Friday, November 30, 2012

Rim (again)

Rim making a new friend.

I mentioned before we are going to take Rim to a local kennel from time to time for a few hours. We probably will not do this on a regular basis but just to change things up for Rim every once in awhile. The people that run the place tell us he has a great time with the other dogs running around and meeting each other. In reality, they just about have to say that though don't they? He could be cowering in the corner the entire time and they would probably report that he had a ball!  We do think though that he has a great time and it is a good thing for him to get the socialization.

Rim is quickly becoming Sandi's dog. He follows her every where and is always by her side. When Sandi is in the kitchen, Rim's favorite place is on the floor mat in  front of a warm air vent. I expect in the summer he will be hogging the air conditioning as well.
When we are outside, Rim is always off playing hard with Gypsy but you can see him stop and look for Sandi from time to time. He always has her in is sights. Not to say is isn't a confident little guy. We have not seen him shy away from anything yet. The more we learn about the personality of therapy dogs, the more we think Rim would excel at that job.
Rim is growing fast and his personality is exactly what our breeder Linda at ( said it would be. He has been a great addition to the family. The cats give him a sniff from time to time and they don't turn up their noses anymore. What a plus! Anyway, I'm sure we will have a few puppy drama moments down the road but that is OK. How can you get mad at a face like that?

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Thanksgiving came and it was a beautiful day. Warm for this time of year and perfect for sitting around outside, eating oysters. I think we both have had our oyster fix for awhile. They were fantastic though. Besides eating oysters, another thanksgiving tradition is the changing of the dog collars. At least it has been a tradition with Gypsy and now too with Rim. We change Gypsy's collar with the seasons. She has more collars than I have shoes,

Hey, a girl has to look good!
And thanksgiving is the day we switch Gypsy over to a Christmas collar. She had a spare candy cane collar that she donated to Rim.

I tried to get a picture of them both sitting still in the Christmas collars but that was next to impossible.

I did get one of Rim, sporting a fancy little candy cane collar, ready for the holidays.

Here is Rim out in the yard, in search of anything he can find to eat. Pine cones, sticks, stones, you name it.

Gypsy spent a good part of the day up on the deck relaxing but she always had us in sight.

We were lucky as the weather turned cold and windy the day after Thanksgiving. I'm glad we got one more, "poodle day" in before the cold weather hit. I'm sure the dogs were glad too.

Walking with Two

One of the best things in the world for Gypsy is to go for a walk.  It has been that way since she was a pup. She is always on alert during her walks, searching for a rabbit or a squirrel, high stepping the entire way. We meet many neighbors while we are out and they all recognize me as the "poodle guy." I was getting a colonoscopy and the nurse that was helping out came in and said, "hey, you're the poodle guy right?" That was a bit awkward. Since Rim came on board, Sandi has been walking him on his own for the most part. We think it is a good thing that we each have some alone time with each of them from time to time. On mornings that I'm off, we sometimes will walk them together. From the beginning, Rim has done great on a leash. He walks right by her side, never pulling. The other day Sandi was at the gym, as usual, so I decided to take them both on a walk together. I figured it wouldn't be that big of a deal. And it wasn't.

I just grabbed both leashes and off we went, walking the neighborhood.

Here is an action shot, Rim on the inside and Gypsy on the flank.
While we are on our walks, I hear all sorts of dogs barking from inside houses as we walk by. Dogs that I never see out walking or getting any kind of exercise. I think most people think that having a fenced in back yard and sticking the dog out there gives the dog exercise. I guess that is better than not doing anything at all but I don't think it replaces a good walk. The dog gets to see different things, smell different smells, and maybe meet another dog or two along the way.  Plus, it tires them out and a tired dog is a good dog.
I'm bushed!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It's Thanksgiving and that means oysters for me and Sandi. We started doing this several years ago. We decided to hold off on preparing a big meal for Christmas and relax as much as possible on Thanksgiving. Especially since it is usually nice out and we can also have poodle time in the backyard. We usually purchase an extraordinary amount of oysters locally and roast them on a wood fire. This time around though we hit the jack pot. Sandi has befriended a few local fisherman. These guys crab all summer and get into the oysters this time of year. The older guy thinks it the best thing in the world to shuck oysters for Sandi. She knocks them down as fast as he can shuck them. We were at a party and he was sitting there, shucking away, laughing the entire time. These were the first true waterman we have gotten to know and they are the salt of the earth, nice people. Needless to say, our waterman friends delivered a pile of oysters yesterday that were in the water that afternoon. They are big, salty, oysters from a local river. We had to give a few of them a test run last night just to make sure they were good. I think this year, we'll offer an oyster to both Rim and Gypsy Gal. I have no doubt that Rim will devour the oyster in a flash but Gypsy might hold off until I put a little bacon on top.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First Hike

The other day Sandi decided to take Rim on his first hike. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do. We take Gypsy to several different trails in the area. When we first took Gypsy, she would take off like a rocket. For a dog that has separation anxiety she has no problem taking off in front of us in hunt mode. At first I was thinking; great, we lost the darn poodle. Sandi came up with a great training method to break her of this behavior. Gypsy would take off, 25-50 yards in front of us and would turn around to make sure she could see us. When she did that, we would hide behind a tree so she couldn't see us and she'd come scampering back searching for us. She now stays fairly close to us during our hikes. The other day was a warm, beautiful autumn day and Sandi decided to introduce Rim to hiking. She took Rim solo for the first time, Gypsy getting a break at home. She took him to an Audubon Society area only a few minutes from the house. They have really nice trails along a few creeks that spill out into a large river. A very scenic hike to say the least. They had a great time. Rim could keep up with the fast motor Sandi has and he never left her side. She even had him off leash for most of the hike. Rim did go up and meet a few bird watchers they ran into along the trail. Maybe over the Thanksgiving weekend we'll take Rim and Gypsy back to this trail for a nice long hike. With views like the one above, why not?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NOBELLS Innocent?

You might remember us telling the story of NOBELLS the cat across the street we accused of having midnight ambushes on the birds at our feeders. We'd find the leftover feathers in the backyard but never actually caught NOBELLS in the act, we just figured he was the culprit. I guess we should have given him the rights we all have in this great country, innocent until proven guilty. If we had to take NOBELLS to trial I don't think we could prove beyond reasonable doubt he was guilty.

Yesterday we had some new evidence come our way thanks to Gypsy. We were in the backyard, as usual, and the ever vigilant Gypsy was birdin. Keeping all the big birds away from the yard. One bird was circling the yard getting lower and lower and Sandi identified it as a hawk. This hawk was swooping over our backyard, probably looking for birds around the feeders. This on top of the fact that we recently learned that NOBELLS was on the short end of a fight not too long ago and he was going to have to stay inside while he recovered. In the last week or so we (Rim) found a few birds that met an untimely death so, maybe it was the hawk and not NOBELLS? Plus have some neighbors a street away from us that have seen hawks snatching birds from there feeders in the past.

So, with this new turn of events, I suppose I owe NOBELLS an apology. Perhaps he wasn't the one taking out the birds all along, maybe it was the hawk. I'll just let Gypsy continue to keep an eye to the sky and maybe she can keep the hawk away.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Doggie Daycare

One thing we never did with Gypsy was to take her to doggie daycare. So as a result, she has pretty bad separation anxiety when we leave her. I've told stories about how Sandi and I would leave her with my sister or one time with her Dad and Gyp just whined and stared  at the door until we returned. The up side is that she does not have the destructive separation anxiety that some dogs have. She just goes into a state of depression. Even when we put her outside by herself, she will just come to the back door and look inside until we let her in.
Hello, I hate to be by myself!
We did leave Gypsy at a kennel a few times when we went out of town. When we got back she had lost about 5 pounds, not eating the entire time we were gone.
Let's just go to dog friendly destinations!
On the other hand, Rim is very out going and loves to go up and greet other dogs and people. We decided to take him to a daycare place not far from the house from time to time. Just to get him away for a few hours, play with other dogs, and expose him to different things. Plus, it gives us a break from puppy hood.
It gives me a well deserved break too!
The first day of daycare came at the best time, two days after the screen eating episode and a day after his taking Sandi on a sprint throughout the house trying to get him in his kennel. This particular daycare came highly recommended and Sandi went to check it out a few times. It seemed clean, well organized, and a good staff for the number of dogs they had. So, Sandi dropped him off that morning and went about her daily tasks without puppy in tow. Gypsy had a nice day of lounging around the house with the cats.
Just like old times!
While at the day care, they take the dogs out for about 45 minutes, then bring them inside for about 20 minutes. The report on Rim was that he was wide open for all 45 minutes of outside time. Lots of play time, sniffing, and running. That day they had about a dozen other dogs in attendance so he had a big group to play with. When Sandi picked him up, he came high stepping out from the back, tail up high and wagging.
This was fun! Let's do this again!
It certainly looked like he had a good time. He was introduced to a variety of dogs, and he got plenty of exercise. When they got home, Rim crashed hard.

Hey Sock Monkey, I'm bushed!
Another plus is, Rim has been an angel ever since the daycare experience. I think it is clear that a well exercised dog is a good dog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Differant Dogs

To say Rim and Gypsy are different dogs is an understatement. They are about as opposite as two dogs can get. Back when Gypsy was a pup, she did about everything we asked her to do. She was a very quick study. Rim is going through his terrible 2's we think. We had the screen event over the weekend. Today his big thing was to grab the grill brush off the Weber to chew and every time Sandi would take it back, he would grab it again. Must have been yummy. This afternoon Sandi had an appointment and had to put the little guy into his kennel. He refused to come upstairs and ran laps around the house until Sandi could catch him. When I came home tonight, all he wanted to do was to chase Gyp around the yard. He was getting on my short list and I lost my temper with him.
The mistake I made was comparing Rim to Gypsy.  Not really a good thing to do. That would be like me comparing one of my three beautiful daughters to another. Not smart.  They are all different and individual. I'd never do that. Rim is going to be different than Gyp for sure. He is a good puppy and also very smart. He will catch on to the things we want from him in short order.

Gypsy is a very good and special dog and if we are patient and caring with Rim, he will also be a great dog. Ultimately it is up to us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Puppy Destruction

The Sunday after the Waterfowl, we went out on that beautiful morning for a bike ride. Calm winds, warm sun, and a peaceful ride with friends. The beginning of a great day. That didn't last long. When we got back home, I went out into the backyard through the garage to let the dogs off the deck. We keep them on the deck when it is nice out with a gate up so they can't wander off into the back yard. This was supposed to keep Rim out of trouble. So, I get out into the yard and I see the screen from our sliding door knocked off the tracks, laying across the table. My first thought was that we were broken into or worse yet, someone came and swiped the poodles. As I got closer, this is what I see.

Rim sitting innocently by the scene of the crime. Gypsy taking evidence.

Rim got a hold of some of the rubber spaghetti that holds the screen in place. YUMMY! You can see some of the left overs on the table. He had to give it a big yank to pull the door off the track. So, I had to put the door back together because it was nice out and we wanted to let some fresh air into the house. Not that big of a deal. It's hard to stay mad at Rim. He is definitely different than Gypsy. 
While I fixed the screen, the dogs hung out in the backyard. Here Rim is plotting a way to get the stick away from Gypsy.
After causing chaos and destruction all day, Rim cuddles up with his sock monkey.

Waterfowl Weekend

This past weekend was Waterfowl weekend in our little town. This is an annual celebration honoring the ducks and geese that we shoot out of the air with high powered weapons of mass destruction. I'm not a hunter can you tell? It is a big weekend here though. It takes months to organize and plan the event. The streets downtown are blocked off and all sorts of events are taking place. Duck decoy, duck art, and unfortunately, Sandi and I got a little too close to the children's duck calling competition. My ears hurt. The food is great too. We usually end up getting some fresh oysters from the bay. This is also a big event for the dogs too. They have a big retrieving dog exhibition. They show how the dogs run out in the field or swim out into the water, retrieving the slain fowl. It is a pretty cool thing to witness to tell you the truth. These are mostly Labs and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. There is also a dock dogs competition that is quickly becoming the favorite event. These dogs launch themselves off a dock, into the water, flying through the air. Very fun event and the dogs seem to like it. Sandi and I have been going to this thing every year and we always take Gypsy. The streets are jammed with people and there are plenty of dogs to visit with. This was the first year for Rim. We had a beautiful weekend with the weather and I think they estimated this years attendance was close to a record.

Here is the crowd around the kids duck calling competition. They couldn't be that good as I don't see one duck in the sky.

Here are a few of the food vendors.
Here Rim is meeting another puppy as the local "uni bomber" watches.
 Most of the local shops had something going on too.

Here Gypsy and Rim are ganging up, team sniffing, a Bull Dog.
We walked a few miles that day. We all had to park it on the side of the road for a bit. It is always a good thing to get the dogs out and let them meet other dogs and people. Both Rim and Gypsy did a great job.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This year Halloween came on the heels of the hurricane. The streets in our neighborhood are still covered in leaves and branches from the storm. That didn't stop loads of kids from going out for trick or treat. Actually our streets were also lined with cars from the neighboring areas, driving in from the country to a neighborhood where the kids can get the most bang for the buck. Sandi and I took the poodles out and walked around checking out the activity and to meet some of the neighbors. Rim met a bunch of kids. He didn't jump up on any of them and didn't shy away from any of the scarey things going on. Gypsy was on alert, looking for things to hunt and barking at the other dogs.

When we got back to the house, we just relaxed with the animals. Can you tell the cats like it when we have a fire?