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Well some people had asked for an update on my last post about Hazel, and what will happen with my future dog. Everyone likes happy (ish?) endings.

 

This week has been a crazy mix of emotions. We picked up Bear (the bernese x poodle) last Saturday with no expectations. He is basically the perfect dog for what I need. Super sweet and cuddly (never thought I'd meet a dog that could out-cuddle me), very calm, learns quickly, and absolutely nothing phases him. Hes been around construction, screaming children, bathed, HV dryer, people in strange costumes, model rockets shooting off, all body parts messed with... nothing bugs him, which is perfect for service work. He is 8 months old and basically no one has given him attention (or training) for his whole life. So he has gotten very attached to me, and because he is so calm, he just heels naturally and focuses very well on me. Training comes pretty easily as well. Spent two days training eye contact, and he was able to do it at the vets with a dog barking like crazy at him. He's also the perfect size. He can relax and cuddle for a full day, or run his heart out depending on what I want from him. So long story short, he's great and I've fallen in love.

 

We took him to the vet, and luckily he is in great health. No heart issues, no weird eyelash issues that these breeds can get, and most importantly his hip x-rays if rated by OFA (our vet does tons of these x-rays so I trust him) would be excellent on one side and between good and excellent on the other. Elbows, shoulders, and knees are also good. We lucked out considering he's from a byb that we know very little about. Vet also says growth plates should be closed by 13 months, but he would wait until 14-15 for harness work just to be safe. Only thing is he's on the backside of a giardia infection (got it from a dog that boarded in my trainers kennels) but it's under control.

 

Only downside is grooming will be a pain (he is a giant black shedding mop), so I will just have to suck it up and invest in decent equipment and do it myself. And I need to watch out for separation anxiety since he's never had a person to bond to before (he was a gift to his original owner by the owners daughter, owner didn't want to train him, and just abandoned him with my trainer when he got too big).

 

I'm still pretty broken up about hazel, so that has been difficult. Especially going to the vet that diagnosed her, and going to parks and things she used to enjoy. It's still really fresh. But its good to have another dog, and extra good to see him able to run like a dog should. He is very like Hazel in his play style, and it makes me happy and a bit sad to watch him play like Hazel always wanted to. Anyway, hopefully everything will work out. He's only 300$ to adopt and that comes with unlimited training for life. I'm really excited to see the dog he can become.

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Thank you for updating us :)

 

I get the bittersweet part. Two years ago this week I lost a not yet old dog to cancer. And less than a week later I picked up a puppy. It was all sudden - two months from being an active SAR dog until he was gone from cancer. And then I found out about the pup less than two weeks before I picked him up.

 

It was an emotional rollercoaster. A week after I picked up Kolt I just sat on my bed, played with my puppy and bawled. Because, everything. It was good my pup was healthy because it took me four weeks to take him into the vet where I'd been in and out with my other boy so frequently in the preceding months.

 

I'm glad that this new boy was there when you needed him. I hope he helps heal the hole left from the loss of Hazel and that he becomes an excellent service dog partner for you.

 

And I just shake my head at the people who think crossing everything with a poodle is the best thing ever - they obviously don't plan on grooming the dogs they breed!!

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I have found, for me, that the best antidote to sorrow is a dog that will let me hug him/her and cry my tears into his/her fur. It's that simple and that profound.

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Congratulations on the new service dog! I for one would love to see a picture if you have one :)

 

I also agree another dog can certainly help heal a broken heart. Even if it's not easy at first.

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Yes, photos, please!!

 

And congrats on your new dog.

About the grooming. Yes, invest in good equipment. Ryan's Pet Supplies online sells grooming tools at good prices. They will also give you advice on what to get over the phone. A good enough set up will probably cost you around $200 including the first blade.

 

I rather impulsively got a little white fluffy dog without giving much thought to how much grooming it was going to take. turns out to be quite a lot. What I did was I took him in to a groomer's to ask advice. They had just finished up doing a dog that had hair about the length that I wanted to groom Boo to, so I asked what blade to get that would cut his hair that long and the groomer was happy to tell me. Then I got the blade and went to YouTube and watched about a dozen grooming videos so I learned how properly to put the blade on the clippers (they should be running), how to clean the blade and oil the clippers (very important- blades are very expensive), and how to hold the clippers and what direction to groom the different parts of the dog. You need to bathe the dog before you clipper him. If you blow dry the dog it makes clippering a lot easier, especially if the fur is curly. Also, use conditioner. I know blowing the dog dry and using conditioner sounds foo-foo, but believe me, it will make the job a lot easier.

 

Once I had watched all the videos I could find that dealt with dogs that looked anything like Boo, I gave it a try. My first three groomings were pretty bad, actually. I didn't really want to take him out in public. But after that I started getting better and now it is just routine. I even have had compliments from people (once even a groomer) on how Boo looks. So you can do it. Just be prepared for the dog to look pretty bad the first couple of times until you get the hang of it. :-)

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He looks pretty short and fat in it, but he's really tall. I can easily rest my palm on his head and my fingers on his shoulders, and I'm very tall. He's got about 4" of hair all over, so it hides how skinny and lanky he actually is. I don't think he's ever been clipped.

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Thanks too. We love updates. So sorry about Hazel. Those memories will always be with you, sometimes to make you smile, and sometimes the opposite.

Your pup is a cute little bear.

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Congratulations!!! He looks absolutely adorable. What a find!

 

I hope you join a couple SD groups on facebook, I'd love to get more updates on his training!

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