This is the tale of Shrek and Fiona. No, not really, but quite similar! Shrek, in this case, is my cockapoo, Boscoe, and I am Princess Fiona. Only thirty years older and somewhat less attractive than the movie version!

This is the photograph of Boscoe, as he appeared in an advert online.

Should say: Cute, cuddly kind of guy seeks older lady to love, cherish and spoil him!

He looked so cute, cuddly and friendly -just exactly the kind of dog I was looking for. He was looking for a good home and I figured we would be able to help each other out. We were about to lose our puppy foster that we were walking for Canadian Guide Dogs and he would fill a doggy space very nicely, thank you.

I replied to the ad and asked the owner a few relevant questions. She told me that it was her sons dog and that she had put an ad in because she felt sorry for the dog, who was locked up in an apartment all day and hardly ever got to do anything other than wait anxiously for him to come home. I asked what breed he was and she told me he was a cockapoo. Never heard of them, I said, but it sounds like a lovely combination, and I told her that we would send our details for her to consider us.

I e mailed our details ,but heard nothing in response. I was disappointed and decided to phone. I thought we were pretty good prospects as I had done fostering for a rescue in Montreal and Canadian Guide Dogs, and was able to supply good references. We had our own home and large garden, and a fenced in smaller yard especially for dogs.

When the lady answered her phone she told me that her son did not want to part with the dog, and she couldn’t persuade him otherwise. I was so disappointed and I could not get him out of my mind, so I began to check out other adverts. I couldn’t find the right dog for us.

A few days later I was in the car driving to a dog park when my phone rang. I pulled over and answered. It was the lady telling me that her son had decided to come visit us that day, bring the dog and check us out. So excited! I raced home to do a quick tidy and make some cookies.

A couple of hours later a car came into our driveway and I went to investigate. I couldn’t keep the smile of my face as I anticipated puppy licks from the gorgeous boy in the advert.

I tried to open the car door, and was met by a snarling, spitting, almost hairless, ugly little dog. I thought it was the wrong dog. How disappointed was I! Nothing could be further removed from that photo than this train crash of a dog!!! However, I decided to go along with things and invited owner and dog inside.

Once inside, the dog did everything in his power to prove how awful he could be. He growled and bared his teeth at the puppy, tried to bite my husband when he brought a cup of tea to the owner, piddled on the floor and then ran out of the door, across a busy road into a neighbors garden when his owner went to collect something from his car. No amount of coaxing by anyone would entice him back until, finally, the neighbor managed to corner him long enough for his owner to leash him! By then I had decided he was too much for me, especially since we had lots of people coming and going and I didn’t want to risk having them bitten.

OK then. I’m off. Good luck! said the owner.

What about the dog? I asked, thinking I really did not want him to leave the dog in my house, and besides that, he surely needed time to consider our application?

Yep. Hes OK. I think hell like it here, he said as he opened the door to leave. Then he went, leaving dog, food and toys, an anxious new owner and no forwarding address!

Fortunately, like Shrek, this is a tale with a happy ending, and its a love story…we knew it was love when the poor boy had an accident and nearly died. That’s when we realized our world would not be the same if he wasn’t in it.

Three years, lots of hard work, and many tears, later, Boscoe is the most beautiful, funny, loving dog that you could have. I’m not saying he doesn’t still have his moments. He still is very shy of new people. He hates vets and groomers. He barks at bicycles and joggers on occasion, but he has grown so much.

For my birthday, my husband bought me another cockapoo. Now when we walk together, Boscoe demonstrates how to behave off leash, greet new dogs and generally be the dog that I saw in that picture and loved!

Cockapoos rule, OK?