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  • Writer's pictureKathy Winkler Studio


We acquired Andy through the Doodle Rescue Organization as an almost 2-year old. I got a phone call from the assistant director asking if we could take Andy (alias Cash and Max) because they were certain he would end up on death row again if savvy dog people did not take him. I said yes so quickly that it would make your head spin.

The story behind Andy is that he was bred in Ohio (Labrador retriever/Standard poodle) and sold to Ohio residents. They tied him to a tree for about a year. They sold him to some other people because they said he nipped. Then, those people kept him a short time and gave him to some friends of theirs in Saginaw, Michigan. Well, they didn’t keep him long at all, because he still nipped, so they took him to a kill shelter. There happened to be a volunteer working the day that Andy was there. She called the rescue organization and asked if she could pull him out because he was due to be euthanized the next morning. Of course, they said yes. She fostered him for a little bit before he was deemed “fit” for adoption. He was posted on the site (90 percent of doodles taken in by the organization are adopted before they reach the website).

A family in their multi-million dollar “house” in Potomac, MD, saw him and asked to adopt him. Their 4 kids were over the age of 10, so they qualified. They had never had a dog before. They flew their private jet up to Saginaw and picked him up. Alas, it was not meant to be. They kept him 4 weeks, when the foster in our area of Northern Virginia was called to ask if the rescue would take him back because he nipped and lunged at everybody. The family in Maryland said they brushed him daily and tried to take him on walks, but he was unruly. So, he was with the foster when we got the call about him. Turned out that the foster had to shave him down because he was so matted. She took a tick off one of his eyelids, because he couldn’t open his eye. We simply drove to where he was and picked him up, paid his adoption fee, and drove him home. We had no problems walking him. He obediently walked quietly by our sides. Yes, he nipped, but the retriever side of him was mouthy. So, I wouldn’t describe it as true nipping. He had no idea he wasn’t suppose to do that, but we taught him not to. It took a couple of months, but he was an ideal student.

Jerry took Andy to obedience training and he got first place out of 11 dogs. Then, he took him to agility and he took to it like a duck to water. He just understood things.

He was such an endearing pup. He would come up to us as we were seated and jump in our laps and put his front paws around our necks like he was hugging us. Never experienced that before with a dog. When the three doodles would go outside in the rain or snow and they needed to be wiped down, Andy would stand in line for his turn, and then as soon as we finished with him he headed back to the end of the line. We pretended that he hadn’t been dried off yet, and made a big fuss over him. He was an amazing pup.

Unfortunately, one night at about 1 a.m., Andy jumped off the bed and died in midair of mesenteric torsion immediately. He would have celebrated his 9th birthday 2 months later 3 years ago. We are so delighted that he came into our lives for about 6 years. He was amazing and never stopped learning. We miss him every day.


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