For this week's "Folks of Letterfolk" we had the chance to talk to one of our favorite dogs on Instagram, Mabel. Her Instagram account has generated a huge following and it is easy to see why. Mabel has several siblings that make frequent appearances on the account, and it's true there is no such thing as too many dogs.
To start off, tell us about yourself, Mabel.
My name is Mabel and I am a *small* Medium Australian Labradoodle who lives on the beautiful Central Coast of California with my Mama and my foster sibs! I am a year a half and have the cutest curly chocolate coat which makes Mama call me her Chocolate Luv Muffin (I know, I know, it's embarrassing, but I love that gal so whatcha gonna do?). I am a loving and sometimes derpy doodle. Mama says I have two sides because I love me some sleep (who doesn't?!) and can sleep in until 11 o'clock if Mama lets me, but then as soon as we get outside, I am ready and rearing to go and my tail doesn't stop waggling!
How did you become part of the family?
Mama got me when I was 12 weeks old (a little older than people normally get a new pupper). Apparently she had just bought a house so she could get a dog (duh!) and was visiting my first home to find out a bit more about the breeders and see if there were going to be any litters coming up that had the kind of pup she wanted. She was expecting to have to wait a few months before there would be more pups but...lo and behold, she met me! I had to wait a whole 3 weeks after meeting Mama to finally be able to go home with her, but the wait was totally worth it!
What are your favorite activities?
My absolute favorite thing to do is to go to the beach and chase the birds through the water!!! I feel like I'm flying with them because I'm a true speed demon! Mama said that she used to hate going to the beach because that darn sand just gets everywhere! Now it's her favorite place to be. Wanna know why? She says that seeing how happy I get at the beach is contagious and can turn her worst days around because she loves seeing me wild and free. I love that! Also, Mama does this really cool magic trick where she makes the sand fly through the air with her feet and I get to jump up and do back flips trying to catch it! It's super fun! You all should go try it out!
How did Mabel's mom become involved in being a foster parent to so many of these precious dogs?
I was just 4 little months old (still going through my flat head stage...also embarrassing) when Mama brought home my first foster sibling! Mama said that she happened to be in the right place at the right time to see the post on Facebook (whatever that is) in the group for people who own Brasken Labradoodles saying that they were looking for someone to foster one of their pups for them! If she hadn't been wasting away her time on the Internet and had been playing ball with me like I was asking, I would never have gotten to have all my fun sibs! Funny how that works. Mama says that the best part about what fostering has brought into our lives is not only the amazing puppers we've gotten to raise, but also that she now is friends with the breeders and their family and is even going to start working for them soon!!! How cool is that?!
So far, Mama and I have gotten to foster 8 adorably sweet little pup-pups in the last year plus a few months! Each of them have been so sweet and I love getting to teach them all my tricks and watch their little personalities grow! Here's a little bit about each of my siblings!
Molly: Sib #1 (28 days with us)
Mollly, my first sister, came on a pretty epic day! My bestie, Amigo aka Migs, and I were having a sleepover! Mama and her friend took Migs and I to this amazing place called the beach (for my first ever time!) I was instantly in love (although that whole giant body of moving water thing took me a little while to get used to). After spending a few hours romping around with all our doodle cousins, Migs and I settled in for post beach bath induced afternoon nap. When we woke up, guess who was with Mama?!! My first sister!!! I was soo stoked and Migs and I did our best job welcoming Molly to her new temporary home (yes, lots of butt sniffing was involved). Best. Sleepover. Ever! And the cool thing about Molly, is that she ended up getting to live with her Doggie Mama which made having to say goodbye a little easier because I was so happy for that reunion.
Poppy: Sib #2 (44 days with us)
Poppy's story is pretty cool! Mama's friend (Amigo's Mama) was in and out of the hospital a lot around the time that we got Poppy. Mama was watching Migs (yay for more sleepovers!) so whenever Mama was off of work she would take Migs, Poppy, and Me to the hospital to visit Amigo's Mama (Amigo is a service dog for his mama, I was an ESA dog at the time and am currently training to be Mama's Service Dog, and we got approval to have Poppy in the hospital)! Mama's friend loved getting to get puppy snuggles from all of us and said that we made her feel so much better. She even called me a pro snuggler because I would jump right up onto her hospital bed and snuggle in! The nurses loved having us there so much that one of the nurse actually became Poppy's new Mama!!!
Prince: Sib #3 (21 days with us)
Mama said that the plan with Prince was that he was going to stay with us for a loooong time (about 6 months) but he actually ended up being the sib that I had for the shortest amount of time. The cool thing with that was that even though he didn't get to live with us for very long, he's been staying with Mama's friend for the last 4 months and I get to play with him every time I got to work with Mama! Funny thing is that Prince has actually had 3 names in his life and they all kinda go together so we joke that his name is Prince Harry Junior!
Rue: Sib #4 (112 days with us)
Rue-Rue was the first pup Mama got to name! She was my training buddy (Rue's favorite trick was "bow" and boy was there nothing cuter than her sticking her little puppy bootie up into the air!) and the first sib who got to not only go to the beach with me, but also got to join me for our first ever camping trip! We spent our days rolling in the dirt (good thing we are chocolate doods!), bouncing through meadows of tall grass like bunnies, splashing in the river, and fishing (which was Rue's favorite part)! Mama even got Rue to kiss a fish!!
Melody: Sib #5 (49 days with us)
Melody was the first sister of mine who got to join Mama and me at work (because Mama made the amazing choice of adding a second job working at a dog trainers which meant that we got to come and play with all her doggie friends!). Mama got to practice all her new skills on Melly and me and we got to meet and play with around 40 days a few times a week! It was the best! Melody also got to go live with her Doggie Mama and is training to be a therapy dog just like her Doggie Mama!
Oakley: Sib #6 (189 + days with us)
Oakley is just the coolest! Not only is she one of my foster sibs, but she's my actual real life baby sister too! We have the same exact Doggie parents which doesn't happen too often for doggos. I am soo glad that Oakers is the pup that we've gotten to have for furrever! I mean, she does have a home to go to, but we get to keep her until April which will make it almost 7 months that I've gotten to live with my baby sister. It's been so hard for Mama to not keep Oakley, but apparently she made a deal with herself when she started fostering that she wouldn't keep any pups just yet so that she could keep fostering. I get it, but Oakley is my last full sister ever...I'm gonna keep pushing for it!
Symphony: Sib #7 (72 days with us)
Mama like to call Symphony Symmy Moo Moo (or Sym/Symmy for short). Symphony was the first pup that Mama knew her Doggie Mama, Bella, well and Mama claims Symmy is a perfect mini me to her Doggie Mama (other than that Bella is Chocolate and Sym is Cream). When Symmy came to live with us, Mama still had Melody AND Oakley which meant that I had 3 foster sisters at once! It was a constant doodle party at our house! And the best part was that it was Halloween time and there were enough of us to dress up as Goldilocks and the Three Bears!!! It was pretty epic!
Harper: Sib #8 (49 days and counting)
Harper has earned the title of Princess WiggleButt. Her absolute favorite thing to do is grab a toy like it is her prize and walk around with her booty waggling like she is stoked out of her mind to have found that the best toy in the world! She likes to bring the toy around to each of us to let us know just how proud she is! We also got to take care of Harper's sister, Juniper, for one week! Twins are hard!
How do you and your friends pose so well for photos? You must know you have a huge Instagram following!
The first key is that Mama works on teaching the little puppers how to sit still long enough to snap a picture (and longer as they learn to control their excitement) from the very first day! The best way she found to do this is by teaching them to "sit" and "wait" before they are allowed to get their meals! They next key is that I will ALWAYS look when I hear the jingle of my favoritest toy, my laser! The pups usually always look if Mama squeaks a toy or has a treat (but when they're little that can sometimes excite them out of their stays!).
What are some of your quirks and personality traits?
My funniest quirk that always makes Mama (and anyone else around) laugh is that I am OBSESSED with shadows and shining lights. I love them so much and just can't understand why I can never catch them! Inside I love it when Mama busts out the laser toy or uses the sun off of her phone to make this magical light dance all over the house. Outside, my favorite shadows are from bugs (especially butterflies) and I also really love to chase the shadow of a ball which works out perfectly because my friends get to chase the ball and I go after it's shadow! Mama says my tail wags the whole time I'm outside on a sunny day because I'm as happy as can be shadow hunting!
How can some of our fellow dog lovers reading this get involved with foster care?
Our foster care situation is kind of different than a normal pet fostering situation because we foster through Mama's friends who are Labradoodle breeders and normal fostering is through an animal shelter. Mama loves going to the shelter near us and often brings her human clients there to love up on all the pooches and kittens. Although our fostering isn't the traditional fostering that people think of with shelters, Mama chose to use the term fostering with my sibs because that's what we're doing, temporarily taking care of these puppers that aren't ours. We still have to go through the hard part of adjusting to new sibs coming in and the really hard part of saying goodbye but still being happy knowing that they found their furever home. If people want to get into fostering, they can look into how they can help out at their local shelters. If people are interested in taking care of doodles like Mama and I do, often breeders look for Guardian homes (the kind of homes all my siblings go into) and they can ask their local breeders if they have any Guardian opportunities.
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