Friday, August 31, 2012

RIM Is Getting Ready

The last few days have been busy ones for Rim. He is getting ready to say goodbye to his litter mates and make the trip to us.

Here they all are going to get checked out at the Vet. Not sure which one is Rim.

You can see the folks at the Vet's office like having the puppies come in for a check up. Everyone is in excellent health.
After the Vet's office, it is time to get cleaned up prior to the trip to Ohio.

This is Rim after his first bath. He looks black now but he will become silver in time. We think it will be pretty cool to watch the transformation of his coat.


It is 6:25 am on Friday morning and we are on the way to Cleveland to pick up Rim. Sandi had me set the alarm for 4:00 am this morning so we could get an early start. Can you tell she is excited? We have been getting daily progress reports from Linda the breeder on Rim. She has posted more pictures of him on her web page, Actually she mentioned she is expecting a litter towards the end of this year. If you are interested or know of someone that wants a terrific Standard Poodle, check it out.
I think I will have plenty to blog about here shortly.

Gypsy is ready for a companion too. Sandi gave her a bath yesterday so she would look nice.

Some people think I look like Howard Stern when my hair is wet!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Exciting News!

This is how Rim reacted when he got the word he was moving to Maryland.

OMG I'm moving in with Gypsy? I just won the puppy lottery!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


OK, I can't keep it a secret anymore. I have to let the cat out of the bag...or puppy out of the bag. After months of discussion, weighing the pros and cons, we have decided to add another Standard Poodle into the family. We went through times where I wanted to get another dog and Sandi didn't and then she would want one and I would hesitate. Finally, it was clear to us both, we should look for another dog. There were a few reasons why we came to this conclusion. First, Gypsy is a little over 7 years old now and she has mellowed out with age. She can still party when she wants to but, I think she would really do well having a little male friend. Second, we have a desire to get involved with volunteering at places around town visiting patients with a dog. I think that Gypsy is still a bit high strung of this activity.  So, we began a search for the right breeder. I don't know if any of you have searched the net for a dog breeder but, you can get overwhelmed with the shear magnitude of breeders that all claim to have the best dog for you. Finally, after months of talking to breeders, letting them know what we were looking for, Sandi came across Linda at She is a wonderful breeder out of the St Louis area. Check out her web site. She knew exactly what we were after and suggested that we consider a puppy from a breeder in Oklahoma that she works very closely with. This breeder just had a litter. The father is "Phil" a highly rated search and rescue dog and the mother is "Britches" a beautiful laid back show dog. Linda thought what a great combination these two would make, probably giving us a wonderful volunteer dog. We knew we wanted a male puppy and really didn't care if he was show quality or not. We wanted the right personality. So, believe me this is true, Linda drives from St Louis to Oklahoma, checks out the puppies, gives a few personality tests, and decides which of the puppies is the future Rim. Linda has Rim back in St Louis and she and Sandi have been on email, texting, and talking on the phone non stop about this little boy. Next weekend, she is driving from St Louis to Cleveland where Sandi and I are going to meet her and Rim. How exciting is that? Linda is not comfortable with sticking a puppy into a crate and putting it into a cargo hold of a 747. She really cares about these little things.

So, life as Gypsy knows it, is going to change dramatically next weekend. I think it is changing for the better. I guess I will have to change the name of the blog to: Not Your Standard Poodle(s).

Here is Rim.

Saturday, August 25, 2012 it/hate it

If you have read any of the previous blogs you can tell that Gypsy just loves our backyard. We are out there all the time. Sandi and I will be sitting on the deck and Gyp will go out into the yard and play with Dino. Tossing it up into the air and hopping around like a puppy. She will play imaginary tag with herself, darting around the yard. She will just go out into the middle of the yard and lay down and chill out. Of course that is if we are outside too. If we aren't outside, she hates it. Remember her number one priority in life is knowing where Sandi and I are every second of the day. So, if we are in, and she is out, this is what you see.

Hey, let me in!
She will stand at the door, peering in to see what is going on. She sometimes will go off and lay down although briefly. How can you not let her inside?

We have a routine we go through when I let her in. Usually I bring her in through the backdoor. I open the door and she waits for me to tell her "Lets go" and she will then make a bee line to the open door.

Finally I get to go inside!

Sometimes I will stay outside and wait. She will come and peek her head around the corner of the door, looking to see what the hold up is. She falls for this every time.

Hey, what are you waiting for?

So I then tell her that we'll go inside for awhile. She is so happy to be back with her humans. After some inside time I ask her if she wants to go out in the back yard and she is beside herself with joy. I open the rear door and she springs into the back yard with GUSTO.

This is going to be FUN!!!
Gypsy is a party gal, always ready to play and have a big time, as long as we are around that is.


Gypsy and Sandi have a long standing game of tag going on. From the time she was a puppy, Gyp has had a big time in the yard trying to get someone to play tag with her. Sandi has always been a willing partner. Much more so than I am. I'm old and slow plus, this is kind of there thing. The object of the game is pretty basic, try to tag Gypsy. That is it. Sounds pretty easy but, nobody has ever come close. I've challenged guests to try to tag Gypsy and nobody has done so. I told Sandi's brother one time that if he could touch Gyp I'd give him a $100 on the spot. Being an alpha male, he strutted out into the back yard with confidence and the game was on. Gypsy darting every which way and brother leaping and diving trying to touch her. A few minutes later, brother comes dragging himself back onto the deck, sweat puring off him, huffing, puffing, and grass stained knees. While Gypsy high steps back onto the deck looking for the next victim.
Money in the Bank!

The game starts off with Sandi and Gypsy on opposite sides of the yard in a major standoff. this is like the "Shoot Out At The OK Corral." Gypsy will usually hide behind a pine tree just to be a bit more elusive and they have a major stare down. Then, one of them will make the first move.

Here is Sandi making the first move on Gypsy.
Sometimes Dino is involved. Gypsy will stand over Dino just waiting for Sandi to make a move. Sometimes Sandi is too fast and will snatch Dino away from Gyp but usually Dino belongs to Gypsy.

Dino is MINE!
Gypsy then streaks around the back yard like a bullet coming as close as she can to Sandi without being tagged. She will stop and hide behind trees, looking at Sandi and coming up with a new strategy on the next move. You can almost see her thinking.
Not even close Mom!
Gypsy is about the fastest thing on four legs. She streaks around the backyard like Usain Bolt in the Olympics.
The game usually lasts just a few minutes. After 7 years of tag, she can't keep the pace going for as long as she used to. And the other day, we had a first. Sandi tagged Gypsy. First time in 7 years. The no tag streak has ended. This is like Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak coming to an end. I don't think Gypsy is getting any slower though. I think Sandi is getting faster. Sandi and Gypsy will continue to play tag though. I don't think Gypsy really minds if Sandi tags her or not, she just likes to play.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Is she coming or going?

Sandi took this picture with her I Pad. I'm not sure how she did it but I think it is kind of strange.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

They Call Me "Smiley"

This picture pretty much shows you why Gypsy has the nickname "Smiley." She always has a smile on her face. Never in a bad mood. Just ready to play and have a good time. Sandi came up with that one and I think it fits her.

Hey, you want to play?

Gypsy the Sailor

A few years ago, when Gypsy was still young, we had a little boat. We live in an area that is surrounded with water. We have rivers and creeks all going out into the Bay. Very pretty area. By boat is the best way to see all the huge water front homes that line the shore. We would go out and pass estate after estate saying "I'll take that one." Gypsy had to come along with us. She loved going on the boat. She would look for wildlife along the shore. We would spot a deer from time to time or other things she would have to bark at. The best would be if we were passing one of the tranquil estates and they had a dog out on the dock. Gypsy would put an end to that tranquility fast.

I know there is something to bark at around here!

We discovered a few sandy beaches that we could pull up to and have a picnic lunch. Gypsy thought this was pretty cool and really enjoyed running up and down the beach like a crazy dog. With luck she would find a dead crab to sniff. When it was time to get underway again, I would have to dip her in the water in an attempt to get most of the sand off her. She wasn't crazy about this but it did help cool her off.

After a few years we decided to sell the boat. It was fun, and Gypsy had a ball on the boat. We might decide to get back into boating at some point. I think we might have to get a boat built a bit more for comfort this time around. Maybe a little cabin for Gypsy to nap in?

I never even got sea sick!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yard Work

I always leave Gypsy in the back yard when I do the yard work.  I open the rear door from the garage and put a little baby gate in front of it so she can watch me. The entire time I'm in the front cutting and trimming, she will stand at the gate staring at me. She could leap over the gate without a problem but has never done so. Actually it has fallen over many times and she will still just stand there watching me.
I'm not watching, I'm supervising!

When I get to the back yard, she will go up on the deck when I mow. Keeping a good distance from the mower. If I feel motivated and decide to do some weeding in the flower beds, she will come down and lay by me while I do the dirty work.

At the end of the day, after doing all the yard work, we are both exhasted.

Weekend Is Here

The weekend is here and it looks like the horrible hot weather is gone for now. I have a weekend of yard things to do but I will have some poodle time too.

The old Dino is getting a bit nasty so maybe I'll break out one of the new ones for her.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Day at the Pool

It has continued to be very hot here. I can't wait for cooler weather. Gypsy isn't very fond of the heat either. Sandi and I can cope with the heat by sticking our feet into our top of the line pool. Gypsy however, will not. The other day I dropped her Chicken aka: KFC into the pools to see what she would do. This is on the heels of the dramatic water rescue she made of Dino the other day. She almost jumped in the water, pulled Dino from the depths, and administered CPR to revive him.
If you haven't seen the video, check it out.

Her actions with KFC were not quite as dramatic or heroic.

Hee she is checking out the Chicken in distress.
Hey look, I hope KFC can swim.

Here you can see KFC doing the dead man float. 

Gypsy the BIRD Dog

Well, Gypsy isn't a bird dog in the traditional sense. She doesn't hunt them or point to them or even retrieve them. No she takes it to a new level, she keeps an eye on them. She started this quirky behavior a few years ago. Our neighborhood is surrounded by farms and many wide open fields. We get the big black vulchers circling the fields from time to time looking for something nasty to eat. A few years ago, Gypsy started to notice these menacing looking creatures and bark at them, trying to chase them away. It was pretty funny. It got to the point where she would walk out into the back yard and look into the sky, looking for a bird to scare off. Not just any bird, only the big black ones. She would scan the entire sky looking for one getting ready to enter our air space.

Come on BIRD, make my day!

She could care less about a Robin or any of the smaller birds. She has, a few times, tried to chase off a flock of Geese as they buzzed our back yard at low altitude. But for the most part, it is the Vulchers she looks for.

Incoming  BIRD over my yard!

So, now all we have to do is say "where are the birds" and she lifts her head to the sky, looking for Vulchers. If none are to be chased off, she comes back and relaxes. If there is one off on the horizon, she will keep an eye on it, making sure it keeps a good distance away.

Stay away from my yard, Big Black Bird!

She has recently taken interest in planes. I'm not sure why this is but, she will be looking up in the sky looking for a bird and she'll see a South West flight cruising at 35,000 feet and will try to chase it away too. Strange dog.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Working Dog

I've mentioned I am a fan of the author, Jon Katz. He has written many stories about his life with dogs. His latest e-book, The Story of Rose, tells the story of his beloved Border Collie that passed away not too long ago. Rose came into Katz's life at the same time he was moving into a farm in upstate New York. From day one, Rose worked hard. She herded sheep, protected Katz from all sorts of danger and most importantly helped guide Katz out of a deep, dark state of depression. Finally helping him open doors to a new, happier life. He says that all Rose wanted to do was work. That is all she was focused on. She never cared about toys, or food, or treats, or cared much about other dogs. All she wanted to do was work. When she was in the house she just peered out the window looking at the sheep or keeping an eye on the farm. She wasn't about being cuddled or loved on. She was a non stop working dog and it was only because of her hard work Katz was able to make it through some very difficult years on the farm. Rose was a remarkable dog and Katz tells a great story. For those of you with kids, he also has some great children's books out. Check out

This got me thinking about Gypsy. She certainly isn't a working dog like a Border Collie. Actually Standard Poodles are in a group the American Kennel Club classifies as "non sporting." I never really understood that one. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that yes, Gypsy does in fact work. And she works hard. She has many jobs like, knowing where we are every second of the day. Keeping an eye on the backyard. Knowing where Dino is all the time. Smiling nonstop from the moment she wakes up. That one makes us happy. She has the very important job of acting like a clown as much as possible. When we laugh at her, she just acts more silly. She has the job of emitting as much love on us that any dog could possibly give. This is a job she excels at. Yep, Gypsy works hard every day. Her job is to bring us joy and happiness and she is very good at her job.

Whew, I'm bushed. I've been working too hard!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Baywatch Gypsy

OK, not everyone knows that Standard Poodles are water dogs. They are and in fact were the first of the retrieving dogs. The breed usually loves the water. Gypsy isn't a fan. She will reluctantly get in the water if we are in it but only with great coaxing. She could care less.
It messes my hair up!

We try to spend as much time outside as possible. That has been a challenge this summer because of the hot, humid weather. It has been nasty. The weather will not stop us! We set up a silly little baby pool in the backyard and stick out feet in it to cool off. Money is no issue when it comes to our comfort.  It works pretty well. Gypsy on the other hand will not go in it to save here life.
I prefer a spa!
This is probably mean but, I toss Dino in the pool trying to get Gypsy to go in and make a save. Here is a little video of a water rescue made on Dino the other day.


I'm not sure where she picked up CPR.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kamikaze Duster

This guy was moving so fast it was hard to get a good shot of him. I have about 50 shots of the blue sky though.

Crop Dustin

We were having a nice weekend with a good friend in town. She really connected with Gypsy and Gypsy with her. Sunday morning we all were having a nice, quiet cup of coffee out on the deck. Gypsy was actually eating some breakfast and I had the local paper reading the gossip. It was around 6:30 and a very peaceful start to the day. That all changed quite suddenly when a crop duster swoops in with a roar just above the tree line.
I just happened to have the camera near by and snapped a few pictures. He made several passes through the field behind us. He came in low, loud, and very fast.

It was like having our own air show on a Sunday morning. We kind of enjoyed it. Gypsy on the other hand had a bit of a problem with the duster being so close and decided to try to run it off.
Dude, go buzz another neighborhood!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day at the Park

We live in such a beautiful area surrounded by water. There are several big rivers that roll through our county and spill into the Chesapeake Bay. It's almost like being on vacation around here. The other day we decided to take Gypsy down to a local park that has a great view of the water. We thought it would be a great time for Gypsy plus, my wife is crazy about swinging.
The lady with the baby is looking at Sandi as if to say, gosh you're a bit old for the swing aren't you?

This day Sandi was also on a mission to find just the right stick for Gypsy. I think I mentioned before that Gypsy used to carry around a stick with her during walks when she was a puppy. She had this one stick she carried that was her favorite. She would walk for miles with this stupid stick in her mouth. She would hold her head high, her tail pointing straight up, and high stepping the entire time with this stick. It was as if she was proud of the stupid thing. She would chew on it a little bit at a time but was careful not to go overboard with the chewing. She had that stick for about 4 or 5 years. I finally had to toss it.

Here I am with my stick...and silly Harley Davidson hat!

So Sandi and Gypsy wandered around the park, looking for just the right stick. We usually keep Gypsy on the leash when we are out but on this day Sandi let her run free. Gypsy stayed close to Sandi during the search. She came back with several good candidates in the stick department and brought them all home with us. We just dumped them in the yard and let Gypsy decide which one she wanted. She goes out and chews on one of them from time to time but I don't think we have a perfect replacement stick yet. We'll have to keep searching. If I recall the original stick was a piece of drift wood and was in the Bay. Maybe the salty flavor is what Gypsy liked about that stick?
Nice view isn't it?

Next time we go to the park we'll have to take her down to the beach and look for some drift wood.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chloe Is Going to Get It!

Gypsy has always been a bit of a picky eater. she isn't food driven at all. During puppy class she would spit out treats when we were trying to reward her. Who has ever seen a puppy do that. She has never gobbled her food up either. She'll stroll by the bowl from time to time and take a bite or maybe two. I've tried getting her on a feeding schedule but, that never worked. I tried making her food out of raw chicken and that didn't work very well.
Raw chicken? YUCK!
We tried mixing wet food with the dry food and she would only pick out the wet food. And it would sit around so long it would spoil. So, she has been a challenge with the food to say the least.
Hey, I like what I like OK?
She has been eating a bit better as she has aged. she really hasn't put any weight on but that is OK with me. We have settled on one brand of dog food and she seems to like it. From time to time I'll mix a bit of warm water to make a gravy. Sandi, being the health conscious one, gives her a fish oil pill with her food in the morning. She pokes a hole in the pill and squeezes the oil over the kibble and Gypsy loves it.
And it makes my coat shiny!
Gyp is not in the least food aggressive. If she is at her bowl and one of the cats decide they want some water, Gypsy will back off and let the cat have a drink.
The cats always drink my water!
The Queen Mother of the cats, Chloe (aka Canned Ham) has shown the most interest in Gypsy while she is trying to eat. Chloe will walk up to the bowl and Gyp will begin to back off. I think it is a game the cats play.
Hey, it's all yours Canned Ham!
When this started to happen on an almost daily basis, Sandi started saying "Chloe is gonna get it" and Gypsy would inch closer to the bowl and gobble up food up. The entire time keeping an eye on Chloe. She chows down like never before when Chloe is around. Not sure why but, it is a funny thing to see. All we have to say is Chloe is gonna get it!

The other day Gypsy was having a snack outside on the deck and Canned Ham was inching closer to the bowls and Gyp got up and scarfed her food down like she was starving.
she is looking at Chloe saying:
Hey, to late Canned Ham. That food was good.