Our pre-visit before we finally bring him home.

We have just come back from a great holiday at Butlins Skegness, thankfully the weather was very kind to us after suffering torrential rain over the past few months. The very next day we had arranged to pop over and see ‘Sandy Boy’ who from the very beginning of our search was going to be called Pudsey. We liked the name, it was unusual, and we didn’t know any other dog with this name…that was until Britain’s Got Talent superdog Pudsey with Ashleigh stole the show and won and to top it all they actually came from our very own town! So to save people thinking we were naming our dog after this superdog, (which we weren’t as we had not heard of him back in March at the start of our search) we decided to think of another name. As my daughter thinks he looked like a teddy bear we were thinking of teddy names, and decided on Fuzzie. This lasted about two weeks as I couldn’t find myself shouting out ‘Fuzzie’ in the park on his perfect recall that he is going to have. So then we thought of Busby until my daughter googled what it meant and didn’t want to call her dog after a silly looking English Soldier Guards hat, so that went out the window. I searched endlessly for unusual names as I wanted to be different from everyone else. I came across the name Scooter and as my kids love there scooters this name seemed to be agreed by all and has stuck…so far!

We finally arrived at the breeder’s home, after getting lost YET AGAIN! We could not believe how much he had grown. We hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks. He came bouncing in as usual and was running around the lounge like a dog possessed. The kids were standing there laughing in amusement as I stood there and thought Oh Dear!

After a mad run around he finally lay down to allow me to take a photo.

I think we have the cheeky chap of the litter. He didn’t seem to have an off button! How am I going to cope with this bundle of energy? Trying to take photos was a non starter unless you count the blurry ones as he whizzed past! After about 20 minutes of him charging around he finally just flopped out. At last I could take some photos while he was still. And from then on he didn’t move, he was completely out cold.

The breeder tells me that he is always the first one into trouble, the first one out of the pen and to his food, the leader of the pack. Trust me to get the pup that I am going to have trouble training! They tell me that people that come and visit always mention our Scooter and how lovely he looks and one family even asked if he was still for sale.

The start of our puppy accessory shopping begins in earnest and we have a checklist of things we need and a list in my daughter’s head of things she wants to buy for the puppy. She has been saving all her money in an unopenable tin for this very day and together with the money kindly given by friends and family she had saved £42 for puppy toys. Now don’t go thinking this is going to be one spoilt puppy, but have you seen the price of some puppy toys? Ridiculous. We went shopping in Poundland, 99p Stores etc and kept pop bottles for him to play with. She still has half that money left thankfully.

I am one of those people that will shop around to the ends of the earth to see if I can get something cheaper. I am what they call an online tart. I will shop where ever its cheaper. I don’t stick the same company if I can find it cheaper. An hours internet searching can save me tens of pounds. One of those instances was when I was searching for the puppy crate (no longer called cages). In a very well know pet shop they had crates starting at £80+. On searching online on for about half an hour I found the same crate for a measly £35. OK it might not be the same standard but it will still do the job its intended for. I swiftly bought it but half an hour later got an email saying it was out of stock, grrr. So I shopped around some more on the well known auction site and once again found it cheaper at £29.99, how lucky was that? I ordered once again and this time it came the very next day. I was very pleased with it. Now I have gone against the rule of thumb to get it so it is just big enough for the pup to have just his bed in it, I have bought it bigger so he can walk around in it as I work part time and he will have to be in it for a few hours at a time and I wanted him to have room to stretch his legs.

I have been told that they do not like to soil where they sleep but having read this further, if a pup is in its bed for a couple of hours they cannot hold their bladder anyway and so would only have the option to pee on their bed so I think it’s best if they have the room to do both if they are there longer than they can hold. Obviously I am nowhere near a professional and this will probably bite me in the bum but time will tell.

Old blankets and towels were found and friends gave me old newspapers. The puppy box was getting full with puppy pads, food, treats, toys, bowls, collars, leads and a new pet bed (bought by my son)

We are now ready for our imminent arrival that is going to turn our world upside down.

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Looking to be owned by a doodle.

It all begins.

This is the start of our journey with the puppy soon to be known as Scooter. This is the day that we saw him for the first time after seeing their puppy advert following months and months and months of searching through breeder websites, dog websites and puppy ads. I was looking for a particular puppy, a particular breed, a particular colour and particular coat and particular size that was ready to go home on a particular time that I was going to be off work for a long enough time. Oh how hard could it be? After ringing a couple of ‘breeders’ who did not seem right after my questioning them about their puppies we finally decided to go and have a look at a litter in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The breed we were looking for was a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle, for those of you not in the know this is a cross breed between a Labrador retriever or a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. After many discussions with my two children at home we decided to go with the mini version rather than the standard version. My 9 year old son is still a bit unsure of dogs and so having a new addition to the family that might overpower him in size wasn’t the better solution. The mini version is a cross between a miniature poodle and a small Labrador/Labradoodle. I also wanted an apricot or golden colour with a wavy or curly coat as this is the look I prefer but you can also get shaggy/scruffy coats and I have also seen some with smooth coats that still look like retrievers.

On my look out for puppies I did also look at rehoming but as I kept looking the dogs that were coming available (through the Labradoodle trust website) they were either too far away or needed to be rehomed sooner than I was ready or they could not be rehomed with small children. Also my timescale for starting with the new addition was quite tight and so the best solution was to get a puppy that I knew would be ready at the right time.

So after a couple of emails and texts with the breeder we arranged for us to come and have a look at ‘Sandy boy’ as the breeder called him. He was one of three puppies left in a litter of ten but the only sandy/apricot one left, the other two being black. This litter was born 14th June 2012.

Our first meeting with Scooter, he was a little character even then. He is 4 weeks old here.

As they lived about half an hour from where one of my sisters lives I thought it would be a doddle to find and after googling the directions and it telling me that it would take me 90 mins to get there we set off. Of course things don’t happen that easy in my world. The roads past my sisters were country lanes with hardly any signs of where I should be going and we (or should I say I) got lost! Quick call to the breeder after driving round in circles and we arrived about 20 mins late.

On entering the house we were taken to a side room which I assumed used to be there dining room and is now the puppy’s pen. There were two litters there, in two separate pens. The other litter also being standard labradoodles but the mum is their poodle and the dad a Labrador. Sandy boys litter is a cross between the breeders small black Labradoodle Ronnie and a mini chocolate poodle stud called Coco.

Straight away he was bouncy and came bundling over to us. He was noticeably bigger than the rest of his litter and from the records I could see that when he was born he was almost a third bigger than the others and with some of the girls he was almost twice as big! He was very excitable and running around us and jumping up to get my camera case. We all fell in love with him straight away. I can honestly say even if I had the pick of the litter we would have picked him. He was big and bouncy and lively and the cutest thing ever. There was one other apricot boy in the litter that was already sold but was half his size and very quiet. My family are very outgoing and we go on lots of walks and visiting places and we needed a puppy to be ok with all of that.

Our £100 deposit was paid, lots of photos were taken and we headed home… in the wrong direction yet again but with my 10 year old daughter very very happy and my son wondering what on earth he was letting himself in for as well as me!