We're thinking about getting a puppy. It started with looking at older dogs at the pound where the counselor said that adopting older dogs carries a risk for younger children... they often have restraint issues and feel threatened when hugged around the neck. Anna and Dominic have grown up with Rocky, our now 9-year old lab, who tolerates EVERYTHING they do to him. The woman at the pound said, "I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I really recommend getting a puppy so that the dog can grow up with your children and be socialized to their needs." I swore I would never have another puppy after Rocky... he chewed up doors, woodwork, even our king-size dust ruffle! But I have to admit he's turned into the best dog I've ever known. And since Brandy died about a year and a half ago, he's been lonely and we are ready to make a commitment to a new dog. I want a smaller dog that Anna can walk by herself and I'm hoping will form a bond with her and eventually sleep with her. Wouldn't it be great if it could sense her seizures and become a seizure alert dog? Then I could sleep with my husband again.
So I started googling dog breeds and austism and ADHD. Besides a lab, the breed that was mentioned most was a Labradoodle... a lab/poodle mix. They have a mini-medium breed that tops out at 30-35 pounds and they don't shed. Woohoo! Looks like we found the perfect breed. Only one problem... they come with a $2500 price tag!!! UGH!
I found two local breeders with gorgeous pups ready to go home soon. They are just too expensive though (there is one particular little girl with whom I've already fallen in love, doggone it). After more searching, I found a breeder about 3 hours away that donates Labradoodles to families with special needs. I wrote her this morning and I'm anxiously waiting to hear back from her. We're going to go shopping and get a leash, collar, crate, toys, and other things to get ready. I need to gate off the stairs and stash the kids toys. I have to admit, I am really excited about adding to our family. I'm so maternal, I love to have a little thing to love.
Here is the little girl I fell in love with yesterday. Sigh, too bad she is too much money for us to adopt... I think I'd call her Daisy.