Jet, the Poodle-Bear

Today, I saw my poodle-bear–or a probable descendent.  I wrote this a few years ago in Jet’s memory, so here it is again. . .

We use to have a black, curly haired cockapoo we named Jet. His dad was the cocker spaniel down the street and his mom was the miniature poodle next door. Out of the litter of 7 pups, 6 were curly-haired mini-poos like their mother, but ours was a cocker spaniel with the cutest poodle face. Jet was the largest of the litter and the most curious. That’s why my sister picked him. His curly fur covered his face and body making him look like a small bear cub. Only his big navy-button eyes and laughing mouth with tongue lolling out, could be seen beneath all the fur. Jet inherited his dad’s mischievous nature and laughing navy button eyes. From his poodle mom, he inherited her intelligence, charm and cuteness factor. With such a lethal combination of genes, he won our hearts when he entered our lives.

Jet never walked sedately. He would happily run in all directions and at the end of the “walk,” he would abruptly stop, plop his rounded bottom on the ground and look at his puffing owner as if to say, “What’s the matter? I’m only getting started!” And then take off again at a gallop.

On our doggy walks, I’ve heard comments like “Take him to obedience classes,” “He’s too undisciplined!”, “Don’t pull on the leash–can’t you hear him gasping for breath?”  I was too embarrass to tell them that we got booted out of obedience classes. As for the gasping, well, part of it was me. And if I let go of the leash, I may never see Jet again. It happened before. I had taken him for a walk in our neighbourhood. It seemed like one of those rare days when Jet actually gamboled and not galloped. That is, until he spotted the German shepherd who was ten times bigger and this feisty cockapoo wanted to fight! I stood frozen on the spot while my dog took off, barking his doggy insults. No amount of calling brought him back. It took two days of scouring the neighbourhood and calling his name before he finally emerged –scruffy, tire and so happy to see us again.  If he could only talk and tell us where he had been and what adventures he had. We suspected some kind person had fed him as he wasn’t starving, but he was exhausted.

Jet’s exuberance at snuffling out bits of this-n-that beneath the many flowering shrubs and ornamental bushes, showing only his rounded little backside, was an endearing sight. When he was almost two years old, we decided he needed a haircut as his fur was getting matted from totally enjoying the freedom of his fenced backyard and exploring every nook and cranny. No amount of patient brushing and detangling helped. Our first experience at the “Doggy Wash” was a disaster. We picked up our unhappy poodle-bear who had several scissor nicks on top of his head. At our horrified looks, the frazzled manager complained that Jet was not an obedient dog. Poor Jet–he looked as miserable as he probably felt. His matted bits of fur had been clipped and the rest trimmed as best that could be done under a  very wriggly situation. We were then told he was forever banned from the “Doggy Wash.”

The next Summer, we decided to try again. There was a new place in town and they had never heard of our dog–yet. Jet balked when he realized where we were going to leave him. Bracing his four furry  paws firmly on the ground, we had to pull him towards the new shop. At the tinkle of the door bell, a cute little miniature poodle, with a pink bow tying up a clump of her curly topknot, pranced up to our little guy and enticed him into the backroom. Jet never had a chance.

When we picked him up 4 hours later–our small plump bear cub emerged as this skinny poodle with a blue bow on his head and smelling like a fancy perfume shop. That “sissy” look didn’t last long when we got him home, took the bow off and he got to the serious business of exploring his backyard.

Jet lived to be 18 and a bit. We like to think he had a good doggy life and is keeping things lively in Doggy Heaven.






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