Labradoodles are seemingly everywhere you look these days: an epidemic of canine muppets trotting down the street and dutifully posing for Instagram photos during apple picking trips. But for one man, this is hell. For one man, every time he stares into their soulful puddle brown eyes or sees their shaggy paws approaching, he is reminded of his gravest regret.
He is the very man who invented the labradoodle.
Earlier this week, Wally Conron told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that “when I'm out and I see these labradoodles I can't help myself, I go over them in my mind.”
"I opened a Pandora's box and released a Frankenstein's monster," he continued, obviously so flustered by and overcome with the weight of his mistake that he couldn't help mixing metaphors.
It’s not uncommon for inventors to go on to regret their inventions. Mikhail Kalashnikov expressed remorse for creating the AK-47 assault rifle, for instance, and Silicon Valley tech moguls often won’t let their own children use brain cell-depleting social media networks.
The labradoodle origin story is far more innocent. Conron, who worked for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia in the eighties, received a letter from a blind woman in Hawaii. She needed a guide dog, but her husband was severely allergic to dogs with long coats, including Labrador retrievers, the standard guide dog breed.
Conron had the idea to breed a female Labrador with a male poodle. His boss, John Gosling (NOT to be confused with Jon Gosselin) even offered up his own poodle for the services. A litter of hypoallergenic puppies resulted and the one with the best temperament, Sultan, was sent over to live in Hawaii.
Sultan, by all accounts an excellent boy, received a ton of media attention—because Conron asked his company’s PR department to publicize the new breed as he still had two of Sultan’s littermates he needed to sell. Soon, there was worldwide hype and other breeders began creating their own labradoodles ... and goldendoodles and cavoodle and bernedoodles and various other portmanteaus I cannot bring myself to type. "I realised the reason for these unethical, ruthless people [was] to breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks," Conron said.
This isn’t even the first time Conron’s said this—pretty much every time he speaks publicly, it’s to talk about how he regrets his creation. To which I say: adopt don't shop. And may you make peace with your personal monsters/labradoodles.
“Manhattan is a very good, good boy. A good working boy with a good attitude.”
Originally Appeared on GQ