Guest Post Written by Susan
Our first beloved Labradoodle came to us in 2010 after the loss of my very first dog, a labrador retriever named Casey.
We’d gotten Casey when our boys were young as my husband firmly believed children needed a dog to make their childhood complete. Not having been raised with a dog or been much of a “dog person” I reluctantly agreed.
Suffice to say, Casey became “my” dog in no time. In fact, one of my most cherished memories was the day Casey arrived via doggy transport to our new home in Arizona from New Jersey, having weathered the trip well for a mature dog of 10. After she passed away two years later, I desperately wanted another pet.
Bosco was welcomed into our lives the following spring. Regrettably, our sweet puppy became ill with an incurable disease at just over 3 years of age. We were once again left without a furry family member.
It could be synchronicity, divine intervention or whatever one chooses to place faith in, a new labradoodle was whelped the very night our Bosco left us in the very town he had been born and died in Tucson, AZ.
Although I was so anxious to have another puppy, I simply was not up to the puppy training again. An internet search led me fortuitously to Aly’s Puppy Boot Camp.
Meet Coby The Princess
While there was a distance to travel by plane to bring Coby – named for Casey and Bosco – to her, we felt it was worth the investment to have our new family member have the proper foundation to be integrated into our home.
Coby was aptly given the title The Princess by Aly – a moniker that has remained all these 8 years later -so fitting for our little polite, regal and dignified dog!
Shy by nature, Coby has retained the lessons impressed upon her from the time she entered and completed Aly’s Puppy Boot Camp training, supported by reinforcement provided at home as needed to the point now it’s truly second nature.
However, because Coby did have a more reserved nature, we decided she could benefit from a companion who could possibly help draw out her more playful side…but I really did NOT want any part of the puppy stage again!
Training Chloe as a Therapy Dog
A chance encounter with a momentarily lost dog I reunited with its rightful owner underscored how ready I was for another companion as well. A dog who could ideally train as a therapy dog so I could fulfill my desire as a no-longer active clinical RN to get back into a hospital setting on a weekly basis. Lo and behold, I checked Aly’s website and there was Chloe, a beautiful 2-year old Labradoodle in need of rehoming. We flew back out to California for a meet and greet. We fell in love with Chloe and had her complete her training. A short time later, Aly arranged for her to fly home to us. Such a joyous homecoming!
Coby and Chloe become friends
In a relatively brief time, Coby and Chloe bonded to become fast friends, which is not to say they’ve not had some skirmishes, like most siblings.
At those moments, the value of having Aly as an ALLY is that I can always turn to her for advice on how to handle such issues. Within a year, Chloe became a certified therapy dog and has spread her cheerful disposition throughout Phoenix Children’s Hospital where she has been a delight to the children, their families and staff alike.
Although I have to admit there’s still a hole in my heart for having lost my first and much loved doodle at such a young age, I’d have never landed where I am now without that experience: The “mother” of not one but two professionally trained, beautiful girls because they truly seem to be so much more than “dogs,” being a vital part of our family, our home, our life.
With a special thanks to Aly for making that possible,