Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Dear all of my friends,

This month, we offer you a twangy folk song about a girl growing up in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town. It's called, "Such a Funny Story," and it's the longest Hard Taco song in years, giving the listener a well-organized five-minute emotional journey through restlessness, listlessness, fecklessness, helplessness, and shitlessness. (Usually, people don't get shitless unless they are extremely bored or extremely scared, but in this case, you'll just get there by being patient.)

In last month's Hard Taco Digest, we opened up the conversation about our search for a designer dog. Since then, we've pored over dozens of back issues of Dog Fancy and reached the conclusion that our next pet needs to be a poodle mix.

You can't broach the subject of poodle mixes without first explaining why purebred poodles are... problematic. On the surface, poodles are the perfect hypoallergenic house pet. What they lack in dander, they make up for in intelligence, affection, and eagerness to please. They are graceful, loyal and good-natured. But it is not these traits that explain the ubiquity of poodle mixes in your neighborhood. Rather, it a quality that is nearly universal to purebred poodles... their promiscuity.

Genghis Khan may have fathered one in ten Mongols, but the standard poodle fathered one in ten mongrels. They are the Wilt Chamberlains of the animal world. Some dogs chase their own tail, but poodles chase every tail that walks by. A poodle will look at a big-boned St. Bernard or a wall-eyed pug and have exactly the same reaction... I'd tap that.

And there are two words I guarantee you will never hear a poodle say: Committed relationship.

We have sensitive children, and young teenagers need a role model, not a libertine lech on a leash. I don't care how perfectly coiffed their hindquarters are... we are not letting that kind of moral turpitude into our house.

But a poodle mix?  That's a different can of Alpo. Who am I to visit the sins of the stud dog on the puppy? And after all, it is the poodle's philandering nature, its hyper-polygamy and penchant for debauchery that have given the world so many beloved crossbreeds.

There's the maltipoo, the labradoodle, and the golden doodle. There's the schnoodle, which get's its athleticism from the schnauzer side. Then we have the yorkipoo, which has the poodle's curly coat, and the Yorkshire terrier's inability to shut the hell up.

The offspring of a poodle and a bichon frise is called a poochon frise, which is the only dog breed that has the word "pooch" in it. 

Then there are the poodle cocker spaniel mixes. Depending on which parent is the poodle, this little hybrid can either be a cockapoo or a cocker-doodle doo. Both are terrible names, but not quite so bad as the shih tzoodle.

The poogle is the most controversial of poodle mixes, because it is the name for both a beagle/poodle and a pug/poodle. The beagle/poodle poogle people purport that pug/poodle poogles should be called puggles, but the pug/poodle poogle proponents professes that beagle/poodle poogles be called peagles.

The rarest of the lot is the St. Berdoodle, which is obviously a 50/50 mix of the poodle and St. Bertrand, the 11th century French archdeacon who was particularly forceful in taking the faithful to task for their sins. (Yes, poodles will even tap that.)

With warmest regards,