Almost one year to date I flew to Germany to visit a talented and sweet boy poodle named Phoenix.

 

I’d read about Phoenix on Facebook and it really was love at first sight.  This boy had the best structure I’d seen in a very long time.  In some ways he reminded me of the pictures of some of the poodle ancestors of the 50’s.  He didn’t have the extra long legs seen on many show dogs here in the United States, his shoulders and hind leg angles were lovely, he had a beautiful long neck and the head of a working retriever. In addition to the impressive Champion Show pictures were videos and pictures of Phoenix doing Schutzhund work.

 

As my plane touched down in Frankfurt I began to get some heart palpitations.  It wasn’t that I was worried that I had missed my connection from Frankfurt to Nuremberg and had to figure out how to take a train to my hostel, about the recent Paris airport bombings or that I didn’t speak a word of German.  My anxiety was, ‘what if I’d just flown 2000 miles to meet a dog for breeding and I didn’t like him!  What if he was a jerk?  aggressive?  Dull?  No off switch!!!  I drowned my worries at a local tavern and prepared myself to meet the in-laws.

 

Bianca had graciously offered to invited me to her house.  You would have thought I was on a blind date, I was so nervous.  I knocked on the door and heard a deep and loud woof woof!!!  My heart skipped a beat and I wondered if he was going to be aggressive.  What if I”d come all this way, laid all my hopes into this breeding and Phoenix ended up being a ‘bad’ dog?  Bianca opened the door and the next thing I knew, Phoenix was up on his hind legs, paws on my chest and licking my face.  His tail was wagging nonstop.  He dropped down and danced like the most silly boy poodle you’ve ever seen.  Bianca, wide grin, asked me in.    I spent a week.   I was invited to see Bianca and Phoenix and Wespar (her female Mal puppy) during several Schutzhund club training practices.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was.  Not only by Bianca’s obvious talent as a trainer but at how calm and confident was Phoenix.  He has his poodle moments on the field, loosing focus here and there but his tail never stopped wagging, he took to his jumps, retrieves and finds like a pro and with classic poodle joie de vivre.

I was also invited to visit Pheonix’s first litter that was just 2 weeks old.  I felt privileged to be invited into the owner’s home.  Her new poodle mom was wonderful and was very accepting of my presence.  Here’s Bianca with one of the gorgeous puppies.

I couldn’t have been more grateful for the hospitality that Bianca and her husband showed me during my visit. It means a lot to not only meet the ‘father to be’ but have a special connection with his owners.  They made it a very special trip.