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 get. to pay.

My daughter chose a white one, nestled under the cage. He had named it Labor (in honor of the day) before seeing his new puppy. Labor is still a lovable bug.

My son chose brown, the color of the waffles. She was running like crazy, that’s why it’s hard for me to think of her as a girl. Waffles have always been more active than Labor, perhaps that is why they weigh 20 pounds less.

The towels were helpful – they both got dizzy on the way home. We stopped at the local dog wash and cleaned them up before he let them into 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 sofa, the bed, or even the bathtub, doodles love to cuddle. My son wanted a lap dog, well, we have one, actually two. Waffles insist on being loved with both hands. She can never get enough.

2. They are friendly with everyone. My dogs have never met a person they didn’t like, nor another canine for that matter. That makes guard dogs poor, but I suppose they could lick an intruder to death. They are all friends, although Labor is wary of grills.

3. They always forgive. Unlike people, gold 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 thief. Boy, are we glad we didn’t. Every now and then 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 water, it makes sense that gold doodles do 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 would be a great bird dog. Instead, I throw a small raft into the underground pool and she dives right behind it, quickly returning to the steps at the shallow end. I never thought that dogs could swim so fast. Maybe it’s your webbed fingers.

5 reasons not to choose a golden Doodle

1. They spilled – a lot. One reason I settled on the gold doodles 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 that it will happen again. It may depend on paternity, but don’t count on a dog that won’t molt.

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

3. They shit 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 enough toys to chew on. Otherwise, it will be your furniture, or your command, 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. Luckily 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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