Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The puppy plan

I've spent the past 3-4 weeks immersed in dog madness.   The idea of a service dog (too long of a wait) morphed into the idea of a service dog drop-out (wrong breeds, too long of a wait), which morphed into the idea of adopting an older dog which morphed into the idea of getting a puppy.   I've done an enormous amount of research and paperwork (with a stack of books and a million bookmarked websites to prove it), and we've settled on a plan.  Well, probably . . . you know, nothing is set in stone until it happens, but here's the idea.

We're going to get a Standard Poodle puppy.  We have on in mind, he is 13 weeks old, is at a breeder in CT and we are going to see him (and possibly bring him home) on Friday night.  (!!!!!)

I realize this might seem rather sudden, and you might have some questions.  Sometimes people blurt out questions without thinking, so allow me to address your question, while providing you with some helpful rephrasings:

1. A puppy!?  Are you freaking crazy?!  What I think you might mean is "Wow, puppies are a lot of work.  Why did you choose a puppy over an older dog?"
Puppies are a lot of work.  I'm fully aware, and in getting a puppy I'm basically saying that I hate having free time and I would like to spend every moment of the next 4 (10?) months either working with Maya, working with the puppy, or banging my head against a wall.  That being said, a puppy and a toddler are a good (supervised) combination.  The puppy learns that it ranks below the child quickly, and they grow and bond together.  With Maya's clumsiness, I think I would always worry that even the best behaved adult dog might snap if she fell unpredictably towards the dog.  I also like the moldability of a puppy, the fact that (even though it's more work) we can control his socialization, etc.

2.  Oh . . . you're going to get a puppy from a breeder (sigh).  What I think you might mean is "I know that you really care about animals, and the shelters are so full.  Why did you choose to call breeders?"

If our situation were different I would be at a shelter.  But we've got high hopes for this dog.  We need him to be a purebred hypoallergenic dog.  We hope to avoid major health issues or hip problems as the dog ages, and breeders choose their pairings carefully to avoid these potential problems.  Good breeders breed for temperaments, and can evaluate the personalities of their puppies young . . . we need a calm, slightly submissive puppy who is smart and ready to learn.  Good breeders guarantee their pups.  Good breeders take the time to socialize the puppies with other people and animals, stimulating them mentally and physically, laying a foundation for housebreaking, crate training, and leash training.

3. A poodle?!?!  What I think you might mean is "A poodle?!?"

I know, they seem (at first glance) to be kind of froofy fancy-pants dogs.  Truth is, the breed is a perfect fit.  Big enough that Maya can lean on it.  Active enough to enjoy the walks we like to go on, but calm enough indoors to be happy in an apartment.  Smart, smart, smart (the 2nd smartest dog breed), incrediably trainable.  Hypoallergenic.  Good with kids.  They are often used as service/therapy dogs.

I think that sums it up :)  I would post his picture, but I don't want to jinx anything.  Tomorrow Maya has the allergist, and thenI finish cleaning the apartment and finsihing as many projects as possible.  Tomorrow night we do a big prep trip at Petco.  Friday we have therapy as usual, and then we head to CT as soon as Dave gets home.


Kristen said...

Good luck! I grew up with a standard poodle and they are fabulous dogs!

lisa said...

i am so excited for you guys!!!! maya is going to go crazy!!!!!

Foxxy One said...

Wheee - how fun! Good luck!