Family Our home The Pets

love and the world’s most expensive labradoodle

Thanks so much, everyone, for all the loving and encouraging responses to yesterday’s post – “36 and counting: the adventure continues”. Putting everything together – blog, Facebook, Twitter, and email – the number of people sending some version of “Happy Anniversary” our way is already well into three figures.

a little help, please?

SCOUTIE!!! Today – on a much lighter note – I’m responding to a number of requests for an update on Scout Labradoodle, our nine-and-a-half year old galumphing delight of a dog. She had not been well for several months, and had not been enjoying life with her usual verve.

Long story short, Scout has suffered from allergies most of her life. The clinic in Florida never could get a handle on it, and we dealt with constant “hot spots,” hair loss, raging infections, and even respiratory distress.

Consequently, she’s been on a mixture of steroids, Benadryl, and other anti-inflammatory drugs for years.

BAD TO WORSE: Fast forward to North Carolina. For a while things were worse. Then she had comprehensive testing, went on allergy shots, and continued the various pills. We achieved a kind of stasis, but our vet was very concerned about the long-term effect of the steroid.

Eventually, in the spring, along comes a new drug on the market – Apoquel. It accomplishes much of what we liked about the steroid, but without the negative side-effects. However, just a couple of weeks later, Scout had lost her appetite, wasn’t wagging her tail, wouldn’t get up when we called her, stayed downstairs all night instead of being with her people, and could hardly walk.

Back to the vet. Examination reveals advanced arthritis in her shoulder. It could well have been there for years, but has been masked by the prednisone.

thumb_IMG_1730NEW MEDS: Plan next? Add another new medicine, this time for the arthritis – Deramaxx. Three days later I come out of the shower and  catch Scout fast asleep on our bed – somewhere she’s not allowed and hadn’t even attempted in over a year!

Now she’s playing again; she’s wagging her tail; she’s hunting and “killing” her stuffed animals; she’s stealing food from the counters; she’s running up and down the stairs; she’s asking for her supper; she’s happy with her walks. In short, Scout has her bounce back!

IMG_1364Sure, with allergy shots, a grain-free diet, two high-cost medicines, and grooming needs that go beyond the traditional bucket and hose, Scout Labradoodle is possibly the world’s most expensive dog.

But… we love her so much. And… look at that face! You know she’s worth it.



About derekmaul

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there's always something new in the works. Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida. Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

5 comments on “love and the world’s most expensive labradoodle

  1. Nancy Bates

    What we don’t do for our beloved dogs to help them have a good life. They bring us so much joy! Glad Scout is feeling like her old self again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we were first married, we had a lovely sheltie named Kal (short for Kalamazoo when Jen and I met). My parents had his sister from the same litter. She was perfectly healthy (for the first 5 or so years), but Kal had a strange skin disorder that required him to be shaved bald and receive skin treatments and special baths at the vet for 3-5 days a week for nearly a year (which also required a full day of boarding for each day of treatment). We hd been married for about 6 months, were in our early 20s, and had an appropriately-low income to match our age. The treatments were into 4-figures a month for the first several months (WELL beyond our budget), but we were not about to either a) let Kal suffer or b) take the Old Yeller approach. So, like any other red-blooded American, we accumulated credit card debt to provide him the best medical care. Luckily our vet had mercy on us after a couple of months and finished out the treatment at cost. But, I guess the whole point of this story is that I know how you feel–both the despair at the pain of your furry friend and the elation once (s)he is better! Glad to hear it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Derek,

    I hope animals – all animals – end up with us after we die. Thank you for the wonderful pictures of Scout!
    Therese Shuler

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kathy kranendonk

    Thank you Derek, for continued inspiration and joy!   Kathy


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