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All About Yoto

The Original Poodle

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Say "Hello" to Yoto

Born: 21/12/2015 Star Sign: Saggitarius

This is Yoto, and he is in love with me. That's okay because he's not my biological son - I only adopted him when he was 6 years old. 

 

He is very sociable but not overly confident, and he sometimes needs a lot of reassurance. He's a worrier by nature, but we're making progress on that.

 

Yoto can always pinpoint whatever you're feeling, and will give you affection or try and make you laugh if you're not doing okay. I would describe him as an old soul, and I'm in love with him too. 

How I Met Yoto

Summer 2019

In August 2019, romance had just entered my life. I was embarking on a new relationship with a guy and we were still in the getting-to-know-you phase. On our third or fourth date, I walked him home after we'd been for dinner and he asked me if I wanted to come up and meet his dog.

Until then, I'd spent time with many dogs belonging to friends and family members, but in adulthood I'd never found one that I found greatly likeable or particularly interesting. That was, of course, until I met Yoto. However, when the guy brought him out and we took the elevator back down together, my first reaction was pure terror.

It's not that I was afraid of dogs, aside from aggressive ones that are badly trained. No, it's just that when Yoto is very happy to see you, he'll snap at the air in a camp sort of way as he approaches, and will then grab your hands with his mouth. While my ex reassured me that he wouldn't bite, at first I was not convinced.

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Hugs from Yoto

A Love Affair That Lasted

How I Came To Adopt Yoto

Within weeks of meeting, Yoto and I had formed a deep bond  - and both circumstance and careful negotiation have allowed us to remain in one another's lives. Although the relationship with his previous caretaker didn't stand the test of time, things remained good between us and I continued to be a prominent figure in Yoto's life as my ex and I shared the responsibility of taking care of him.

Over the two year period that followed the breakup, however, it became increasingly clear that my ex boyfriend's travel schedule and time limitations were too big an obstacle for him to give Yoto the care he deserved. In addition, since our split, Yoto had developed intense separation anxiety that worsened over time, to the point that he would howl and wail from the moment that the door closed. In the end, it had reached the point where even dog sitters weren't an option as he would be inconsolable even when left with long time friends.

In light of the combined weight of these pressures, in March 2022, my ex and I decided that it would be for the best if I become Yoto's primary caretaker and legal guardian. While this was tough to start with because of the separation anxiety, we made it work and, after many months of hard work (and with the help of a great dog trainer and several friends), Yoto now feels safe and secure enough to be left home alone - at least at my place, while he is with Prince.

A Waterdog In Name Only

Yoto's Fear Of Water

So the story goes, when my ex purchased Yoto from the breeder, he was sold as a pedigree standard poodle, during a time when only a pedigree could command the price he paid. It later transpired, however, that he is a mix - part poodle, part Portuguese Water Dog. How the deception was uncovered, I don't know, but his bone structure, along with his white crest, seem to support the theory that he's actually a mongrel - though you should never say such a thing to his face. 

Despite having webbed toes and being the combination of two different types of waterdog, Yoto is not a natural swimmer. In fact, attempts at swimming look more like drowning with comedic effect, and so naturally he is afraid of deep water. For this reason, when we go to the lake on hot summer days and he needs help cooling off so he doesn't overheat, I carry him into the water so that he feels safe. While in my arms in the cool water, his face is the picture of pure bliss.

My intention within the next year or so is to gradually help him build his confidence enough for him to be able to learn to swim. In my opinion, it's just a matter of being relaxed enough so that he doesn't overthink it. This way, if in future he develops arthritis (as almost all large breed dogs do in their twilight years), I will be able to take him for hydrotherapy, to help slow the progression.

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Yoto's Very Brave
Attempt At Swimming

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