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September 14th, 2009

It has been almost a year since we got Havoc the labradoodle.

I am beginning to accept the fact that I am no longer in charge of my own life.

Previous dog, Kaiju, was the merry prankster of the family, with a tendency to steal supper, eat roadkill, hump legs and chase the occasional cat. But he was also an old dog. He had an even greater tendency to sleep.

Havoc, at one year and 70 pounds, is still a puppy. While as a baby, he tended to go off on his own to catch a nap, I have learned that the young adult Havoc is a different matter entirely. When I hear peace and quiet and I don’t see the dog, it means someone, somewhere is losing the insoles to their shoes. The entire family walks with a limp because every shoe in the house seems to be missing a bite.

Also, I’ve discovered that while doodles shed less, they need more grooming. Apparently, not only are they prone to the same ear infections that my last dog had, but they grow hair inside their ears that needs to be plucked out.

IMHO this requires a professional. Since I do not have the confidence to pluck my own eyebrows, I certainly do not have the nerve to pluck dog ears. Also, where the last dog would allow me to use earwash and Q tips on him, Havoc can recognize the smell of the stuff from across the room, even if I hide it closed in my pocket. At ear cleaning time, he gives me a pained expression and goes off for the nap I couldn’t get him to take while I was working.

And then, there is the problem of photography. Havoc began life as the cutest puppy in the world.

And then, he grew.

Depending on the state of his hair, he is still pretty much adorable. I am not counting the summer haircut, which I thought made him look like a greyhound, and which #1’s girlfriend thought needed only a few rhinestones to look like a dog in a velour track suit. That was just weird.

But the rest of the time? Cutest dog ever. But not very photogenic.

If I try to get a picture, I generally get this:

If I wait until he is relaxing, he looks more like this:

Which makes him look kind of like he needs the services of a chiropractor, along with the grooming.

And then, there is this (edited for sensitive viewers):

I have a lot of pictures that are a variation of this. I guess there is something really exciting about the sight of the camera. Or perhaps this is how males communicate, when they can’t raise a middle finger.