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A Poodle Prince

All About "Baby Yoto"

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-26 at 20.06_edited.jpg

Say "Hello" To Prince

Born: 21/11/2020. Star Sign: Scorpio

This is Prince. When I chose his name, I didn't consider that he might end up thinking he was royalty but that's what I got. His name was not, as I have sometimes said, after Prince Rogers Nelson, but in fact after Yoto - when, years before, my friend Sandra had called Yoto "such a prince", it had stayed with me.

Prince is very confident and curious, and the only thing he worries about is whether or not he's getting a fair deal. He has a great talent and enthusiasm for communicating his thoughts and feelings, through a range of vocalisations and gestures, and these advanced communication skills are predominantly used to ask for shit or to complain about whatever. 


The 42lb Lap Dog

Deep Pressure Therapy

Despite being a fully grown adult standard poodle (though a small one at that), Prince likes to be made to feel like he is still a fragile little puppy that is finding his feet. He likes to be picked up and held and, when the mood takes him - or if he notices that I am distressed - he will often ask to sit in my lap, where he will usually make himself comfortable before taking a nap.


No doubt a sign of high intelligence, he has always also been prone to feigning helplessness, which can manifest in him asking me to get something for him that could otherwise be reached - albeit with a little effort - and, when he is not carried to bed, he will usually rest his chin on the mattress and cry to be lifted up. I confess that when he does this, I often acquiesce to his request because I find it endearing - despite being fully aware that if I ignore him for long enough he will give up and jump on without difficulty.


Princely Manners

Entitled but obedient

Raising Prince has been a learning curve, and while he may like to occasionally grumble or try to manipulate me into babying him, at aged 2, he is well trained. In fact, despite his youth, he is often more obedient than Yoto. He has a playful energy but I am frequently told how calm he is compared to other dogs - likely because I ignore him most of the time.


Like all princes, however, before he learned his place in the world, this Prince too was very entitled and thought himself to be the very centre of the universe. When he probed to test the limits of what he could get away with, he needed to be corrected and taught where the boundaries were.


Having Yoto has helped him a great deal - and, although Yoto sometimes gets more attention on account of him being less emotionally secure, when Prince wants in on the action, he is forward enough to come and nudge my hand forcefully with his nose to insist that I pet him too.


Brotherly Love

Prince's relationship with Yoto

On the topic of how Yoto and Prince's relationship has developed and evolved over time, I plan to write a separate post, as I feel it is worthy of a greater level of documentation and analysis. 

It brings me great joy to see how Prince's influence on Yoto has made him more youthful, exuberant and playful and how Yoto's influence on Prince has made him more restrained and mature.

Things haven't always been this way, though. In the beginning, as they were initiating and establishing some sort of dynamic, there were moments of grumpiness, jealousy and annoyance.

There's never been any degree of aggression between them but the moment that Yoto realised that Prince was my dog, and not just a stranger in the park, his mood changed from being very friendly to being rather crabby and a bit of a grouch.


Over time, this grumpiness ebbed away, and it was instead replaced by a deep and loving, and protective, bond between them. Yoto happens to be in a phase of his life now where he doesn't have much interest in playing with other dogs but he will goad Prince into playing every day, multiple times during each walk, regardless of the hour.

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