Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rylee the dog and Casey, a boy who was afraid of dogs

A client (and friend) of mine recently told me the story of their Goldendoodle, Rylee. I knew they have a special bond with this dog, but now that I know their story, I really understand just how special it is. So Diana is my guest columnist this week; I hope you will enjoy Rylee's story.

Hi Terry,

I don't know if I ever told you the story of us getting Rylee.

Casey (our son) has always been afraid of dogs, cats, characters, lighting and thunder. He grew out of the character phase (didn't get his picture with Santa until he was about 6 and we had to bribe him for that).

About 2 1/2 years ago we decided that his fear of dogs was affecting his quality of life. He wouldn't go outside if the neighborhood dog Maggie (a schnoodle) was running around. If we were out and about would move to the other side of the walk area if there was a dog. If we were at a park he would be concentrating more on the loose dogs than the baseball that he was supposed to be watching for.

We took him to a therapist for about a year. That helped get him to a point where he would see dogs and be curious but didn't want to touch them. We found a great program at Helen Woodward called Dog Smart. They bring in employees' dogs and work with kids and adults with fears of dogs. After three months Casey wanted a dog. His story is on the Helen Woodward website.

We did look at Helen Woodward but didn't want a big dog (ha ha) and weren't sure how most of the dogs temperments would be. We needed a breed that would be a good fit for Casey. A Lab or Retreiver would have been great. He started looking at mixed breeds (a Puggle, cute as puppies–not as cute as adults). He googled poodle mixes and came up with Goldendoodle. We found puppies listed on Signonsandiego. We met the litter at 3 weeks old and picked Rylee at 5 weeks (after coming two times before that). The breeder homeschools her daughters and we were lucky that they had a lot of interaction with the pups.

That's our story. We feel blessed to have Rylee in our lives.


Terry chiming in again here with an editorial comment...

I know many many people in the dog fancy scream about "designer dogs"– purposely bred mixed breeds that are then sold at elevated prices. The debate goes on and on, and I'm not in favor of it myself. BUT... once the dog is born, it is just that–a dog, not a political statement or horrendous mutation of what a dog is meant to be. I really feel it is not my job on this earth to pass judgement on others for their choices- choices that don't harm me in the least.

And in this case, Rylee is also a beloved family pet who helped a little boy overcome his fears. I certainly have no problem with that.

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