Why Standard Poodles?
After growing up around all kinds of dogs (cocker spaniels, pomeranians, dobermans, irish setters, and labs), I’m convinced that standard poodles are the right dog for me. I wanted to find a hypoallergenic dog that would fit with my personality and lifestyle. Standard poodles are incredibly smart, very people-oriented and easy to train. In addition to that, they don’t really shed (they shed very minimally because they have hair instead of fur).
This is actually pretty awesome. They do require regular grooming, and lots of it. On the upside, you can do really neat things with poodle hair. Seeing the outcome is really great – whether they’re out on the town or asleep on the couch, they’ll look absolutely fabulous.
I prefer large dogs to small ones, because large dogs tend to be less yippy. (A notable exception for me is that I do find pugs to be adorable! This is good since we adopted one who needed a home.) Phaedra is the perfect example of a standard poodle. She’s got the perfect temperament. She’s the best companion I’ve ever had. She always wants to do whatever I’m doing, be it World of Warcraft, walking, bike riding, dancing, makeup or working. She’s been very easy to train. We did obedience classes and she was the star of her class. She learns tricks fairly easily and has quite a repertoire of commands down.
Phaedra was born August 21, 2007. We took her home around the beginning of November 2007. Around October 31, 2009, Phaedra got sick and nearly died. We didn’t know what was going on with her and it was a very difficult time for her and us. Around January 18, 2010 we confirmed that she has Addison’s Disease.
What’s Addison’s Disease?
It’s a problem with the adrenal cortex which can cause fatal sodium/potassium imbalances. This requires a DOCP (desoxycorticosterone pivalate) shot to regulate. She needs her shot every 7 weeks (most dogs with Addison’s require a shot every 4 to 6 weeks). Additionally she takes 1/2 a Prednisone (steroid) pill every other day. This lets her be healthy and active.
It’s important to learn about the diseases common to any dog breed you’re interested in. We researched poodles and knew that Addison’s Disease could happen, so we researched breeders carefully. However, even when researching and finding a wonderful breeder with no cases of Addison’s Disease in her dogs, there was still a slim chance that we could have a dog with Addison’s. I’m grateful that Addison’s is easy to treat, even if it can be very difficult to diagnose.
By the way, my lovely friend Noel makes all of Phaedra’s gorgeous custom collars. She runs Pete’s Dog Gear.
Phaedra has learned many tricks in the past several years. Not only did I do doggie obedience school with her, I also work with her to teach her to do cute things. She seems to be able to learn anything I try to teach her. The trick is for me to figure out how to communicate effectively what I want with her. She’s amazingly easy to bathe and clip her nails. We constantly play with her feet. She’s never met a stranger, and we really adore that about her.