The Dog

I love Mother’s Day. I’m not a girl who cares about presents (give me breakfast in bed and flowers and I’m good to go) but this year I got the one thing I really wanted: a new baby.

That’s right, this week we got a dog.

The thing I love best about getting a dog is knowing that I don’t have 18 years of parenting ahead of me, I’ve only got two. Two years of teaching and training and bam! It’s an adult.

Finding a breeder for the doodle of our dreams here in Germany has taken months. Two weeks ago we made the much anticipated lengthy car ride to Koblenz to meet Michaela and her darling female mini Flatdoodle puppies (Flat Coated Retriever and Standard Poodle). She is literally the first person on record to formally breed these two amazing dogs, many of which go to handicapped people.

My kids went crazy for the babies. At ten weeks old they were about the sweetest little things I’ve ever seen in my life. For me it was love at first sight, I was ready to take one home in my purse.

Snuggling one of the girls I looked over to Jason. “Honey,” I said, “Isn’t she perfect? Can we keep her?”

He looked at me with a smile and shook his head. “Nope.” Alarmed, I set her down. “What? Why not? She’s exactly what we want!”

“Sorry,” he said, “The only thing I want is a brown coat. I don’t care about anything else, just not black, not this time.” A few years ago we had a darling black Goldendoodle that was hit by a car. Losing him was traumatic for Jason and me and for whatever reason, Jason thinks getting another black dog would be “disloyal” (insert eye roll).

I sighed. “But,” I said, “She doesn’t have any brown puppies, we missed that litter. And these are the smaller ones, you know we want a smaller dog this time. She won’t have more brown puppies for another two years! Do you really want to wait that long?” I looked around the puppy yard at the four extra dogs who were socializing with the kids.

“I want a brown one,” he said simply, “Like that.” Jason pointed to a large curly brown dog who was playing fetch with the kids.

“Him?” I asked. “But he’s huge! He’s not a puppy, I thought we wanted a puppy, a girl puppy. He’s a boy and he’s already grown.”

“That is Sharif,” Michaela said, joining the conversation. “He’s the last of my brown litter. He is a big boy, but he’s only five months old. He’s a lovely boy, his training is going very well. He’s for sale, if you are interested.”

I looked over at Jason and watched him scrutinize the dog. “Man,” he said with a grin, “Look at those paws…He’s going to be huge!” What is it with men and big boy dogs anyway? I shook my head, frustrated at the situation. That wasn’t the dog I came for. I came for a little girl dog, a baby dog…

A baby dog. One that poops and pees in the house. A dog that needs constant training and attention for the next few months before it’s even ready for puppy classes.

I watched Michaela put the puppies away. “Wait,” I said, “Can you keep Sharif out for a few more minutes? We would like to look at him, just for fun.”

And that is how we came across the world’s most darling dog. “Sheriff” has been home with us for a week now and I am happy to report that not only does he use the yard to do his business, but our family is madly in love with him.

Welcome to the family, Doodle Bear.



  1. Oh my! He’s like a teddy bear that can bark!!! I just wanna snuggle with him! What a lucky Sheriff to have such a wonderful forever family. ::hugs::

  2. Please bring him here so he can play with Mr. T. He’s so cute.

  3. Tammara says:

    He is adorable what a cutie. I have a personal question I have a friend whos niece got stationed in Germany they live in a little village called Ostfildern Nellingen and are also close to Shuutgart. Are you anywhere close to that? I am asking because she really needs an adult to talk to that speaks english. She has two small children. I just thought maybe you could help. Thanks,

  4. I am happy you guys got a big dog 🙂 I will only own bigger dogs, they are my love.

  5. His is absolutely adorable. We are a “big dog” family too!

  6. He is seriously THE CUTEST dog I have ever seen! I think I’m in love!!

  7. Mercy if he isn’t absolutely adorable! Yipppeeee for you!

    I am full score in favor of parents getting the dog because they want it, not because the children have been begging and the parents give in because they decide it will teach the children responsibility.
    Big dogs also seem more threatening to potential thieves, even if the dog loves strangers. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.