What a sweet story! They make quite a pair.Poppy's Gotcha story...
I had planned for a second pup when Sophy would be 18 months old, and had actually started conversations with several breeders, but when she was about 9 months it became very clear that she needed a dog to play with now, and that none of the dogs we knew were the right size or age. Browsing the internet as you do, marvelling at all the naff photos of badly bred and badly groomed pups, there was one little face that kept jumping out at me, so pretty, so beautifully groomed, so perfectly poodle... I kept telling myself that I couldn't buy a pup from an internet listing site, not even a fairly reputable one; that the pup would be nearly 12 weeks old and would certainly have been reserved; that it would all be a scam - and then sneaking back for another look. In the end I decided to phone just in case, and found myself having long conversations with a well-known show breeder with a long history in the UK poodle world and an excellent reputation.
I arranged to visit, staying overnight with my sister on the way and leaving Sophy with her. It was a pig of a journey, cross country and North to South, and the kennels were right out in the countryside in a maze of little lanes - and I had no SatNav. I spent several hours talking dogs, meeting Poppy and her parents, and generally getting to know her, until we were all agreed that she was the right dog for me and I the right human for her. At which point I pulled out my cheque book, and discovered they didn't take cheques, but had somehow forgotten to tell me of it. Way before instant transfers were the norm, and I really did not fancy doing the journey twice, so I set off to pull as much cash as I could from ATMs.
The first refused my card - that particular bank was renowned for their machines running out of money. I tried further afield, circling around and trying one small village after another until I found another, and by taking out the maximum cash allowed on all my cards just got enough. Then I had to retrace my journey in the gathering dusk - did I mention no SatNav?!
By the time I got back to the breeder's I was more than slightly frazzled, but we completed all the paperwork and they carefully snuggled Poppy into the crate I had put into the back of my car, then I set off back, deciding to go the longer way round by the motorway as being easier. Except that there were roadworks and accidents and lanes blocked and it took forever. After an hour or two I began to wonder if there really was a puppy in the car, or if I had been slipped a soft toy ringer, she was so quiet. Fortunately a little wriggle and murmur reassured me before I pulled over to check.
We got back to my sister's some time after midnight, and the rest is history. Sophy was thrilled with her new sister and Poppy was delighted to have another dog to follow. They grew up together very happily and it is hard to imagine life without her. And she still gazes at me with the same sweet expression that caught me all those years ago.
Here's a funny one.
In Miami we have an overabundance of lizards. Maybe it averages one lizard per sq ft. Something like that. Misha enjoys chasing them if they run right under his nose though he has no interest in hurting them. Occasionally I have grabbed the larger ones while taking him on a walk if they look slow and complacent. I figured he would like to check one out while it wasn't racing around. The first time I did this, I held it down at his level, told him to be gentle, and let him sniff it. He was very delicate, sniffing all over the lizard, but when he got to the head it opened its mouth when he touched his nose to it. He took one whiff of that lizard's mouth and started retching and gagging. He then wanted nothing to do with it!
I have repeated this 3-4 more times. Each time is the same, though for the last couple he is careful not to take too big of a whiff of their breath. He still makes a disgusted face if he sniffs near their open mouth.
I have tried smelling their mouths myself. I can smell no odor! I don't know what it is that grosses him out so much. This is a dog that usually delights in gross smelling things.
So there you have it. According to Misha, the worst smell in the world is lizard breath.