Ellie is my current standard poodle.
My love affair with poodles started my senior year of high school. It was literally like I woke up one morning and knew that that was the dog for me. It also didn’t hurt that my sister-in-law had just bought a teeny tiny black poodle and I loved it so much I just wanted to smoosh its brains out. Gah! Cuteness overload. So I asked my mom if I could have one. She didn’t say no. Good enough for me. I went and put a deposit down on one the next day. That marked the day my relationship with Sophie started. My very first toy poodle, and the most important relationship in the world to me. She was an apricot poodle, from a kennel, and not the most attractive thing in the world. But she was my world. Growing up, we had always had dogs ( mutts), and I loved them, because I loved animals. But none of them meant a 100 th of what Sophie meant. She was MINE. I took care of her, and most importantly, she didn’t love my brothers. The fact that I was 17 and also had a love of boys, Marlboro reds, and occasionally stealing my moms Chardonnay could probably explain why she wasn’t potty trained until over a year old and then only ever learned to sit when she felt like it. I have since given up my Marlboro and Chardonnay habits. Merlot is infinitely better. But never my poodles.
Anyway, I had Sophie for 7 years before she passed much too soon. During that time, I owned and fostered an assortment of poodles. There was Lilly, a cockapoo ( crazy, bad breeding), Sydney (one of Sophie’s babies and a dog everyone instantly loves), Charlie, another apricot poodle, Onyx, a black standard poodle, and Divo a very red toy poodle. All of these dogs were great, in their own way, but none compared to Sophie, and all went to various homes while Sophie remained steadfastly by my side. We lived in 7 houses, went through numerous boyfriends, and a couple of marriages before she crossed the rainbow bridge. The hardest day of my life was when she passed. I buried her under a dogwood tree, and left a piece of me there.
Soon after, I found myself in a new house, with a new life. and I knew I needed a new poodle. By this time Logan and the boys were in my life, and I was a little worried about getting a toy poodle. They can be the victim of bad breeding, and with that can come a nervous, yappy, nippy, frail thing that would never stand up to the abuse of three 5 year olds. My house is only two bedrooms, and maybe 1100 sq feet, so a standard poodle would be a big presence. But standards have not yet been subjected to over breeding the way toys have, and historically have a much more calm, relaxed demeanor. I began what would become a months long search. I looked at breeders, shelters, petfinder.com, and numerous other places.
Finally, I found Ellie. She was in a shelter in Kansas.
She came from a breeder and was originally intended to be kept for breeding purposes. My sweet little baby Ellie was almost destined to have litter after litter, year after year. Luckily, as I know full well, Ellie doesn’t do anything unless its her idea. The kennel dropped her off at the shelter stating that she could not be “accustomed to the breeding lifestyle.” In other words, she doesn’t like being in a small cage where she can barely stand for 23 hours a day. She doesn’t like her feet and toes being spread apart by wire cages, and being shuffled back and forth like cattle, from place to place. In fact, she prefers to lay on my queen sized bed. Alone. She prefers to lay on her chair in the office, with her head propped up on the arm.
And if she eats, she prefers it to be out of the trashcan.
My love affair with poodles will never end.. they are a joy. They are entertainment. They are a pain in the ass. They are protectors, lovers, and comforters. I have converted many a cynic, who now own poodles of their own. Stay tuned for more stories of my monster, there are plenty to tell.