Poodles: Are They Misfits Among Dogs?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Canine lovers of the world, cast off your tired old prejudices! It's time to quit thinking of poodles as an alien species hanging off the tails of "real dogs". Long mistaken as prissy misfits amongst the pack, the poodle has been the butt of jokes for generations, probably ever since the first person put a fancy haircut on what had been a keen-eyed guard dog. But the soul of the poodle is always there, under everything that's ever been done to their hair. Oh, let me count the ways! The coiled coat of the poodle has been shaped in every imaginable way, tinted in every possible color, and even been left alone to work its way to the floor making the dog look somewhat like "Cousin It" from the Adam's Family TV show. If all that degradation weren't enough, those who keep poodles seem to share a highfalutin yearning to dress up their distinguished family member in all kinds of getups, from fake mink-skin jackets and diamond collars to leather biker jackets with whip style leashes to match.

But I ask you, should looks alone characterize a dog? I recently had a friend ask why I would own a "poodle" of all breeds. Well, I said, "They are reasonably clean, no shedding, intelligent, playful and easy to train pets. And then she said this: "My husband will go with anything except a poodle." He calls them barking kitties. I ask you, where is the justice in that. The poodle is a smart dog, one of the smartest by any gauge you care to use. Poodles learn quickly and love to show off what they know. The poodle is a friendly dog. Poodles have a sense of blissful superiority and a unyielding belief that everyone should be entitled to the pleasure of their company. They are also noble and loyal companions having the ability to comfort and cheer you when you are feeling blue. The poodle is a hardworking dog. Some poodle lovers are trying to restore the breed to its working legacy. Poodles excel in all manners of canine competitions and a few even in hunting circles. Poodles as guide dogs? That, too, has happened. They love to have a job to do; mine are the household guard dogs. But most of all, the poodle is a dog with a great sense of humor, finding joy in the simplest of things. Poodles will laugh at you, but they are really happier to laugh with you, congenial souls that they are.

The only thing better than having 'a' poodle is having two poodles. Twice the love and, in this working world of ours, companions for each other. I personally have had poodles as a part of our family for the past twelve years. Actually two toys: Bubba (a poodle named bubba?) and Baby (Bubba's baby). With snow-white coats and dark mysterious eyes they look like a couple of cuddly stuffed animals.

Yes, I definitely believe poodles have earned their place amongst the canine annuals. Perhaps, in your journey to find the perfect pet, you will consider this often mistaken breed.