During my hiatus I didn’t mention the fact that we bought a dog. We bought a gorgeous moyen poodle from Karbit Poodles. We had been tossing around the idea for years but I just think we finally felt that the time was right.

Mr.  Red-Collar Boy

Why a Poodle

Poodles are a good match for allergy sufferers (me) and they’re very intelligent, trainable, and athletic which was a strong requirement for Lauren. Like most people I had that French foo-foo conception of a Poodle but that’s not true! A Poodle is a working dog: bred to be an assistant to subsistence fishermen in marshy estuaries (like the Thames). It was in this environment that the arms race for intelligence started and thus the poodle is a highly intelligent breed that lives to serve.

I didn’t know they were so versatile and intelligent, but as we researched the breed, the more we wanted to meet one. I found some breeders in Northern California, but none of them had puppies. One of the breeder did tell me that a breeder in Reno had just had a litter and that I could go meet those puppies and that, at worst, “it’d be a beautiful drive this time of year.” I contacted Karin, the proprietor, and she sent us pics of her beautiful litter and we immediately fell in love with Mr. Red Collar Boy.

More pictures and Q&A after the jump….

Karin takes a very personal approach in the management of her litters. She looks to find the right temperament dog to match to the owner. When you give her a deposit she doesn’t promise that you will have a dog this litter, but that when the right one comes, she’ll let you know.

As we watched the puppies develop and frolic, waiting with bated breath each Monday for that week’s update photos to see how they were maturing. Eventually at 9 weeks we had a phone conversation and Karin told us that she thought Mr. Red Boy would be a match for us.

We headed out to meet them both.

What Happened When You Picked Him Up?

We drove out to Reno on the day of the 2nd of May and spent an anxious night. We arranged his kennel for his travels and stocked it with rope toys, chewy balls, treats, and a comfy travel mat.

We were at Karbit bright and early on Saturday morning. We were greeted by the wonderful and sweet Karin who lead us to the puppy pen where we saw the puppy pile, yipping and bitting and scratching. They’re so adorable and fuzzy at that age. And, for the record, her house even has poodle art on it. You know you’re in the right place when you finally get there.

Puppy pile!

Eventually we saw, as he was known then Mr. Red Collar Boy In the midst of the swirling throng of puppies he was looking up at us as if to ask if we were his people. My heart leapt up: “That’s him! You’re here to love him!” After Lauren and I both took turns holding him and letting him squirm in our hands I whispered in his ear: “Will you be our puppy?” I was sold.

After learning how to care for him from Karin we packed up, he made a final bathroom visit and we wound our way out of Reno.

First pic after leaving

Byron was incredibly brave, he only whined for the first dozen miles of the journey. We gently rapped at his kennel and he silenced promptly. After a few miles he settled into sleeping. We drove to Lake Tahoe for lunch (for us) and some photo shoots near the lake. We found a patio where he was allowed to sit under the table and we let him play in a lakeside park before getting back underway.

Lauren and Byron at King's Beach

Progress home was slow, but he didn’t whine or cry, we just slowly made our way home. He did get a bit car sick in the Caldecott tunnel, but for the most part was an absolute champ.


Time passed and we took him to Marin:

Lauren and Byron at King's Beach

and he learned to look to us for shelter:

Byron looks up

and he played at home:

Byron chases Duckie (RIP)

but that was tiring:

Byron sleeping

and eventually he braved Twin Peaks in dense fog:

Byron atop Twin Peaks

He’s a sweet, loving, kind poodle. He’s athletic and strong, playful and willful, intelligent and quick. Byron’s now 7.5 months old and we love him so.