Oh, you guys, do you remember how much my children have wanted a dog forever? Like when they were this little and dressed up as puppies for Halloween? Or when they made dog houses for their stuffed animal puppies, who have real dog clothes and toys and food bowls?
Just looking at these pictures of them wanting a dog from the depth of their little souls makes me all misty. They waited years for this day to happen. While their mama waited for them to grow up a little bit, and for her own confidence to grow, that this was something our family could really manage. Because of course, adding a dog to an already busy life, is a very big decision. Especially in a family with allergies. I chuckle as I look back at the posts I wrote: Mychildrenwantadog and My children want a dog – part 2 as I warmed up to the idea.
And one day, about 6 months ago, it clicked. We were maybe, sort of, actually ready. And I started researching breeds and sizes and allergy-friendliness and vets and oh my goodness there was so much research. I landed on my short list of exactly the type of dog that I thought would fit our family (that has multiple environmental, pet and seasonal allergies) and then had to find her – yes, I wanted a girl pup. I checked the shelters and the rescue groups and she wasn’t there. You know where I found her? The little pup who was meant to join our home? California!
I still remember when I told Alex and Avery about the new puppy. I showed them her picture and they both were over the moon with how cute she was. And when I asked if they would like her to be OUR puppy and come to live with us… they jumped up and down and one child even had tears in their eyes of happiness. The day had come when I told them that finally, yes, we could get a dog… quickly followed by my expectations that they had to do a LOT, okay MOST, of the work to take care of her and they agreed.
And then there were some moments of doubt. Are we doing the right thing? Are we really ready? And then, what felt like completely out of the blue, one of the children was diagnosed with asthma AND an official dog allergy diagnosis. The doctor said we should NOT get the dog. You have GOT to be kidding me. I panicked. I didn’t know if I should cancel everything. I was in tears. Obviously my children come first before a dog. How should I navigate this? I prayed about it and worried for two days straight. One of the reasons I had chosen this breed, and the F1B type in particular, is because they don’t shed and are supposed to be very good for people who have allergies – even dog allergies.
You guys, I didn’t want to cancel getting the dog, but I didn’t want to set our family up for health problems or heart break. Or have to rehome an innocent little puppy. And then in my mom-despair, I found a solution. My aunt, who already has a goldendoodle and has been dreaming of a second, agreed to be my plan B. I was going to still get the dog, but if for some reason it didn’t work out – if there were allergy reactions or asthma issues, my aunt and uncle would take her. Of course, that would still be difficult, but she could stay in the family and go to a great home with another dog and we could visit whenever we wanted? SIGH OF RELIEF. FINGERS CROSSED. My instincts told me it would be okay, but I was worried it all might blow up in my face. We kept on the puppy path.
And while we waited for her to reach 8 weeks old so she could join us, we had fun deciding on her name, looking at pictures of her and even a Facetime visit, visiting with other goldendoodles, watching YouTube videos about puppies and buying puppy supplies. We even had a puppy trainer come visit the house and teach us all about house training and crate training. And after all this build up, I’m sure you’d love to meet her, too – here is little Ruby, when we picked her up from the airport.
And you guys, those first puppy weeks were marvelous. In fact, at 15 weeks now, we are still in puppy heaven. The allergies? No problem. Well, OK, my eyes get itchy sometimes around her, but it’s barely noticeable. We found natural puppy food that doesn’t have any of the food allergens that would bother Avery to touch or if Ruby licks her. None of us are sneezing or coughing or have hives and so… whew… over that hurdle. We can keep her!
Here are many more fun pictures of her from the last six weeks since she joined our family.
Ruby is an F1b micro mini goldendoodle. The F1b means her parents are a first generation goldendoodle back-crossed with a poodle = so she’s 75% poodle and 25% golden retriever. The micro mini means that she will be approximately 15-20 lbs, as both her parents are in that range. We adore her golden color (although officially it’s called apricot) and her curly hair – which needs to be combed out every day so it doesn’t get matted.
And I’m sure you can guess this from the pictures, but we absolutely adore this little pup and give her so much love. All three of us are really just smitten and sometimes even fight over who gets to have her sit in our laps or hold the leash. The kids are doing great taking care of her and Ruby is quickly learning the rules of the house. We all go to puppy classes and spend as much time with Ruby as we can. We take her to football practice and games, on walks and to restaurants and fro-yo that have outdoor seating so she can join us. And as you can imagine, she’s quite the little celebrity, attracting squeals and people where ever she goes.
Of course having her has changed our lives in so many ways and I could probably write a novel about all the things we’ve learned about her and ourselves so far… but for now I’ll just say, yay, we finally have a puppy and every day we are all so grateful.
You can follow Ruby’s adventures on her Instagram account @missrubydoodle. If you’re interested in the breeder information from where we found her, please email me directly at missy at themarketingmama dot com.
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