My daughters loved Kinder Eggs when they were younger. Not for the chocolate. Truth be told, the chocolate’s rather a disappointment – thin, sheer and somewhat tasteless. Not for the wrapping. That came off in seconds. No, they loved Kinder Eggs for the mystery present contained within the hollow chocolate orb. A bit like a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal gift or a scratch card or a lucky dip at a country fete.
Kinder surprise within (revolving floor.com)
Cockapoos hold the same surprises in their genes. Take as long as you will to choose one, there’s no telling what that tiny puppy will grow up to look like.
Because Poodles come as Standard, Miniature and Toy and in reds, apricots, greys, blacks and whites, variation is compulsory. Add to this heady mix, the panoply of Cocker Spaniel sub breeds and colour charts, the choice is almost limitless. American, Working and Show Cockers all have their individual traits to consider and then the fur! Golden, red, black, white(ish), chocolate and remember the roans – champagne/lemon, blue, chocolate………………
Forget the F’s at your peril. F1’s – Poodle/ Cocker; F1b’s- F1/ Poodle (or rarely Cocker); F2’s – F1/ F1. I guess this numbering system is destined to expand.
Oh my, where oh where to begin?
I began reading all the online sites I could find, looking at, before and after, images of Cockapoos and trawling the net for a breeder I could trust and whose pups and parents looked simply wonderful.
The litter I set my heart on was at the far end of the country.
No matter. What’s a round viewing trip of eight hours plus if the newest family edition happens to reside there?
Another viewing was booked for 10.00am.
No matter. What’s leaving London in the 4.30 pitch dark if it ensures first choice?
All three boys were divine.
No matter. I’ll take all three. Only kidding! But it is fair to say that my interest in this litter was piqued by Boy 1 and Boy 3 (both reds). I chose Boy 2 (a golden) because he fought the hardest for me and his little tail didn’t stop wagging through the hour and a half that I struggled to make my mind up.
even went to sleep on my lap (Lyle and me)
“How big will he get?” I asked Amy, his breeder.
“It’s hard to tell,” she said. “You can get an idea from Dorris and Oscar.” Mum and Dad were both there to meet and greet.
“Will he stay this colour? I asked Amy.
“It’s hard to say,” she told me. “Cockers tend to go darker, Poodles lighter.”
“Are Cockapoos food driven?”
“It varies,” Amy replied. “I don’t think you’ve got any problem with this one’s appetite.”
She’s not wrong.
Lyle is changing, growing, fluffing up. His top knot has all but vanished. The white tip of his tail still very much in evidence. He looks like a multi faceted 60’s shag pile rug and he has grown.
poser (Lyle and me)
centerfold (Lyle and me)
And of course he is still growing.
big enough for a collar (Lyle and me)
Very fast indeed.
I have no idea how big he will get. I have no real idea the colour his coat will eventually turn out or how curly. How much he will shed or what the annual bill at the groomers is likely to be. High, I expect.
Lyle’s a Kinder Egg I have yet to break open. He’s fifteen weeks old and hatching before my doting eyes.