Friday, May 31, 2013

Cycle Gal

I got home from work the other day and Sandi was out running errands. I grabbed Gypsy and we went out into the backyard for some play time. We were greeted by the new "yard art" Sandi purchased that afternoon. Sandi is deep into cycling and has started a bike club. I believe it is about the fastest growing bike club around. Gypsy had to look twice at this thing as it has a strong resemblance to Sandi. If you click on it you can see how fast she peddles. When I ride with Sandi the only view of her I get is her blonde pony tail flapping in the breeze about a quarter mile in front of me.
She is hard to keep up with!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Poodle Grooming

One of the many things that attracted us to the standard poodle is the fact that they don't shed. This is very important as we have a small herd of shedding cats running around the house. They do however, require constant grooming. Something I must admit that I'm not the greatest at. I've been keeping up with the ear cleaning and recently started brushing Gypsy's teeth. The first time with the brushing was an adventure but I think she kind of likes it now. The hair brushing is the thing that is most difficult. When her hair gets longer and curly, it is about impossible to brush through. I've got a small fortune invested in various brushes and combs trying to find the magical tool. None of them work very well. This is why we look forward to poodle spa day at the groomer. We've been taking Gyp to the same girl since she was a puppy. This girl has a great grooming studio in her house. Gypsy walks into the salon as if she owns the place and is always greeted with enthusiasm. We take her in looking like a miniature llama and get her back looking like she is ready for a dog show. I don't know how they do it but they do a great job. You can see in the picture above that she is all smiles after returning home from the parlor. You can also see she is getting a bit gray. Maybe we can have the groomer fix that next time.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Piggy Encounters

We have neighbors on the other side of the neighborhood that we see from time to time while walking Gypsy. They have two older dogs that they let out in the front yard and we usually say hello to them. Suddenly, this spring, we didn't see the dogs for some time. I think one if not both of them has gone to the dog park in the sky. Gypsy and I would stroll by and it would be quiet. No dogs.

The other day Sandi had Gypsy out on a walk and she came home with some strange news. She came up to their house and they had this little pig outside. I guess this guy, Oliver, is their new family pet. Gypsy was not sure what to think of Oliver but she was very excited to meet him.
Hey, this dog smells like bacon!
So now when we walk Gypsy, we see Oliver and say hello. Actually I think every time they have Oliver out people stop and ask them questions. They are training him to use a cat box inside the house and they say he is doing very well. He is certainly clean and seems well behaved. Although the other night I was walking Gypsy and Oliver was getting into the flower beds and was getting reprimanded. I'm not sure what he eats or how large he will get but Sandi and I think he is cute. I guess some of the neighbors have complained to the home owners association about Oliver. I say get over it! We look forward to our piggy encounters.
Pork, the other white meat!
We'll keep you posted on Oliver's progress.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Baby Birdin...

 The other day, after work, Sandi and I did what we always do when it is nice out. We sat on the deck. Gypsy loves it when we do this. She will divide her time laying by us relaxing or going on patrol making sure everything in the backyard is secure. She keeps an eye to the sky making sure big black birds don't intrude into our air space. We call this "Birdin."

 This afternoon she was playing close attention to the area around a wood pile in the corner of the yard. This is the major port of entry/exit for any bunnies brave enough to enter our yard. She usually gives the area a few sniffs and after a quick visual inspection, she'll declare our yard bunny free.
I can sniff out a bunny a mile away!
After a few minutes of non stop sniffing I decided I better go out there and see what she was so interested in.

Sitting on top of the wood pile I find this little baby Robin. We have bird nests all over the yard, both front and back. This little guy had just left the nest. I wasn't sure if it was injured or just taking a break from the first flight.

Sandi came out and tried to snatch the little thing and it took off across the yard. It was doing a pretty good job of getting away for Sandi. Of course Gypsy wanted to get in the action too. Sandi chasing the bird, Gypsy chasing Sandi, and me chasing Gypsy. She finally caught up to the little guy and we put him up on the fence and he flew off into the field behind us.
It looked like his siblings were not as brave and decided to stay at home for a few more days.

All the Robins have left the nest but Gypsy still inspects the nest during patrol everyday. Just to make sure we don't have anymore birds in distress.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


If you have read any of my earlier posts on this quirky poodle, you might already be aware that Gypsy is a hunter. The very first time we walked her around the neighborhood a few leafs blew across the street and she went on point, alert and on the look out for more. High stepping with her tail up and eyes going left and right looking for prey. Even if it was only a leaf.

It wasn't long after that she had her first experience with her greatest nemesis, the bunny rabbit. Our neighborhood is full of them. I don't think you can take a walk without seeing one around every corner. And Gypsy Gal..."The Bunny Hunter" is on the look out for each and every one of them.
I hate those furry little monsters!
Bunny's must not be very smart because they would actually hangout in our backyard. Grazing away at one of the expensive plants Sandi just planted. I'd leave Gypsy out the back door and she would bolt after them. Bunnies scattering every which way. There were times that she almost caught one. The Bunnies knew where all the escape routes were in the fence and would make a bee line to safety. A few times I would leave Gyp out at night and she would bolt after the bunnies, in hot pursuit going full bore right on their white little tail only to slam into the fence with a thud.
That hurts!
They don't seem to hangout in the backyard as much these days. Maybe word got out that Gypsy still rules the backyard.

We do see plenty of them on our walks. Sometimes I will pause and she can get a good look. I have no doubt that if I took her off leash she would be after that bunny in a flash.
I bet that bunny tastes like chicken!
After I let her get a good look at the bunny, we continue our walk. She will turn around while we walk, keeping an eye on the bunny. She'll do this for 20 yards or so and on occasion has walked right into a parked car.
I hope nobody saw that!
Gypsy Gal..."The Bunny Hunter" is getting a bit older and I don't take her on as long of a walk as we used to take but, she can still spot a bunny from a mile away.


It was brought to my attention that I short changed the Cross Courts Bikers in my report on the Tour de Cure for the ADA. The rider was 55 miles, not 50.
Those last 5 miles were killer!

Saturday Bike Ride

I think I've mentioned before that Sandi created a bike club here in town. Cross Court Bike Club rides a few times a week and participates in many fund raising rides. One of those was Saturday morning benefiting the American Diabetes Association. The bike club raised over $15,000.00 for the cause. The second year in a row that Cross Court Bike Club has been the largest team contributor. I didn't ride this time around but Gypsy and I went to see the group off on their 50 mile ride and take a few photos.

 Gypsy had to go to registration.
All the members of the club know Gypsy very well and are happy to see her. Gyp, as always, is very excited about seeing them.
Once the group left on the ride, Gypsy and I watched this guy fly a hover craft around a field. Gypsy sat, staring at this thing not knowing if she should "go birdin" and try to run it off.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"I Hear That Train A Comin"

This past weekend Gypsy and I took Sandi up to Harpers Ferry for her birthday weekend. Sandi just loves the mountains and we enjoy the views, hiking, meeting new people, and on this trip Sandi wanted to do something lining. Zip Lining is on her bucket list of things to do. I can assure you it isn't on mine.
I don't care about zip lining either!
When we go away for weekends we have a neighbor come in and look after the cats. She is a great cat person and Sandi feels she does a great job. Gypsy on the other hand is another story. In the past we've tried boarding her but she absolutely hates it. She will go on a hunger strike until we get home. So, we had to do a search for a pet friendly place in Harpers Ferry. We found a cute, pet friendly, cottage right in town. I believe the description of this place was a quiet getaway nestled on a hillside adjacent to historic Harpers Ferry. Off the three of us go for a quiet weekend.

Friday was zip lining day. We found a place called "River Riders" that host all the outdoor adventure sports. These are very nice people. They actually kept Gypsy inside the office while we were out zipping. Before I go much further I have to let you in on a secret, I'm not an extreme sports kind of guy and I'm not that fond of heights. What the hell am I doing going zip lining? We meet out guide for the day, the other people in our group, go over the safety things, and off we go. The day would consist of 8 zips of various lengths and a couple of crazy bridges to cross. I made it through the first couple of zips and the first bridge then, we got a bit higher up in the trees. It was at that time I decided I had enough fun for one day. My fear of heights kicked in. I was lowered to the ground in humiliation while Sandi continued. She had a few thoughts of bagging it with me but, to her credit, fought through them.

If you look closely in the center of this picture you can see one of the towers peaking out above the trees.
After 4 hours of zipping, we find a place in town to grab a bite to eat. We were sitting outside when the first train went by. When I say go by, I mean they go by at a high rate of speed and they are right next you. Honking the stupid horn the entire time they go through town. They town is built down in the river valley so all the noise just bounces around the mountains. We decided that perhaps the train would stop running at night but soon found out it ran all night long. One just about every hour at the least. What happened to the "quiet cottage" we read about? These were the loudest trains I've ever heard.

We got up the next morning, groggy from the interrupted sleep. Sandi probably had three hours of sleep at the most. We decided we weren't going to let that stop us. Off we go for a nice hike along the C&O Canal. It was a misty morning threatening rain all morning long.
 To get on the trail we had to cross the rail road bridge.

 This meant climbing an expanded steel stair case. These steps totally freaked Gypsy out. I think she has a fear of heights like I do.
We came upon an older couple that was walking their four month old Standard Poodle, Theodore. Very cute puppy. Gypsy didn't want anything to do with him though. We had a good three hour hike in mostly wet conditions.
 This is Jefferson Rock that is on the trail. Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson sat on the rock, looking down at the area that was Harpers Ferry and said it was one of the most beautiful places in the world. I think what he said was "Hey, what a great spot to build a loud train track."

By the end of the hike we were all wet. Gypsy had the "Howard Stern" look going.
During the hike we heard every train that came through. Sandi could identify what kind of train it was without seeing it. Yep, that's a passenger train. This ones' a coal train. That one was a standard cargo train.
The last night in our quiet cottage, nestled along the hillside adjacent to historic Harpers Ferry was just as loud as the first. We packed up and headed back to Maryland. I think we were sleep deprived as we laughed and joked about the weekend the whole time driving home. We saw some beautiful things and met some great people. Sandi checked off a bucket list thing so, all in all it was a good weekend.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

He's Back

  Sandi has a ritual she goes through every morning. Open shades, make coffee, do the cat boxes, fresh water and food for the cats, and finally open the front door. As soon as the door is opened, one or more of the cats will run to it and look out in search of birds and/or NOBELLS the cat across the street. The other day the red boys had guard duty.

The cats were in luck this morning as NOBELLS made a return visit. I don't know why but whenever he is around our cats have a strong desire to clean the window. Here Moose is trying to get those pesky streaks off the glass.

This picture makes NOBELLS look like a Tasmanian Devil. Actually he was just finishing a big yawn.

See you next time NOBELLS thanks for the visit. Our cats will be on the lookout for you.