Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading! ♥
*** See also the related Battle of the Bands post. Click HERE. ***
Apologies once again for the long post.
It’s another one of personal significance.
The poodle is believed to have originated in Germany, where it was known as the Pudelhund. Pudel (cognate with the English word “puddle”), is derived from the Low German verb meaning “to splash about”, and the word Hund in German means “dog” (cognate with “hound”). The breed was standardized in France, where it was commonly used as a water retriever. Due to the breed’s popularity in France, it became established as its national breed. The poodle has been bred in at least three sizes, including Standard, Miniature, and Toy. (There is also a Teacup size – even smaller than a Toy.) Their status as a dog of the middle and upper classes was quite solid by the time of the founding of the (UK) Kennel Club in the 1870s as they were one of the first dog breeds registered. – WIKIPEDIA
Miniature poodles are between 25-38 cm. (10-15 in.) in height and have an average lifespan of 14-15 years. Their leading cause of death is old age, but Addison’s Disease is also a concern. It can lead to kidney failure if not treated properly. This breed is exceptionally intelligent and agile. Dogs 101 Video
[Caution: sad ending]
For my twelfth birthday (Jan. 1967) I was gifted a beautiful, black miniature poodle by my grandmother and named her “GiGi”, after an old song from a favourite cartoon: “R-A-G-G M-O-P-P Rag Mop”. Click HERE to watch it. She was a wonderful dog and I loved her deeply. We were living in Germany then, which is a dog-friendly country, so GiGi was with me most of the time. Every Sunday, my grandparents, parents and I went out to dinner, dogs in tow. (Oma and Opa had a silver standard poodle.) The following year, my mother and I took Gigi on a summer bus tour to the Italian Riviera. Click HERE to read more about that.
[click images to enlarge]
When we moved back to Canada in August 1969, Gigi was naturally included. Every summer for the next three years, my mother and I returned to Germany for a visit. After the last one in 1972, she wanted to stay longer, so I flew home alone. It was disappointing to see my father standing by himself at the airport. Where was GiGi? “I have some bad news”, he said. Imagine the fear and panic that overwhelmed me! “Someone broke into my car last night. They stole Gigi, my jacket and the camera.” Staccato questions flew out of my mouth:
Why was Gigi in the car?
How long was she there?
Where was the car?
Did you call the police?
Apparently, my father had decided to stop at the local pub for a beer, after taking GiGi to the park. I won’t go into how upsetting that was. He did file a police report, but nothing ever came of it. I blamed him for a long time, then eventually came to realize, it could have happened to anyone, anywhere and forgave him. My mother never did (she still talks about it), but I digress…
A reporter friend at the local paper wrote an article about Gigi’s disappearance, asking for tips from the public. All we got was crank calls. One sadistic asshole said he had found GiGi, gave us a phoney address and sent us on a heartbreaking quest! Gigi was never heard from again and to this day, I wonder what horrible fate befell her. She was only five years old at the time.
This post wouldn’t be complete without including a few of my favourite Miniature Poodle houseguests:
What do you think of this breed?
Have you ever lost a dog or had one stolen from you?
Looking forward to your comments!