Saturday, February 9, 2013

Quirky 24/7

I don't know if it is just Gypsy, or the Standard Poodle breed in general, but Gyp is a quirky gal. I think that is why I've connected with her as much as I have. She has these quirky little habits that kind of make her endearing. I thought I'd try to run down a typical day of quirkiness.

First thing in the morning, Gypsy reluctantly gets out of bed with a groan. Every morning she does the Poodle stretch, front legs way out in front, butt high in the air. Then walk front legs out in front and lower butt, arching back.

We then make our way to the stairs. She is not the most graceful dog on the steps. She has been known to fall up the steps and/or down the steps from time to time. She walks to the steps and peers down, focused on not slipping. She then scampers down on three legs. She keeps her left rear leg raised, off the steps for the most part. Not sure why she does this.

When she gets to the bottom of the steps, she does a wide right hand turn, checking out what is going on the the family room. This is something she does every time.

We then go outside for the first time of the day. She used to leap out of the back door, sometimes going 4 feet high; but with age, she is not leaping out the door as much. However, she does go to all four corners of the yard, patrolling for illegal aliens, or at least bunnies. She then will run a few laps around the yard, always in the same pattern, and then she will search the sky for big black birds or other things invading our air space. Ready to chase them off.

We then come in and have breakfast. It's been documented that she is a picky eater. We've tried all sorts of different foods to entice her to eat. She just isn't very food driven. One thing for sure, she eats much better if I am close by. So, right now I fix her a bowl of her dog food mixed with cheese and turkey stock (homemade) and I then get my own bowl of cereal. She has been doing OK with this system for awhile now. As long as I'm in the room with her.

If she only eats half a bowl of food and Chloe happens to walk by, Gyp will get up and finish the bowl. We started telling her, "Chloe's gonna get it" and she gets up and eats more.

We then take a walk. Her most favorite thing to do in the world. Even at her adult age, she still prances. She high steps, tail up high, head up high and on alert. Looking for bunnies. She can spot a bunny at 50 yards. As we walk by, she turns her head to keep an eye on her prey. A few times, while looking behind her at a bunny, she has walked into a parked car. Very embarrassing. Gypsy has a keen prey instinct I think.

At the age she is now, she sleeps a good portion of the day. She has always been a very good dog inside the house. If we allowed her, she would look out the front door, searching for bunnies or other things to bark at. She knows this isn't a good thing but sometimes can't help herself.

When I come home from work, she has to stay in her bed until I get in the house. She then can't help it, she prances over with a big smile on her face. She usually has happy feet going on too and jumps up to greet me. This isn't great behavior but I like it.

After dinner, we settle down for some TV. She is good about laying down in her bed, relaxing while we sit and talk or watch the tube. Occasionally during the night, she will get up and come over to me and lay her head in my lap. Then, if I let her, she will put her two front legs up on my lap and have her front half up in my lap. Again, not great behavior but I let her get away with it.

Finally, it's bed time. I let her out for one last time. She patrols the yard and all is safe back there. We come in and she usually will finished any leftovers in her bowl. She peers up the steps, focused on not slipping. She uses all four legs going up the steps. We make it into the bedroom and she lays down in her bed (she has an upstairs bed and a down stairs bed) with a groan. Once I lay down, she gets back up and comes over and lays her head down on the bed next to mine. She does this every night. I give her a few strokes on the head and scratch behind the ear, she gives me a smile and then with that, off to bed. That is all time best habit.
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