70: Posh Poodles

70: Posh Poodles

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog

Posh Poodles

Fun fact: Poodles have a wide variety of coloring, including white, black, brown, parti, silver, gray, silver beige, apricot, red, cream, sable, phantom and brindle.

Their names were Nicky and Xandie, and they were two of the cutest apricot/white Toy Poodles you ever saw. Littermates, we received them at ten months of age via a rescue site for Poodles. Their owner was forced to move due to her profession and was unable to take her precious babies with her. We had just lost our black Poodle after thirteen wonderful years, and my son’s heart was broken. It began to mend the day we brought the puppies home.

Nicky and Xandie became a very integral part of my childcare business. It was up to them to entertain the many children who passed through my care facility during those years, and entertain them they did! The children also learned how to love and care for a pet, which was something their parents appreciated. Some also appreciated that their child could interact with a pet in my home, leaving theirs “pet-free.”

Our newfound loves were very particular about their personal appearance and would groom each other daily. Then they would come to me for “inspection” and strut away proudly when I responded with, “Oh, what a pretty good girl (or boy) you are!” This compliment seemed even more important to them than any edible treat I could have offered them.

Nicky wore a blue rhinestone collar and Xandie a red one. If I accidentally placed the red leash on Nicky, he would sit down and refuse to move until I had the blue one secured to his collar.

We lived in Colorado at the time, and winters there can be brutal. Neither dog would go into the yard for their “daily duties” when it was snowy. My husband had to shovel an area just off the patio for their personal use.

Christmas had just passed, and we were in a severe bone-crushing cold snap, with temperatures well below zero. Adults, children, and dogs were confined inside for days on end. Nicky and Xandie were in “dog heaven.” They were the center of attention among the children and they loved playing tag and hide-and-seek (yes, they knew how to play both games), with their only reward being the squeals of joy and hugs from the children.

I had the remains of my Christmas prime rib in the refrigerator and one cold day I got it out to make soup. The dogs looked longingly at the bones and tried everything to get me to give them each one. They were begging and standing on their hind feet, twirling like little ballerinas. Finally, I relented, offering them each a bone with quite a bit of meat on it. My only stipulation was that they had to go outside and chew them on the patio. I let them out the French doors leading to the patio but no sooner had I turned around than Nicky knocked loudly on the door. I opened the door and they both ran into the house with their bones.

“We can’t eat greasy meat in the house,” I told them, opening the door again and letting them out. Immediately, I heard a pounding on the back door. They ran back in with their bones again.

This went on twice more, and I finally had had enough. I made them drop their bones beside the back step before I brought them into the house. They both gave me a scathing look and proudly walked down the hall to my bedroom, where their beds were.

I turned a bit later and saw them coming back down the hallway. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing — Nicky carrying his blue sweater and Xandie carrying her red one!

Laughing, I put their sweaters on them and let them out again. This time, they didn’t come in until the meat on those delicious prime rib bones was completely gone.

I removed their sweaters, and they once again sauntered down the hallway… to a much-deserved nap.

~Bette Haywood Matero

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