I wanted to update you on Darwin, our sweetie pie! He is eight months old now and is 55 pounds. He stands somewhere over 22 inches at the shoulder, although I'm not absolutely sure because he won't stand still to be measured. He is magnificent, both in personality and looks. He is loving, kind, and sensitive, yet funny and playful. A few weeks ago we took him to downtown La Jolla. He literally stopped traffic due to his many admirers. One couple followed us down the street after we had eaten at a sidewalk cafe and stopped us to say that they had never seen a dog so well behaved in a restaurant. He has a thick gorgeous coat and a deep chested, long legged build, and a beautiful head and face. He sheds just a wee bit of fuzz, less than my husband actually. He is so graceful with a beautiful prancing gait.
His thick coat is a golden-red apricot with cream colored feathers. He needs minimal grooming (Is this characteristic of other Doodles?). He was neutered two months ago without any problems and is so easily trained due to his desire to please us. His vet says that he is a "handsome devil" and that she "wants one!" He loves people, dogs, and other animals alike, yet takes his job as watchdog at home very seriously. Because we have no other animals at home, we've begun taking him to the local dogpark on a regular basis. He enjoys himself thoroughly and gets along with everyone and particularly loves wrestling with the younger dogs.
My husband is completely wild about him and really doesn't like to go anywhere without him. He took a vacation with us and our grandson to the California coast and the High Sierras in July and was a wonderful traveler and seemed to enjoy every minute of the trip. The pool is one of his favorite places where he swims with my husband each evening. He loves to retrieve everything and anything from water and land. Basically I can't say enough good things about our newest family member! Everything that your website says about Goldendoodle personalities is true in Darwin's case. The only drawback about Dar is that everyone wants our dog! They fall in love with him. Oh, the other drawback is that he loves mud and water and mixing them together in very inventive ways! We are considering adding another Goldendoodle to the family when Dar is just a little bit older.
Hope that all is going well with you and yours,
Karen and Paul W., California.
September 20, 2004
Karen H. and Paul W. got Darwin from Timshell Farm, then later they got Chelsea, Darwin's sister, also from Timshell Farm. So, now they are a Two Doodle Family! Karen and Paul have done a wonderful job training both dogs.
From: Karen H.
Subject: latest pics
Here's the latest pics of the two little culprits! Chelsea continues to adjust. She loves being indoors and is in fact, a sort of cushions and bonbons kind of a gal. She and Darwin have tons of fun every day. I've started her on the leash a little bit with some formal heeling, more sitting, coming on command, and learning house rules. She hates to hear the word no so much that I have to be really soft with her--She seems to learn most things with just one "no" with lots of praise for compliance afterwards.
She really hates the "halti" lead and works well with a regular collar and leash so we may stick with that. She has taught Darwin not to jump on people--at least most of the time. She is very proud of defending her yard along with Darwin. They both run around with tails and heads raised proudly to patrol and defend the perimeters.
Sorry for my long silence. We've had a number of family things happen that have required a lot of energy and time! Chelsea and Darwin are doing extremely well. Chelsea has graduated to full night privileges in the master bedroom--meaning that she is free to sleep where she chooses in the bedroom, sittingroom, and bath area and free to roam around if she wishes. She is very quiet and discreet. However, she is an excellent watchdog! We had a break-in last week and Chelsea sounded the alarm at 3:30am and let me know someone was entering the house! I told her to be quiet, and she did of course, but not before I heard footsteps. She continued to be very protective and alert throughout the evening. Darwin, on the other hand, cuddled up on the couch throughout the whole thing including the visit from the police. He seemed to be letting Chelsea do all the work that night. I am so thankful that we have them both! I know that things are more secure here with them. Chelsea is very aware of strangers and also gets upset when the neighbors are gone and someone strange comes to take care of their animals, etc. She is very alert and differentiates between strangers and neighbors. Darwin also is usually very aware of strange sounds and people around the house.
Chelsea is such a loving dog. She loves kisses and hugs, etc. However she will allow full cuddling privileges to only my husband and myself. Everyone else is tolerated and even enjoyed, but on Chelsea's terms, without excessive familarity allowed. Even family guests who stay for weeks at a time are only allowed head petting privileges. They may not hug her, pick her up, or cuddle her in their laps. I like her this way and wouldn't change her. She is not the sort of dog who would be easily stolen or lured away from home. She and Darwin have a wonderful time all day.
Hopefully you can tell from the photos how happy they both seem to be. Darwin smiles all the time and is so much more active since Chelsea came. And Chelsea seems to really love Darwin, although she does sometimes seem to feel that he is a bit of a pest, and comes to us for a bit of respite from his constant teasing and playing. And Chelsea is very protective. She will not allow Darwin to bark or growl at the broom or vacuum if I am using them. He only does this in play, but Chelsea is very strict about any growling around her people. She gets between Darwin and me and makes him back down and move away.
Chelsea is perfect on the gentle leader and leash and will stay, sit, come, and heel perfectly while on leash. I can take them on walks and they trot perfectly side by side, etc. with no acting up even in the worst of circumstances, e.g., a pack of pitbulls throwing themselves at the fence, traffic, construction machinery, etc.. But both dogs need more training and we'll be working on some more advanced things in the future. Things have just been a bit too busy for the last few months.
My husband, who originally didn't want a dog at all, is in love with both of them. He pampers them and gives them a lot of love. He doesn't feel that we should take a vacation without them, so he bought a van that will easily accomodate all of us in comfort.
I hope that Chelsea's sister and other mates have adjusted to her absence. We are certainly thrilled that she came here to be with us in California, and Darwin is a new dog since she arrived!
Thank you and Blessings, Karen and Paul.