Addition to the Family

Last Friday, Jay took his first holiday this year from work so we could make a little daytrip to pick up the newest member of the family. Her name is Sadie; she is a fluffy ten-week old Cavapoo, which means she is half Cavalier and half Poodle. They are also known as Cavadoodles and Cavoodles. Either way I think the name is silly, but they are supposed to be great little dogs and after all, it’s not their fault they’ve been dubbed with a goofy name!

After Lucy left us to follow her police dog career, we knew we’d likely be adding a new canine to the family. We’ve loved having the two dogs, and were truly sad that Lucy couldn’t bridge the transition to Jay working again by using the potty outside the house.

Given we’ve learned recently that a couple of our children have dog allergies I (being the mad researcher that I am) checked out some non-shedding, hypoallergenic breeds. We also have come to realize that though we adore big dogs, our home and lifestyle do not necessarily lend themselves to accommodating them as easily.  We are rapidly filling our modest-sized home with children, leaving less space for dogs. We have also loved having the ability to snuggle with our smaller doggie, Sasha on the couch while reading a book or watching a movie, and she sleeps on Abigail’s bed at night, keeping her company which is wonderful. When we run out in the car to do a quick errand, or head out for a short trip, Sasha jumps into the car and goes along. Very transportable.

So…I looked into “Doodles” for starters: Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. They both come in petite sizes, and are supposed to be lovely dogs. Unfortunately, the price tag associated with them is not petite, and we quickly nixed the Doodles.

We thought about another Coton…heck, Jay even joked about cloning Sasha. Again, the Cotons are wonderful dogs, but the puppies come with a pretty hefty price tag.

Sasha is old enough that we were advised if at all possible to try for a younger pup. We consulted with several rescue organizations locally to see what type of pups they might have. In each case, we just couldn’t find the combo of a young, small hypoallergenic dog that seemed happy and lowkey with young children.

A couple of friends own Cavapoos and have shared with us how much they love them.  One friend referred me to a breeder in Oklahoma who came highly recommended. I called and chatted with her on several occasions and learned a lot about the breed. They sounded like the kind of dog we were looking for. We began talking more personally about our families, and were each delighted to learn that we are both pursuing international adoption. She and her family are in process to adopt a sibling group from Haiti. This is a total aside, but was such a neat encouragement to me I just had to share!

While this particular lady’s waiting list was too long to offer us a dog before mid-fall, she was able to help steer me toward a fellow breeder who did have some Cavapoo puppies available to come home early summer as we’d hoped.  I visited this lady’s website and checked out some of the pictures of the pups, but was startled to see that all the black puppies were offered at less than half the price of the other colored dogs. Well I had to find out more about that so I called the breeder and asked her, “Excuse me, but what’s wrong with the black dogs, Ma’am?”

And basically, due to the fact that the black dogs are so much harder to get a good photograph of, they just don’t sell as quickly, especially for today’s puppy buyer, who shops online and often chooses on the basis of looks.  It occurs to me that I have seen whole rescue groups devoted to the cause of black dogs, because they are the hardest to get adopted out of shelters, and sadly, also the color that is most often euthanized. Here is a page that explains the little known but reasonable sounding “Black Dog Syndrome”.

Well, long story a little bit shorter, I spent a couple weeks inquiring about each of her black pups, seeing pictures, and learning about their various personalities, and since the breeder was within driving distance, we decided to just hop in the car and drive all the way to the border of Oklahoma and Kansas!

Of course, Sasha came along for the ride, to help choose her favorite puppy:

We enjoyed meeting the pups…

and chose our sweet little Sadie from the bunch.

Sadie Puppy spent the 5 hour drive home nestled on various children’s laps, content to snuggle.

Snuggling with the Daddy of the family during a stop at Sonic:

We have thoroughly enjoyed our first few days home with her.  She had her first visit to the vet, and received a big thumbs-up! She is currently 4.5 pounds, and is very sweet and playful. In just a few days’ time, she has learned not to fuss in her crate at night, and she is doing really well with her potty training despite being so young.  She has a little basket of toys, and has figured out how to retrieve things from there when she wants to play. Here is one of her pictures we received before we made the trip:

And how is our resident doggie feeling about the new little interloper? Well, let’s say she is tolerating the new addition.  Sadie obviously adores Sasha, and desperately wants to play with her. Sasha hasn’t yet warmed up to the point of playing, but she is doing better each day. Sadie likes to lay down near the bigger dog….this shot is hilarious. It almost looks as if Sasha is thinking, “Really? Is she really going to stay?”

“Ah well, I suppose I’d just as soon make the best of it. SIGH.”

Sasha does seem ok curling up with Sadie, as long as Jay is there as well.

The children are delighted with their new baby, and are all good helpers with Sadie. I have not really tried hard yet to get a great picture of her, but here is what we do have:

My MacGyver of a husband took himself to Home Depot, and within an hour’s time, constructed a wonderful, hinged contraption that allows Sadie access to the back door which is off our den, but which prevents her from having the run of that living area. I’ve said it before, but my hubby is a genius, and I am always so pleased with his innovation!  We think it will look nicer painted white, but here are some pics anyway:

Well, if any of you have experience photographing little black doggies whose eyes blend in with their fur, and whose faces don’t seem to have any depth on camera, maybe due to the solid, darker color…and can weigh in with tips for this novice, I am all ears!! Send any advice you have, pretty please!!

5 Comments

  1. Nana
    May 26, 2010

    What a cute little doggie!

  2. Angie
    May 26, 2010

    Oh. My. Word. That is the cutest little thing. I want to hug it. Thanks for more details. And congratulations!!!

    Susanna adds, “It looks like a walking little black fuzzy pillow. And I love it!”

  3. Steph
    May 26, 2010

    So cute! Can’t wait to meet her!

  4. Kara
    May 26, 2010

    she is so cute! she looks like Ewok!

  5. Jenny
    May 27, 2010

    Very cute. Seems like we have some catching up to do. I did not realize you were trying to add to your family. Wow!