Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Ok when we got Rocky last September - he had no itching issues. We bought shampoo and bathed him wiht Pure Paws Brightening Shampoo as needed and no itching ... he was fine. Then, winter came and he…Continue
I can not get anotherr dog. I absolutley can NOT get another dog. We are so lucky that Rocky is so amazingly sweet - whose to say we would be that lucky again?? I have a three year old who is…Continue
I just have to brag because I know you guys will understand why I'm so proud of Rocky!! My mom brought her Yorkie over last week to play with Rocky. Normally that goes great and the dogs have a…Continue
Heather and Rocky has not received any gifts yet
My husband and I were not originally dog people. I guess we were cat people, but once we started having kids things changed a lot. I had a very, very difficult second pregnancy. I was emotionally a mess, and pretty overwhelmed - so my brilliant solution was to move. So, we moved out of our house into an apartment and then into our new home all during my third trimester! As you can guess, it didn't really help my emotional health! We had three cats at the time, two indoor and one outdoor. They had been our babies, but my stress level was at an all time high with a difficult pregnancy and a toddler at home. The decision to find them new homes was hard, but really for the best because I was stretched too thin at the time. Our outdoor kitty went to live on a friend's farm, and our indoor kitties went to live with my husbands granny and with a younger friend of ours. Sometimes the guilt of that still bothers me.
When we moved into our new home, I gave birth to our second son, Marshall, about two weeks after we moved in. With boxes to unpack, a toddler and a new baby, I was relieved to not have any pets to add to the mix. Then, a few years later we added another baby - this time a little girl! About this time, my boys started getting really intense wanting a dog. I began to worry that my children didn't have a pet, and I was starting to miss having a pet as well. But, we still weren't quite ready. I tried to soothe the need with random fish, crabs, sea monkey's - but as you know - nothing can fill that void like a dog can.
Last summer, the kids were two, seven and five and I started to think we were ready. I secretly began reading up on different breeds of dogs and dog care. I did not grow up with a dog inside my house, and I knew if we got a dog, I wanted it to be a part of our everyday family life. I wanted a dog who would adore the kids and have a sweet nature. I also wanted a big dog, because my boys are .... well ... boys. I started looking at labradors and golden retrievers, and soon came upon the labradoodle and goldendoodle. They were so amazingly beautiful! And the added bonus of less shedding would be nice since my middle son had asthma. My husband thought I was absolutley crazy. And even more so when he saw the price tag on a doodle puppy from a reputable breeder.... but I was set on the idea.
The more I envisioned our family with a doodle, the more I talked about it and the more the kids got excited. I posted and chatted with some other owners and breeders in forums and became more and sure that this was the perfect dog for our lifestyle. I was trying to choose a breeder and had started putting back a little money here and there. I was pretty confused on if I wanted an F1 vs. a multigen ... and I wasn't sure I really cared that much. We briefly considered going through a rescue, but when reading up on that - we found that a lot of the dogs were not really reccomended for home with small children.
Fall was upon us, when a friend of mine told me she one of the parents in her class had a Labradoodle that they were looking to rehome. My first instinct was no. It seemed risky since we wouldn't know enough about the dogs background...but, my friend forwarded me an email from her friend and there was a picture of a beautiful five year old male white doodle and a wonderful description of the sweetest dog ever.
That weekend we were at a soccer game, and I had not mentioned the dog to anyone in my family. About halfway through the game, my two year old (who was almost three) was getting cranky, so I took her to the car to watch a movie. As I sat and waited I looked again at the email about the doodle and on a whim, called the current owners for more information.
As Rocky's story unfolded I found out that he was most definitely not an unwanted pet. His current family had four children and another dog. He had belonged originally to their grandmother who had lost her husband and became ill and could not care for her doodles anymore. She had a goldendoodle and a labradoodle, and sent both of her dogs to live with her granddaughter's family to try to find them a home. They had a friend who wanted the golden right away, but they had Rocky at their house for over a year. They wanted to keep him, but their own dog was not doing well having another dog in the house. Even though they loved Rocky, they had a responsibility to the dog they already had and so they were still looking for a home for Rocky, but not really advertising. She said with the popularity of the breed, she did not want to give him to someone who might try to sell him, but rather had been hoping to meet the right family. She said he was a sweetheart and amazing with the children.... and invited us over right away when our soccer games were over. "Bring the whole family" she said.
I knew already that I was going to want Rocky. I just knew in my heart that I was going to love him. So, when my husband got in the car with the boys, I began to tell them the story. Of course, my boys wanted to go meet Rocky right away. I did too! But, I was cautious - was it really the best thing to bring all the kids over there? What if it didn't work out?? They would be devastated. But, my husband felt really good about it and he wanted to go too... so I called Rocky's family back and said yes, we wanted to come right away... and we headed over.
We got there and met a family very much like ours. Our introduction to Rocky started slowly - just me and Gracie met him at first. We were in the sunroom and Rocky came in so calmly. First off I realized he was HUGE. 80 pounds and taller than my daughter! Gracie fell on him with hugs and kisses immediately, and his reaction was to lay down and flop his tail. I petted him and Gracie gave him treats and within minutes we were bonding. Then, we went into the family room where everyone else was and my boys surrounded Rocky in their ususal overly excited way - and again, Rocky was calm and happy. He wagged his tail, rubbed his head against the boys with delight as they fed him treats and petted and loved on him. Then, as the adults talked and the kids played, Rocky came over to me and leaned on me. I don't know how to explain that, but he just came over and LEANED on me - this giant moose of a dog. He buried his big fluffy head into my lap and just enjoyed being adored by someone new.
What happened next really sealed the deal for me. It was probably already sealed actually ... but if there was any lingering reserve... it was wiped away in this moment. The kids were bowling on the Wii and Rocky went over amongst them and one of the children pulled the Wii remote back to bowl and bonked Rocky in the head with the remote. It was a hard hit. I heard the sound of the remote hitting his skull and everyone looked to see what had happened - but Rocky - basically stopped and shook his head a little as if to say "What was that?!" and then he went on nuzzling the kids before he made his way back over to me.
So, when they asked if we wanted to take Rocky for the rest of the weekend, we enthusiastically agreed. We got ready to leave and the kids headed out to the car as the adults gathered up Rocky's belongings. Bowls, toys, leash... and as we went to put the leash on Rocky to take him out to the front yard, we realized he was already gone! We came out to find him in the van with the kids, sitting up in the backseat next to my oldest son, looking out the window. He looked at us and barked once and wagged his tail as if to say "Let's go!" It was such a moment! His other human mommy teared up a bit as we exchanged good byes and I felt a twinge of guilt .... like I was taking him away from her. She had told me he bonded with her more than anyone and that he was very much in tune with women.... she warned that he wouldn't bond with my husband unless he really, really made an effort. And in the two hours we had spent with them, it had been true - Rocky and adored me and barely noticed my husband. So, off we went - headed home with our new dog. My boys were beaming and Gracie chattered happily the entire way.
I warned my husband as we were leaving - if we take him home - you know it's forever! And I warned the kids "This is only a trial!" - lol. I had to be sure that Marshall wasn't going to have an asthma flare up, but other than that I was pretty sure we'd found the newest member of our family.
I was right. Marshall was fine. Rocky already had basic training - he follows commands, and seem to understand everything we say. He stayed, sat, lay down, and within a couple days my oldest son had him shaking hands. He adored car rides. Came alive and danced and pranced when his leash appeared and we adored him and it seemed he adored us too.
His other family had told us that he never got up on the furntiure and that he never licked anyone and that he didn't shed much and that he was always so calm and he never got overly excited. They warned us to be careful if he got out the door in the front where the yard isn't fenced in because he could take off and to be firm with him because he definitely had an alpha personality! The mom whispered to me that she preferred to get his dog food from the speciality store nearby and her husband told my husband that they preferred to feed him Alpo. (haha!)
We have come to know and love Rocky and all of his wonderful personality. The first thing that we found out was that he was very, VERY smart. I think that his personality kind of molds around our personalities... In the first few weeks, his behavior at our house was beyond perfect. He was so good - we thought wow - this dog is not even normal!! Then, as he got more and more comfortable - we got more and glimpses of his silly doodle personality. It was true that he doesn't bother any of the kids toys - in fact - he's not really into toys at all - his or anyone elses....but he licks all of us with lovey kisses every chance he gets! He never, ever jumps on anyone, but he charges at you and then leaps into the air with these happy bounces when you first come home. If you didn't know better - you would brace yourself to be knocked over when he heads your way at full speed! And, he definitely has tried out all the furniture! He jumps up on the furniture beside us when he wants some loveys. He just goes halfway though - just his front paws and the top half of his body goes up on the bed or the couch so he can get closer to us. But, I did catch him full fledged laid out asleep on the couch in the middle of the night in the winter - it was a cold night and he looked peaceful so I left him alone. (I don't really care that much if he naps on the furniture anyway!) He does shed like crazy though - but my middle son ended up fine - so no worries there! And, we ended up getting his food at the nice little boutique pet store and threw out the Alpo idea. (Fromm's all the way!!) He is a thief when it comes to people food and he knows Gracie is the weakest link and he will snatch any food left unattended. It's almost comical - but can be a little frustrating when he has devoured the entire platter of burgers and you have guests on the way!
Rocky is a true member of our family now. He goes everywhere with us and we even planned our trip spring break around places we could take him! We don't know his exact birthdate but they did know he was born in the fall or winter and that he was turning five in 2010. So, we will set his birthday at the date he became the sixth member of our family - Septmember 18th!!!