An Up Close and Personal Interview with Freddy

So how did you come to live with Susan and Bruce?

Susan had wanted a dog for so long after she put down Casey. However, her aging parents were no longer able to watch a new puppy  as she was still working. And, she is not the type to leave a dog alone or in a crate all day. She worked very long hours and did a fair amount of business travel. She also enjoyed personal travel.

She was diligent about praying to God for a dog to come into her life-“the right dog at the right time who needed her care and attention.” You don’t need to include this if you don’t want to, but I know that she was praying for the right man to come into her life, too. Whew, it’s a good thing those 2 prayers didn’t get mixed up.

So, go on.

Well, Susan kept looking on dog search sites and she would visit local shelters. The shelters only had pit bull dogs which Susan did not want and the search sites seemed a little risky for her. By this time, her prayers for a man were answered and she and Bruce started living together with Bruce’s cat, Nadine.

nadine wicker basket

The desire for a dog subsided a bit as she adjusted to her wonderful new life, living with Bruce. But, when Bruce’s daughter and son-in-law got a Goldendoodle puppy, Bella, the desire for a dog reared its puppy head again, so to speak. Danielle and Mike had visited with Bella a couple of days after Christmas 2012 and Susan was smitten. She wanted a dog, NOW.

This is Bella, Danielle and Mike’s Goldendoodle.


She went online and searched, mistakenly for Labradoodles. Well, lo and behold, she found a breeder of Labradoodles in East Otis, MA. and she called. She spoke with my breeder and learned that a litter had just been born but all the puppies were called for already, except one. It was me! Because of a recessive gene from my grandfather I turned out to be a mini Labradoodle. Well, that suited Susan even better as she preferred a smaller dog.

She told Bruce what she found and that they had an appointment to visit me at the breeder’s home. They visited me and I could tell they wanted me!  They wrote a check, signed the contract, and picked me up on January 4, 2013. I was 8 weeks old. It was a cold, snow-covered afternoon when we drove home. Bruce drove and I sat on Susan’s lap, covered up with an afghan that Mare had crocheted.

day one with Freddy010413First day home with Susan And Bruce.

Once we arrived home, Susan got down on the floor with me and I crawled around and sat on her lap. Bruce went out for grinders as he didn’t want to take time away from me by cooking. They made me feel so safe and warm, even though I was missing my Mom and my puppy mates. They had a special cushioned pillow that they placed me in, with the crocheted blanket and that’s where I slept during the day when I wasn’t roaming around throughout the house. At night, I slept in their bedroom in a crate with a soft bed. I did this for 6 months per the veterinarian’s instructions. Doctor said I needed my privacy and they needed theirs. Without a hitch at six months, my crate was moved to the Sitting Room where Bruce and Susan spend time watching television and reading.

It was  a bitter cold snowy winter. Bruce shoveled a path out back for me to walk and run and do my business. I was house broken within a couple of weeks as Bruce was so consistent in taking me out regularly. I did have a few accidents in the house. I was embarrassed, but they said it was their fault. That’s the kind of people they are.


What are they like to live with?

They are totally focused on me.  The important thing is that they love me unconditionally.  Susan tells me that God loves me, too. I don’t know who that is. But, I do know that GOD is DOG spelled backwards.


Wherever they are, I am. If they are at their desks, I am under their feet. When they are sitting on the sofa, I sit on their laps or beside them. They put a rug under the kitchen table, so that I can be comfortable when they are eating. We go out in the back yard several times a day. There is agility equipment, toys, balls, and Frisbees for me to play with and I have my own pool. They usually always take me with them wherever they go in their car.


Are you ever alone?

Rarely. Susan and Bruce don’t leave me alone longer than an hour or two. They take me to places that allow dogs, like The Home Depot, outdoor festivals, the local farm stand.

freddyatearthdayfairAt The Earth Day Fair

I have the full reign of the house so I cuddle up in my bed, or the sofa, or my crate. I don’t shed which is a bonus.


When they come home, I go to the door and bark my head off. I am so happy to see them again.


I was The Best Man at their wedding.


Any guilty pleasures?

I tease Nadine and that gives me a rush.

freddy and nadine

I love taking afternoon naps with Susan because it is the only time I get to sleep on their bed.


I like digging holes.


Any fears?

Flies in the house freak me out!

Whenever I feel fearful or unsafe, I retreat between the end table and the sofa and stay there until I feel okay to come out. I don’t like being brushed, so when Susan goes to the drawer where the brush is kept, I run to my safe place. She is usually just getting a pen to do the crossword puzzle, but you never know.

I see you have lots of toys.

Yes and I know them all by name. There’s:

Hedgehog and Squirrel-my favorites.  Blue.  Dyno-which I played with at Mare’s house.  Froggie. Trick. Chomper. Bone-from Uncle Dennis and Aunt Debbie. Stripey. Sock Monkey-I have 3 little ones and one big one.  Red Bull and more.



You seem like the type of dog who has regular habits.

Yes. Yes, I do. I go to bed at 7p.m. every evening and Bruce gives me a treat. I wake at 7 a.m. each morning. I give a call to Bruce and he opens up the crate door. We both do downward dog position.

I go for several walks during the day with Bruce. I make my mark about every 5 feet and my bowel movements are regular.

I eat 3 meals a day. Bruce mixes organic beef, chicken, or cheese into my regular dog food. For breakfast, I usually have organic, range free scrambled eggs. Bruce gives me a variety of small treats during the day. My weight is stable at 16 pounds.

Freddy, what’s ahead for you?

I am presently enrolled in Advance Beginner Agility classes. Susan takes me each week and we practice on the equipment for one hour at it’s pawsible dog training center in Westhampton.

I have so much fun and Susan does, too! I have agility equipment at home, too. They say I am fast and smart and that I have the potential to be a champion.  We’ll decide whether to compete once I am more experienced. In the meantime, I am enjoying the classes and practicing at home. Susan and Bruce tell me they are proud of me and they want me to be the happy little dog God, whoever that is, wants me to be.


Thank you Freddy.

Thank you.


Growing up with Dogs

We always had dogs as pets when I was growing up. On the cover of the Springfield Republican paper one Sunday morning was a photo of a litter of puppies at the animal shelter in Springfield.


My father got my brothers and me in the car and we went and picked out a dog. We named this one Skunky; the mutt we had before was called Yogi, probably named for Yogi Berra, by my brothers.

Here’s Skunky as a puppy with my brother and me holding Fido.


Skunky was a big, fat mutt, as you can see.


Very lovable. Not very energetic. As a child, I remember Skunky as just “being there”, wagging her tail, soaking up all the attention and affection we gave her.


I don’t remember how she passed; that’s kind of weird to me as I am sure I was grief-stricken for losing her. I do remember my best fiend, Sue Cipriani, had the same kind of dog, a mutt, named Dutchess, and she was killed by a car on Westfield Street. We were heart-broken.

bathroom w pets

During the time my father owned the bar, he bought a black, male toy poodle and he named him Clancy.  How he came to choose a poodle, I do not know. As you probably know by now, there wasn’t a lot of discussion about matters between my parents and there  was  no “family discussion”.


By the way, here’s my favorite dog cartoon from The New Yorker:


I remember Clancy having a lot of energy and his favorite toy was a stuffed sock. Clancy had epilepsy, probably due to close in breeding and died one day after being hit by a car. That was back in the day when you just let your dog roam.

Joe bought another poodle–a gray female that he named Candy. Candy was very attached to Mare. Mare would take Candy with her in the car and Candy just loved that.She was sweet and very smart. I was in high school at the time when Joe got her and I left home shortly after I graduated high school. Even though I loved Candy, I wasn’t that attached to her.

Joe had Candy mated with a stud dog so that she would have a litter. He was so nervous and concerned about Candy and he kept telling my mother what to do when the time came for the delivery. Joe was working that evening, the 3p.m. to 11p.m. shift, and Mare was at home. Candy jumped into Mare’s wicker laundry basket and delivered 3 healthy puppies. Joe was very happy. He gave one puppy to his mother and brother who lived across the street and the 2 other puppies were sold.

The thing about dogs is that they just make life better. Liz Taylor knew that.


One time, after I had already left home, I took Candy to the veterinarian’s office for a check up. She had an ear infection, as many small dogs often get. As the Doctor was cleaning out her ear with a piece of gauze, she whimpered, and I saw the yucky output on the gauze pad.  I could feel myself getting woozy and I fell right down as I fainted. The next thing you know, I was stretched out, laying down on the Doctor’s sofa in his living room, in his attached house.


Candy eventually was put down and it was Mare who took her to the veterinarian’s office. Mare always got stuck doing the hard jobs.

animal hospital.jpg

Mare once told me that Joe had hunting beagles that he kept in the back yard in an enclosed area. She claimed Joe did not take care of them properly. One day she decided to get rid of the dogs and gave them up at the animal shelter. I am sure Joe had a fit.

Lesson learned~ A home is not a home without a dog.

Coming up: Interview with Freddy