In December of 2000 a wonderful puppy came into our lives. We named him Ruffian but little did we know how well he fits that name :). We are definitely biased, but we think Ruffian is the cutest and the best dog in the world.
Ruffian is a 3rd-generation cockapoo. A cockapoo is a mix between a poodle and a (English) cocker spaniel. As a mixed breed, cockapoos do not have many of the genetic problems that poodles and cocker spaniels have (such as seizure, bad teeth, hip dysplasia, coat problems) but have all of their good traits (intelligent, calm, good with kids, and no shedding).
We were looking for a dog that has good health, no genetic problems, good temperament, a non-shedding coat, and plenty of intelligence. After much research we went nowhere, but out of the blue one day we saw a very cute dog next to our table at our condo complex's "parking lot" sale. We talked to its owner and found out that it was a cockapoo from a reputable local breeder (okay, "local" was 100 miles away, but I digress).
We went to the breeder to see the sire (P.J.) and dame (Misty) before hand, and we immediately liked them. P.J. was black with a white puff of fur on his chest, and was quite mischievious. Misty was bluff and had a great temperament and very intelligent eyes. She was already pregnant and the puppies will arrive in less than two months! We were very excited yet apprehensive as the responsible of raising a puppy was quite daunting.
We went back to see the puppies when they were only 4 weeks old. At this point we had three puppies to pick from. The first one we picked didn't even register our presence. He just slept on even when after I turned him over and tickled his tummy. We decided to pass on this one because he seemed to only care about sleeping. So, next we checked out the only female of the litter. The moment we picked her up she was nervous, shaking, and whimpering. We didn't like this nervousness at all, so we passed on her as well. With only one choice left, we were a little worried. What if we don't like this one either? So we picked up the last pup, and we were immediately struck by his behavior. He was awake, alert, but not nervous. He was looking right at us and was clearly curious. We thought that this one might be what we want. And then he did something that made it clear that he wanted to come home with us. He licked Christy's nose and sucked on Larry's thumb. That's it. We found our Ruffian.
It turned out that Ruffian fits his name perfectly. He likes to steal things from around the house and take them back to his "hide-out" under the bed. I've found shoes, toilet paper, even one of the vacuum cleaner's attachments in his treasure trove.
We also added some additional names that reflect his behavior. His second name, Rumba, came from the fact that when we come home he starts to shake and dance on the ground really energetically. It is as if his middle is fixed to the ground and his front and back move independently! His third name Barbarossa comes from the fact that his beard is reddish. You can see that in the previous picture.
Here are some pictures of Ruffian when he's about one and a half year old.
In case you are interested, our breeder's contact information is as follows: