Labradoodle is the star of Volume 5’s Spot The Difference Puzzle
Putting together the Activity Pages for each Volume of Mirador is tremendous fun. In Volume 5: River and Stone, we featured a dog as the star of the show for the first time. And, as far as dog models go, we couldn’t have found a better sport than Simon.
Our photo shoot took place on a relatively mild Portland, Oregon day. It was a little overcast which was perfect for taking pictures. We met up with one of Simon’s pet parents, Kathryn, and made our way to the shoreline of Portland, Oregon’s Willamette River with a box of toys, hats and other clothing to adorn this very cute dog.
I’ve known Simon for a little over a year. He lives down the street and I see him frequently as he and Kathryn go on daily walks to a nearby park. One of the things that has always struck me about Simon is what an incredibly mellow dog he is. When the neighbors get together for a chat, he just stands there, patiently, waiting for his walk to resume. He doesn’t even walk with a leash!
Simon displayed this same mellowness during our photo shoot. We put different hats on him, a couple of bandannas, we changed out coats and all the while he just stood in the same spot while we got him dressed. It was really something. So, I wanted to ask Kathryn a few questions about Simon and thought I would share them with all of you.
First off, Simon is 9 years old (he turns 10 on August 3rd) and he’s been in Kathryn’s home since he was just a wee puppy (yes, that’s him). According to Kathryn, he’s always been a very calm dog, even as a puppy. He didn’t do a lot of jumping on people or pulling on the leash. Kathryn attributes some of this to his Labradoodle breed. But, she also gives credit to Niko, an 8-year old cat who helped “raise” Simon. “They loved each other,” Kathryn said.
There is one area, however, that does test Simon’s gentle demeanor: the yard – front or back. Those are Simon’s domains and he keeps a constant watch to make sure nothing – person, squirrel, bug or bird, crosses into his territory.
That watchfulness is one of the only truly dog things about Simon. “He doesn’t think he’s a dog,” Kathryn says. He doesn’t do zoomies in the park with other dogs and he doesn’t play fetch. Most, surprisingly to Kathryn is that he doesn’t like to swim. “Hates it,” she says, “He must have more Poodle than Labrador in him.”
He does love his chew toys, and one in particular that they call his “baby.” “It is actually one of those stuffed neck pillows you warm up and put around your neck,” Kathryn says. “It looks like a cat. He loves it. He’ll jump up on the bed, put his paws around it and just chew it and knead it. It’s the cutest thing.” Maybe he’s trying to conjure his old friend, Niko?
Back at the photo shoot, Kathryn changes out Simon’s costumes and I snap pictures as quickly as I can. All the while Simon stays incredibly calm, even as we decide to try putting sunglasses on him. “Do you think he’ll be okay with this?” I ask. “I think so!” Kathryn says.
Simon even kept his cool as some bad dogs walk by and come over to sniff at his toys. One dog even takes one of the props and trots off with it while Simon remains quietly sitting. When Kathryn returns with the stolen stuffy I say I can’t believe Simon just sat though all of that. “He’s just a really good boy,” she says.