Here's my sweet Rufus actually posing for pics in my office. He's always so well behaved (after the initial jump up in your face to see who you are). This is his typical jolly expression. Seems like if he's not sleeping, then he's 'smiling'. And how can you not feel better looking at this face.
I guess I can catch you all up on how Rufus came into our lives. Once we moved into our house Feb. 1, 2006, our first job was to fence in the yard and get ready for a puppy. I just wanted a puppy, any would do. DH had grown up with standard poodles and he had his heart set on a chocolate pup. We searched and searched the internet. From my email records, it looks like we started looking around mid-March 2006. After countless websites, DH emailed me a link to www.booksleadtoproducts.com/Royal-Standard-Poodles.html on 06/06/06. I emailed the breeder and she emailed me back immediately. She had a dog named Zain who was pregnant by Kodi and due 07/25. Everything just fell into place. She was very helpful with every question I had, and was always available to help us through the process. Her website was very thorough with tons of information and also updated pics of pups with their human families. And her pups were chocolate and most grew to be big poodles - just what we were looking for. We put a deposit on a pup, we were 3rd in line for the litter due in July.
July 25 rolled around and we were so excited. I was checking the website for updates every hour. No updates until late in the evening, Zain had only 2 puppies, 1 boy and 1 girl and both were already spoken for. I was pretty sad. I talked to DH about it and he said, so nonchalantly, well, maybe she'll have another in 16 hours or so. I thought that was impossible. I emailed Tes the breeder at 9:30 on July 26 congratulating her on the 2 pups and asking if our deposit rolls over to the next litter. Instead of emailing me back, she called me at work. She had WONDERFUL news. Zain had the 2 pups late Tuesday night (07/25) and then the next morning, nearly 12 hours after the first 2 were born, she had 2 more! And one was our little Rufus!!! He was going to be a big boy. At 3 weeks old, he was already 6 lbs. (average is 4-5). Here's our little Rufus with his brother and sisters at 1 day old. Ruf is the brown one hanging out with his cream colored sisters.We had several name changes before Ruf came to live with us. He started out as Poodie. Not too masculine I know. Then to Maxwell. Then to Moose. And then sometime in late August 2006, he was officially named Rufus after a fond childhood memory of my husband's. He flew all the way from Minnesota to Daytona the evening of Tuesday, September 19, 2006. He was so cute in his little crate. If I remember right, he was about 16 lbs. when he flew down at 8 weeks old. He was so sleepy and groggy from the flight. The breeder or airline had zip tied his crate shut and we didn't have any scissors, so DH sat in the backseat with him on our way home. We were talking to him the whole time telling him how excited we were to finally meet him. When we got home, opened his crate and this little ball of energy came bouncing out. I wish I had video of that. He explored us and the house, we gave him a bath in the kitchen sink and then he finally laid down and I rubbed his little belly and he fell right asleep. Here he is giving me coffee-breath puppy kisses after his bath. Yeah, his breath smelled just like fresh brewed coffee for several months - I don't know why.I'm looking back on my notes (why didn't I make a baby book? I'll have to do that one day) and he got so big so fast:
09/28/06 at 9 weeks old, he was already up to 19.7 lbs.
11/28/06 he was up to 40 lbs. (I'll have to check the vet records for weights in Oct. 2006)
12/05/06 44 lbs.
12/26/06 54 lbs. and he could reach his paws to my shoulders (I'm 5'4)
01/26/07 65 lbs. and 24 inches at the shoulder
05/26/07 85 lbs. and 27 inches at the shoulder (finally stopped the 10 lbs/month around this time! Thankfully!)
It's hard to believe he's grown so much
8 weeks to almost 2-1/2 years old