The Poodle in the Basket: The Story of Leko
Little Leko celebrates his 5th birthday today! It seems like yesterday when we brought him home and embarked on our new adventure as puppy parents. It’s kind of a neat and inspiring story how Leko came to live with us, especially for those allergy sufferers with symptoms so severe it prevents them from having pets.
My husband suffers from allergies so bad that he can’t be around animals for any length of time. Cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, you name it and within minutes of exposure the sneezing, watery and itchy eyes begin and he is a miserable mess. He longed to have a dog, and felt badly when he was younger that he was the reason his family couldn’t have one. Some say after a while you will build up an immunity to the allergy, but after years of treatments, medications and shots, his doctor told him it was hopeless.
After meeting the sweetest little toy poodle at my sister-in-law’s house, I did some research on hypoallergenic dog breeds. They can be a great option for allergy sufferers, although no dog is 100% non-allergy as some people are allergic to their saliva rather than the dander.
Mike enlightened me on a story where he spent time with a friend’s dog, which happened to be a white poodle, and was amazed at how it didn’t affect his allergies at all. We did some research on poodles, and after much discussion, decided to see if maybe it could be an option for us.
Before we could commit to anything, we needed to be 100% sure Mike would be ok by exposing him to a home with just poodles. We contacted a local breeder and arranged a time to meet some poodles.
The big day came and it was the ultimate test for Mike… there were poodles EVERYWHERE! We were greeted by an entire pack of them, wagging their tails and yipping with excitement. After an hour of playing, Mike was amazed and said, “I can’t believe I’m fine!” as he sat with poodles on his lap and more surrounding him on the couch.
The breeder told us that two females were going to give birth in a few weeks, and that he had two unspoken for that were barely a week old. That’s when we first saw him, the little puppy that would soon become our little buddy, Leko! He was from a litter of just two, and was cuddled up in a basket with his little white sister. The smallest little puppies we’ve ever seen!
We were too excited to wait for the other litters to be born just to see what other colors there would be. I called up the breeder days after our meet and said that we would be taking the little black boy! We were beyond excited! Both Mike and I love everything to do with beaches, and agreed a Hawaiian name would be very fitting for our little guy. We researched the internet for the perfect name, and found “leko” in Hawaiian means “buddy”…. Perfect!
We got to visit Leko twice before we took him home. At three weeks, he just slept in my arms and occasionally would open his eyes, which were a bright blue at the time. When he was five weeks, our last visit before bringing him home 2 weeks later, he was giving lots of kisses! I sat with him on the couch, and he turned himself over on my lap so he was looking up at me upside down, asking for his first belly rub.
Leko has been an absolute joy to have in our lives. We are certainly blessed, and he is more than we could have ever hoped or wished for in a dog. I hope that this story gives others hope that despite allergies they may suffer, they too can experience the love and joy of having their own dog!
Happy birthday little buddy!