Dreamboat Annie, the Labradoodle, or just Doodle for short, turned 2 today. She celebrated with her big sister Ruby Tuesday, a yellow Lab female, with extra treats and a nice long walk. Living with a Doodle has been a “learning experience.” I’ve been living with Labs for the past 35 years. The Doodle is a cross between a Lab and a Standard Poodle. I can see the Lab traits in her, but the other traits I have to ascribe to the Poodle side; wild exuberance well beyond even a Lab is the primary difference between her and Ruby. She’s also extremely intelligent. This I attribute to the fact she’s the product of two of the brightest working dog breeds around. The only breed brighter then either the Poodle or the Lab is the Border Collie. And I shudder to think what might come with a purposeful interbreeding that includes the Border Collie.
Annie’s been a challenge in a good way. She is energetic and demanding of interaction from her people. Except when she wears herself out playing and interacting with everyone including Ruby. Then they both do some hard core napping on their Orvis beds. They’re well made, tough, and easy to clean.
And another surprising characteristic of living with a Doodle is she loves the two Ginger cats. They come up and rub her all the time, and she nuzzles them. I’ve seen them several times napping right next to both Annie and Ruby, but especially Annie.
And if I had to describe what Annie looks like, I’d have to say she’s my living Muppet, both in looks in personality. I love her curly coat and all the various colors. If she were a male, I’d have named him Jacob because of Jacob’s coat of many colors. I was told Annie was turned down because she wasn’t a pure color. That kind of reason is so wrong on so many levels. What those possible owners have missed by not having Annie, and what I’ve gained.
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is the replacement for the ASPCA of Greater Orlando. My wife and I came across a little showing of the group while we were out and about Saturday. They’d set up in Bar Louie on Sand Lake. The group responsible for Pet Alliance has as one of its goals, total transparency as a non-profit. I also discovered that they’re now a no-kill shelter. That’s something I care deeply about. I was there only a few moments, but we purchased a few items, made a small donation, and I grabbed some four-footed photos.
I have a very strong attachment to my animals that carries over to those of other people. It’s why I’m attracted to organizations like Pet Alliance. Having pets makes me more human because it brings out the “better angles” of my nature. I am always saddened and horrified by stories of abuse against animals of all types. We humans have such a terrible and destructive power over all other creatures on this planet. As I grow older my desire to protect them as as much as possible grows stronger, especially from the indifferent and cruel parts of humanity. Both my grown girls have pets, and their partners have pets as well. They were born into, and grew up with pets in our household. My wife and I set a good example with a loving environment for both girls and Labs (as it was Labs we’ve had). It took hold with the girls.
Here’s to Pet Alliance’s success, now and forever in the future.
The Florida Gingersnaps
The Gingersnaps are now 20 weeks old. They were neutered at our vets on 1 March, the day after this was taken of the two of them. While they are still known collectively as The Florida Gingersnaps, their individual names have changed. They’ve been renamed after the Dukes of Hazzard, Bo Duke and Luke Duke; Greebo is now Bo, and Ponder is now Luke. The names are shorter to make it easier for everyone to remember, and both cats have now learned their names and respond to them. I decided to rename them after the Dukes after watching them go leaping through the air, one after the other, like the General Lee from that TV show.
Annie, the Labradoodle, turned one year old this past Valentine’s Day. I would have said something back then, but Valentine’s Day this year was two days after my total right knee replacement surgery, and as a consequence I had other issues on my mind, like pain. What you’re looking at is Annie after her coat trim at a local dog shop that provides such services. With her trimed all over she looks about 20 pounds lighter. Her face and head in particular look a lot cleaner. I love the little curls around the top of her head. I would have taken a whole body photo but Annie still hasn’t calmed down enough to stay still long enough for me to do a proper pose and photograph. I was lucky to get a decent head shot.
Overall, the newest entries in the household are doing quite well. Although Annie still wants to jump up on me, and the Gingersnaps seem determined to turn the house into a cat version of the Daytona 500 track, their presence has brought me a lot of joy and happiness, especially as I recover. They are like four-footed little nurses, especially when they come up and lay next to me (Annie) or on top of me (the Gingersnaps). I’m so glad they’re here.
No, I don’t know what prompted Annie to nap in Lulu’s bed on the stuffed chair. All I know is that today my wife, sitting in her comforter and recovering from her knee replacement, called me into the main part of the house and told me to bring my camera. There Annie was in the chair, trying her best to stuff all four feet into Lulu’s cat bed.
It isn’t as if Annie doesn’t know what it is. She’s very, very bright. She’ll sit and watch Lulu a good bit of the day do Lulu things around the house, including lie in that bed. Apparently Lulu didn’t care that Annie was in her bed, and later in the evening, Lulu put herself into her bed as if Annie hadn’t been in there earlier.
I have no idea what’s developing between those two.
But in thirty-plus years of keeping Labs, I’ve never seen a Lab do anything like this. I guess the behavior is from the Poodle side.
Here’s what it looks like when Lulu is in her bed. There’s just enough room for Lulu to comfortably snuggle in.
Ellipse (above) still considers herself queen of the household. Lulu just hangs out. And Annie the Wooly Doodle is growing by leaps and bounds.
All photos taken with the Sony NEX-5N and Sigma 30mm f/2.8. Post processed in Lightroom 5.7 and Analog Effex Pro 2.