New Life in the House

We’ve been dogless since July 14, 2007, when our last dog died. For the first couple of years, I rather liked not having a dog anymore. For the past year or so, though, my husband has been wanting a dog. He even settled on a breed. After two black labs, delightful dogs that filled our home, cars, and boat with dog hair, he decided he wanted a standard poodle.

No little dogs for this guy. We think our brother’s new dachshund Gracie is adorable, and proves that little dogs are wonderful companions. That doesn’t change the fact that R. is a big dog man.

At the end of August, he was talking with our town’s dog control officer, and said, “If you ever have a standard poodle turned in to you, let me know, I’d be interested in adopting him.” Whereupon the dog catcher told him that he had a labradoodle in his pound who was past his holding period and needed a home. R. rushed up to see the dog, and brought me there that evening. The next day, he was home with us.

I’m pleased to introduce Samwise:

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Provenance unknown. A Google search indicates a stray labradoodle in our area in late summer, but gives no hint of where he came from. Age unknown as well. We’re guessing he’s about a year old from size, energy, his love of an occasional good chew, and those beautiful pearly white teeth.

Sam is very well behaved inside the house, and a wild card when he’s outside. We kept him under tight control - on a leash at all times - for the first month, but he has been growing both more resistant to restraint, and better behaved when given freedom. We now keep a leash with us when walking along our dirt road, and he will run way ahead of us, but he comes back.

Oh, he loves to run. And jump. He’s quite the athlete. He makes me feel rather old and lame, especially when he’s tearing up the road, pretending that he doesn’t hear me calling him.

We’ve spent a chunk of change on him so far. He was uncastrated, and we’ve taken care of that. He also had a very nasty infection in both ears, and we’ve taken care of that as well, though we need to take him back to the vet’s for a check. Vaccinations, flea meds, an initial grooming, etc. etc. We’ve ordered an orange vest for him so that we can spot him in the woods, and so that he isn’t mistaken for a deer during hunting season. It’s not cheap to own a dog.

He’s good with the cats, but they’re not having any of it so far. He would chase them if they run away from him, but he chases everything that’s moving rapidly away from him. When up close to the cat who tolerates him the most, he licks and nuzzles and is a sweetheart.

He’s R.’s constant companion. R. takes him to the office and out cruising in the car. Here he is riding shotgun:

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They are good buddies.

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He has his quirks, like any intelligent animal, and like anyone you adopt after much of the personality has been formed. He doesn’t hesitate to bark at things that surprise him, especially anything that sounds like someone knocking at the door. He hates chainsaws, and tries to prevent R. from starting ours. He wants to chase cars, four-wheelers, trucks, you name it, which adds a certain thrill to our walks with him. We have to learn how to break him of that. We’re taking him to the big city next weekend to visit our daughter, and he’ll be under restraint at all times. I bet he’ll be more than ready for a good, hard run by the time we get back home.

Here’s a cute quirk: he likes to lie down while he eats.

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And, glory of glories, HE DOESN’T SHED!


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