I’m Mocha, a 6 1/2-year-old 7th generation authentic Australian Labradoodle! I was adopted by Mark and Susan in January 2015 from Lewis Manor Labradoodles in Williamstown, New York. After a very long car ride, I arrived at my new home in Stow, Massachusetts during the first of many blizzards that winter. I was so small that my humans had to make luge runs for me to navigate my own backyard in the towering snow.
When the snow finally melted that spring, I discovered a brave, new, green world of all kinds of scents and sounds! That’s when I became a little too inquisitive and a bit mischievous. My humans tried to train me, but I usually got the best of them.
Boy was I full of energy. Mark and Susan usually took me out for 2 hour-long walks each day. I usually had more luck getting Mark out of the house and exploring conservation lands nearby. We became fast friends!
Here’s a perfect example about how I outsmarted Mark and Susan when I was young. My first day at the groomers, I was trying to comply but was not happy. I’m not a foo-foo type of guy, and going to the groomer is not exactly my thing. After returning from three hours at the groomer, I was so excited to be home, knowing I could finally go out, so Mark took me to the woods. It was hot, really hot, even in my new, much shorter fur coat. I spotted an oasis – a huge, irresistible mud hole! I went for it, plopping my freshly-groomed self into that cool, delightfully gloppy mud. Ahhh! Now that’s my kind of spa! Don’t I look handsome?
Last winter, I was far out in the woods with Susan when a flock of geese landed on thin ice on a frozen pond. I bolted after them. It had always been so much fun chasing geese, watching them flap their wings noisily to escape. I was really intimidating! But this time was different. I suddenly found myself up to my neck in freezing cold water, surrounded by cracking ice with no way out. Fortunately, Susan saw the tip of my head and panicked expression, and she came to my rescue. Close call there!
Here’s my “Mom,” Susan, who grooms me every day to make sure that those nasty ticks don’t get me.
I’m now much more mature, and this is me on the far left trying to set a good example to my canine cousins and extended human family. I love being the oldest and, obviously, the most mature one of the pack!
I’ve recently been experimenting with relaxation techniques, not that I haven’t been “chill” forever. My real expertise is as a world class snuggler. I can make myself right at home on someone’s lap for hours. I’m getting really good at meditating with Mark, who calls me an adorable meditation partner. And I love yoga! Susan is a pretzel when it comes to yoga, but I have only been able to perfect downward and upward-facing dog. Thanks to my perseverance, I now have my own mat. That makes me an official yogi!
When Mark first got neuropathy, and it hurt his legs, our walks went from 3-8 miles down and down and down. Eventually, we could no longer go more than a mile on a trail. Then nothing. Mark was sad that we couldn’t go out. Then a wheelchair arrived that he could take on roads and even back into the woods! One brush with that chair and I learned to keep my distance. I also realized that Mark needed me, so I stopped running away to chase deer and other animals.
Ever since Mark’s neuropathy has taken a turn for the worse, I spend most of my time right by his side. I am now a working dog when I am with Mark, and I love my new role.
When Mark came up with the idea of the Roll/Stroll, he realized that I wasn’t in top shape, so we went into training. We go all over, sometimes as much as 10 miles a day! I love all of the new smells. I have even learned to walk off leash and stay right by his side, sitting of course, if a car comes our way.
You can now find us meandering the back roads around Stow nearly every day, training for our Roll/Stroll. If you see us rolling and strolling around, don’t be shy I’m always up for a pat and a snuggle!