“Klaas”/ Lucienne Fernhout

 In the first place I’m much honored that Curtis allows me to tell something about myself and my life with Klaas (my baby Labradoodle) on his website. I really should say Klaas and I, but in puppy-class here in The Netherlands I have been taught that I come in the first place and Klaas follows! For dogs that is apparently the right ranking order in the group. As we, Klaas and I, are a group of 2, it’s me coming in the first place!!!! I am absolutely delighted just by the idea!!!! (Which doesn’t mean it works!)

    My name is Lucienne Fernhout, I have the Dutch nationality and I am living in The Hague in The Netherlands. Due to the fact I’m disabled by a spinal cord injury since I was 22 years old, I have to move around in a wheelchair. I am 66 years old and the proud mother of two sons, Frederik 40 and Roeland 36 years old, and recently the mother of a new baby (dog) Klaas, now 13 weeks old! (Pronounce “Class” in American-English), and Klaas, class he is!!!!
I have had many dogs during my live and my previous dog “Daantje”, a Tibetan terrier, died last May 2, 2008. She reached the age of 13. Of course my kids also were very sad too that Daantje had passed away. As they know I cannot live without a dog, my youngest son came by and told me:” Mom, you have to count on the fact I’m going to “throw” a new dog over the fence of your garden one of these days! And I also know what kind of dog that’s going to be, a “Labradoodle!”
    Of course I started laughing, because I had never heard of the word “Labradoodle” before. But he assured me it was no joke and I had to search on internet to get information about the breed. And so I did.
    By reading about all the qualities of this breed I was very much interested and through internet I ended on the “Dutch Doodle” site, owned by Petra Visser, who appeared to be a future Labradoodle breeder in The Netherlands. She got her male breeding dog from Curtis Rist in the U.S. As Petra’s dog was not ready yet to get puppies in a short time she suggested she was going to try if Curtis might have puppies available. And then the circus started!!!!! Curtis had puppies available!
    Pictures were being sent and this was my first meeting with my future dog. 
    I was going to call him “Klaas”. From the first moment on I knew he was going to be my Klaas!!! And so it happened. Klaas was sent to Holland from the U.S. and he arrived June 28th 2008 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Meeting together it really was “Love at first sight”!
    Klaas travelled with 3 more puppies form Curtis and he was the first one to jump out of the bench. Ready to go!!! Ready for his new life with me!
I took him on my lap, I got kisses all over me and that was it: we belonged to each other from that moment on! Both of us being totally happy.
    As I write, Klaas and I are together for almost 4 weeks now and things haven’t been changed except Klaas has almost tripled his size! And he put on “some” weight too! He is 11 kilograms now, which is like 25 American pounds. He is the joy of my life. Although I must say I’m not used to have babies around me anymore and it’s a sort of tiring during daytime. During the night though he is behaving like an angel, sleeps all through the night and gives me the chance to recover for a new day of activities.
    I take Klaas out for walks (If the Dutch rainy weather allows me) and I found some device to connect him to my wheelchair to keep him close to me when necessary He is free as much as possible and whenever I call him he is running back to me as fast as possible. To be short: Klaas is a super pup!!
And very naughty too, which I like!!
    The weather in Holland has been very bad for the past week, it was pouring with rain and the sky grey and dark. (The Dutch always like to complain about the weather! I like to call it TD, Typical Dutch!!) Remember the “TD” because I think it will occur more often in this journal.
    So Klaas’s life was full of raining and pouring, his Love-life was boring!!
    But that’s not very surprising, as Klaas has been de-sexed before he was 3 months old! (He will not even notice it! Although the vet in Holland did when he examined Klaas and he was very surprised!)
    Actually I am very happy with that fact in 2 ways:

     I don’t have to worry about “sudden events and effects” with female encounters.
     The Australian Labradoodle breed will be protected this way and we don’t have to worry about an inferior breed coming along.

     Thanks goodness the sun came out again and the temperature is wonderful.
     Finally time again to take Klaas for an outing in the park. Klaas had his first “swim” and he loved it. He was jumping around in a puddle together with a one month older Labrador pup that was showing off his “experience” due to his previous water ballet acts. I’m sure this is not going to be the last time for swimming and I am going to put a stack of towels in my car, just in case….
    Today we went to the puppy-class again for the fourth time. Klaas acting like the brightest kid in the classroom of course and behaving like Prince Charming to the owners of the other puppies. He gets a lot of attention and he loves every minute of it. But I have to admit: he IS adorable! After class the pups (and also the more advanced pupils) are allowed to play together so that’s what they did!! Running around like crazy, stumbling over each other, chasing each other, hanging on ears and tails. “Mothers and Fathers” looking with pride upon their little ones.
    Being home now, Klaas is flat out and probably there are not going to be more activities for today. No more digging!!
    Klaas appears to be a sport fan! A couple of days ago he started digging “a tunnel all the way to China”! Well….who doesn’t want to attend the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games!?! I am not sure if Klaas is going to make it before August 8th 2008 at 8 past 8 pm. But… you never know!!! 

    I love my Yankee Doodle!!!!!