In the mid 1980's some friends had two black standard poodles and I always thought what wonderful dogs they were.
One day the local vet asked them if they could manage another one, a chocolate male who was currently at the RSPCA. They said no, but they knew someone who might.
So I acquired Rufus. When I got him his name was Pepe. Rufus suited him much better. He was very large, proud and handsome and there was nothing even vaguely pepe-ish about him.
Rufus was kidnapped by my ex, who then immediately gave him to his parents. He would have had a good life with them. I waited for a while to see if I could get him back but after six months I couldn't stand life without a poodle any longer so I got Sandy.
Sandy was a very pretty apricot poodle and most people thought he was a girl. A lot of the time he acted like a girl but there was always that moment of surprise when people would realise that here was a dog who meant business if he felt like it. He had few social skills when I got him at the age of five. His standard greeting was to wee on your foot. It took a lot of hard work to socialise him and he had health problems but he lived to the grand old age of thirteen.
Looking after an elderly dog and having to have him put to sleep was an unhappy experience. We thought we couldn't face going through it again and for almost two years we were poodle-free. Then one spring we were at an event where a couple had two standard poodles. I couldn't take my eyes off them. The spell was broken and shortly after that we got Dusty.
Dusty was a gentle and thoroughly delightful dog whose life was cut short because of injuries inflicted on her when she was young. She was only nine years old when she had to be destroyed because of damage to her spine. You can read more about Dusty here. We were suddenly without a dog again but I felt I couldn't cope with another rescue. They all come with problems of some sort or other.
Less than three months later, Nick was out shopping one day and "just happened" to be looking in the small ads section of a dog magazine in the newsagent's. When he came home he asked me how I felt about having a puppy. It took me all of three seconds to decide.
The rest is history. Or is it the future? It's a whole lot of fun anyway.