Romp a Doodle Doo!

Sam and Luke and Luke’s littermate Elton got to go to the Southern California Doodle Romp today. The 10th Annual Southern California Doodle Romp, to be exact. We had a great time and we got to meet a couple of other relatives. We found Lilikoi and Lily, both are cousins to Sam, Luke and Elton! That was fun.

Pictures below are of the romp, not so much the Dos Doodles…plus Luke was off making friends. No time to hang around for pictures!

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Dog Beach Sunday

Luke the Social Butterfly

I love Huntington Dog Beach. Really. It’s one of the coolest places on the planet. Dogs everywhere, nice people and the ocean. What’s not to love? If you are a fan, I encourage you to go to the website to make a donation.

Making friends




We had such a nice morning at the beach. Luke was a social butterfly. He was all over the place, meeting everyone, saying hi to all the other dogs. He was a hit! You’ll notice in the photo of Sam above, he is heading toward me while Luke is taking off in the other direction. That is what it was like all morning. He was just all over the beach trotting right up and saying hello to everyone who looked interesting to him. So cute.


Right in the middle of things

If there were families, Luke was in the middle of it. If there were children, he made a bee line toward them. If there was a dog that seemed interesting, he was checking that out. However, If there was a big wave, he hightailed it right back toward the beach and the safety of dry land. I guess that it’s fun to go splashing in up to his knees, but he’s not ready to be a big ocean dog just yet. I do think chasing balls into the surf is in his not too distant future!

Charming everyone


This is Max

We also had the good fortune to meet a great doodle named Max. We had such a great time chatting with his owner Sue, and taking pictures. It’s just another on a long list of reasons the dog beach is such a fun place to hang out on a Sunday. A picture of Max below.

Sweet little pup








The rest of the pictures from today are kind of random, but with the we’re-at-the-beach (or heading there or coming back from) theme. I didn’t get too many photos of Sam because while Luke was off being the Huntington Dog Beach Ambassador, Sam was kind of glued to me. Anyway, here they are:

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If you don’t know about Sudsy Dog…

…you really ought to!

I’ve got both dogs in training classes and there is homework. I have to take the dogs to new places as often as possible, but at least two times per week. I have my work cut out for me with Sam. I take him so many places with me already, I will have to change my routines and think of new places for him to go. I need help coming up with ideas!

It’s easier to find new places to take Luke because everything for him is a first. That list is rapidly growing shorter, but for now it’s still easier.

Yesterday I took the dogs to Sudsy Dog in Lakewood on a double mission. I needed to have them be somewhere new and Luke really, really needed the hair around his eyes trimmed. I could not get him to hold still for me at all, so I enlisted the help of my friend Cindi Heslin, who is one of the owners of Sudsy Dog Wash. We got a couple of pictures of Cindi—and that’s Yasmin in the background washing a dog in a couple pictures. She’s Sudsy Dog’s other owner. Very nice people here!

So Luke got a trim on the grooming side and a wash on the self-dog wash side. This is a really great dog washing place. It’s super clean and these folks have a really nice facility. If you are in the area (it’s worth a trip over, if you are not), check them out!

Sam hung out behind me, hoping that if he was quiet enough I’d forget to give him a bath. Nope…not today, buddy. Your bath is after the dog park on Monday!

Some pictures of Luke’s adventure below. All taken with the crummy cell phone camera. Quality is not so hot, but still cute.

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A Doodle By Any Other Name…

He's a lover

I took the Doodles with me to the vet to get some supplies (mostly medication and special food for our geriatric cats). In the waiting room I had the following interchange. Admittedly, I was in a less-than-spectacular mood, so my patience was short. This woman really annoyed me:

Lady I don’t know: Your dog is so big! Can I pet him?
Me: Of course. He’d love that. (Sam approaches her very politely and lets her pet him)
Lady (petting Sam and running her fingers through his coat): He’s got such a beautiful coat. It’s so soft! Wow…I love his color. He’s so beautiful! What kind of dog is he?
Me: Both dogs are Australian Labradoodles.
Lady ( she puts her face right up to his and starts baby-talking to him): Oh, sweetie you are so pretty! You are really just very a pretty mutt!
(Blink. Did she really just say that?)
Me (Do I let this go or do I set her straight?): Ummmmm. Actually, they are absolutely not mutts. They are Australian Labradoodles that have been bred specifically for their temperaments and allergy friendly coats–among other things– to be service dogs. Several types of dogs were included in the development of the breed and my dogs are from multi-gen Australian Labradoodle parents. They are not a Lab/Poodle cross. They are a breed. They are anything but mutts.
Lady (oblivious): Awwww sweetie, you are a *mixed breed*.
Me: GAH!

OK, that very last comment from me wasn’t out loud.

When I told my husband about this he said, “I would have just told her: Does this look like a mutt to you??” Better response. Wish I’d have thought of it.

I don’t typically feel the need to correct people about their misconceptions regarding the origins of my dogs. Generally, people will ask me what kind of dog I have, I say “Australian Labradoodle”, they say “Oh, a Lab and Poodle mix”, I say “Well, sorta”. This is where they will launch into a story about how their friend or relative also has a Labradoodle, but it doesn’t really look like mine and/or it’s got some weird behavior issues (usually it’s wired beyond belief). And they look perplexed as to how that dog could be so different from mine. But they are not really interested, they just want to tell their tale, and they move on. That’s OK. I don’t mind hearing their stories, they can be pretty amusing. Sometimes, people will ask more questions and have a real interest, so I’ll talk about the differences between an Australian Labradoodle and the Lab/Poodle cross also called a Labradoodle. I love my dogs and I’ll talk about them at length to anyone willing to listen.

To be honest, I think the name for the Australian Labradoodle breed is not only problematic it’s also sort of misleading. These dogs are no longer simply Lab/Poodle crosses, which is confusing because the name sounds like they are a Lab/Poodle cross. Mixing the Lab and Poodle is just where the breed started. But the originator of the breed realized that he wasn’t getting the kind of consistency in health, coat, conformation, temperament, etc. from just that cross, so he started incorporating other breeds into the line for their specific attributes to improve the line.

Most, if not all, AKC recognized breeds started from selective breeding, mixing breeds, and usually both. So I reject the notion that Australian Labradoodles are “mixed breed” dogs—and that’s just code for “mutt”, anyway. All dogs are mixed breeds. Geez.

Back to the name issue. I really hope that someday soon the ALD breed is renamed. One of the big breeders in Australia (I forget which one) was advocating for a name change to something like “Australian Champion Dog”. I think that sounds pretentious, but I get where she’s going with that. These dogs are really loving and get very attached and focused on one person—they become their person’s champion—while remaining friendly to all people. Still. Champion sounds like you are asserting that your dog is better than all the other dogs. We need a renaming contest to come up with a much better, more accurate name for the breed than Australian Labradoodle.

In the meantime, I’m stuck with the Labradoodle name and stuck with these mutts.
Do these really look like mutts to you?!

Trip to Beach = Tired Dogs!

We had a great time today with my friends and their gorgeous chocolate lab, Memphis. They joined us for Luke’s first trip to the Huntington Dog Beach. True to form, he’s not afraid of the water and had a ball making friends with everyone. Between going to the beach and a bath afterwards (which he really hates—so much drama!), he’s pooped! A tired dog is a good dog.

Sam doesn’t seem to have as much trepidation about the water as before. Who knows…he may swim in the ocean yet. But not today!

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