"Tuffy"   Toy Poodle

When my parents were first married
they received a purebred Toy
Poodle from my father’s co-worker.  
Papers were not included and
rights to her first litter were the
terms of the exchange.  Shortly
thereafter my aunt bought
Beauregard from the same
breeder.  Suzie and Beauregard
would be the cause of many
beautiful pups, and though they
were both on the large side of the
Toy spectrum, they bred smaller
pups.  This trait was passed to their
litters.

One litter included a very little guy
who also happened to be one more
pup than Suzie had teats for.  So,
being a very intelligent and
practical dog she put him where
she knew things were discarded, in
the kitchen trash can.  
Repeatedly.   Of course we
rescued the poor little fellow and
feeding him with an eye dropper
captured my 9 year old heart.  We
called him Tuffy due to his ability to
survive the ordeal.

He was a very active guy,
amazingly smart, and feisty.  He
loved to play fetch, chase imagined
intruders from our lawn, ride in the
car, and slept on my bed snuggled
against my feet until I left for
college.

All three of our poodles were kept
intact and bred, though not with
each other due to their close
relation. Tuffy was a good stud and
continued the trait of breeding
smaller pups. His offspring were
both Black and Chocolate colored
and came in miniature and tea cup
size.

Around my Junior year of college
he developed a degenerative hip
and did well for a while.  There was
no swelling, and no signs of pain
when touched.  One morning he
went to follow my mother upstairs
and though he made a valiant effort
he couldn’t get up the first step, he
yelped when touched.  A trip to the
vet confirmed that is hips had
crossed the point of function and
had given up.  He was sadly and
reluctantly laid to rest at 16 years
of age.
Mark, long ago, with Tuffy the day after he was born