I would like to introduce you to a couple members of my family. I have the most adorable labradoodle named Doodle and a crazy cat named Bean. Doodle, who is now 13, is the one I would like to tell you about first. Bean, our newest family member, I am still trying to understand and so I will leave him to talk about in a future blog.
The most precious characteristic of our Doodle, or any family pet for that matter, is the fact that he doesn't judge me. Doodle doesn’t look down on me if I am having a bad day. He doesn’t care if I lounge around in sweatpants, if I gain or lose a few pounds, or if my skin tone is different than others. He doesn’t care what my hair looks like or how thick my glasses have become. He always listens when I sit to talk to him, without judgement. He accepts me for who I am all the time. I wish everyone in this world could learn from the furry creatures who just want our love.
Doodle was born on Jan 1, 2007. I saw an add in the paper for these adorable labradoodle pups. So, I decided to take my kids for the hour and half drive to meet these chocolate puppies. As we walked in the door, Doodle came to greet us, wagging his tail. His friendliness attracted us to him immediately. Of all the pups, he was the one who took the time to keep coming over to us to say hello. He stole our hearts and so we couldn’t leave without taking him home with us. My plan was to just go meet the pups and spend a few days pondering over whether we should add one to our family. I didn’t bring a carrying case for Doodle so he ended up sitting on my son’s lap for the entire ride home.
Doodle was always playful and friendly. In fact, he was sometimes a little too friendly, when it came to the wild animals in the yard, including a territorial porcupine. I vividly remember the two times my husband needed to lie Doodle down, put his leg over the top of him, to hold him down while pulling porcupine quills from his snout. We truly thought he would learn the first time, as we pulled a good sixty quills out, and he needed to be placed on antibiotics for a week. But nope, Doodle always wanted to be friendly. Fortunately, he decided after this happened a second time, that perhaps making friends with porcupines wasn’t a good idea. But, there were still more four-legged creatures for this curious dog to meet.
We would soon learn that he had a strange attraction to skunks. After bathing him in tomato juice following his first "play-date," and watching him gag and vomit from the smell, I would think that would have been enough to distract him from socializing with skunks, but not our Doodle. He just wanted to make more friends, and more friends he would make.
One day, I was walking with a dear friend of mine, on some back country roads. We had our dogs with us and didn’t bother putting them on a leash because it was quiet on those old country roads and this gave the dogs a bit of freedom. Well what a mistake that turned out to be! We came across a pig farm and before my friend and I could react, Doodle was full-speed ahead, charging to meet some new friends. As we rushed down the road to catch up with Doodle, I could see someone run across the street over to the pig pen. He was the owner of the pigs. He was very concerned the pigs would maul Doodle, but by the time I reached the pen, Doodle was sitting with the pigs, they oinking and he barking. He was as happy as a pig in the mud! We walked by the pig farm many times after that, and he always barked hello to his unforgotten friends.
Doodle seems to make friends wherever we go. He loves to take walks as he meets up with his friend, Lucy. Lucy is a tiny dog that lives at an elderly home with her master. When we walk by, we seem to see them outside quite often and so Doodle, being so well mannered, always wants to take the time to say hello.
I worry about Doodle, as he is starting to show his age and has little tolerance for our cat, Bean. But can you blame him, as Bean walks right over him as though he is a rug. Yet Doodle's good nature still comes through, as he tolerates Bean's abuse, puts on a good face, and is always the gracious loving, non-judgemental member of our family, even if he does sit on Bean from time to time.