Lesson 1: The West Coast is the Place to Be.

I must say that there's no other place like the West Coast, and more specifically, British Columbia.  You see, I'm from out east.  Ontario.  I don't remember much about Ontario.  It's cold there.  There were a lot of screaming blond puppies there.  I think I was the chubbiest, but let's call it baby chub.  And who can resist baby chub.  I think that's why my humans chose me.  I mean, c'mon.  Look at me!  I'm pretty fuzzy, chubby and cute!

At the young age of 8 weeks, I took my first plane trip.  And although my humans love to fly around the world, I must say that there's no place like home.  I'm happy to have flown once and now I'm good where I am.  Kitsilano is where I grew up and I continue to love to play on the beach and smell the salty ocean air.  

Lesson 2: Take a Moment to Smile at a Passerby.

I was one of the first goldendoodles around town.  When my mama and I used to walk up and down 4th ave (she's a bit of a shopaholic, but let's save that for another day), people would literally stop their cars and jump out of them to come by and pet my blond fuzz fur.  I don't drive, but I think that may have been a bit dangerous, leaving those big metal cars in the middle of the road.  But oh well.  I was happy for the attention.  

And I knew how to work it.  

Walking up and down the street, I would look up and smile at every passerby and I would get a huge smile in return, a few pats on the head, and if I was lucky a hug and a dog cookie.  I remember once being in a particularly good mood and smiling quite widely at a man.  I think he was having a bad day.  But when he saw my smile, he lit up and said, "Now that's a smile to make anyone's day".  So I still do it.  I smile at every passerby because they smile back and that makes my day too.  We need a little more connection in this world and what better way than to smile at someone and get a dog cookie in return.  Try it.  And if you don't want the dog cookie, I'll take it.

Lesson 3: Spend Quality Time with Me and I'll Behave.

So the teenaged years were a bit challenging for my humans. I don't think my papa remembers it much, but my mama sure does.  See, she's a bit ... how should I say it?  Well she would say organized, but I once found the DSM-IV on a shelf (it's the manual of psychiatric disorders) and I looked up obsessive compulsive personality disorder.  It kinda sounded like my mama, and I say this in a loving way... but just sayin'  it sorta sounded like her....  Anyway, I was being a brat that day, so I ate the book.

Sometimes I felt bored at home.  So I would eat things.  Ask any puppy. It's what we do when we're bored and don't see our humans as much as we'd like.  I ate flip flops, but usually only one of the pair.  At least I didn't eat both of them, in retrospect, so mama still had one.  I could never figure out why she never wore the left over one anymore.  But that's humans for you.  Perhaps the worst thing I ate, admittedly, was the wall. Mama always tells this story, because I have a special talent (I think it's a doodle-specific talent because my half sister Penelope can do this too).  I'm able to make a big hole in the middle of walls, not just a corner here and there.  This specific wall lead to the outside!  And I love outside!

Mama had a one year birthday party for me.  She invited people over and had appetizers and got me a birthday cake.  I also got a new bed and a new sweatshirt.  Oh and a bath (yuck).  Anyway, I was smelling particularly pretty (yuck) on my birthday party.  While waiting for the guests to arrive, I decided to wander around the house.  I found a planter that mama had just watered and it was sopping wet. 

mmmm delicious!

Needless to say, mama was not happy because my blond fur was no longer so blond.  And so she entitles this picture, "Bad One Year Old".

I think in retrospect mama knows now how to raise a puppy.  Quality time is what we need.  Then we'll behave.

Lesson 4: If You Indulge, You May Pay for It Later

One summer evening, uncle Brady was cooking something on the barbecue outside.  He's really a very good cook and when he cooks, I'm reminded of those cartoons on TV where there's a swirly aroma of food leading right to the tip of my big black nose.  I'm a dog.  How can I resist?  We're not  known for our ability to resist good food aroma.  Anyway, uncle Brady had a block of Tillamook cheese on the counter.  I'll admit it was a big block, but size is really a subjective thing.  To a shih tzu like Bisou, yeah I'll admit it was big, but to an 85 lbs goldendoodle, not so much.  Anyway, the little swirly aroma caught my nose.  And it was not a day of great self control.  I surfed.  Who would miss a block of cheese? And anyway, Ema the bulldog peer pressured me.  In case you haven't met Ema, imagine an old Italian mafia man speaking with a lisp saying this: "Lola, I - uh - highly suggest - uh - you get that cheese.  Do whatever you must.  Bring it to me."  Mama wishes she had a video camera on us that night.  But we're sworn to secrecy.  We won't tell whose idea it was originally and we won't tell who ate most of it.  This picture may give you a hint though:

Both of us had stinky cheese farts after that.  Yeah, we indulged. And yeah, we felt it after.  There was no hiding it from our humans.  I don't think they thought it was a lovely cartoon swirly aroma when it came out from our other end.

Lesson 5: Daddy Daughter Days are Best!

We all have something we live for.  Something that makes us light up inside and fills our hearts so full of joy that it makes us feel like we're flying.  I have experienced that in my life.  I do love to put my face out of the sunroof or window of a car and feel the breeze blow my blond curls in all directions.  I feel like I'm flying!  Super-doo!

But what I live for most, are my Daddy Daughter Days.  My papa named our days himself.  These are days that he would take off to spend quality time with me.  On these days, the last thing on my mind was chewing through a wall or eating his reading books.  On these days, my heart is free and soaring.  A smile is plastered on my face and there's no other place I'd rather be.  Just my papa and me on our Daddy Daughter Days.  Often, he will take me to the beach and throw my ball.  He will take me swimming and let me get all gross and sandy.  He will take me to get some treats at Granville Island.  Most of the time, I won't let him eat though, because I like to put my nose in it and see if I can get any.  Especially the fish taco stand.  Luckily for me, he lets me eat and doesn't try to put his nose in my food to try to get some, though I'd probably share.  Maybe.  But just 'cause it's Daddy Daughter Day.  There's nothing I treasure more than our days together.  So if you have a daughter -- or just someone special -- remember to have your own Special Person Day too, so that you can make their hearts soar.  Sometimes I think of this song when I think of my Daddy Daughter Days.  It's silly but we both have blond curls and if I could sing, I'd sing this to my papa on our Daddy Daughter Day. 

(just go to the bottom of this page and turn off the music first before you watch the video below)

Lesson 5: Be Funny with Each Other!

I have learned that we must keep life funny.  I mean, why stress out?  Let's just laugh about it.  My mama was told that there's a Japanese person who likes to blog and balance things on a rabbit's head.    So my mama decided to be funny one day (lucky me) and put things on my head.  Because I'm a "doo", I'll let her do anything, but I figure I'll get her back.  I mean, you gotta take what you can give, right?  So -- sigh -- here I am with various items on my head .. all because my mama found some rabbit with pancakes on it's head.

And now in return...

I've learned that I can throw my favorite ball under the couch, pretend that I'm really trying hard to get it out -- giving good effort, like the Chinese Tiger Mom always emphasizes, you know -- but then I give up and bark at it.  I bark at it and smile and wag my tail and look cute until someone get's it out for me.  (I've even taught my sister Penelope to do this now).  Bark enough and  they'll for sure retrieve and throw the ball, which is what I'm aiming for anyway.  After all, don't forget Lesson 3.. spend quality time with me (just a little reminder).

Lesson 6: Class Photos are Forever


Some dogs just don't know that pictures are forever.  So in my opinion, it's better to smile in them, so that when people remember you, they always remember that you were the one that was always smiling.  Especially if it's class photo day.

Me?  I'm always smiling.  Have a look for yourself.  Doesn't it put you in a much better mood than a grumpy dog?  Or worse yet, did you hear this week about the dog that bit a woman's nose off?  Yikes.  Those guys just make us look bad!

So if it's your class photo day today, remember to smile!