Three years ago, my children and I were adjusting to life without their father. They needed someone or something to hug and so did I. So on Labor Day 2007, I loaded the kids into the car, remembered to bring some towels, and headed out to Amish country, where puppy prices were in line with what I could. to pay.

My daughter is a white thing, huddled under the cage. He had named her Labor (in honor of the day) before seeing his new cub. Work is still a cuddly love bug.

My son sews the brown, the color of waffles. She ran like a maniac, so it’s hard for me to think of her as a girl. Waffles has always been more active than Labor, which is perhaps why she weighs 20 pounds less.

The towels came in handy – we both got seasick on the way home. We stopped at the local dog wash and cleaned them up before I let them set foot in my house.

Three years later, do I regret my decision? It’s up to you.

5 reasons to choose a golden doodle

1. They love to hug. Whether it’s on the floor, the couch, the bed, or even in the bathtub, golden doodles love to snuggle up. My son wanted a lapdog, well we have one, two in fact. Waffles insists on being loved with both hands. She can never get enough.

2. They are friendly to everyone. My dogs have never met a person they didn’t like, nor did another canine. That makes them poor watchdogs, but I suppose they could lick an intruder to death. They are all friends, although Labor is suspicious of the 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 rarely bark. Since my son wanted a lap dog, we almost got a barker. Boy, are we glad we didn’t. From time to time, Labor announces that someone has arrived, but many days go by when I don’t hear a single bark.

5. They are great swimmers. Since both poodles and retrievers enjoy the water, it makes sense that golden doodles would too. Although both of my dogs love to wade in a pool or pond, Waffles is a champion swimmer. If I were a hunter, she’d be a big bird dog. Instead, I launch a small raft into the inground pool and she dives in right after it, quickly returning to the steps in the shallow end. I never knew dogs could swim so fast. Maybe it’s his webbed fingers.

5 reasons not to choose a golden doodle

1. They shed – a lot. One of the reasons I went with the gold scribbles was because they don’t come off, supposedly. False advertising, I would say. Most of the time I am covered in dog hair. There were a few months towards the middle of winter when the shedding stopped, but I have no faith it will happen again. It may depend on the parentage, but don’t count on a dog that doesn’t shed.

2. They eat a lot. A 20 pound bag of dog food lasts about a week for my two golden doodles. Plus, we break down and feed them table scraps. Pizza is his favourite.

3. They poop – a lot. At least now we use all those extra plastic bags.

4. They chew a lot. For the first year or two, make sure you have plenty of chew toys. Otherwise, it will be your furniture, or your controller, or in our case, the door frames.

5. They can cause allergies. Another reason I bought these dogs was because they were supposed to be hypoallergenic. Lucky for me they are. But my family and friends think otherwise, and with all the hair and size of the dogs, it can be a problem…

…but I still love them, anyway.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

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