Category Archives: hyperallergenic dogs

My Rescue Day! Reminiscence and Celebration


Hi All,

Opie here.

We’re
Celebrating

My One Year

Adoption
Anniversary!

This month last year I was adopted by my current family.


It’s only fitting to reminisce a bit about those early days so that we can all really appreciate the present!

I don’t remember my old family at all. That’s fitting since they didn’t think too hard about me when they dumped me at the Riverside County Shelter. The folks there try very hard to get cats and dogs adopted out, but Riverside Shelter is not a no-kill shelter. Last year they euthanized over 350 “adoptable” dogs. If the folks at Lhasa Happy Home Rescue had not picked me up last June, I might have been one of those unlucky pooches. Believe me it was quite lucky. Please note that I am NOT a Lhasa Apso. Luckily, Lhasa’s mission includes other small breeds. ( Snorkie’s must be included!) Randee said she fell in love with my ears!

Here is a picture of me in from those early times.

This was taken near the end of August 2010.


I’ve always loved belly rubs. And my ears are quite cute.

Randee, the head of the Lhasa rescue, immediately sent me to live with my Foster Mom. She had two kids and they were great to me. I don’t remember them very well now. I think I was a little traumatized by all the shifting from place to place. Consider this — I was with my first family as a puppy(home number 1) , then when I was about 6 months old they brought me to the pound ( home number 2) , then about a month later, Randee came and got me and I stayed with her ( home number 3) and then with Barbara ( home number 4) and finally…. Finally with my mama. That’s five
different places before I was 10 months old. Let’s face it. I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t really settle down until a couple of months after Mama and Daddy had me. Mama has the vet bills to prove it!

How My Mama Found Me

Mama’s allergic to most dogs so they looked on Petfinder.com for a hypoallergenic dog. (By the way, we think that the study that said that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist is deeply flawed.) Mama knew that if she went to the local pound, she was bound to fall in love with a dog that would make her eyes red and nose itchy. Finding a forever fur friend is a lifelong commitment. People need to use their heads along with their hearts to match themselves with an appropriate fur friend. Mama saw me online and I fit the bill. I was the right size for our house and the right breed or combination of breeds for her nose! She filled out the adoption forms, cleaned up the house for a home visit from the Lhasa volunteers, and then finally met me!

The rest, as they say, is history.

This is me that first day on Randee’s couch.

The picture is not good. Mama took it with her phone.


The whole family fell in love with me on the spot. Within about 3 hours I was on my way with Mama and the boys to buy me a bed, water and food bowl and dog food. With the exception of vet and grooming appointments, it’s been paradise here!

As he was giving me a belly rub, Daddy told me that I was spoiled rotten!

He’s right!

I am.

How Are We Celebrating My Anniversary?

Mama started the celebration by making my every day food especially savory.

I’ve had a little wet canned food mixed into my kibble every day. OMD! It’s heavenly! I’ve also shared family cook out grub! I’ll just say one word – Hamburger!

To complement my new hair cut, mama got me a t-shirt. I think I look tough.



Daddy thinks I look tough too! Here I am greeting him at the door!


I love Daddy! And I kind of like my t-shirt too. I don’t try and bite it off like my Christmas sweater.

It suits me perfectly.

SECURITY! That’s what I am, that’s my job!

I’m the SECURITY DOG!

It fits my new MUSCLE DOG look!

Mama has also taken me to the dog park a few times this month!

Of course, I don’t wear my t-shirt to the park.

I don’t want to make anyone jealous!


At the park Mama took some pictures of me before I got down to the serious business of playing!




Then it was play time!

Here I am with my new buddy! I never got his name. His Mama was way at the other end of the park!


And here’s my other buddy!


I’ve had a great time at the park! I’ve even renewed some old acquaintances.

I love riding in the car with Mama.


Here we are coming back from the park on one of our many trips this month!


This is just a taste of the type of things that we’ve been doing this month to celebrate my anniversary. Mama says there’s more fun on the way. She mentioned something about a play date with Mo-mo – the poodle down the street. And I think there’s more time at the dog park on the calendar!

But the truth is…

I don’t really need all this stuff.

I’m happy sitting on the couch with my hu-brothers while they play video games or practice the guitar.

I’m happy sleeping at the foot of Mama and Daddy’s bed.


I’m happy pressing my face into Mama’s hand for a ear scratch.

I’m happy sitting on Daddy’s lap while he’s watching a movie.

I’m happy because I’m in my house with a family that will NEVER give me up!

We belong together.

If I have a wish for my anniversary (like a birthday wish!),

It is that every dog and cat can have a forever home where people love and care for them.

That’s my anniversary wish!

I may keep Mama and Daddy up all night barking at critters in the back yard.

I may chew on somebody’s glasses if they are left in my reach.

I may threaten the mail carrier every morning.

I may run under the coffee table when the grooming brush comes out.

I may even jump on the dining room table and steal a piece of breakfast bacon!

But I know I am loved!

I am an integral part of the family

I’m home.

Forever!


Smell you later fellow pet bloggers.

Licks and Sniffs,

Your Pal,

Opie

 


 

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Did we find the right dog for our family?

My eyes are not blue -- It's Mom's flash. She's a lousy photographer

  

In an earlier posting I told you that we had certain criteria that we were looking for in our dog search.  You may wonder how we came up with that criteria.  Well, we found an online quiz. Here is the link: http://www1.dogbreedinfo.com/search.htm    

 The quiz makes you consider things like whether you want a pure breed or a hybrid dog, whether you’ve ever owned a dog before, whether you think you can control a dominating dog, the size of your yard, etc.  The quiz is fast and tabulates the responses to spit out a list of dogs that might be appropriate based on your answers.   When we put in our responses, the list we got contained the following dogs:  Cocker Westie, Miniature  Labradoodle, Petite Goldendoodle, Miniature Schnoodle and Whoodle.    

 Notice that most of these dogs have a little poodle in them. My guess is primarily because poodle mixes are by far  the most hypoallergenic dogs out there, or so I’ve been told.   You may notice from the picture of Opie that he doesn’t appear to be very poodlelish.  There’s a very good explanation for that.  He has no poodle in him.  He is  a mix between a Schnauzer and a Yorkshire Terrier.  Okay, how did we end up with a Yorauzer instead of  an “Oodleish” type dog?   

When we surfed the web for all of these Oodle dogs and we didn’t find one within 100 miles of our location.  Hold on —  that’s not exactly true.  We did find some Oodles in our area, but they were either too old, inappropriate for children , adoptable only with their Tasmanian devil  litter mate, or missing an eye or a leg or pancreas. I suppose if we’d had more patience we would have found a sound and healthy Oodley pup that fit our criteria, but the boys had already gone completely against character for 6 months. We’d made them wait until we got back from 3 weeks worth of travelling in the summer and they were literally chomping at the bit. Too be honest the boys weren’t the only ones yearning for a furry little mammal to cuddle.    

Is our little Yorauzer right for us? Well, let’s see.    

1. He is not only hypoallergenic, but he seems to be anti-allergenic.  I am not assailed by pollen allergies when I am walking him outdoors.  He’s a cure! Hallelujah and don’t tell the pharmaceutical companies!    

2. He is house trained!    

3. He loves me slavishly!    

4. He loves the boys slavishly!    

5. He is a smallish medium-sized dog!    

6. He fits compactly in our car on rides to the dog park.    

7. He ‘s not a picky eater!    

8. He comes when called most of the time.    

9. He has learned to sit when commanded to most of the time.    

10. He is a sociable and fun pooch at the dog park and conducts himself well even when faced with bullies.    

11.  Did I mention that he’s  house trained?    

Now what are his drawbacks?  Well the quiz asked if we wanted a dominating dog. Opie is a bossy little guy who definitely wants to rule the roost.  However, he already knows that Dad is the purveyor of food and treats and neither Mom, Dad or the boys wants his little smelly dog bottom on the couch.    

He is territorial. He doesn’t like anyone other than us to come into the house. He hates the mail carrier, the UPS guy and anyone and everyone walking down the street.  He doesn’t seem to like men an awful lot and barely tolerates Dad.  He barks and growls at our very friendly favorite neighbor.  His favorite spot is right under my chair.    

He steals shoes, socks and anything that looks interesting . Luckily the kitchen trash has a lockable lid on it. He is not a picky eater.    

He does not fetch and if he does fetch something  certainly won’t give it to you  without a vigorous game of tug of war.    

Did I mention that he’s not a picky eater.  We’ve been to the vet to the tune of about $300 for various tummy troubles.  Now, he’s on the expensive vet provided food.    

 Oh and yes, he’s expensive.  Here’s his tally:    

$200 adoption donation. ( We got him from a rescue organization and that fee covered his shots, spaying/neutering , microchipping  and flea treatment and volunteer foster family overhead.)    

$230 Emergency Vet  Fee ( Tummy trouble was very severe! Intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-emetic, ant acid and special vet food, Parvo test)    

$170  Initial pet supplies ( dog food, dog bed, ball,  hedge hog toy, tug of war rope, new collar, bag of treats)    

$50 flea killer for yard, special cleaner for puppy accidents ( so far unused), grooming wipes to combat bad doggy butt odor between groomings, doggy brush, doggy toothbrush and doggy toothpaste    

$100 initial check up with regular vet    

$130 check up for recurrence of tummy trouble, special vet doggy food 12 day supply, doggie antibiotics, doggie probiotic powder to fix tender doggy guts    

$25 pet grooming  ( The most reasonable cost here!)    

$180 ( anticipated cost of initial session with trainer/animal behaviorist to help us deal with Opies “ugly man doll”/ territorial issues)    

Okay, did I mention that we’ve now had  Opie the Opulent for a little over 2 weeks.    

Is Opie the right dog for us?     

Even with his little foibles and the fact that he was not on the list of dogs that fit our family, even though he’s expensive as all get out and is personally responsible for them adding a new clerk over at Centinela Feed,  I’d say yes.    

He is the right dog for us.    

As I write this, Opie is playing wounded caribou with the boys outside.  They are having a great time!  So far, I’d say he’s worth the love and affection that he’s spreading in our family. If you pet him on the side of the head he will collapse on the floor and lay on his back,  not his side, for a full tummy rub!Is he one of the breeds on the quiz list? No, but who cares?  He’s the dog for us.  He fits. He’s just like us — territorial, a little bossy, not a picky eater, prone to tummy troubles,  occasionally obedient,  warmly affectionate and yes, costly. 


How did we find a hypoallergenic dog?

What I look like when confronted with pet dander.

I have always been a dog person. Imagine my surprise to discover that not only was  I allergic to cats in my 40+ years but I was now allergic to dogs as well.  I love dogs.  As I child my parents kept German Shepherds as guard dogs in the yard.  Believe me,  they were all looks and bark and no bite. Prince I and Prince II ( Yes, I know that’s confusing, but they let me — the 6-year-old only child —  name them) were complete pushovers.  One good belly rub and the dog was yours.  The worst thing either of them did was pen me down and lick me.   I do not recall having a runny nose or that hair ball sensation in the back of my throat in those days at all.  That came later.  

Now it was imperative that we find a hypoallergenic dog for the boys. We couldn’t get out of our commitment using the paltry excuse of an allergy. In response to my half-hearted attempt to renege on the deal, my steely eyed  12-year-old said one word,  ” Benadryl”.   I had  a choice — spend the next 10 or 15 years popping antihistamines to deal with my itchy runny eyes and nose or get a hypoallergenic dog.  Thanks to President Obama  we knew that such animals did exist. But how to find one?  I doubted the Kennedy’s were going to oblige our little family and send us a little blue dog.

How did we find one?  We did what any red-blooded American family would do. We googled it. We found lists and lists and lists of such dogs.  It turns out that there are lots of breeds out there that fit the bill. Just about anything mixed with a poodle or a terrier will do.  Just to be helpful,  here is the link to one of the more helpful websites  http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/allergy.htm

We started out wanting a labradoodle. We searched high and low for one in our area that met our search criteria. However, they are very popular dogs. We couldn’t find one within 100 miles of our house. There was no way we were going beyond that.  We live in a small town within a very big city. Overpopulation of dogs is a huge problem.  Travelling beyond a 10 mile radius seemed a bit excessive to us.  Luckily,  we had other breeds to choose from.  It was just as well, because we had more criteria in our pooch search than hypoallergenic. The dog had to be medium-sized, have a good disposition and fit our family unit.  We took a quiz that listed the breeds that were good for us.  I’ll give you that site in a different posting.