ask me about my dog and I replied, "Oh, he's just a mutt," I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know what a treasure I really had, or did I?

Buster, bless his heart, was a mutt. He was mostly Golden Retriever, and I don't have a clue what else. He had long, silky bond hair, and his big brown doe-like eyes could melt your heart. He loved to give hugs. Smart, sweet and faithful, a loving companion and he is sorely missed.

I now have a cute, amazingly sweet little Boston Terrier. He isn't papered, he is just a wonderful companion who will put up with grandchildren, never (and I do mean NEVER) barks, and is easily trained. He loves to peek over the top of my computer as I write, and steal my "warmed up" seat when I get up.

You can go online an order just about any mix you like. Breeders are coming up with new mixes every day, and thousands of people are clamoring to have a unique dog. So, if you need a good giggle (and laughter definitely is the best medicine) you need to go to and have a look-see. Have fun. I sure did.

And remember, if you want a really great dog, there are thousands at your local animal shelters who need adopting. They will appreciate you so much that you will never own a better animal. Trust me, I have done it!

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