Sep 142014

Back in July I shared my sadness at the loss our beloved Golden Doodle, Cody.  I dealt with his sudden down turn in health and vet visits alone, while my family was in the UK visiting my in-laws.  It was very heart wrenching but at the same time, I had time to come to grips with what Cody was going through.   I still miss the big goof.  And he was a goof… a lovable goof.


Our sweet Cody

Cody was also “bad” and destroyed many expensive items (and rolls of toilet paper)  with his sneaky chewing.  For years, we have said Cody would be our last dog.  When I say “we”,  I definitely include myself. 

But then he was gone. 

He was a tall, lanky, noisy Doodle and hard to ignore.  He loved to be pet by anyone and everyone.  We so loved the doofus. 

He made us smile.
He got us outside.
He helped us make new “dog” friends in the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Those are positive reasons for having a dog.  Not to mention the company. 

Someone to talk to … just because. 
Someone to keep your feet warm. 
Someone to remind us we only need simple pleasures to make us happy: a stick, a swim in the lake, a walk.  
And then there is that unconditional love dogs offer so easily.

Only a few weeks after we said goodbye to Cody,  I was asked by a reputable Doodle breeder if we would like to be a “guardian” for a dog she wants in her breeder program.  Basically, breeders cannot always keep all their dogs at their facility or home.  So many breeders, offer puppies to experienced dog owners.  The pups are raised by the guardian, called in “to service”  and eventually the breeder neuters them and the guardian keeps them.  I was so interested!  However, I needed to convince Mr. Nice.  There were so many reasons not to accept.

  • too soon after Cody
  • another long term commitment
  • we said we were not getting another dog
  • we travel

But in the end, I called on my proven sales skills and I basically said we were getting a new dog.  Why?

  • I am “retired” and am at home most of the time
  • Miss Nice was leaving for university August 31
  • Mr. Nice has no plans of retiring for 10 years
  • the dog will truly be “the pick of the litter”. Meaning, the breeder has picked this pup to be part of her breeding program.

But it was SO SOON after Cody?
Have we grieved enough?
Have we given the dog-less life a chance?
Do we really want to house train a puppy?
What about all that chewing business?

Since I would be the “primary care giver”, I was willing to take another plunge. 

I won.

In the middle of August, Miss Nice and I took a 2 hour drive outside Toronto to pick up the puppy.  The entire way  18 year old Miss Nice alternated between asking me “Why are we getting another dog??” AND picking out a name for him. 

She continued to chastise me until she saw him.  Love at first sight. Cuter than Cute!  She was sold. 

On the way home we decided to call him “CHESTER”, a name not our our extensive list of names.  He is the colour of butterscotch pudding but “Butterscotch” is long and silly.  Chester came to mind because he is a pale chestnut colour.   The name is so perfect!

Chester day one

Chester the Labra-Doodle on day one.

He is beyond cute.  Extremely bright.  Loveable. Gentle.  Submissive and fun.

Before leaving for university, Miss Nice was so possessive of him!  From university, she asks about him often.  Meanwhile I can still hear her asking “MOM! Why are we getting another dog?  Are you crazy?” 

Mr. Nice is totally smitten.  He’s always been a softy and Chester has captured his heart.  Chester follows me everywhere.  I think Mr. Nice is a bit jealous Chester is so smitten with me.  LOL

Chester VERY smart and so willing to please.  He is acing puppy school.  (Even after having trained dogs, puppy school is still a great idea.  A chance to brush up on skills and socialize the dog.)

Too soon?? 
NO.  I knew in my heart my family (me!) needed a dog in our lives.  We have had a dog in our home for 22 years!

Have we diminished Cody’ memory? 
NO.  I think of Cody often.  I miss his size and his presence.  Chester is still a little fellow and since he never leaves my side, I trip over him on a regular basis. Cody was kind of hard to miss.

The title of this post refers to “replacing a pet”.   Chester is not a “replacement”.  Chester is a new individual pup.  So far he is not much like Cody except for their mutual love of sticks and the tendency to sleep on his back…paws up!

I would love to hear your thoughts on how soon a new pet should be acquired?

Have you jumped in fast or waited?

Stay tuned!  I am sure there will be many “Chester” adventures in the future!


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