Dogs connect

Four doodles met up this Bank Holiday – a cavapoo, a cockapoo, a goldendoodle and a labradoodle!

We all look the same, don’t we? Especially size-wise. That’s because Isla is a miniature goldendoodle and Clifford is a miniature labradoodle.

And it so happens that all our mummies hail from that distant land of Malaysia.  But all our stories are different.

Bella started coming to our Hyde Park Doodle Meets.  Her mum and dad came to the UK more than 10 years ago and when they finally settled into work and bought a house in London, they felt it was time for a dog. So along came Bella, a cavapoo. And to be expected, their world revolves around Bella!

Isla’s mum, Chelsea moved to London from Southampton recently when she started working in London. She was looking for doodle meets when someone tagged us on her Facebook search.  Isla, is a miniature goldendoodle and an Assistance Dog. How Isla came to Chelsea is in some ways heartbreaking – and this is her story.

Chelsea’s health has been deteriorating more than she was prepared for. She has a heart condition and recently diagnosed with possible pancreatitis. Living alone in London, she was terrified at the thought of being on her own when she struggled to breathe and could not get help in time. The idea of assistance dogs and their benefits were presented to her by the relevant professionals and she began delving into all of it. The different charities that offer Assistant Dogs (AD) have long waiting lists and have very strict requirements including proximity of residence to their training quarters, train for very specific medical conditions (whereas she has a more complex diagnosis) and most importantly, commonly use shedding dogs. Chelsea is allergic to dogs that shed and her medical conditions make living with dogs that shed an absolute no-no. Charities rarely train non-shedding/hypoallergenic dogs because of the common fact that no dog can be guaranteed not to shed/trigger allergies. By owner-training, albeit more expensive, she was at least allowed the flexibility of choice of breed. It was on a Facebook thread that she found a couple of owner-trained AD handlers who mentioned how they had adopted and trained their ADs. After two weeks of endless searching, contacting all the rescues and lots of research into temperament testing, she found Isla Belle!
Isla Belle is a f2b chocolate-lavender mini goldendoodle initially named Brown Sugar.  She was put up for sale because the registered breeder “did not want to breed golden doodles in this colour anymore”.  From this point, the story turns to Isla.  
Chelsea was presented with the rosy picture of a chocolate brown mini goldendoodle. Due to her ill-health, she was unable to collect Isla from the breeder.  She sent a trusted friend to pick her up and when she saw the first pictures of Isla, she was shocked. Instead of the dark chocolate brown dog in the photos sent to her was a dog shaved to her skin, shaking, full of dirt and terrified. It was never reported that she had a fault (an underbite), was assured that she only had one litter (seemingly evidence that she had more than one, at less than three years of age) and that she was crate, lead and toilet trained. She was none of the above.
Fast forward six months, with lots of love, care and dedication, Isla is now a favourite wherever they go, an excellent example of how a vested AD should behave in public.  She has moved three houses and two cities with Chelsea, has been to A&E with her and behaved remarkably and finally, an excellent example of how rescues can truly become the “ideal dream dog”.
Through all this, Chelsea’s partner, Brandon has been by her side and raised Isla with her, especially during the days when she could not sit up, let alone walk or take her to the toilet.
But when Chelsea and Isla moved to London to begin her job and Brandon moved home to Malvern, Worcestershire, his family was missing Isla. That’s when they decided to adopt a doodle.  It was only two weeks ago when this red f2b mini labradoodle went to live with them – and they called him Clifford.Clifford is only seven months but have been in three different homes.  He had three names prior to being named Clifford. He was #6, Stanley and Rufus but he never answered to any of those. He came to Brandon completely matted with burs in his ears. He had not been house trained and never been outside for walks.  But these days, he is out and about with Brandon, taking walks and travelling to London for some city living.This is Clifford’s first outing at a restaurant.And he behaved impeccably.
Just in case you’re asking, George was in the mix as well. George himself represents the world of terriers! Yorkies, Shih-Tzus and Malteses! If he has a bit of poo in him – he would be the United Nations of terriers crossed poos!
May’s comment: Chelsea, Rubyni and I hail from Malaysia and through our own life course, we ended up living in London. We all love this city – and we all fell in love with our doodles. And it is because of them that we met each other – all seeking out other doodles to play with.  Thus the Hyde Park Doodle meet-ups.
Our Hyde Park Doodle Friends group meets once a month (last Sunday of every month) – and it has over the five years, brought people together.  Friendships have grown and we meet ever so many humans and their doodles.

Dogs connect – they surely do.

Chelsea’s a great proponent for adult rescues – “what you invest and adopting an adult is so much more rewarding because they are grateful, the bond is stronger, they don’t have the same chewing and biting tendencies and they can hold their bladders for longer! There also isn’t a gamble about the adult coat, behaviours or temperament issues that usually surface during their teen/adolescent years.”  

Chelsea is in the process of returning to Singapore for her health treatment and will be taking Isla with her. We wish her well in her recovery and we look forward to both their returning to London after her recovery for future rendezvous!

You can continue to follow Isla’s and Clifford’s progress on their individual IG – @chocolatefloof and @big.red.doodle

3 Comments

  1. Cheryl

    Please share with Chelsea my wishes for her and Isla for safe travels and healing prayers for her.

  2. Deb. McIntyre

    Beautiful and just Lovely!

  3. Anne McCormack

    What terribly sad early lives these precious dogs have had. Thank goodness they have now found caring homes.

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