Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gypsy and the CATS! Part 1

I mentioned we have cats. (plural) Sandi is the ultimate cat person.  She jokes that she is in the cat box more than the cats are. I worry her pooper scopper wrist will get injured. Anyway, the last cat that won the kitty lottery and moved in with us was Stormi. Unlike our other cats, Stormi was an adult cat when she came to us. This was cause for some concern with Gypsy. We were curious how she would do with an older cat not to mention how the cat would do with Gypsy. Gypsy has been raised not to mess around with the cats. They actually run the house and get away with much more than Gypsy. Anyway, Stormi came in the house and promptly hid. We didnt see her for days. She stayed upstairs under a bed. Finally while we were sitting in the family room one night, we saw her poke her little face around the corner coming down the steps. She was basically raised in a cat shelter and took some time getting used to the house. She still isnt a lap cat. She gives lap drive bys though. As far as she and Gypsy, they have gotten along very well together from the start. Stormi stikes me as being a very laid back, calm cat and I think Gypsy senses that and is pretty chilled out around Stormi.

Stormi and Gypsy lounging around in front of the fire place. They are good buddies.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Here we are, another Fathers Day is upon us. I always feel a bit melancholy on Fathers Day. It gets me thinking of my three girls and how they are all grown with their own families, not my little baby girls like they used to be. It gets me thinking of my Dad. He passed away six years ago. I could go on for hours telling you about my Dad. He was such a good guy.
Fathers day is also very difficult for Sandi. She lost her Dad a few years ago and it has been very difficult for her. One of the last times we saw him we had Gypsy with us. After he passed away I wrote this little rememberance of that visit.

Sandi was grieving the loss of her Dad. While he had some medical issues over the last few years, his sudden death was very much unexpected. Having lost my Dad a few years earlier, I knew what she was going through. While I was struggling to find the right words of comfort, I could only think of one thing. When ever I think of my Dad, and I think of him every day, I have a picture of him that I see clearly. The same picture pops into my brain every time and it is comforting to me.  I was thinking of telling Sandi about how I think of my Dad and the picture that I have of him when I realized, Sandi probably has the picture of her Dad already. There was a special moment between her and her Dad that I had the privilege to witness.

Around Christmas time we were visiting Raleigh and were staying with her Dad. Ralph knew how we felt about our dog, Gypsy, and was gracious enough to invite her along too. As soon as Gypsy walked into his house, it was obvious that she loved Ralph. She’d come and sit by his chair and he’d pet the top of her head speaking to her softly. Gypsy would just sit there very calmly, looking at him with those deer like eyes. We both made comments about how good Gypsy was around Ralph. Having plenty of people to visit while visiting Raleigh, Sandi and I were on the go and left Gypsy at the house, closed off on the porch. While it was obvious she and Ralph were getting along beautifully, she still had plenty of energy and he, although looking great, was moving pretty slowly. Sandi and I went off and did our thing for a few hours and headed back to the house. As we entered into his neighborhood, going around a cul-de-sac, I saw a beautiful black standard poodle being walked down the side walk. I didn’t even notice who was walking her. I started to blurt out hey look, a poodle, when Sandi looked at me and said oh my gosh, it’s Dad. The look on her face was a combination surprise and excitement.  I slowed up and there he was walking, well really shuffling, down the side walk with Gypsy high stepping along with him. He had on his typical fleece, zipped up to the neck, and his usually well groomed hair was standing up on end in the breeze. He had an ear to ear grin on his face as he waved at us as we passed. This was that last thing Sandi expected to see on that afternoon. We pulled into his driveway, not quite believing what we had just seen. Sandi jumped out of the car letting out a combination giggle and laugh she blurts out when she is excited. Of course Gypsy sees Sandi and decides to pick up the pace with Ralph trying to keep up. Thankfully he doesn’t fall. Out of breath he explains that Gypsy needed a walk and that it was a beautiful day so why not get out and stretch the legs.

I could tell it was a special moment for them both, a moment that can only be shared by a Father and Daughter. I could see the love and pride each of them felt towards each other. We went back in the house and Ralph sat down to rest and Gypsy lay down at his feet.

I hope years from now, when Sandi thinks of her Dad, she sees him as we saw him on that December day. Standing tall with his chest out, shoulders back, and a big grin on his face as he walked Gypsy through the neighborhood.


Flag Day

Flag day has to be one of the most under appreciated holidays of all time. My theory on this is because it is a holiday that does not involve gifts, big meals, and decorating. Just hang a flag and be patriotic. That's it. Very simple. Sandi and I have a small US flag we display everyday so it was not a big deal for us.
This year Flag Day happened to fall on the day Gypsy was going to the groomer. We take her about every 8 weeks or so since we first got her. She has been going to the same groomer the entire time and she (the groomer) is fantastic. This time, the groomer had a bit of a repair job to do. Gypsy's ears were so long, they were hanging in her water bowl getting all wet when she drank. So, I thought I'd give her a bit of an ear trim myself. How hard can that be right? Well, I botched the trim job completely. Way too short. So, off to the groomer we go for the professional touch. Gypsy came home all decked out in a patriotic bandanna.

I thought that was a nice touch. I think next year we'll get a much larger flag to display on flag day. Gypsy kept the bandanna on all day. How patriotic of her.

 I'm a Yankee POODLE dandy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I think I mentioned Dino in an earlier post. Dino was Gypsy's first, and favorite toy. We gave her every toy known to keep any dog happy. She turned her nose up at all of them except Dino.

 Kong stuffed with treats? YUCK
 Frisbee? That's for crazy dogs.
Chew rope? No way.

Dino was the one thing she liked to play with as a puppy. The original Dino was a soft toy that looked like a dinosaur. Dino was the obvious name right? Pretty original if I do say so myself. Here is puppy Gypsy with the original Dino.

It was love at first bite!

Unfortunately for Dino, Gypsy discovered that she also loves to nibble on soft toys and she eventually tore the stuffing out of Dino. What a way to go.
Sorry Dino, I couldn't help myself!
So, Sandi being the resourceful gal that she is, found a rubber dinosaur with a squeaky thing inside it. It had two feet and a long tail. We gave the new Dino to Gypsy and she jumped on it with both front feet and it let out a big squeak. This startled Gyp and she started to whine. She soon started carrying the new Dino around by the feet. 

Soon, Dino became an outdoor toy as Gypsy loved to run laps with Dino and play tag with Dino. This tag thing happens to be a favorite backyard event for her. Sandi will ask her, where is Dino? and Gyp will run over and stand over Dino, waiting for Sandi to try to snatch Dino before she can get it. She will then run behind one of the trees, waiting for Sandi to sneak up on her. Many times we will be sitting on the deck doing nothing and Gypsy will go out in the yard, jump on Dino, and toss him into the air.
Dino likes to jump too!

We've gone through several Dino's over the years. We actually bought a few at a time, just in case we had a hard time finding one. This brings me to our DINO DILEMMA. We cant find Dino anymore. We have browsed around every pet store and no Dino. Nada. Kaput. Zippy Dino to be found.  We came close though. We found a rubber squeaky toy with two feet but no tail.

Dino is the blue guy on the left, and the impostor is on the right. Gypsy can tell the difference and turns her spoiled little nose up and the Dino want to be. So, my plea to the hundreds of people reading this blog, (well OK many five or six people) keep on the lookout for a new Dino.

Hey, this Dino is getting nasty! I need a new one please...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dog Park Day

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about dog parks. On the surface they seem to be a good thing for our dogs. They all get together, sniff each other, and play. What can be wrong with that? They can run as they wish without leashes. Seems pretty cool. On the other hand, I had a vet tell me one time not a week goes by that she does not sew up a dog that got into it at the dog park. I guess it just depends on who is at the park when you make your trip. We've taken Gypsy to a few different dog parks. She gets besides herself excited when we get close. Happy feet going like crazy. Of course all the dogs in the park sense her excitement and they go to another level. When we finally get her inside the fence Gypsy takes off like a bat out of hell. Every other dog in the park is after her but can never catch her. She usually settles down and has a great time. Our friends bring their two Standards from time to time and we have a poodle party. I think all the other dogs are jealous of our poodles. The humans at the dog park are strange too. The regulars look down at the newbies at the park. As if we aren't part of the club yet. They all have certain places they hang their leashes and special spots on the bench.

Sandi heard of a dog park close to us that we have not been to and we decided to try it out the other weekend. Only a half hour away so that is a big bonus. We find the park and not one person was there. By fault, no dogs either. Not a sole in either the big or small dog area. So, we get the place to ourselves. This is a very nice park with some dog agility equipment set up. We always thought Gypsy would make a good agility dog so we gave it a try. She did the incline thing with ease.

The view from up here is great!
Gypsy has always been a jumper from day one when she took the giant leap out of our garage into the back yard. Sometimes the problem is she jumps too much.

Anyone can run through these things!

Nice form huh?

This was one of the best times we ever had at a dog park and there wasn't even one other dog there. Gypsy had a ball. she was able to show off for us. She did have some sniffing time.

When I think about it though, Gypsy would have a great time no matter where we go or what we are doing, just as long as she was with us. We'll take her back to this park again. Maybe she'll make some new friends and also show off for the other dogs.

Here I am practicing in the backyard.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Yes, today is the big day for Gypsy. She turned 7 years old today. Mid age for a poodle but she still acts like a puppy most of the time. Still very playful and full of energy. She does have plenty of down time and seems to sleep more but she still likes to party. She is getting a bit more gray. I don't think she will ever loose her playfulness though. Sandi and I will celebrate with Gypsy later today. Maybe take her on a short ride downtown, one of her favorite things to do. Or, just sit out on the deck and let her play with Dino. Happy Birthday Gypsy Gal!