In Defense of Poodles

Rip-snortin’ hound dog
flies ass over tea kettle
after the red ball.


There are standard poodles (click the link to see a magnificent one).  And then there is my standard poodle, Lily.

The linked poodle happens to be the father of my poodle.  He wasn’t near as famous when my poodle was spawned, thankfully, but as beautiful a specimen as he is, I’m afraid he does an injustice to the poodle in general.  Many people judge the breed by his looks and think that’s all they are about. What a shame.

My poodle is a hound dog with curls. She runs in giant arcs, circling the the backyard, crazed, after a bath. She chases Frisbees, tennis balls and deer.  She is home groomed and luckily doesn’t know where the mirror is. She sometimes craps in the house.

In other words, she is a normal dog.  Just last night, she treed a raccoon in our back yard. I am not kidding. Bolted from the backdoor, chased the varmint up a tree and had her paws on the trunk barking before my husband got out there.

Now, she does prance when she walks, I’ll admit it.  People comment on that: “My, that dog sure walks pretty” is what they say. But it’s genetic.  Just like my husband can’t help watching a good-looking woman walk by or an airplane fly over, Lily can’t help how she walks.

Some more myths to bust…

Poodle perception Poodle reality
They are prissy dogs. She would chew off your left hand for a piece of bacon.
They are aloof. She climbs on top of me and kids when we are stacked on the couch watching a movie… just one of the family.
They are dumb from years of breeding. I grew up with German Shepherds, an exceedingly smart breed. She is smarter. Some toy poodles, mind you, who have been bred down from the standard, are as dumb as a box of rocks with the smart rocks taken out. But not the standard.
They are high strung. Imagine this: you are 10 weeks old and you land yourself in a home with a 4-year-old boy. This boy likes you, a lot. He lies on you, he pulls your ears, thinks grabbing large handfuls of your fur and yanking is funny. Plus, the adults in the family fancy themselves more capable than the local groomer, so once a month for about 4 hours, you stand on a slippery table while they practice on you with scissors and clippers. No reaction. This is a chilled dog.

There is only one weird thing I’ve noticed about her… she won’t kiss your face. Since she regularly eats deer poop and her own vomit (she doesn’t do car rides well), I’m seriously ok with this, but I’ve never met a dog like this before. She will gladly lick your feet, even between the toes, for hours on end if given the chance (don’t do it, man, it’s creepy), but not your face. I’m not sure why…

So if you are in the market for a dog, consider the standard poodle.  I know there are a lot of xxx-oodles being bred nowadays. Labra-doodles, Golden-oodles. But to me, that’s like pouring ketchup over a top-notch tenderloin.  Don’t take a substitute – go for the original.

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