Meet the Doodles

The Doodles

Let’s start off with the fact that we were only planning on getting one doodle. But we just had no idea….

A little background: Our Doodles are Australian Labradoodles. I started looking at Labradoodles initially because we planned for our new pup to become a therapy dog. So I needed to look for a breed that was developed for temperament as well as being allergy friendly, to reduce the possible impact on clients who have allergies. A no-to-low shedding coat is a bonus for a small therapy office.

What I found is that while Labradoodles (which are a Lab/Poodle cross) can be great dogs, they can also be a bit unpredictable in the allergy-friendly/shedding area. I did some more research and figured out that Australian Labradoodles have exactly what we are looking for in terms of health, looks, personality and suitability as a therapy/service dog. What I didn’t know is how amazing these dogs are and how much we would love them!

Sam at 9 weeks.

I found a good breeder (that’s not a given!), and brought Sam home when he was just a tiny thing at 9 weeks old. I thought he was just the cutest thing on the planet. As evidenced by the bazillion pictures I took of him. Well I guess I never really stopped that, did I? At any rate, from the moment we got him, he was the sweetest, gentlest little pup. He was so smart! He was such a good puppy, he started going to work with me virtually every day from the first day I got him. While he was super little, he couldn’t go the whole day with me, but as he got older his hours got longer…now, if I’m in session, so is he! He’s a working dog!

Here’s a picture of Sam all grown up. He’s a beauty and the dog of a lifetime.

About the time Sam got to be 6 months old, I started thinking about puppies. One doodle is great, I told myself. It’s fabulous to have one. I can live with just one… But if one is good, isn’t having two even better?

Luke 9 weeks

It’s like an addiction. I really, really needed to get another one. Really. So just over a year after bringing Sam home, we brought our second little guy home. A brother. From the same parents! We fantasized about having twin Sam dogs. But we didn’t get that, and I’m glad! What we have instead are true siblings. Both wonderful, but quite different from each other. And very much the same in all the important ways.

Luke 11 months

Here’s Sam’s brother, Luke. He’s super happy and outgoing. Smart as a whip, willing and excited to learn new things. Luke is a bouncy, smiling, happy little clown dog, as we like to call him. He’s just a little lover. He lives to socialize with every person and every dog. I put on one of the posts about him that if you want to make his day, just say hi. That is a true statement. This little dog is so social and just loves to meet everyone. The more, the better!

Luke’s mission in life was to be a “studio dog”. The plan when we got him was to have him go to work with Daddy.

Luke 16 months

However, through a weird twist of circumstances, I had to start bringing him to work with me. At first, it was to be temporary. But then my clients started to bond with him. And it didn’t make me like him any less, either. I couldn’t send him back to work with Daddy! Now Luke is a therapy dog, too. So yes, two of them in my office. And it works great. I should probably do a page about these dogs as therapy dogs. I’ll put that on my list of things to do…For now, however, suffice it to say that these dogs have been a wonderful thing for so many of my clients. I knew therapy dogs would be healing and helpful, provide comfort and a bridge for clients who have a hard time trusting. But to see it in person is a wonderful thing. These are truly healing creatures.

On a hike


OK, so now you’ve met the Doodles. I’m just warning you ahead of time. If you get one of these dogs, you will love him or her so much it will scare you. These dogs are way more like people than dogs. You’ll see what I mean. I can’t tell you the number of times I go hiking or out on a walk, come around a corner and whoever is coming towards me will exclaim “Wow, look at those dogs, they look like people!”.

After hiking

Remember: You’ve been warned.

These are special dogs. And of course, mine are the best. I know, I know. That’s what everybody says… Well, all the good dog owners say that, anyway!

Hope you will enjoy browsing around the blog and seeing the photos. Feel free to drop us a line just to say hi. We love to chat! Actually, it’s mostly just me…and I do love to chat!


48 thoughts on “Meet the Doodles

  1. We are the proud owner’s of a Thistle & Hank girl (Holly). Holly was born Oct. 16, 2010. She looks exactly like the two dogs .She is extremely smart and as Curtis said, he breeds these dogs for companionship, and she truly is that.

    Labradoodle Lover’s

    • Hi there!
      Thanks for stopping by the blog. I always think it’s fun to see everyone’s pictures, so send me one (or more) of Holly, If you’d like. I’ll post it (them), too, if you want!
      We were on the list for that same litter, but then realized that when the puppies would be ready to go home, we’d have a problem because our work schedules are super heavy right when the puppy would need us most. So we signed up for the Rasheena litter that didn’t happen (bummer, but that’s how it goes sometimes). And we got on for the next Thistle litter. I’m glad we waited….Luke is just perfect for us. He’s so different from Sam in some ways, it’s a nice contrast. But they are identical in all the right ways: companionable, loving, sweet, intelligent, willing and, of course, devoted.

      Thanks again for checking out the pictures and leaving me a note. Stay in touch! 🙂

        • We are local! If you want to join us on our next trip to Huntington Dog Beach, I’ll shoot you an email next time we go! Perhaps if the weather is nice next Sunday, we’ll go then… 🙂

    • Our boy Archie was in Holly’s litter. We knew Curtis’ dogs were beautiful and friendly, but had no idea what great dogs they are. My sister had the right idea when she said Archie is the dog of a lifetime. He is scary smart (understands specific words), really funny, loving and so cute he draws crowds when we take him out with us. You can see if Holly and Archie look alike by checking his pictures in the Thistle section of the website. By the way, his best friend is our 12 year cat that is pictured in my lounge chair with him. He was 10 months old and she was 11 1/2 years old when this picture was taken.

      • Hi DeeDee!
        Thanks for coming by the blog and leaving a note. I’ve seen your darling pup on the website, so I know just who you are talking about! Archie and Holly do look alike! And I can completely relate about having a “dog of a lifetime”. That’s what I always, always say about Sam. He’s my dog of a lifetime. So amazing, he’s practically human. I love both these doodles so much, and I wouldn’t trade Luke for anything. I think it might be a first child thing…but Sam and I have a really special bond, and he’s a very special dog.

        How lucky you are that your kitty loves Archie! Our two (previously three) cats that are strongly opposed to the dogs. They are not interested in being friends at all, but they are not actively aggressive toward Sam and Luke. And the dogs have each been batted on the nose, so they are not excited to have that continue….they just keep a safe distance!

        Your Archie is adorable…I hope you will upload some pictures to our Oodles of Doodles page! We’d love to have some pictures of your great Doodle.

        • Hi Tamson,
          I’ve enjoyed seeing Sam on Curt’s site for 1 1/2 years, and now you have Luke who is adorable too! While waiting for Archie to be old enough to bring home, I watched Sam learning how to ring the bell about a million times. I was hoping we would get a great dog like him and we did. I hope one day we will all meet.

          Archie’s hard to get photo’s of these days – once he see’s my camera he starts coming up to see what I’m doing. I will, however, send some pictures soon. By the way, how do you keep Sam and Luke from getting matted. We brush Archie alot but he’s getting big mats all over. In the labradoodle world you are becoming quite the expert, so I thought I would see what you do.

          Nice to finally meet you!

          • Hi DeeDee!
            Nice to hear from you again! You’ll have to remind me how old Archie is…I think he must be about 2 years old? Is that right?

            I don’t know if I’m really an expert or anything. Obsessed, sure. Expert? Hmmmm…I’m just learning as much as I can!

            When Sam was about 15 months old, he went through a terrible matting phase. Freaked me out because I simply couldn’t keep up with it. His coat was long, but wow, it was crazy how bad it got with the mats. What I didn’t know is that Doodles lose their puppy coat at about 1-1 1/2 years. As it falls out, it gets tangled up with other hairs and creates mats at a rather spectacular rate. It was like I would finish brushing an area of Sam, then come back to it and there would be more mats! It was awful.

            Since I didn’t know what was going on, I overreacted and got Sam cut way down…It wasn’t good. It took him months to grow out! I don’t plan to cut Luke back when his coat starts to change, but I may actually have to, since he acts like I’m burning him with a hot poker every time I try to brush him. So that’s not going to work.

            Sam’s coat (and Luke’s too) will get matted if I don’t brush it. They are pretty curly so I do have to keep up with it. I bought several brushes, and didn’t like most of them. Curtiss recommends one…I got it and liked it OK. But I am not completely sure of the proper use of that brush. I think it might be specifically just for areas that are matted, not for general brushing. Curtiss has a special way he grooms his dogs…and they always end up looking great. He has a knack for trimming them up and making them look fabulous. What I found works well for me is a brush by Les Pooches. I’m adding a link on my Doodles Like page for it. I recommend it for regular grooming, which is what I’ve found is important for Sam and Luke to stay mat-less. 🙂

            I hope you are able to get a picture of Archie soon…we’d love to have a picture on the blog!

          • Hi Tamson,

            Archie’s almost 17 months now, so he is in the matting stage. Thanks for telling us about this; John’s been beating himself up on why this keeps happening even though we brush him all the time. You described our situation perfectly!

            Archie thinks the brush is a toy and loves trying to get it from us (I’m too lenient on him because he’s so darn cute!). Our problem is he knows the word and get all excited before we even start. We tried keeping a second one in a different draw for when he’s resting but he learned about that one too. We have now been reduced to spelling “brush” but are sure he will learn that too (let’s hope I’m joking about this one but who knows!)

            I’ll download some pictures of him this week.


          • Ahhhhh, so maybe he is shedding his puppy coat. I might consider getting him a haircut—just don’t let them shave him down. If you can get someone to scissor cut him so he’s about 2″ long, that will make things so much easier. It’s probably what I’m going to do with Luke. He’s going to be a pill about grooming. He already is virtually impossible to brush. Also consider getting a Les Pooches brush from Kemp. That brush has really improved the whole grooming thing for me and the Doods. One of the next things on my list is to get a grooming table so I can deal with these guys a little better. Neither of my boys likes to be brushed. Oh, well. Better to stay on top of it and have them annoyed with me about once per week than to let them get all matted and have it really hurt to be brushed.

            Lovely to correspond with you….stay in touch and let me know how it’s going!

          • Hi Dee Dee….I hope to see some pictures of Archie soon. He’s adorable on Curt’s website. I imagine he’s become even cuter. I had to clip Sam for the coat change …I’m thinking about clipping Luke…we’ll see! 🙂

      • Just saw your reply on “Meet the Doodles”. Looked at the
        pictures of Archie on Curtiss’s web site. Holly & Archie sure look alike. We need to get all these dogs together
        sometime. Do you live in So.Calif ?


        • I just saw Holly’s picture and she and Archie look almost identical! We live in the Bay Area, about 30 miles from SanFrancsico, but would love to have Archie and Holly meet one day. We have a place in Palm Desert and drive down during Thanksgiving with Archie, so maybe we can meet then. Let’s keep in touch.

  2. Hey Puparazza!

    I’ve been admiring your labradoodle photos on Facebook.. and now there are two! We have a black lab who came to us from the local shelter. He was a bit of a mess when we first got him, but his true lab nature shone through – and he’s been a therapy dog for about three years now. We’ve volunteered w/special ed kids, and more recently in a Head Start classroom, right down the hall from my office. What a ball, there’s no one else I’d rather to bring to work with me!

    While I don’t expect we’d get another dog till Kobi’s gone, I’m definitely eyeing the labradoodle for when the time comes…. 🙂 Enjoy your time with your kiddos!

    • Hi Trish!
      Thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving me a note! How cool that you have a therapy dog! I didn’t realize how much I was going to love dogs until I got one of my own. I’m a convert now!
      If you want help finding a great Doodle when the time comes, let me know. I can hook you up! 🙂

    • Hi Pamela—I don’t know of a breeder that specifically breeds dogs that are very large and tall, although Sam is actually very tall. He’s 26″ at the top of the withers. I would check with Curt at Beau Monde Labradoodles and see what he says. Keep me updated on what you find out. 🙂

    • Lots of fun! And so nice to meet you. I’d love to get the dogs together to go play. Let’s plan something! 🙂
      Oh, and check out the Oodles of Doodles page…I put Chloe as my first entry in the gallery. I hope you’ll upload some additional photos of your gorgeous girl!

    • Hi Bill! Tucker is just a gorgeous doodle! We love him and hope you’ll stay in touch with us… maybe upload some pictures of him on the Oodles of Doodles page. We’re planning to come back soon, so we’ll let you know! 🙂

  3. I have been stalking Australian labradoodles online for a while now, particularly Beau Monde labradoodles and saw a link there to your blog. Your boys are just beautiful and I would love to have a dog just like them. We lost our 14 year old Australian Shepard this summer and one of his best qualities was how safe he made me feel at home. I am wondering if your dogs have much of a guardian instinct? Do they bark when someone comes in your home? My husband travels for work and having Scout around always gave me a little peace of mind.

    • Hi Kristy!
      Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and leaving a note for us! Thanks for the nice compliment about the Dos Doodles. I think they are gorgeous, but I’m ridiculously biased! I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you to lose your beloved companion after having him for so long—especially one who made you feel so safe!
      Luke is still pretty young, and he’s still not sure what to make of it when his big brother gets upset about something and starts barking. He’ll come sit behind my legs until he has figured out what is going on. It’s pretty cute. Sam, on the other hand, has matured into a pretty protective (although not at all aggressive) dog. He barks quite convincingly at anyone he perceives comes to the house and/or could be an intruder. I have to say that he’s very attached and attuned…there have been a couple of times where he became uncomfortable with a couple of men and he sat next to me and really barked at them until I asked him to stop. So bottom line, I’d say that these are absolutely not aggressive dogs and I feel very comfortable having them around anyone, including children. However, that said, I do think that Sam would protect me if someone was to be aggressive toward me or if I showed fear. And he’s a big dog with a really big (really big!) bark. Oops, he just heard something he didn’t like, and let me know about it…good timing, Sam!

      It also occurs to me that my friend owns Sam’s littermate, Penny. She shows up from time to time on the blog, too. She is equally as loving, affectionate and non-aggressive as Sam, but is also a very good watch dog for her. And that’s really what they are, they will alert you to anything going on that doesn’t seem OK. I don’t think that they are like guard dogs, though, who will also be more likely to attack. I’m not the expert on this. I would maybe check that out with Curtiss and others who know a bit more.

      I’m biased in thinking that my dogs are amazing, and I’m further biased in thinking that Australian Labradoodles are the best! I hope you decide to get one. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They are amazing in all ways—beautiful, sweet, loving, kind, devoted, intelligent, sensitive (or in the case of Sam, really emotional!), very bonded to their humans…I refer to Sam as a person in a dog suit. There is literally nothing I would not do for that dog. I’m pretty sure he feels the same.

      I hope you will keep us in the loop and let us know what you decide to do! And let me know if I can offer you any additional (completely unbiased—NOT!)information!


  4. To Kristy, I have a 2 1/2 year old austrailian labradoodle from Beaumonde–Bella (from Hank and cherry k). Despite her petite 33lbs, she has a rather ferocious, loud bark. She’s definitely a deterrent/watch dog. That said….the real reason that she’s barking is that she sees or smells someone new (canine or human) to play with. She’s a true love. If you get down to san Diego, you’re welcome to meet her!

    • Sam’s bark is big and loud, too! It’s impressive sounding, but he’s just a lover! Sounds like our Doods have a lot in common! Thanks for leaving a note on the blog…we’d love to see some pics of Bella. If you are so inclined, you can email them to us or upload them to the Oodles of Doodles page!

  5. We have DOS Doodles also.. We have Fizz and Daisy — two amazing girls from Cherri Bear/Hank born Oct.1 2010… These have been the best two little puppies I have ever been around.

    • The only thing better than one doodle is DOS Doodles! 🙂 Sounds like you got littermates. How cool! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving us a note and for adding Daisy to our Oodles of Doodles page! Hope you’ll stay in touch. We love comments and more pictures!

      • I need to add a picture of Fizz.. They are litter mates and they are so different.. They act different, look different. But both great. Daisy is the big clown and Fizz is more reserved. Fizz has the green eyes and pink nose..

  6. Hi! I’m enjoying your blog so much, it’s great seeing the pics and hearing about your doodle lifestyle. My husband and I live in Altadena and are also looking at getting a labradoodle puppy very soon. I would love know any feedback or suggestions you have on breeders or other tips for selecting a good puppy. We do like the lighter colored ones like your guys as we feel you can see their faces so much better. Also, it would be great to hear more about your hikes specifically where all you go in the LA area. I’ve seen you mention a couple; one in Hollywood and Mt Baldy. What other hikes do you do with your dogs locally?
    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Sarah!
      Thanks so much for stopping by our blog and leaving a note! I love it that you call it a “doodle lifestyle”. That’s funny! If you and your husband are planning to get a doodle, I think you are about to have a great doodle life, too!

      When it comes to choosing the right pup, I think it’s more about choosing a good breeder and then making sure you like the adult dogs. I got to know Curtiss’ dogs and liked them. We chose Sam as a pup because we really loved Curtiss’ dog Max. All of his dogs are great. I also know several of the pups that have come from his place: Sam, Luke, Elton, Penny, Chloe, Lilikoi. All have amazing temperaments and are great-looking dogs. So if you find a good breeder who has great dogs, you are likely to get not just a good puppy, but a great one!

      I suggest doing your research and looking around so that you get a sense of what you like, what’s important to you, and how you feel about the dogs you are meeting. I met Curtiss after doing a lot of research online and talking to a lot of breeders. I liked his dogs the best and really liked that he is local. I didn’t feel good about putting a puppy on a plane. I know a lot of people do it, and it’s not the worst thing in the world…but if I could avoid doing that to such a young creature, I wanted to avoid it.

      You also asked about hikes and outings with the dogs…since Luke is so young, we’ve only more recently been able to be out on more extended walks and hikes. I have to continue to be careful about not hurting his joints and bones because they are still soft. So you are seeing just about all of the activities we’ve done and hikes we’ve been on. If the weather stays nice on weekends, we’ll be out looking for fun and new things to do. Sorry we don’t have more hikes we can personally endorse, but we are working on it!

      We try and do just about everything with Sam and Luke, whether it’s going on a hike or cruising around looking for a great spot to eat with dogs in tow. It’s what we love the most!

      So back to the pup: no matter what direction you choose to go, I know you are going to love your pup. These dogs are amazing, and I’m sure you can tell that I am completely over the moon about mine. I hope you will keep us updated on what you are planning…and let us know if you have more questions, too!

  7. Hi,
    Thanks so much for all the info. We are going to go out and meet with Curtis very soon. I’m like you in that I’ve been doing a ton of reserach online. I have some additional questions regarding training. Do you have any recommendations on puppy trainers? I’ve found some local options in Pasadena that sound good but I just wanted to hear about your experiences. I wasn’t sure if we should do the group classes that provide the training and social or just do the private trainer at home?
    Also, what are your thoughts on clicker training?
    It’s so wonderful having you as a resource! Thanks so much!!!!

    • Hi Sarah–
      You will have such a good time meeting the dogs! I’m excited for you getting to do that. It’s a really fun part of getting a pup…getting to meet all the great adult dogs. I hope you’ll take pictures and share!

      In terms of training…I really think I need to make a list of books that I’ve read and really used as the foundation of how I’ve raised my dogs. Please keep in mind that these dogs are about as difficult to raise as a weed. They are so easy and smart and willing and loving…I have said it time and again: these are no-drama dogs.

      I would absolutely suggest taking your dog to training and I really suggest puppy preschool. The earlier and more you can socialize your dogs to different kinds of people, dogs and stimuli, the more sound they are going to be. If you’ve read any books about raising pups, that’s a really important fundamental. The socialization period is limited and is a big part of how well your dog is going to function in the world.

      I don’t know any trainers in your area, but I can tell you that I would absolutely insist on non-violent, positive training. So I would look for a trainer that advertises themselves as such. I don’t ever punish my dogs. I correct them, usually by showing them what I want instead of what they are doing. But never any punishment. Also, these dogs are so sensitive, I just can’t imagine ever raising a hand to them for any reason.

      I own a clicker…but I don’t use it. I just find it’s unnecessary with Sam and Luke. They don’t need it…they pick things up so fast! But that’s not to say that I wouldn’t use it…it’s fine, I just personally find it a distraction. If I were trying to train them to do something, and maybe working with someone who trains using a clicker, I would. I’m neutral on it. A lot of people swear by clickers, so maybe don’t rely on my opinion!

      I hope you will get your puppy out and with other (safe) dogs as early and often as possible. They are such happy, social dogs…you are going to have a hard time keeping him/her to yourself anyway! 🙂

      Keep me updated!!

  8. Hi!
    So we are off tomorrow to meet Curtis and his dogs and are super excited about it all.There are a couple of other questions/concerns that I wanted to run by you.
    We have a male cat, William, that we love and adore. We inherited him from our neighbors who moved away and he has become the center of our world, our son we call him. I would have to say that our biggest worry and concern with getting a dog is how it will impact his world. He is very dog-like and is with us all the time and is very intune to us . He’s not one of the types of cats that wants to be alone all day. Do you have any experience with introducing cats and dogs to live together?
    Then lastly, I would like to hear more about the grooming process. I spoke to one breeder, Adam Ford, who said to never wash a doodle with shampoo that it ruins the texture of their hair? What are your thoughts there and do you think if have the right tools & products that the grooming is something I can do myself?

  9. Hi Sarah-
    I think you are going to have a ball meeting the dogs. It’s a fun part of the process!

    In terms of bringing a dog into a house with cats: I’ll tell you that we had three old, non-dog friendly cats living at our house at the time we brought Sam home, and the same when we brought Luke home. As I suspected, the cats hated the dog(s), and still do. However, the cats have batted the curious puppies on the nose and taught them who is boss. And it’s not the dog.

    Sam and Luke are both non-aggressive…that’s the case with all of the dogs that have come from Curtiss’ program and that I know personally . So I would have no problem bringing one of these pups into a house with a cat. The cat will teach the dog how much (if any contact) they’d like to have with said dog. 🙂

    Grooming: Hmmmm. I wash my dogs on a semi-regular basis. That’s not because they smell bad, because they don’t. It’s because I take them outside and we can get pretty grubby. I have Sam and Luke in an office environment, so I like them to be clean. I don’t think I’ve ruined their coats in any way. If I have, they are still gorgeous, so I’m not what to say about that.

    I’ve discovered a few products that I like to use—I like the avoderm shampoo and conditioner, I have found the “Les Pooches” brushes to be wonderful and I LOVE the grooming spray called “the stuff”. I’ll add these things to the “Doodles Like” page and give links to them.

    Whatever the upkeep on the coats are, they dogs pay me back in multiplied terms with love, joy and laughter. They are the most fun things ever. 🙂

    Hope that helps. Keep me updated!

    • Hi!
      I’m first on the list for the upcoming Firefly/Hank liter. We are SO excited and I will keep you posted on everything. Thanks for all of your information and encouragement. Would love to meet you and your doods once we have a dood too. : )

      • Oh my gosh, this is the hardest part! I don’t like the waiting! It will be worth it. I’m just sure that the Firefly pups are going to be gorgeous. I really, really want one…but that’s not going to happen. :-\
        Keep us updated!

        • Hi, the puppies were born on Friday so now I am even more excited!! I also found you on facebook and just love all of your pics from your vacation. I will keep you posted on everything. Happy Summer!

          • Congratulations! You must be so excited…the next 8-9 weeks are loooooooong! 🙂

          • Hi Mama Dood, So we are getting excited about our new puppy. We will pick him in 3 weeks and just can’t wait to bring him into our lives. I wanted to see if you had any good toy, collar and leash suggestions. What types of chews and treats do your doods like?
            Love all of your new pics, the recent grooming excitement sounded like fun. I know it’s some work with their hair especially with such active doods. Any good hair tips too? Thanks so much, Sarah

  10. Hi guys,

    I took photos of you and your doodles at Mission Viejo Dog Shelter event. I have several photos to send you. I need and email or if you prefer I can set up a gallery on my proofs area of my website for you to download the photos. Please let me know.


  11. Hello all!
    I am SO excited about picking my Thistle and Hank puppy out next week. Ive been visiting the litter just about every week and have fallen in love with two of the boys. Im keeping my fingers crossed that both are available when its my turn to pick. I love reading all the positive comments about your puppies and Curtis. The decision to get a labradoodle is turning out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time 🙂 As soon as my little guy is ready to hit the beach, I would love to meet you along with Sam & Luke. Take care!

  12. I was wondering who the parents are of your gorgeous dogs:)
    I love beau Monde site and have spoken to Curtis in the past:)


  13. Loved your site. Are there any more recent blogs (2013)? How do I find some honest dependable breeders??
    Please let me know some good breeders in Southern California. I am retiring soon and would love to have a labradoodle.

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