Sunday, December 22, 2013

Doggie Downers

Gypsy has always been a "Nervous Nellie." I'm not sure if this is just something that is in her DNA or if it is a result of the way we raised her. Probably a combination of both I suspect. From the beginning, she has always been happiest when she is with us, not by herself. To this day she hates it if we leave her behind while we go out. If it is hot or rainy we leave her in the office. She has a bed in there and she can look out the front windows. When I tell her to go in the office, her tail drops and her head hangs low. Lately, when we return, we can hear her crying and whimpering. If we leave her with friends or even family, she does the same thing. The last time I left her with my sister in a house with a few kids and another dog to play with, all she did was pace back and forth, crying until I returned. I think with age she is getting a bit more insecure.
Gyp is getting increasingly nervous while she is outside too. When we put her in the yard by herself, she paces back and forth between the back door and the deck. She sits and stares at the door and then paces to the deck and stares in the window. She then goes back to the door. She is wearing a path between he two. If I go out back and join her, she jumps (literally) for joy and grabs Dino and wants to play.
We talked about all of the above with our Vet that just happens to live across the street. How convenient is that. Plus she is the owner of NOBELLS. Anyway, she suggested we put Gypsy on a mild Doggie Downer to try to take the edge off. I don't really like the thought of medicating my dog for something like this but I am not sure we have another choice. We began giving her just a tiny dose on Friday to see how she responds. I'm not so sure I see a difference in her yet. We will give it a few days and see how it goes. We just want Gypsy to be happy and less stressed out.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Walk

It's Saturday morning and time for another walk with Gypsy. I've said it many times but walking is one of her favorite things in the world to do. We usually run into other dogs that she can bark at and she is always on the lookout for bunnies. After all Gypsy is "the Bunny Hunter." We didn't see any rabbits this morning but right down the street from us we see a squirrel. This is very unusual for this neighborhood. This area used to be a corn field and didn't have any trees so, no squirrels. Sandi claimed to have seen one a few years ago and we saw one this summer by the bird feeders. But that has been it. Gyp would take off after a squirrel in a heartbeat if I let her.

When we got to the field behind our neighborhood we hear gun shots. They were all set up with the geese decoys trying to lure innocent geese in to murder. A few geese flew by but fortunately these guys didn't have a very good aim.

About half way through the walk we come across a chicken. It was just walking down the sidewalk towards us like she was on her way to work or something. Gypsy obviously took great interest in this. She had never seen a chicken before.
Hello KFC!!!
Once Gypsy started licking her lips, the chicken did an about face and headed in the other direction. The bottom line is someone in our neighborhood has fresh eggs.

We have several storm drainage ponds around the neighborhood. We usually circle one at the end of the walk and we came across this Heron. We see him all the time but this time I just happened to have my camera.

The only thing that would have topped all of this is if we would have run across Oliver the pig.

Window Art

We've had this glass art thing hanging in our window for years. I think it looks a bit like Suede.  He is proving to be a great addition to the family.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cold, Rainy Night and Moose

Last night was cold and rainy. the weather guru's had predicted snow but what do they know. As advanced science and technology are today you would think they could get it right every once in awhile. Anyway, it was wet and cold. We kept the front door open just in case NOBELLS made an appearance. I think it was too cold for him. Our cats enjoy looking out at the rain.

What better way to spend the night than to give the cats some catnip and watch them make fools of themselves. It's true, after a bit of the catnip even the most sophisticated cat will chase their tail like a crazy kitten. We get the real thing and put it in a dish. They eat it, rolls in it, and sniff away at it. Then the fun will begin. Here is Moose enjoying some of his favorite herb.

Here is Moose not long after enjoying his favorite herb. Passed out in his favorite chair. He can't party like he used to do. Must be an age thing. This thing is supposed to be a scratching post but Moose likes to sit in it. It conforms to his butt just right.

After a brief catnap, Moose is warming himself by the fire. We should have put on some Grateful Dead tunes for him.

No Snow For Us

The weather people around here are growing long noses. Yes they are from all the lying they've been doing on the forecasts.  We have had a few flakes here and there but nothing to speak of. They predicted a few storms but they have gone just to the north of us. The storm that came by this weekend gave us a bunch of rain. Since when have we been naming winter storms? How silly is that. I think it must be a Weather Channel thing.  It has been cold so Gypsy has been wearing her coat. We saw a few other dogs out this morning and she had to bark at them. We were also on the lookout for a neighbors cat that went missing a few days ago. We didn't see it but learned that the cat returned home unharmed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weather Advisory

 We are under a winter storm warning today. It is definitely cold enough. This morning Gypsy and I were greated by loads of geese coming down into the field behind us. Group after group came in one right after another. I think they were getting ready for the looming storm. Gypsy is well known for her birding ability but she is friends with geese.
Talk about a well fertilized field!
Gypsy has always liked the snow. I think it is one of her favorite things. Here she is as a puppy with her first experience in snow. She jumped out the garage door and stopped in her tracks. She runs in it, eats it, and rolls in it.

My Shadow

I always hang a few lights in front of the house for the holidays. Yesterday I was trying my best to get some greens to stay put over the front door. Am I the only guy that needs a hammer and nail to hang these things?
My Shadow kept an eye on the proceedings from inside.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tis the Season

Yes, it's that time of year when dog owners across the country dress their dogs up in ridiculous Christmas outfits. This is a picture of Smiley from a few years ago. If you notice, she isn't smiling much in this picture.
Why do you insist on dressing me like this???
I don't know why we do stupid things like this but what the heck, it's fun.
This picture is more current. It has become much more cold and we might get some snow this weekend. Gypsy likes her sporty red jacket with the fleece lining during the cold spells.  She had just finished a play date with Dino and needed a quick nap.

New Addition

 I came home from work a few weeks ago and Sandi had been busy at the cat shelter. She stops in from time to time to either donate something or just to check out the cats. This is a very dangerous habit of hers and she needs to stop. She had a secret relationship with this guy for some time. Neither Gypsy or I suspected a thing until he came home with her. He is about 5 years old and his name is Suede. He is all dressed up in this picture. Honestly we need another cat like Gypsy needs to loose weight. Not at all! When I got home I began to protest (as if that would have done any good). Before I could say anything, Suede came right up to me and started to purr and look at me with this sweet little face. I tried to resist his charm but, he then started to follow me around the house.

So that began my relationship with a very cool cat named Suede. It doesn't hurt that he likes to share an occasional beer with me too. He is the most laid back cat I've ever seen. Nothing seems to upset him and he projects a very confidant and calm air about him. He still follows me around. When I go to the bathroom he waits outside the door for me. When I'm in the kitchen cooking, he sits off to the side and watches me. In the morning he and Gypsy trot down the stairs side by side with me. Right now he is laying at my feet.

He and Gypsy seem to get along very well. Suede likes to drink out of Gypsy's water bowel and I think Gyp likes the company. Suede is a big boy and I have to watch him when I feed Gypsy her homemade food. He'll walk right up and help himself and Gypsy just walks away.

I think most people that adopt usually go for the cute kittens. I always feel sorry for the older cats that spend months and years in shelters. It seems like nobody every takes the older cats home. Suede will have a great life with us and Gypsy. He won the cat lottery like the rest of our cats. Sandi is the "Cat Whisperer" I think. She sure can pick out a good cat.
They say you never know what you are getting when you bring an older cat home. I wasn't sure if I believed this or not...that is not until Suede came down from upstairs dressed like "Captain America."
Little did we know we were adopting a super hero.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ear Infection

Gypsy has been a very healthy dog. We haven't had to take her to the Vet or treat her for anything very often in her 8 plus years. Sure she barely eats and thinks she is a cat but I cant complain about her health. She has an iron clad constitution. That said, she is prone to ear infections from time to time. We woke up this morning and sure enough, she has an ear infection. When she gets these she lowers her head and walks kind of crooked. Like she is trying to go to the right but walks to the left. It is painful for her to lay down, and her tail is down as low as it can possibly go. I feel so sorry for her. I also feel like a bad dog owner. Like I could have done a better job with the ear maintenance and cleaning to help prevent these things. Standards do require more maintenance when it come to the ears than most dogs. When she did this for the first time I thought she was having a stroke or something. Our Vet says it is a bit strange and that she hadn't seen this before.

When I first came into the office this morning she was just walking around in circles behind me, pacing away. Every time she tried to lay down she would wince and get back up. I put a med in her ear and gave her a Benadryl. She finally laid down behind me and seems to be relaxing.
I hope she is better soon. Or at least more comfortable.

More Fowl

 One of the most popular events during the water fowl festival is the Dock Dogs event. The dogs come from up and down the east coast for this event. You've probably seen this on TV but if you can take in the jumping live it is very impressive.
 I always thought it was limited to Labs but there were all sorts of dogs competing. This little Springer was a crowd favorite.

We thought this would be something that Gypsy would like to do. She does leap out of the garage into the backyard when she is excited.
I can get some hang time dude but I don't like getting my hair wet!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Water Fowl

This weekend was our local Water Fowl Festival. It is always held on the second weekend in November. We have had some cold rainy weekends in the past. This year the sun has been out and we have enjoyed beautiful fall weather.

 Gypsy loves going downtown. She was beside herself excited as we walked the streets. There are dogs of every shape and size downtown and they all want to introduce themselves to Gyp. She did her share of nervous barking and had happy feet all day long. As excited as she was, she kept an eye on all the shrubs looking for a squirrel or chipmunk. People would come up to pet her and she would really turn up the excitement. Everyone was shocked when we told them she was over 8 years old. We ran into a few other standard poodles and they were almost as excited as Gypsy. Maybe this is just the thing with the breed?

We met plenty of dogs and ran into a bunch of friends. That's the thing about a small town, you always will run into someone you know.
That's why I'm always on my best behavior!!!

One of our friends has a business doing mobile advertising. I suggested we have Gypsy pull a sign behind her.

At the end of the day I went into a local restaurant to use the men's room. Right there in front of me, while I was doing my business, was this portrait of a black standard poodle. Looks just like Gypsy. I hope nobody saw me take this picture.

I think the plan is to take Gypsy down to Water Fowl again today.

Friday, November 8, 2013

200 Posts

Hey, I just noticed that last post was the 200th. That's a lot of posts. I took a look back and the first post was in March of 2012 telling the story of how Gypsy came into my life. If you haven't seen those first blogs you might want to check them out.
I also took a look at who is looking at this Gypsy blog. I've had views from all over the world. In the last week the views have come from United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Ukraine, Slovakia, Russia, and Japan. OK, the views from Japan are from my daughter.

 I'll continue to tell you stories of my quirky little poodle Gypsy.
Hey, I may be a Diva but I'm not quirky!
She continues to make me laugh and give us unconditional love.


Autumn is definitely upon us. The leaves are beautiful this year and are falling fast. This weekend is the annual "Water Fowl Festival" in our town. It is a weekend dedicated to everything that the eastern shore is famous for and that is water fowl. People from all over the world come to look at the art work and decoys. There are hunting dog demonstrations and the very popular dock dogs. We take Gypsy and walk around downtown and greet the hundreds of other dogs walking the streets.

 Bliz and Gypsy
Not only is it the beginning of Autumn, it is also the beginning of oyster season. Sandi and I are friends with a couple of "watermen" here on the shore and they get great pleasure in feeding Sandi as many oysters as they can. They came over the other day and before you knew it, Bliz has the tailgate of the truck down, shucking oysters for Sandi. Gypsy is not a fan of oysters. Last year Rim would eat as many, if not more, than Sandi. Gypsy really likes these guys.

Another sure sign that it is getting much cooler outside is watching the cats jockey around the house for sun spots. Chloe, aka Queen Mother, is a pro at following the sun spot up the steps in the morning.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Yesterday we paid tribute to our friend John. Aka New York John. He was diagnosed with cancer not even a year ago. At that time the doctors told him the severity of his situation but he didn't share the diagnosis with anyone. Not even his three sons. We met NYJ not long after we moved into this area. He was always around and very quick with a joke. He enjoyed sitting out front of the "Tide" taking in the sun and watching the action downtown. The guy that owns the Men's Clothing Store across the street would close up shop for a few minutes and run over to the Tide and have a beer with NYJ. He seemed to know just about everyone that walked by and waved at them. John new all the servers and made a point of talking to each of them. We often would take Gypsy along with us on these trips to the Tide. She always has a good time down there. She is less interested in the downtown activity but more interested in the squirrel and chipmunk activity. Gypsy also liked being around John. He seemed to have a calming affect on her. He always asked to hold her leash and have her sit by him. She would always take a break from obsessing over the wildlife and calmly lay by John. We all will miss those days of front of the "Tide."
Goodbye John!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tag Time

Here is a short video of Gypsy trying her best to get Sandi out into the yard. Gypsy runs the same pattern every time. Under the Crepe Myrtle (where Dino is laying) is home base.
No fair tagging me at home base!
She also hides behind the one pine tree as if she is invisible.

She is slowing up just a bit and can not run as many laps as she used to. After a round with Sandi, Gypsy has to lay out on the deck and take a nap.

Drama Relief

Hey, want to play?
Sandi and I have had an abundance of drama in our lives lately. We've had a death in the family, a death of a good friend, illness with family and friends, accidents, you name it. Hey, I'm not complaining, that's life and you have to handle it.
At least we have not had a Tsunami!
That would cap this autumn off for sure. Can we have those on the Chesapeake Bay?
I think dogs can sense when things get sideways. Gypsy is very tuned into our feelings and is very sensitive. What better way for us to get a bit of drama relief than to play with a poodle?
Go ahead, try to get Dino...make my day!
I think Gyp has been tuned into Sandi a bit more than usual lately. Gypsy knows that no matter how stressed Sandi is, she is always willing to play a game of tag.

She'll never find me behind this tree...
That's the thing with dogs and Gypsy in particular. No matter what is thrown our way, she will be there for us with a big smile on here face helping us get past the latest drama.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Road Trip...Cleveland

A few weeks ago my brother and I took a trip up to Cleveland for the weekend. We visited with my sister, brother in-law, and their daughter and her hubby. Just a quick weekend thing and so I decided to take Gypsy with me. She does great in the car, always has been willing and able to ride just about anywhere with us. Even if the destination is Cleveland. That poor city is the brunt of so many bad jokes. Mistake by the Lake...blah blah blah. Totally unjustified in my opinion.

Gypsy has been to my sister's house a few times and really enjoys herself. It was in my sisters yard where Gypsy discovered Chipmunks.

Gypsy on the prowl.
I don't know what she would do if she actually ever caught one. I think it would probably be a nice appetizer for her though. She will put her nose to the ground and sniff around all day long for the little varmints. They also have an abundance of deer around the house. Saturday morning I let her out first thing. Around 6am and she spotted a few deer in this field adjacent to their house. Off she went, like a flash, after the deer. Into the woods they went and I'm thinking "great I lost the stinking poodle." She came back after just a few minutes, huffing and puffing.
Those things are fast!
Every time I took her out after that morning, she would check out that field for deer.
My sister's daughter brought her dog along with them for the weekend.
Winnie, is a very cool dog and Gypsy and she got along great. Winnie looks like she would be one of those little dogs that are constantly barking and afraid to get their feet wet. She is totally the opposite of that. She and Gypsy hung out the entire weekend and Winnie did her best to keep up.
Saturday afternoon was one of those glorious early autumn days you get in Cleveland. Bright sunny sky with a nice breeze coming in off the lake. We hung around outside all day long and "the girls" also hung out. Gypsy showing Winnie the art of going on patrol. We had a fun time and it was great to be back home even for a weekend.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Where are the Blogs?

Ok, I know it is already October and I've been slacking on the blogging. This summer went by in a flash and now that it is autumn, I'll be sure to fill you in on everything that has been going on with our quirky poodle Gypsy. aka Smiley

But first, I thought I'd give a quick update on Rim who from here on out will be referred to as Ram since that is his name.

OMG I'm in North Carolina!!!
Recently we had to make a quick trip to NC. Without going into detail the circumstances were pretty depressing. We boarded Gypsy for the weekend, got the cat sitter lined up, and off we went. One of the highlights of the weekend was during a family get together at Sandi's CUZ's house we got to see Ram. There were about 25-30 people in the house when we got there and Ram was busy greeting everyone and on the look out for crumbs on the floor. As soon as we walked in he set sights on Sandi and greeted her with enthusiasm. He got up on his rear legs and placed his front paws on her shoulders. There was no doubt that he remembered her. The rest of the day I spotted Ram looking up and taking note of where Sandi was. He would sometimes go over to her and lean up against her like he used to do. He was happy to see me too but not like he was with Sandi. He brightened Sandi's otherwise bleak day. How do dogs do that?
To say that Ram is in a great, loving home is an understatement. Along with CUZ and her husband, Ram has two teenage boys at home he has to take care of. They adore him.
They recently entered Ram in a "TOUGH DOG" competition. Here he is in his tough guy groom complete with Mohawk and moustache. If I understood, he took the first place prize.
It was great to see him (and the rest of the family) and I now am 100% convinced that we did the right thing in getting Ram a new home.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Pups

Our friend at had another litter not too long ago. These are gorgeous Standard Poodle pups and they do a great job of placing the right puppy in the right home. She has about a million pictures on her web site.
check them out.

High Maintenance

We call Gypsy a "High Maintenance" dog. We also call her a "Nervous Nelly." She seems most happy when she is around us and does not like to be alone. Where ever I go in the house, she follows.
Hey, I like your company. Whats wrong with that?
When she is inside, she looks out the back window into the backyard, looking for intruders. When we put her out, she comes to the back window checking out what is going on inside the house. She runs from the back window to the back door, looking at it waiting to see it open. This was partly the reason we got Rim, to keep her company and hopefully help her relax. That didn't turn out so well as his presence seemed to make her more nervous.
That puppy was trying to horn in on my people.
Since Rim is now gone to NC having a great time, she has relaxed some but still a Nervous Nelly.
The other day we had to run a few errands and it was too hot to take Gypsy in the car. When we leave her at home inside we put her in the office and put a baby gate in front of the door. She has a bed in the office and should be happy. The cats will venture inside the office from time to time keeping her company. The other day when we returned, even before we got inside the house, we heard a whining, crying from Gypsy. She was up in the office just wailing away. Since then she has done this a few more times. Now when I put her up in the office or even when I put her outside on the deck, she lowers her head and her tail is down between her legs. She will reluctantly go into the office like she is marching to her death.
I hate being alone!!!
This is something new to us. She has never liked being alone but she has never cried out loud. I think it is a bit strange behavior from an older dog. We are not sure how to deal with this anxiety issue she has developed. I've started walking her more, thinking that will chill her out. Maybe I should get her in therapy.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

Hard to believe Labor Day weekend is upon us. where did the summer go? Seems like my blogging activity waned during the summer months. I think because we have had a fairly uneventful summer. Lots of yard work and painting. Nothing spectacular to write about. For the first time Gypsy got a short, summer haircut. I think she likes it and I have grown accustomed to seeing her with short hair. I am still making her food and she seems to still like it. she has gained a pound or two we think. It appears to me that she has filled out some.

I came home from work one day and Sandi said she and Gypsy went out shopping. Of course that can only mean one thing, a new collar. This sporty "Life Is Good" collar is now her favorite. She has more collars than Sandi has shoes. That is saying something.

We have picked up our daily walking routine now that it is not as hot. Gypsy is always looking for her arch enemy Bunny on every walk. We come across Oliver the pig from time to time. His tail is always wagging and he is happy to greet just about everyone. I saw a school bus let a bunch of kids off not long ago and about eight little girls went running up to him and he was jumping up and down excited to meet them.

For the bulk of the summer we've been spending time out on the deck. Chloe is the only cat with outside privileges. She just hangs out on the deck and never ventures off.  She usually just gets a few rubs from us and then looks for a good sun spot.
We will see what this Labor Day weekend brings us.