I've been fond of dogs since I was a boy. My parents bought their first house on Indianapolis street in Fresno back in 1962. They had been married for a few years now and I was three years old. My mother was pregnant with my middle brother Douglas. My parents bought a Dachshund named Fritz. Fritz was an older dog and quite grouchy. As a rambunctious little boy he would nip at me on occasion to let me know when to lighten up. It taught me a valuable lesson on how to treat pets and not to rough house with them. Especially if they are an older dog. My grandfather was a veterinarian so he coached me on the finer points. When we moved to the next house my parents gave Fritz to an older couple that wanted a Dachshund so it was a win win for everyone.
Muttley was the dog we all grew up with. My parents had three boys and we were spaced three years each time. I was the oldest, Douglas was the middle and David was the youngest. When David was born in 1966 my parents had the good fortune to take Muttley from my aunt and uncle. They lived in the country in Fresno and already had several dogs so they let us adopt her as our own. She was a Poodle Terrier mix and was a few years old. She had been mistreated by the previous owners which is why my aunt and uncle rescued her. Her original name was "Queenie" but my brothers and I re-named her Muttley after our favorite cartoon at the time.
Even though My brothers and I considered Muttley "our" dog, She had a special connection with our mom. She was a great companion for our mom for 16 years. Muttley was very energetic and loved to run around the backyard at top speed daring us to chase her. We taught her to sit, beg and shake. She was very loving and cuddly. Her favorite treats were carrots and milkbones. I think she was the reason I became so fond of dogs. She was an amazing dog in my life.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
First dogs for my Kids
When My kids James and Jennifer were 8 & 3 we decided to get a family dog. We were living in Sacramento at the time where Jennifer was born. We decided to get a rescue dog so we adopted "Sheba" a black Labrador. She was a very kind and gentle dog for the kids. We had a huge backyard for her to run around in. Unfortunately she had a tragic accident and passed away after only a few months. We were all devastated. I felt so bad for the kids we got another dog right away. It was an Australian Shepherd named Buddy. Buddy lived just a few miles from us so we all went to visit him and immediately fell in love with him. Somehow he kept escaping our backyard and going back to the previous owner. After several times the owner felt bad and decided to take him back
Job transfer to the Bay Area
I was doing really well at Nordstrom and received a promotion to the Bay Area where I would be working in Palo Alto. We rented a house first then bought one in Fremont California. My commute wasn't too bad just going over a bridge so we settled there. Before too long the Dog conversation came up again with James and Jennifer. We decided to get a Collie because My grandfather was so fond of them as a family dog. We went to a Collie rescue and adopted "Willie".
Willie was an ex Show dog and had dozens of ribbons to prove it. He was a stunning dog, with a gorgeous "mane". He was high maintenance in keeping him groomed so we all took turns at brushing him out. One day he was making a very raspy sound in the back yard. I called the rescue to see if there was anything I needed to do and they informed us his vocal cords were cut being a show dog. Seemed a little extreme to me and wish they would have told us before, but he was part of the family now. A few years later I found Willie lying down in the backyard panting heavily. I rushed him to the veterinarian and they told us he had liver failure and had to be put down. I felt so bad for the kids. Two tragic losses now.
Max and Lassie
My thought was to get another dog right away but this time to go through a Collie breeder. We went up to the Marin area and met with a breeder and saw the latest litter. One dog was very playful named Burton. He was a cute Tri-color like Willie and the kids fell in love with his personality. My son James was responsible for the dog and said he wanted to name him Max, So Max it was. Max was in puppy mode so he was a lot of work, plus being a Collie we had to make sure his coat was brushed out every day. He was an amazing dog though. Very protective of the kids and we all fell in love with him.
We had a smaller house in Fremont and decided to move to Dublin. We bought a nice house with a huge backyard. Jennifer thought this was her opportunity to get her own dog. After a few months we caved in and went to a different breeder that specialized in Sable Collies. We found the dog that we wanted and on the way home I asked Jennifer what she was going to name her dog. "I'm going to name her "Patricia". I said that's more of a persons name sweetie, you might as well call her "Lassie". I was joking, but Jennifer loved the idea and named her Lassie. The two were like peas and carrots together different but went well together. They made great companions for each other over the years and loved to play with each other. They both lived long happy lives.
Las Vegas, Nevada
My Job at Zappos transferred me to Las Vegas in 2005. I bought a house in June and decided to get a German Shepherd to keep me company. I named him Sydney since I've always wanted to visit Australia. My new house had a small backyard, so I built an elaborate dog house for him, Laid sod and a sprinkler system to keep the lawn green. At least he has a nice back yard even though it's small. One day I had to take a call so I left him in the backyard. The call took about 30 minutes and when I got back the backyard looked like a disaster area. He tore up all the sod I laid and The sprinklers were all mangled with water shooting up in the air. It was almost funny. Key word almost...My poor back had to fix this now so I did. About a week later same thing happened. Truth was he needed a bigger yard to play in or someone to supervise him constantly. I was super busy at work so not a good combination for us. I found a nice home for him with a huge back yard and an amazing new owner. I gave the guy the doghouse too.
Two months later my 17 yr old son James moved in with me. I was travelling a lot and James was alone a lot while I was gone, so I got a dog to keep him company. We decided on a Pug puppy. At the breeder he was the puppy that was the most energetic and kept looking at us with his big blue eyes.
Soon after we brought him home had to leave for a trip to China and during my trip, James texted me saying he decided on the name Gonzo because he was moving around like a little crazy doggy and made him laugh a lot. Gonzo it was. He has a comical little doggy, he snorted and breathed heavy alot especially when he'd run around. When we would take him on walks sometimes he'd just stop so I'd have to carry him home. Overall he was a good little doggy.
Fast forward to 2020. I had been working from home because of the pandemic. I missed having a dog, so the conversation kept coming up between Linda and I. “I’m ready” I told her. But she wanted to wait. She had done such an amazing job as an interior designer for our house we wanted to make sure of the right breed for our needs. We considered a few different breeds, but the Poodle kept circling back. Was it because of Muttley?
I did some research and found a breeder in Las Vegas named Mystical Poodles. I called the breeder Marie, and she was amazing to work with. I also was talking to some other breeders out of town, but we would have to figure out transportation. Marie mentioned she had a litter coming up in November of Mini Poodles and would keep in touch with us.
After careful consideration we decided to put a down payment down to secure one from the litter. We wanted a chocolate one. November 30, 2020, Teddy was born but we hadn’t agreed yet that would be his name. We could have him in 8 weeks, so the name game was going on in our household. We wanted a more Teddy bear look so Teddy was the name we landed on. He has been such a positive light in my life.
Teddy came into our home January 2021. He was 8 weeks old and such a tiny little guy. We had decided we were going to let his face grow out to have a more "teddy bear" look, which is why we named him "Teddy"
People say having a dog can extend your life, I believe that to be true now. Stress is a killer and dogs have a way to soothe your soul. Unconditional love. Teddy has been great for me. This last year has been ultra-stressful, but my buddy is always there to put a smile on my face or calm me down with a wet nose. Our walks together are soothing, and he always looks back at me and gives me a smile (at least I think it’s a smile).
The reason why I’m starting the blog this way is to give background to my passion for dogs. I think it’s great to be able to do something you are passionate about.
After several months of testing different items on Etsy I decided to build my own shop with the Doggy Daddy name since I have a trademark in the works. Doggy Daddy is also an affectionate name Linda calls me. I built an initial site and just recently gave it a new look since I'm getting pretty good at the interface. Making different designs and putting all the content can be a lot initially so it’s been an 8-hour day easy to get things started.
Teddy and I have our routine now, so every few hours I’ll take Teddy outside to do his thing, throw the ball around and sometimes take a walk. It’s good to take a break and get outside too.
I love making products for Dog lovers. Most are super passionate about their dogs like me and it makes them so happy. I love doing this and am lucky to be able to spend part of my days doing something I'm passionate about. I hope it shows in my product and in my service to the customers.
We have over 90 different breeds to choose from now and growing. I just added puppy mugs and have a lot more to add there too. The collection will continue to grow in other categories as well. Join the email list to be notified of new styles. Here are a few samples of the Puppy mugs we just added:
Doggy Daddy is now Open blog 1