After much thought, debate and worry about how a dog would change our lives, we decided to bring a puppy home last February. It was not a decision we took lightly. Even once the decision was made, we had a tall order for our future dog. Due to fairly severe allergies on my part, it had to be hypoallergenic, and not a mixed breed but fully non-molting/shedding. We were looking for an intelligent breed that would be good with kids and easy to train. This would hopefully allow us to have a dog that we could take everywhere with us. And of course, the important criteria our kids added – it had to be cute.
Last August, I wrote this post about our wonderful experience of using Borrow My Doggy. Our fluffy companion, Ruby, has brought so much joy into our lives over the past couple of years. This helped us decide that the trials and tribulations of dog ownership would be worth it.
Ruby is an English Springer Spaniel and definitely the most well behaved dog we have ever met. This meant that any dog we chose would have a lot to live up to…or more accurately, we had a lot to live up to as dog owners/trainers.
We found a wonderful, first-and-only-time breeder of a beautiful litter of standard poodles. I talked to the breeder, as well as the owner of the stud dog (Reina’s daddy) and went to see the puppies by myself for the first time. I also spent weeks stopping poodle owners in our neighborhood and asking them questions about their experiences with the breed. We read a lot of books about puppies and watched a lot of You Tube videos on dog training (Zak George is our favorite) before bringing little Reina home.
We are in touch with the other owners of the litter, and it has been a great community to share advice, photos and experiences. We will have a 6 month reunion with Reina’s 3 sisters and 6 brothers, in July.
She fits into our family like a glove and we can’t imagine life without her now. I suppose like any third child, as the saying goes…you never regret them once you have them.
Reina is now 4 and a half months old and growing like a weed! We take her to puppy training every weekend and try to stimulate her as much as possible with tricks and behaviour lessons.
We don’t intend to stop traveling now that we have a dog, but you might see a few more road trips in our future. We’re confident that we’ll make international travel work as well. The next post will include photos from our trip to Scotland over Easter break – our first trip with Reina!