(Our vet estimated that she was born in early October)
||Nov 25 (when we got her)
|She was spayed (no more
We measure her from shoulders to ground and collar to rear, as suggested
http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/measure.htm. But she
doesn't exactly stand still to be measured, so these are rough estimates!
It looks like she maxed out at about 26 weeks, with minor fluctuations
(likely recorder error) after that.
(Left) Gimli likes to "dance" with
towels, clinging to them by wrapping her front paws around the towel,
which is also in her mouth. As we move the towel, she waltzes around the
floor! It is really cute. The photo on the right shows one her many
interesting to see how Gimli treats each of us differently. Vivian's voice
or entrance always gets Gimli's rapt attention (at first, Vivian fed her
the most often). Vivian loves "finally" having a dog who loves her! Gimli
can sit for hours in Andrew's lap, and loves to lick his hands; she loves
to bite Michael's hands and absolutely hates his leather gloves (his hands
have the most scars). Michael is "top dog" and his "quiet!" gets results
while Vivian's is pretty much ignored. Gimli usually obeys Andrew's male
voice as well; he plays with her quite a bit too. Michael has always taken
her to the vet, but he also spends the most time with her during the day
(she sits in her box beside his desk). Gimli also loves to see our part-time housekeeper
(before her IV episode at the vet--see below--the housekeeper
used to take Gimli for a walk three times per week, but after that trip to
the vet we just have
her play with Gimli indoors and leave the walking to Andrew and Michael).
By the start of 2007, Gimli
was still crying
when she wasn't around others, so Michael fenced in part of his
office--put promptly ended up with a puddle and pile on the floor. In
fact, Gimli was still making daily mistakes (forgetting to go to a
designated potty place). So, Michael constructed a tunnel between the
laundry room and a large box in his office. He lined both with plastic,
and also covered the hall rug with plastic. This let Gimli be
near him while he was working.
By the way,
it gets pretty cold in the apartment at nights, and Gimli was always
shivering when she was a puppy (she doesn't have much fur!). The solution came when we found a
doggie-electric-blanket at a pet store. It isn't much bigger than the
bottom of her crate, and Vivian made a soft cover for it (the pad is
waterproof). Unfortunately Gimli liked to "dig" in her crate, and even to
chew on the power cord, so we had to sew it into a heavier cover and tie
it to the back of the crate so that the wire was out of her reach. Such
projects sound simple, but take hours! (After a year or so, she stopped
sleeping in the crate, and we stopped using the electric pad.)
By mid-March (about 23 weeks
we could trust Gimli not to wet Michael's floor, so the box and tunnel
disappeared. After that, his office door is open all the time (whether we
are home or not), and
there is a low cardboard wall keeping her away from his wires, papers,
guitar, and the rest of the stuff that clutters his
She liked being in
the box by Michael's desk, but when she was tired she begged to be held.
This photo shows what happens after you hold her (or simply put her in a
blanket between you and the computer) for a few minutes.
By mid January
Gimli had outgrown her baby clothes (sorry, no photos), so Vivian bought this doggie jacket
(mainly for it's size and design, not what it says!). It's rather funny to
see those words on such a small bundle of fur! Too bad most of our
neighbors can't read the sign!
Actually, she never liked wearing
a coat; she growled at us when we were putting it on. Fortunately, Kunming
doesn't have many "really cold day" so by her third year we just weren't
making her wear a coat (and since she can "potty" on the Chinese toilet,
we just didn't take her outside if it was raining or snowing).
(Above) The right side of the above photo shows Gimli's passage
from the laundry room, through the dining room,
to the kitchen. (I can't remember how long we used this; just a few months
while she was still forgetting to do to the potty.) She often sat in this "run" and whined for
attention when we started to eat--but that usually only lasted a few minutes.
Chewing on the fence puts her in "time out," but she stopped
doing this after the "terrible twos" passed.
Once the "run" was removed, she
was allowed to sit on a rug (in the same space) while we eat. Limiting her
from being "anywhere in the dining room" keeps her from being under foot
or begging for food.
20 (Gimli was about 15 weeks old), something changed; it was like Gimli
entered the "terrible twos." She became more fussy, bit at us more while
playing, stopped eating out of her dish, and seemed more hyper. We read
that this is a two-week period when a dog tests it's limits to see who is
boss. Fortunately, she was back to normal is less than two weeks, but
similar behavior showed up at 21 weeks.
From the very beginning, even
until now, she has always liked to be with someone, and preferably on a lap--and
Andrew's lap is her favorite.
To get Gimli off Michael's desk (see above), we built her a two-story dog house (mid
January) and put
it in the box in Michael's room. "Downstairs,"
she liked to "hide" and play with chew toys, while
"upstairs" she seems happy to sleep. Initially (as in the photo
she was on top of her hot-water-bottle friend, but for convenience we
replaced that with a hand warmer that could be plugged in, and once spring
finally came we replaced that with a towel and pillow (that had to be
nailed in place because she likes to drag her bedding to other rooms!).
By April, she had dislodged the pillow from it's
nails and had all-but outgrown this "penthouse", so we
eventually replaced it with a bigger one (see below)--after her first
year, we also didn't see a need to "heat" her bed.
As you can see from these
2010 photos, the new penthouse is also an extension for Michael's desk.
You can also see the cardboard "wall" between Gimli's area and Michael's
area of the office. Gimli could easily jump this wall, but she knows she
isn't supposed to, so she never has.
Her "penthouse" is Gimli's preferred place when Vivian and Andrew are out or
busy with other things. She also sometimes sleeps here while Michael works at his computer late into the night. The
upper level is within Michael's reach, so Gimli feels close to a family
member (she hates to be alone).
(Above right) But the other photo shows that Gimli will curl up anywhere
you let her! (Vivian is helping Michael mark exams, sitting on our bed.)
In early February (17 weeks old), Gimli
gave us quite a scare as blood appeared in her stool. Michael (and our
housekeeper) took her to the vet, who said she had probably eaten
something that was cutting her up inside (a piece of bone or rawhide, or
one of the stones she loved to eat on her walks when she was tiny).
At the Vet
The Chinese medical
solution to most situations is an IV (输液), but we were shocked that they even
give IVs to puppies! (Our friends can't believe that we never had an IV until we came to
China--they get them every time they
catch a bad cold.) Michael and the housekeeper took turns holding Gimli
still for about two hours on three days, and Gimli wasn't the only dog in
the freezing animal hospital (which, like almost all Chinese businesses in
had the doors open and didn't have any heaters). Between the cold, and the
cruelty (to our western minds) of forcing a puppy to sit still with medicine dripping in, three
days was all Michael could take. He asked the vet if there were any
alternatives to this treatment, and the answer was "no." Then he asked
what medicine was being pumped into our dog, but the vet said he never
tells pet owners what medicine is being used. Even though he asked us to
come back for at least two more days of IV, we had had enough and didn't
go back. Fortunately, Gimli's bleeding had already stopped and she was
better within a few days. The problem has never returned.
relieved because we left for 11 days in Thailand less than a week later
(Feb 11-22). Two of Michael's former students stayed in our apartment to
take care of Gimli.
After Gimli was a year old we gave her more
freedom. In fact, we just let her be wherever she wanted to be. That was a
mistake! One day in October 2007 (soon after her first birthday), I was
working in my office and heard a strange "bell" ringing over and over. It
turned out to be Gimli's name plate, as she clawed her way through one of
our seat cushions! By the time I decided to investigate, well, you can see
what she had accomplished. On another occasion, she had jumped up on our
bed (one of the few places she is not allowed to be without an invitation) and shredded some
papers Vivian had been working on. After that, we decided that Gimli
should not be too far from where we are!
Eventually, we gave her free reign again while we are home, but we still
limit her to "her room" (her bathroom) and half of Michael's office when
we are all away from home. As of May 2010, we haven't had any other big
problems with her shredding things.
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