We had been told by the 4-H trainers that Jamal, our ten year old standard poodle, was often showing signs of pain when Cannary was training him this year. He is such an obedient fellow. He will do whatever you ask, even if it hurts. He is stoic, so he doesn't show pain unless his pain is severe. He absolutely loves 4-H. My older son Kevin had trained him during his last two years of 4-H, and then my younger son, Paul, had him in 4-H for five years. A friend's daughter's dog had died during the 4-H season the next year, and she had shown Jamal to complete that 4-H year. Jamal had then had a year out of 4-H, but when Cannary started, he was in again. Jamal loves 4-H, and he was happy to start again, but we don't want him to do things that cause him pain.
Cannary very much wanted to remain in the dog project, but I didn't want another dog right now. I was not certain I ever wanted another dog, but I had decided that I would probably have to get Cannary another dog in a couple of years if she wanted to continue in that project. We also have a fourteen year old dachshund. I had expected that dog would be gone before we got another dog, but when Jamal was showing so much pain, I couldn't see enrolling him in 4-H another year, no matter how much he loves it.
Jamal has been a great 4-H dog, and I wanted Cannary to have as good a chance of doing well with a new dog as the boys had with Jamal. I've had four standard poodles during my life, three males and one female. My relatives have had miniatures, but to me the standards have a personality I like better. Two of our standards were small standards, and two were large standards, but I didn't see any differences in their personalities. Cannary, however, wanted a toy or a miniature, and I was reluctant to consider that.
Cannary and I looked on the Internet for something we both could live with. She wanted either a red or an apricot toy or miniature male, and I wanted one with a personality similar to my standards.
Our local Petsmart was having an adoption tent fair, so I decided to go there just to look. One of the 4-H trainers had suggested we look at Havanese instead of toy or miniature poodles, and while I wasn't convinced, they had some "designer" dogs, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to look.
When we arrived, we saw that they had a crate with the picture of a four year old apricot miniature male poodle, but the crate was empty. We looked at the other cages, but Cannary wasn't interested in anything else. I thought, "At least she realizes she doesn't want a Havanese." Then, a gal walked past with the miniature poodle. We thought she had decided to adopt him, but she kept looking around. Finally, I told Cannary to go ask her if she was going to adopt him. The gal said she was trying to decide if she wanted him or not, but if Cannary really wanted him, she would take a different dog. We told the gal to pick the dog she really wanted. This gal had arrived first, but she went with her other choice. We later learned from a worker at the shelter that she had been looking at both dogs for three days. She took the other dog she had been considering, and we were able to bring home the miniature poodle. (The other dog she was looking at was a brindle boxer. I don't know if she took the boxer so that both dogs would have a home, but it worked out that way.)
They were calling him Abercrombe, but Cannary has renamed him Teddy. The thing that impresses me the most about Teddy is that his personality is very, very similar to Jamal's. So far, he is even more like Jamal and the other two male standards I have had over the years than he is like the female standard I had. Don't get me wrong, the female was a great dog, too, but she was just different from the males. Now, I do have to admit that my relatives have had many miniature poodle males over the years, and all of them had good personalities. I have not known many poodle females of any size. However, I have met a lot of miniatures and toys that I have not liked.
One thing that I really like about this dog is that he is past the puppy stage. I was NOT looking forward to that.
Well, we just measured him, and if we measured correctly he is 17" tall, so he is an oversized mini after all. He IS the smallest poodle I've ever had, but I can still say he is a standard if I want to.
The shelter workers said they tell everyone who adopts from them that they save the lives of three dogs. The first life they save is the life of the dog they adopt, but they also allow this shelter to take in one more dog, and since this shelter takes dogs from animal control, and animal control has to euthanize dogs when they get too full, they leave one more space for a dog that would have had to have been euthanized at animal control. Now, I know that is a bit of a romantic way to look at it, but it can make people feel good, too. That particular animal control has to euthanize 58% of all dogs it takes in, and a much larger percentage of cats.
I still can't post pictures. I really have to work on that.