"What kind of dog is that?" the woman asks as she walks past us on her way somewhere. "A Standard Poodle," I tell her; and I wait for the inevitable "really?" I'm asked almost daily what Luke and Elsa are as far as breed or mix. One woman walked by us and proclaimed that they were "very interesting mutts." Am I offended that people don't know what kind of dogs I have? Not in the least. Their lack of knowing what they are doesn't take anything away from Luke and Elsa's amazingness and perhaps keeps the poodle out of the spotlight just a bit. Yes, Luke and Elsa do resemble the doodles that you see all too often now. Doodles have been and still are advertised as the perfect dog but now those perfect dogs are filling up rescues and shelters. It is what happens when a breed or mix of breeds becomes too popular.
It was many years ago that I decided to take off the poodle cloak that surrounded my dogs. After all the whole idea of what a poodle looks like is man made. They are not born with pom poms on them; nor do they have fancy hairdos. Nope, left unaltered by man; a poodle would be a giant mop like dog. The poodles hair is constantly growing so it must be clipped; I choose to just simply shave it all off. Less work for me and much more enjoyable for both Luke and Elsa. How long I leave the hair depends mostly on weather and what activities we will be participating in.
Over the years we have actually been asked by poodle people "what kind of dog?" Many people are completely surprised by my answer and then there are the ones you reply "are you sure?" Imagine, someone asking me if I'm sure that my dog is a poodle. Imagine saying that to any stranger that gives you a reply you think to be odd? Imagine.
We have also been snubbed by poodle people who don't know that Luke and Elsa are in fact poodles. That one left me quite amused to think that the people holding the other poodles didn't know what their own dogs looked like under the puffs. When people act aghast at the idea of shaving it all off; I am always amazed by the importance put onto the exterior by some. Who cares? There are a whole lot more important things in this world to worry about and put importance on, other than poodle puffs.
When I decided that enough was enough; I just took it all off. Many, many years ago I began shaving my poodles strictly for ease of grooming. I had three little children and keeping my poodles in peak condition, coat wise was just too much work. Years later I began shaving them again; but then it was fueled by misconception. As my girl Tilley flew through the air, appeared on television and attended after screening parties to exhibit her amazing Frisbee talents we often heard "I didn't know poodles could catch, jump or do Frisbee." All sorts of things were said about the fact that she was indeed a poodle. But the poodle tag was not one that complimented the dog; but one that took away from the dog by way of poofiness. No more, Tilley was far more than just a poodle; so it came off and her amazingness was able to stand on it's own. People didn't know what she was anymore; they simply stood in awe of her athleticism. She was no longer weighed down by the cloak of a poodle.
Everyone has their own opinions out there; some like their poodles in full fluffiness, others choose modifications of some sort and then there are those who like me, shave it all off. To each his own, right? Poodles can be clipped however you like; the sky is the limit. Someone once said to me "you don't deserve poodles if you don't want them to look like poodles," really? Silly isn't it? To put that much importance on a man made idea? Yes, all of our dog breeds were designed by man. The poodle was designed by man inside and out. I choose to take the man made perception off and let my dogs stand on their own. My dogs, my choice.
For anyone who knows me, they know that I adore poodles. But my adoration has nothing to do with the hair. I do adore that they don't shed all over my house but what I love about poodles is in fact the poodle; which has nothing to do with their hair.
I am just fine going about my day to day with my poodles in cognito.