There's any number of days I can pick for puppy celebrations. We could pick their birthdays, or the day we picked them up. But I think on the one-year anniversary of their meeting each other for the first time, now is as good a time as any to give them their report card.
This is what I wrote on Facebook a year ago. "After 5 hours of chasing each other, they've finally crashed. Here's hoping that continues tonight when we go to bed."
I can't recall if they stayed crashed, but based on our experience over the next couple of weeks, I would guess not.
Here's what they looked like then:
|Worn out after trying to kill each other|
And here's what they look like now.
|A year later, still trying to kill each other.|
So are they good dogs? Well, to quote We Rate Dogs "They're all good dogs, Bront."
Over the last year we've been through the highs ("Oh God, you're the best puppies ever.") to the lows, when we thought for sure that we'd fucked up and killed them. The joy they will give you is impossible to measure, just as the despair you feel when you're not sure they will make it is bottomless. We went through the latter twice this year. The infamous Advil incident with Wazowski and in October Sully ate something on a walk that so badly distressed her stomach we weren't sure what would happen. That lasted for almost two weeks. To make things worse, there's no longer a vet in town.
Stress is not quite an accurate enough word for those occasions. It's enough to make you question the wisdom of getting them if you can't care for them properly. We've had serious conversations about moving simply because we can't have reasonable vet care in town any longer nor is there a time frame for it. If it's serious, we must fly them to Ottawa and hope for the best. Again, there isn't a word in the English language for putting your beloved dog on a plane, when they're sick and scared, and sending them away and hoping for the best.
And yet, last night I watched a football game with Wazowski lying on my feet and Sully curled up next to me with her head resting on my lap. I can't put a price on the peace and zen that comes from that.
Just please, please, please less stress in the future.
So how are they? Let's look at their report cards.
Wazowski: (14/10. Heckin' good foofer. Impish)
|Waz, pushing the edges of where he's allowed,|
but charming enough to get away with it.
Is he exactly like Mike Wazowski? Sorta? He's the brains of the outfit, and imp and sneaky. His ability to pounce on anything edible that lands on the floor before I can pick it up defies physics.
He's also had the hardest legacy to live up to. We loved Boo, our previous Coton de Tulear, so much and our hearts were broken when we lost him last year. We didn't expect to get another Coton quite so soon. And yet, he's his own pup. His coat is different, and his personality is different. He's more feisty, playful and a bit bossy. When he wants to play he will often throw a toy at our feet and sit there with a "Well, what are you waiting for, human?" look on his face.
He's also a huge cuddle bug. Cathy requently wakes up in the middle of the night with Wazowski either curled up next to her head or lying on top of her.
Also, mercifully, he's learned to stand up for himself. Sully can be a handful when she wants to play. We were worried that she was just going to use him as a dishrag for the rest of their lives. Instead, he'll snap back when she's playing too rough.
He's also the first to settle down a bit. He's 15 months old and while he still has puppy moments, he's a dog now so some of his more aggravating habits (chewing everything) are finally easing up.
Sully: (14/10. Heckin' good foofer. Galoot)
|Sully at sunset.|
I'm sure somewhere out there are Goldendoodles that are graceful dogs. Sully is not one of those dogs. When we were looking at getting a puppy we were told that female F1B Goldendoodles (the most hypoallergenic) normally reach 50-55 pounds. We estimate she's around 70 pounds now. The last time a vet saw her she commented "wow, is she ever tall for her breed." She's all legs and awkwardness. Watching her chase after a ball down the hall and trying to hit the brakes should be it's on a YouTube channel. She can take up most of the king-sized bed when she lies on it. We're convinced that along with Poodle and Golden Retriever there's some giraffe mixed in there.
And yet, she remains completely oblivious to her size. As far as she's concerned she's the same size as Wazowski. She is constantly trying to cuddle and, my god, cuddles from her should be bottled and sold over the counter. She has also finally begun to utilize the Golden Retriever's ability to manipulate you just by using her eyes. No dog has endured greater hardship in the history of dogs than her. Just ask. She'll tell you.
So is she a perfect dog? Well, she still had some things we hope she'll settle down on. She's not as mature as Wazowski so we're hoping she'll ease up a bit more on the bullying over toys. And man, she really doesn't like other dogs. I don't think she'll attack them, but I've seen her bang her paws against the living room window when she sees a dog walking up the street. And god help Cathy or I if we're out walking them and they spot a stray dog. One of us is going to have our arm ripped clean off because she lunges that hard.
Again, hopefully, she'll ease up. We've tried everything we know. If we were in Ottawa, we could probably get her to a trainer to take care of that, but that's certainly not happening up here.
|Keeping an eye out for trouble.|
When we told people we were getting two puppies at roughly the same time, we got looks and the occasional questioning of our sanity. And look, those people weren't wrong....I mentioned the highs and lows, well in between was when we were ready to give them away for a sandwich. Two puppies are challenging and require patience that maybe we didn't always have in reserve. But we're a year in with them now and we simply can't imagine our lives without them. They are integral parts of our mental health and sanity. They might drive us crazy, but there are worse alternatives.
Hopefully, most of our friends and family will get to meet them. They really are good pups....
1. Two night - Lykke Li
2. Bros - Wolf Alice*
3.Magick - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
4. Straight to hell - The Clash
5. Alternative girlfriend - Barenaked Ladies