Acquired: Bred dog myself
Posted February 28, 2014
After saying goodbye to our collie, Krissee, we remained dogless for several years. Our teenage daughter started asking for a small dog, a dog that could stay in the house most of the time. She wanted a lapdog, something she could play with when she was in the mood.
We went to the Internet and looked at several different breeds. We settled on a dachshund because it was small and required little grooming, if any. We looked into it, but decided to wait because of the cost.
While visiting an older friend from the church, my daughter Shanna played with her little toy poodle as my husband visited with her. While she was playing, our friend commented, "I've been looking for a good home for Baby. I hate to part with her because she's so sweet. But our older dogs torment her and are too rough with her. So I feel it's best to give her another home to live in. Would you guys be interested in a cute little toy poodle?"
Shanna's eyes beamed, "Can we, Dad? Pleeeeeeeeeeease!" My husband told the lady we had been looking for a small dog. It was all settled in the matter of minutes. Shanna had found her small dog. The entire family fell in love with her immediately.
Baby was a very small white toy poodle. In fact, if she had been one or 2 pounds less, she would be considered a teacup poodle.
Baby went just about everywhere with us. On one Saturday we brought her as we visited house to house to invite kids for vacation Bible school. This was a great idea because many children loved the little dog, and she helped us sign up all whole bunch of them.
At one house, a lady asked us, "What are you doing with my dog?" When Shanna told her it was her dog, Baby, she looked closely at her and realized it was not her little dog Scooby. As we talked, we both agreed that the two should get together and mate when Baby came in season. After all, they were both white toy poodles, close to the same size. We exchanged phone numbers and when the time came, we bred them.
Baby gave birth to two puppies, but the second born was not strong enough and it died the first night. Since we had promised the pick of the litter, we honored that by giving up the puppy when he was old enough.
We bred the pair one more time. Again, Baby gave birth to two puppies. This time, one was apricot and the other was white. We took the pick of the litter on this occasion, and kept the white one.
Shanna named him Snugs. He was such a special little man. Training him was such a simple task because he wanted so to please us and make us happy. This is very typical of this breed. Baby was the same way. If they did anything wrong and we scolded them for any reason, they walked away so hurt and dejected that we felt terrible about scolding them in the first place.
A couple years after the puppies were born, we noticed that Baby was suffering from severe gum disease (which I later found out is very common with these small breed poodles). We tried just about everything, brushing her teeth frequently, using chews that were specifically for their teeth. Nothing seemed to help her much and her teeth started to fall out. Within a couple years her health began to decline very quickly and we knew the best thing we could do was to put her down.
The only thing that helped us through this was that terrifically cheerful little guy, Snugs. It seemed like he was always happy, and the smallest little thing made him jump for joy. It didn't take a lot to keep this little guy happy.
For several years we bought pigs' ears for him to chew on. He seemed to love these, and we felt that they were good for his teeth and gums. After a while, he seemed to lose interest in them. So we stopped getting them for him.
After about seven years, we noticed that Snugs' breath was getting a bad odor, just like Baby's. We also started brushing his teeth, but then we started using Denta Chews. He seemed to like them, and they certainly improved his breath. His gums are improving as I write this, as long as he has his chews on a regular basis.
It is interesting that whenever he needs to relieve himself, he goes to my husband and stands there looking at him until he is noticed. As soon as my husband says, "You need to go outside?"
Snugs starts jumping up and down excitedly as if to say, "You bet I do! Come on let's go!"
We always let him out front door, and he stays right in our front yard most of the time. From time to time, he may venture to our neighbors' on either side of us, but this rarely happens. Usually, when he is finished about his business, he comes right back to the front door and barks saying, "I'm done. Let me in!"
If we notice that he has strayed to the neighbors, we simply have to call his name, and he comes running lickety-split, tail wagging, and ready to come in. He is such an obedient little guy, and he seems so intelligent.
Last summer we had a garage sale and Snugs was our little greeter. Every time someone came, he would run up to them wagging his tail. Everyone loved him, as he became our little icebreaker. We never had to keep him on a leash, because he always stayed close by. If he wandered, it was rarely more than just a few feet. Anytime we couldn't see him, we simply called his name, and he came running instantly, wagging his tail vigorously.
It's so funny how he eats his food. He will go into the kitchen and grab a piece or two of his food, bring it into the living room where we are, and eat it there in our presence. It is almost as if he hates being alone. For wherever we are, especially my husband, he likes to follow and be there with him.
When my husband points to the couch, he jumps right up there. When we say, "Bedtime". He heads straight to the door, does his business, and then happily heads straight to the back room where his cage and bed await him. If he still has one of his chews, he will grab that before he goes to his bed.
If there is any other negative point about this dear dog, it would be that he only looks his best when he has been groomed. Since neither of us has confidence that we can do this, we have found a great groomer who always does a good job to make you look handsome again.