We’ve been without dogs for almost three years now; Yosha and Zippy were wonderful, but we wanted a bit of space. Not too much space, though: we knew that we’d be getting another dog or two in a few years, it was only a question of when. Last winter, we took advantage of of not having dogs in the house to remodel the kitchen, and this summer we remodeled one of the bathrooms; with that, the house was in good shape, so we figured the disruption was over and it was time to get another dog.
Another poodle, to be specific. Partly because they’re a breed that Liesl isn’t allergic to and partly because, well, poodles. Maybe we’d even get two poodles: having both Yosha and Zippy was great, though it was also fine that Zippy came along three years after Yosha.
My back troubles threw a bit of a wrench in the plans: getting a dog while I couldn’t even sit down without being in pain didn’t sound too smart. But after a couple of months of being free from pain, it seemed like time.
And we didn’t have any external commitments this past weekend, so towards the end of last week we started looking around. Rescue dogs were one possibility, but there were almost no poodles around in local shelters. We got Yosha and Zippy at a pet store, but, what with the bad rap that puppy mills have, pet stores are a lot less likely to carry dogs these days. So we searched a bit for breeders; poodle breeders, as it turns out, are not very good web site designers / SEO experts, but the American Kennel Club had a handy search page.
A couple of phone calls later, we were talking to a breeder named Oksana Fagenboym who had five puppies over in the east bay. They were standard sized poodles, which was larger than we were tentatively thinking, but we figured we might as well drive over to meet them on Saturday.
And her dogs were amazing. The grownup dog we met (their mother) was very nice, and all of the puppies were fabulous: energetic (but not over-the-top so), friendly, affectionate, great to be around. So, in short order, we decided that we’d made the right choice: based on what we were seeing, it was pretty clear that these were all great dogs, the only question was which one. (And one rather than two was the right number: we need to figure out how much space one standard poodle takes up before adding a second.) Honestly, that last choice was mostly at random, but we ended up with one lovely puppy.
So we returned with a more populated car than we arrived in. We named him Widget, and he’s fabulous. Friendly, cuddly, but surprisingly mellow for a puppy and surprisingly well-adjusted for a poodle. (Admittedly, Yosha and Zippy were both distinctive in that last regard, so our standards may not be well calibrated.) He was a bit quiet and unsure while dealing with the transition, but he handled it remarkably well, and three days later he’s settled in great.
And it’s super nice at a primal level, too: having another warm, friendly body who’s there and who is glad you are there is very comforting indeed. I missed having poodles around, good to be restarting that, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Widget as he grows up.
We have many good years ahead of us.
This post has not been revised since publication.