When Wally Conrad – now 81 – first coined the name for his canine-concoction, he didn’t realize that he was making the mistake of a lifetime. It was the year 1988, he was the manager of the puppy program at the Royal Institute of the Blind, and he’d just received a letter from a woman in Hawaii who was in desperate need of a seeing-eye dog that wouldn’t trouble her husband’s allergies; in return, Conrad invented the first designer dog he loving described as a labradoodle.
Today, the labradoodle is close to becoming a recognized breed by the Australian National Kennel Council. Not only is it the first animal of the new designer dog trend that is sweeping the nation, but it’s now out-selling pedigree pups as some fetch a whopping $1000 each. Some pet shops have even reported the mutts outselling three to one.
However, despite the fame and notoriety, Conrad himself, when asked if he was responsible for the first labradoodle, now answers, “yes, but I’m not at all proud of my involvement in it.” Despite of the creator’s neglect, breeders across America are scrambling to fit the demand, as more and more people jump at the chance to hang a dog from a hangar in their closets.
Don’t blame yourself, Conrad – you did good; you just can’t change the fact that people are stupid.