Running with Poodles

When my daughter was a few months shy of three-years-old and my second daughter was a few months shy of being born, we got a little poodle puppy and named her Licorice.

She was owned by a groomer, so she came perfectly coifed with a puppy cut, and a pink ribbon in her hair. She was black, although already, she had the tell-tale gray muzzle that told us she would be silver/gray. We named her Licorice anyway.

Can you believe my husband and I had been married almost nine years with no dog? I had never been without one for so long. With school, moving across the country—for school and jobs, it didn’t seem fair to have a dog, but now we were settled. It was time this family had a dog. We had met a friend’s charming poodle, and thus we decided on a poodle.

She was a perfect size for the little baby stretch outfits that were popular at the time, and the girls used to dress her in those outfits. She didn’t object, and would walk around on stretchy legs. She grew up to be silver/gray with a perfect confirmation, long legs, and about 15 inches tall.

For a few Christmases we drove from San Diego, California where we lived to The Dalles, Oregon to visit grandparents, and we took Licorice. At that time not many motels were pet-friendly, so we smuggled Licorice in with the stuffed toys we had loaded into our arms.

If you remember a blog about Jack Carol, a pilot friend of ours who was shot down in the war three times, and the only survivor twice, (being in a navigator’s position is the safest place on a plane) he took this picture of my kids and Licorice.

When my second daughter was seven years old, and my first-born was ten—see moms tell time by their children’s ages—we took a three-day vacation, driving from San Diego to Los Angeles, and decided to leave Licorice with a pet sitter—at the pet sitter’s house.

I don’t recall all that we did in L.A. except we took the kids to see Star Wars, (the original) at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  I think we decided to go home a little earlier than planned, and both girls talked about it most of the way home. “Won’t Licorice be happy to see us!

The trouble was, when we got to the sitter’s house, Licorice was gone.

She had escaped the back yard.

We were devastated.

Quickly we set off searching. We ran around the neighborhood calling and asking whomever we met if they had seen a little gray poodle.

All day we searched, and I had called the pound. Dejected, we went home without our dog.

The following morning, I awakened early, got up before the others, and set off to find Licorice. I went to the pound, and into the back to search cages.

There before my wondering eyes should appear, but a man opening a cage with a little gray poodle under his arm.

“Licorice!”

 She turned—amazed , as I was, hardly believing her eyes, so it seemed, and then came the joyous cries. We carried on until the lady told us to quiet down.  Hey, don’t dogs bark at pounds? Besides, the ordeal she had been through called for celebration.  I sat hugging her until we were released from lock-up, for I had to wait to purchase a license.

Somehow, we heard the story that she had left Mission Hills traveled through an underpass beneath I-5 freeway and made it to Mission Beach, where they said “There is no life east or I-5.”  There she was following a surfer/drifter, until he was stopped by a policeman. He said the dog didn’t belong to him, and thus Licorice was escorted to the pound by a policeman.

The surfer? Well, he had to be a good guy, for Licorice trusted him. (You know how lost dogs can get disoriented, and scared, and not let you catch them.) Licorice, however, found a friend, and through that we found our dog. Licorice’s little foot pads were worn from all the walking she had done. The man? I don’t know what happened. To me he is an unsung hero on the highway of life. It was a miracle to find our dog in a city the size of San Diego.

As I recall, I never paid the sitter.

Licorice remained with us for the rest of her life.

I was convinced that Licorice’s purpose in life was to love and be loved.

Thirty years later we got another poodle with the same purpose. Must run with poodles.

Peaches poked me, and said she wanted to chime in here, so this is from her, via https://dogblogbypeaches.blogspot.com

I Peaches, am a happy dog.

I was happy on earth, am happy here.

My job is to help others be happy.

I didn’t have an easy life. I had Addison’s disease, which meant my adrenal glands were stuck on low speed. Momma treated me for most of my 10 years on the planet. The last year she gave me fluids subcutaneously–big word, I learned it from Momma.

But, whoa, I loved going to the beach and on trips–I went on an eight- state trip once with Bear my Newfoundland house mate, and my sister, that is Momma’s daughter and her baby.

(And both Bear and I got McDonald’s hamburger patties along the route. El Yuno.)

You wouldn’t believe the fun we had.

We moved to Hawaii for a year. Yep, Bear and me and the family. And I agreed to ride in a carrier, didn’t like it, but trusted that we would arrive someplace stupendous.

In Hawaii, we met a veterinarian who showed us where to get my medication on the internet.  And when it arrived in the mail, the package contained a dog biscuit for me.

That’s it. You must seize the day.

Dog’s know it.

Our job is to teach humans how to do it.

Listen to your dog.

I still dream I am sleeping with Momma, and Dad was pretty fun too.

And here’s the pup I picked out for you.