Meet Mira… part 1

As I casually mentioned recently, Kyle and I apparently thought buying and moving into a new house and becoming landlords (while raising three kids including a then-non-mobile 1 year old) was too boring… so we got a puppy 🙂

In actuality, we had been talking about it (hypothetically) for years, that we’d get one when we got a new house.  We were planning on Christmas, but realized the benefit of training during the summer and fall months.  I was then counting on as late as possible – August or September – because I was already hesitant about getting a puppy instead of an adult, for all the work involved (a fear that would become evident from my epic meltdown the first Sunday evening after having her home and having to stare at her 24/7 or deal with non-stop pee and chewing).

We looked into potential breeds knowing that this time, we couldn’t just rescue any old dog for fear of Nolan’s (and Elise’s, to a lesser extent) respiratory problems.  Hypoallergenic breeds seemed mostly limited to the toy variety, until we came across the Goldendoodles and Labradoodles.

Now this is where I talk details for a while that might not interest you.  I’ll keep it short, but would talk your ear off in person if this stuff interests you!  The Goldendoodle and American Labradoodles can be really cool.  But… we’re kind of stupid in this country with regards to hybrid breeds.  Greedy breeders – or just plain ignorant people – perpetuate this “breed” by mixing any old combination of Labs and Standard Poodles.  There are groups trying to provide some consistency by labeling them differently based on how much poodle vs lab is involved (in the last generation or two), but the truth is you can’t really know what you’re getting with the breeds.  Some are hypoallergenic and low- to non-shed, others don’t have those characteristics at all.  Some are more poodle-like in temperament, some more lab-like (or golden retriever-like, I should add since I did mention Goldens).  Don’t get me wrong – you can get a great dog if you’re careful, but this is not the dog we ended up with – for the sake of clarification.

The Australian Labradoodle is its own breed, having been bred for decades now in Australia.  There were initially some mixes of Lab and Poodle of course, but also carefully monitored generations, adding some other breeds for ideal characteristics, etc.  The result is a consistent temperament, consistent coat, consistent ability to excel at therapy dog programs and the like.  In other words, Mira doesn’t have any Poodle or Lab parents or grandparents (aside from the similar notion that you and I are all related to Adam and Eve).  In fact, her grandmother came directly from Australia from a line of original breeders.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

 

We started looking at Australian Labradoodles exclusively.  There were a handful of breeders we contacted all over the country, but ended up really connecting with one relatively local – in Lexington, KY.  The only problem was that the available litter was born in April, going home the first weekend of June.  That seemed to be it for the year (these are no puppy mills we’re talking about!), and another breeder had a litter in September but with travel involved.  If we wanted to work with one of these two, our timetable had just moved up.

Green Ribbon Girl, week 1, 1lb 4oz

Mira at 1 week (and 1 pound, 4 oz)!

While Mira and her brothers and sisters grew, we got to do something really cool.  We watched videos of the litter and anticipated new weights and pictures each week.  We got to show the girls “my friend Bonnie’s dogs” and essentially let them choose one without ever knowing they were getting a puppy, then watch together as she grew and got ready to come live with us in her forever home!

Green Ribbon Girl, week 5, 6lb

Mira at 5 weeks (and 5 pounds) – when we fell in love with and chose her!

 

 

 

 

I’ve happily shared pictures of her each week until we got her (and a few after) in the Zenfolio albums!  She’s always been a cutie!

Comments

  1. Why is every member of your family absolutely adorable?! 😀