Three years ago my kids and I were adjusting to life without their father. They needed someone or something to cuddle and so did I. So on Labor Day, 2007, I loaded the kids in the car, remembered to bring a few towels along, and headed for Amish country where puppy prices were in line with what I could afford.
My daughter chose a white one, huddled under the cage. She’d named her Labor (in honor of the day) before she’d set sight on her new puppy. Labor remains a cuddly lovebug.
My son chose the brown one, the color of waffles. She was running around like a maniac, which is why I have trouble thinking of her as a girl. Waffles has always been more active than Labor, perhaps why she weighs 20 pounds less.
The towels came in handy – they both got carsick on the way home. We stopped at the local dog wash and cleaned them up before I let them step foot in my house.
Three years later do I regret my decision? You decide.
5 Reasons to Choose a Golden-Doodle
1. They love to cuddle. Whether on the floor, the couch, the bed, or even the bathtub, golden-doodles love to cuddle. My son wanted a lap dog – well, we got one, two in fact. Waffles insists on being loved with both hands. She can never get enough.
2. They’re friendly with everyone. My dogs have never met a person they didn’t like, nor another canine for that matter. That makes for poor watchdogs, but I suppose they could lick an intruder to death. Everyone is a friend, though Labor is suspicious of grills.
3. They always forgive. Unlike people, golden-doodles don’t hold a grudge. They are always happy to see me and live one moment at a time. I wish I could be more like them.
4. They seldom bark. Because my son wanted a lap dog, we almost got a yapper. Boy, are we glad we didn’t. Now and then Labor will announce someone has arrived, but many a day goes by when I don’t hear a single bark.
5. They’re great swimmers. Since both poodles and retrievers enjoy the water, it only makes sense that golden-doodles would as well. Though both my dogs love to wade in a pool or a pond, Waffles is a champion swimmer. If I were a hunter, she’d be a great bird dog. Instead, I throw a small raft into the in-ground pool and she dives right in after it, quickly returning to the steps in the shallow end. I never knew dogs could swim so fast. Maybe it’s her webbed toes.
5 Reasons Not to Choose a Golden-Doodle
1. They shed – a lot. One reason I decided on golden-doodles was because they don’t shed – allegedly. False advertising, I’d say. Most of the time I’m covered with dog hair. There were a few months toward the middle of winter when the shedding stopped, but I have no faith it will happen again. Perhaps it depends on the parentage, but don’t count on a non-sheddng dog.
2. They eat – a lot. A 20# bag of dog food lasts about a week for my two golden-doodles. Plus, we caved and feed them table scraps. Pizza is their favorite.
3. They poop – a lot. At least now we use up all those extra plastic bags.
4. They chew – a lot. For the first year or two make sure you keep enough chew toys around. Otherwise, it will be your furniture, or your remote, or in our case, the door frames.
5. They may cause allergies. Another reason I bought these dogs was because they were supposed to be hypoallergenic. Luckily for me they are. But my relatives and friends think otherwise, and with all the hair and the size of the dogs, it can be a problem…
… but I still love them, all the same.
Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.