Dexter the Cavapoo
By Penny Harrison
Just over two years ago, we had five lovely dogs. However in 2010 in the space of seven short months, we lost two of our beloved girls. When we lost our second girl, Harriet a show cocker spaniel aged just over two years, I actually thought my heart would break. We did exactly what you are not supposed to do when grieving, went straight out to look for another pup.
We went to see a breeder who had two Cavapoos left out of a recent litter. Their mum was a Cavalier x Poodle and their dad was a Poodle. We met them both and they were sweet and friendly. Both were boys and I have never owned a boy dog in my life. However, we were smitten by these gorgeous bundles of fluff! I know now I was still grieving and not really thinking straight but we agreed to go back the following week to pay the balance of our new puppy.
On the Thursday, my husband rang me at work and said he was so excited would I mind if he rang the breeder and asked if we could pick the puppy up that evening instead of waiting till the weekend. Of course I didn't mind, so we left straight after work. You may remember December 16th 2010, it started to snow heavily! By the time we got home, the snow was really thick and our new puppy was too tiny to even go outside as he would have been covered and unable to get warm - and so it remained for the next few weeks!!
Dexter (as we named him) soon learned that he had to go into the downstairs bathroom to do his business on the newspaper we put down for him. I was really anxious how we would re-train him once the snow melted, but I need not have worried. As soon as the snow went, we closed the bathroom door, opened the back door and he followed our 3 bitches out into the garden for the first time and we literally never looked back! He has been a brilliant pup.
For the first month, I am ashamed to admit I didn't really bond with this little ball of fluff. Oh, I loved him as every dog lover would love a small, defenceless puppy, but I didn't bond. I missed my 2 spaniels terribly and felt disloyal for even having a new puppy. Then, one morning, I came downstairs and he looked at me and I looked at him - and I fell in love, totally, irrevocably and forever!
We have the most amazing bond - he is my shadow and my soul mate. I love my other 3 dogs (of course I love them very much) but there is something about Dexter. It is as if he has taken on the best bits of my 2 spaniels that I lost that year. He is intelligent, quick to learn and has a sense of humour! He comes to dog training club with me and is the calming influence on yappy dogs - in spite of only being 15 months old himself and also having the ability to be a yapper too!! At club, he knows that he is there to help me - and he does. He is just fantastic.
He has a tendency to bark excitedly on walks (which can be annoying) but he does it so happily that I cannot be cross - we are working together on this and he has improved hugely over the past few months.
When I was in hospital recently, he missed me as much as I missed him. One evening, my husband even got me to talk to Dexter on the phone, apparently he wagged his tail frantically and licked the telephone!
We attend fun and companion shows with our dogs and Dexter just loves them. Everytime anyone claps, he assumes they are clapping him and prances around happily as if to say "Yes, I am gorgeous and I know it!!" People stop us in the street and on our walks to stroke him and are amazed at how soft his fur is and how well behaved he is for such a youngster. He is just a brilliant dog.
Penny runs PATS Dog Club in Chatham for behaviour training and socialisation with the emphasis on being fun and friendly. PATS Dog Club - behaviour and socialisation, Chatham.
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