Monday, December 31, 2012

Getting Cold

Much of the country had a white Christmas with plenty of snow. That would have been nice. We saw a few fakes but ended up having a cold rain. Bummer. It has been getting colder though and I broke out the dog coats the other day. Gypsy likes wearing her coat. Rim is wearing a Gypsy hand me down. I didn't know how he would react to having a coat on buy he didn't seem to mind.

Having the coats on didn't keep them from running laps. Here they are doing a u-turn around a pine tree.

Gypsy can still out run Rim but he is getting faster and stronger. I expect he will be able to out run her before too long.
On the look out for birds.
I've been off work for a few days over the holiday season. It has been great having more time to hang out with the dogs but it has also been interesting to observe the cats. Cats are interesting creatures to say the least. They each have their own, unique personality and quirks.
"The Sheriff"
We have a little red male named Tang. We rescued this guy from the local humane shelter. Promptly after that, we had to have both his rear legs rebuilt surgically. This guy is always on patrol, keeping an eye on all the activity in the house. We have begun calling him the "Sheriff."
"The Queen Mother"
I've written about Chloe before. She is the lucky cat of the bunch that is allowed outside on the deck during the summer. She is too fat to fit between the railings and she is also a very slow runner. We also rescued Chloe from the local humane shelter. She had a rough life and we were not sure if she would survive. She is now in great health. We've called her "Canned Ham" for a long time. From behind she has the canned ham shape. She walks around the house with an air of dignity unlike the other cats. So, we've begun calling her the "Queen Mother." As the sun moves over the house, Chloe follows the sun spot.
Wrestle Mania
We have two other male cats, Virgil and Moose. Moose is another red guy and Virgil we believe has some Maine Coon in him. These guys are wide open every morning. They run laps and play all morning long. They like to wrestle and generally cause chaos. Moose is quickly acquiring the "canned ham" look. Maybe this summer he can join Chloe on the deck? Virgil is very sweet and is crazy about Sandi. I hope these guys continue to be playful.

I have written about Storms before. She spent the first part of her life in a cat rescue place. She had not been in a house before and when we brought her home, she promptly hid under a bed for days. One night she poked her head around the corner of the steps and came down. She is now turning into a lap cat and allows Sandi to pick her up. I never knew that Stormy had a playful side to her but she can cut up with the best of them.
This "little" girl rounds out the gang. She is 100% Sandi's cat and could care less about me. She is getting a bit plump in the back side and has difficulty giving herself a bath. Sandi sticks her in the tub from time to time and Zoe doesn't mind it one bit. When Sandi leaves the house, Zoe walks around looking for her, meowing the entire time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Update Time

I thought it would be a good time to give you an update on Rim since he just past the six month old marker. He is everything that Linda at said he was. Calm, easy going, confidant, and he is about as playful as he can be. Actually Linda just had a litter of puppies. Mother being Violet and father Phil. Phil is also the father of Rim so, if you happen to latch onto one of these puppies, Rim would be a cousin I suppose. Check her website out.

The relationship between Rim and Gypsy continues to evolve. I notice they are laying closer together on the floor when they are inside. (on the new rug that Sandi said no dog would ever put a foot on!) Not long ago if Rim tried to lay close to Gypsy she would get up and relocate, grumbling along the way. Right now they are both laying at my feet while I peck away at the keyboard. Rim continues to want to rough house with Gypsy when they are outside. We are trying to control that as best we can. Although at times, Gypsy will be the one to start the wrestling. Rim has also started running laps around the backyard like Gypsy does from time to time. Gypsy is a very light footed, graceful runner while Rim sounds like a buffalo on the loose. We had some friends over on Christmas afternoon and Rim allowed them to come into the yard and was happy to meet them. Very calmly and with good manners. Gypsy, at 7 years old, continues to get super excited and out of control when they came into the yard. She calms down but is always trying to get visitors to pet her. Can get a bit annoying.
ANNOYING??? Who can resist such beauty?

We decided to go ahead and have Rim neutered. We think that if you have no intent on breeding, the dog is much happier if fixed. That's what we think, too bad we cant ask the dog if that is true. Anyway, we took Rim in on the morning of the 26th.
What kind of Christmas present is this???
Our Vet also happens to be a neighbor so we knew he was in good hands. I think the worst part of the procedure for Rim was not eating the night before or the morning of the clipping. We picked Rim up that afternoon. He cam stumbling out from the back room at the Vet's, a bit groggy from the medications. The assistant said he weighed in at 39 pounds! Gypsy is 42 soaking wet.
I like to keep slim!

We brought him home and he crashed hard for a few hours. It is now a few days later and he is back to his old self, nicely recovered.

While he has had his puppy issues (tearing the screen off the back door for a snack) he has been about as good as a puppy can be. He is totally Sandi's dog, following her around the house like a shadow. When she talks to him, he turns his head from side to side trying to understand what she wants. I think Rim is quickly becoming Sandi's dog of a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone reading this silly blog!
OK, so we are the crazy poodle owners that dress our dogs up in Christmas gear. Gypsy is just glad that she doesn't have to wear the stupid antlers anymore. Rim being the rookie has taken over that task. Peace...

Christmas Play

On Christmas Eve we decided to take the dogs over to Annapolis for a long walk and play time. Quiet Waters is a beautiful park we go to from time to time. It has beautiful hiking trails, fields, ice skating rink, and most important, a dog park. We've had mixed feelings about dog parks. I've come to the conclusion the dog park is only as good as the dogs that are visiting the park. We've taken Gypsy to parks in the past and have had terrible visits while other times, with more mellow dogs, she has a good time. So we arrive at the park and walk a few miles to the dog park area. Gypsy is quivering with anticipation she is so excited. She is doing the dog growling talking thing excited dogs do. Rim conversely, walks up to the gate calmly and as if to say, "what's the big deal with this?" After I have Gypsy sit calming her down for a minute or two, I let her go into the park. She does what she always does when she first goes to the dog park, she takes off running like a bat out of hell seeing if anyone will chase her.

Here is Gypsy running wide open with a few red dogs in pursuit. Rim did a great job of staying with the pack.

Gypsy will run for a short while and then hang out with the rest of the dogs. She used to be able to keep the running thing up for a long time but, I think age is starting to catch up with her.

Rim went up to just about everyone at the park and greeted them. He did jump up on a few folks, we need to work on that. With his big feet, Rim sounded like a heard of buffalo stampeding through the park.

It was interesting that Rim and Gypsy ended up side by side. They each would go out and greet another dog but would always come back to each other. I think they were planing strategy on who to sniff next.

After the park we headed back, over the Bay Bridge. I don't think we had driven a mile or two before Rim and Gyp were both out for the count. It was a great day of dogie socializing and exercise.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

26 Bells

I wasn't going to bring up the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook the other day. I think we all feel the same disgust over the act and what more can I say about it? Yesterday while going the the gym, I was stopped at a red light listening to my favorite radio station. They stopped the music precisely at 9:30 for a moment of silence remembering the 26 victims of this senseless act of violence. A bell chimed 26 times for each of the dead. I sat at that red light thinking of the horror that took place in that school. A horn behind me snaps me back, the light had turned green. The station followed up the bells with a beautiful version of the song Angel, by Jack Johnson. "I have an angel, she doesn't wear any wings."  I'm sure all of the 26 have their wings.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jumping Class

 If you've read this blog you probably know that one of Gypsy's favorite things to do is to jump. I built a stand for her a few summers ago and she didn't even have to be taught. She was a natural. I actually think she shows off most of the time when anyone is over. Rim has shown many of the same tendencies towards jumping that Gypsy showed. He will leap out of the back door into the yard. While running laps he will leap over the walk way with ease. So, we thought why not see what he does with the jump.
Let's see what the kid is made of!

We set the stand up and put the bar on a low height. I thought maybe if Rim saw Gypsy leap over the bar, he would get it and just follow her. Gypsy went over the bar with gusto. She held up her end of the training session. Rim did watch with interest.

Wow, Gypsy can get some altitude!

After careful observation and instruction from the "old pro," Rim springs into action. He runs around the stand. We tried a few times and he became a master at avoiding the entire stand by running around it. I get the bright idea of luring him over the bar with treats. Rim is the most food driven dog know to man. He will run through fire to get to a treat. When he saw I had treats, he just barreled through the stand, knocking it over. Rim is a bit of a load and I was thinking he might not be jumping material.

Sandi, however, with some patience and sweet talk, finally got Rim to go over the lowest bar a few times.
You call that jumping?

We'll work with him on this. He might never jump as high as Gypsy given he already is about as heavy as she. Gravity might have a bit more pull on him if you know what I mean. That's OK though. I think he'll have fun with it.

After her jumping class with Rim was over, Gypsy immediately went back to her Civil Aviation duties, making sure big black birds didn't fly into our airspace.

While Gypsy was busy with her patrol, Rim had to take a break.

Hey, don't mention my weight again OK?

Monday, December 17, 2012


Nobody writes me anymore...

I was getting an occasional comment on the blog from time to time. Mostly from one of my daughters but sometimes from one of Gypsy's fans. This was a good thing. Knowing that someone out there was actually reading this nonsense was assuring to me. The comments suddenly stopped a few months ago. I just figured everyone was bored with our life with a quirky little poodle. Recently I had a few people tell me that they have tried to leave a comment but without success. I guess I did something in my settings to prevent comments. I went in and hopefully got everything straightened out. So, comment away. Your feedback is always welcome.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

St. Mike's Adventure

Yesterday we decided to take the dogs down to St. Michael's for a walk and a bit of shopping. This is a great place to take the dogs for socialization. Plenty of other dogs to meet and friendly people to greet them. Yesterday the streets were full of people Christmas shopping along the main street in the various shops. The town is located right along the water and is always very pretty but this time of year it is especially festive.

 We parked down the road by the water. Something about water views is so relaxing.

We made our way onto the main street and met a few dogs and friendly people. We passed Santa along the way. His elf tried to talk us into getting the dogs picture taken with Santa. We politely declined this offer. We made our way into a pet store. Sandi wanted to get Rim his own Christmas collar. The one he has on now is a hand-me-down from Gypsy. I think Rim could care less but, he got a new collar. I'm sure he will have an extensive collar collection before long.

Here is the Rimster looking out the window with the new collar on.
We left the pet shop, making our way along the crowded streets passing again on the Santa picture.  Both Gypsy and Rim were a bit anxious with all the traffic and chaos. Both of them were pulling a bit. We decided to veer off into one of the residential areas for a break. We were expecting some peace and quiet. Not so... The first thing Gypsy sees is a squirrel. Gypsy immediately gets in the hunt mode, eyes fixed on the squirrel, sniffing the air, and shaking with excitement. This squirrel was parked under a big tree, caring more about hiding a nut than the ferocious poodle that wanted to attack him. I gave Gypsy some slack on the leach and walked over to the tree. The squirrel ran around the back side of the tree and then up the tree to safety. Gypsy the hunter looked around puzzled.
Were did he go?
The squirrel was up the tree, looking down at Gypsy, laughing at her.
The whole time Gypsy was going spastic over a squirrel, Rim sat calmly trying to figure out what the big deal was. While Rim and Gyp are beginning to have some similar traits, I am glad that Rim isn't a hunter like Gypsy. It was a beautiful day, the only shopping we accomplished was the puppy collar. Gypsy however, did tree a fuzzy little rodent so that made the trip to St. Mike's a success.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sniff and Run

This is a typical experience in the yard, Gypsy minding her own business, and Rim sneaks up from behind (no pun intended) to get a sniff. Gypsy is offended by this act and takes off, Rim in pursuit.

Worn Out Poodles

At the end of the day, we had a couple of worn out poodles on our hands. This is the rug that Sandi was determined to keep them off. How is that working out?
I took Friday off from work to get some Christmas things done. I can't believe it is right around the corner, creeping up on us. I started the day by getting some chores done in the yard, with the help of the poodles of course. My plan was to knock the yard stuff out fast and run a few Christmas errands, taking advantage of my time off from work.

 Here is Rim admiring the lights I put up in this little tree. I usually put a few lights up in the backyard just for the heck of it. Sandi thinks the little kid next door likes to look at this tree at night but I think Sandi enjoys it more.

Gypsy, being so inspired by the lights, breaks out into her rendition of "Jingle Bells". You've heard that one before, woof, woof, woof. This being Rims first Christmas, is not sure of the words.

The dogs tried their best to be good all day, but when Sandi tossed Dino into the mix, the fun begins. Gypsy, carefully holding Dino by his feet, tries to keep it away from the pesky little Pup.

This escalates into big time wrestling. Rim can hold his own with Gypsy now. I think he is almost at her weight already and not that much shorter than she. We let them wrestle for awhile then, try our best to get them to chill out. When Gypsy tries to walk away, Rim nips at her back legs egging her on.

While Sandi bribed them both with treats, I was able to get a picture of them sitting still. You can see Rim is becoming a chunk of a poodle. His ears are turning slowly silver.

They had a big day of running, wrestling, and helping me do yard work. I didn't get any of my Christmas chores done that I planned on doing. That's OK, they had a good day and I still have 9 shopping days left before Christmas. I'm not in panic mode yet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Getting BIG

Here is five month old Rim after visiting with our favorite groomer.

He is getting very big as you can see. I think he has to be getting close to Gypsy in weight. She is such a "bag-o-bones" and he is a load. Not too long ago Gyp would be able to get Rim down on the ground with a body slam. Lately I've been seeing Rim knock her to the ground. (all in fun) He is still a bit shorter than she but getting more leggy everyday. Gypsy is still a quirkey poodle. When I let her out the back door into the yard she still races ahead of Rim, checking every corner of the yard for rabbits or other intruders. When she see's it is all clear, she'll relax. That is until a black bird fly's into our air space. Then she has to run and bark until the bird goes away. Rim has gotten into the habit of racing laps around the backyard with a stick in his mouth. He is getting fast but I doubt he will ever be as fast as Gypsy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Thought I'd put up a few more shots of Annapolis.

Wet Saturday In Annapolis

Saturday we woke up to foggy, damp weather. Not a great day for hanging out in the backyard if you are a poodle. So, we decided to take the dogs over to Annapolis and stroll around for a bit. Annapolis is about the most dog friendly town there is. There are always dozens of dogs walking the downtown area on any day of the week. We first stopped for coffee by the city dock and enjoyed the company of a Mastiff. This dogs head was about as big as Rim. Rim was happy to meet this big guy. Both Rim and Gypsy were greeted by a few dozen people and their dogs. A great day of socialization for Rim and Gyp. Last night happened to be the Christmas Parade of boats in Annapolis. You can see the boats in the above picture getting ready. This boat parade is always a big event in Annpolis and some of the boats are very creative.

This boat caught my eye.
 Annapolis is a beautiful town during the holidays. Greens on all the lamp posts and the store fronts are all decked out. Very nice. It was a big day for both Gypsy and Rim. Rim did get a bit excited with all the smells and other dogs on the street but all in all they both did great and had a wonderful time.