Introducing Lola, the 9 year old, purebred Coton de Tulear female therapy dog from NYC. We interviewed Lola’s mom who shared with us the surprises and insights about Lola she gained from playing the Dognition science-based dog cognition games.
Dognition Profile. “My little Renaissance dog and I completed the evaluation, and we loved the process so much that we signed up for the monthly games! I am so happy that I was introduced to Dognition.” said Lola’s Mom.
The origin story of Lola. I never considered myself a “dog person” – I grew up with a wonderful cat and the thought of having to walk a dog several times a day AND pick up after it just didn’t appeal to me. Years ago, I was dating someone who desperately wanted us to get a dog, so after a year of researching dogs we came upon a rare breed that met all of my “demands.”
The Coton de Tulear was hypoallergenic, didn’t grow to be much more than 15 pounds, didn’t need a lot of exercise, wasn’t too “barky,” was easy to train, and was a wonderful companion breed. We discovered a wonderful breeder down South who happened to be having a litter born in NJ, so I was able to meet Lola when she was only weeks old (and named Maggie Moo). She came to live with me at 11 weeks, and nine years later, she is going strong. [The boyfriend, however, didn’t make it another six months.?]
Lola, an original. I have always been a fan of Broadway musicals, and when I saw that little puppy’s face, “Whatever Lola Wants” came into my head. I thought naming her Lola was very original, only to later discover that “Lola” is one of the most popular female dog names in NYC.
Lola the Diva. I will never forget when I first went to pick out a puppy from the litter and decided on Lola, the caretaker whispered to me, “You don’t want that one, she’s a bitch.” I couldn’t believe it because she was so sweet and loving and since she was the only female in the litter (and I only wanted a female dog), I was determined to take her.
Well, Lola is not a Bitch… but she is a Diva. She has very specific likes and dislikes. The easiest way to boil it down is that if something was meant for a dog, she will NOT like it – dog food, treats, toys, beds, etc. However, if something is meant for a human, Lola will be interested: food, bed, pillows, blankets, etc.
Lola is incredibly smart, eager to please, extremely cognizant of my moods. She craves human companionship, avoids canine companionship, and is the the best cuddler you will ever meet. However, she makes her feelings known to all through her expressions – especially her eyes. She hates mornings, being left alone, getting wet, and humidity.
Fun Facts. When Lola was about a year old, an agent signed her to be a “model” and she booked the first gig that she went out for – a national print ad for The Children’s Place. We would have loved to pursue this career for her, but it was too hard to balance her availability for bookings and my full time job, so it is now just a fun memory.
Lola, Therapy Dog. Because Lola enjoys being with people so much, when she was around two years old, she completed Therapy Dog training through the Good Dog Foundation.
Why we tried Dognition. My real motivation to try Dognition was that like most dog Moms, I believed MY dog was a genius. She seems to pick up skills after only experiencing something one or two times, remembers every location we’ve been to in the city, and she seems to have a VAST vocabulary (in English and Spanish), so I wanted proof that she was as smart as I knew her to be!
Dognition reveals big surprises. Lola is not food motivated so I was very surprised that the games held her interest. As for the individual games, I was shocked that Lola wouldn’t steal the treat when I wasn’t looking but totally did WHEN I was looking. I actually respected her for that one.
Dognition confirmed what I already suspected – that Lola relies on memory and sight over smell. This insight goes against everything that you grow up learning about dogs, and reading the explanation that Dognition provided was very insightful.
The real Lola. It is so interesting to really understand what makes your dog “tick” – I knew that she and I are incredibly bonded, so those particular insights didn’t surprise me. But I was shocked to learn more about her reasoning skills. To be frank, I always thought she just depended on me 100% to show and do things for her, but I learned from Dognition that she really will figure things out on her own if left to her own devices.
For this reason, I bought her dog memory games to play, and we signed up for the Dognition monthly games. I think every dog owner will be surprised by at least one or two of their dog’s results.
Tribute to Lola. Lola is my best friend, my ‘child,’ my confidant, my “ride-or-die” partner in crime. She has changed my life over the course of these nine years, and all for the better; I have met some of my dearest friends through her and when she is around me, I am happier than when she isn’t.
Follow Lola. Say hello to Lola on Instagram @lolabellenyc and use the hashtag #lolabellenyc
A big thank you to Lola and her mom for sharing their story with us. ??
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