40 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Dogs, Link Ups, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
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!
#AtoZChallenge Day 13: M is for MINIATURE POODLE
Day 13, April 15
*** 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.

#AtoZChallenge: M is for Miniature Poodle
GiGi and me, 1971


This post wouldn’t be complete without including a few of my favourite Miniature Poodle houseguests:

#AtoZChallenge: M is for miniature poodle
Left to right: Arthur, Caramel (au naturelle), Coal, Nushka


What do you think of this breed?
Have you ever lost a dog or had one stolen from you?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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40 thoughts on “LETTER M is for MINIATURE POODLE | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Oh, no! I am so very sorry, Debbie! Hugs! I think someone coveted Gigi and stole her, and perhaps looked after her very well? I can only imagine how you, your mom and your dad must have felt. When you said sad ending, I did not expect this. Sending you love!
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  2. Oh, no, how sad! I wasn’t expecting a horror story!

    My first dog was a miniature poodle, too. His name was Toby, and he was an adorable little guy with such a sweet disposition. He didn’t even mind dressing up in my pink tutu and dancing for us. Poor pup! We had to find him another home, at one point, but made sure he was well cared for.
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      1. My Toby was so patient in a lot of ways! He was my first pet ever, and that’s how I remember him – Toby of Infinite Patience. We never really had to scold him, either, as I recall; if he did wrong, he’d creep up to you with his tail between his legs and lick your hand and look with baleful eyes for forgiveness. Impossible to resist. But such a sense of shame, that little dog had. So repentant, for even the tiniest infraction. And I don’t know where he got it – we got him as a puppy, so I’m pretty sure no one had ever abused him or been unkind to him. Perhaps we were kindred spirits; I remember telling my parents, once, that’s I would rather they spanked me or even beat me than to sit there looking sad and saying they were disappointed in me! Perhaps that was how Toby felt when he peed on the rug. 🙂
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  3. Well, hello there old friend! How ya been? I’m here on the A to Z Challenge. Mmmmmmmmmmmm Anyway my mama (M) Loved miniature poodles! We had a few when I was growing up. We had this one she called “Misty” their song (my mom’s & dad’s), and she was a miniature poodle, but her hair was straight believe it or not. Long story short they had her checked out and the Vet said she had a hormone deficiency and that’s what caused her hair to go straight. It wasn’t poker straight it was a tad wavy, but it sure looked funny on a poodle. Well have a great weekend it was nice talking to you again.

  4. I want to think that Gigi was sold to a loving family. Hopefully, the thief didn’t keep her because he didn’t deserve her. But if he sold her to someone, it was someone who loved and cared for her.
    How terrible though. I’m sorry.
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  5. Poor Gigi and your whole family. I’m certain Your dad felt horrible! When I was a kid, we had many dogs since people would drop them off as we lived in The country. We got a dog, we named her fox and she was so smart! I wanted my parents to get her fixed but they never did since it cost money and they figured she’s just a dog so…. Anyway, she got impregnated by a St. Bernard and she was not a big dog. When it came time to deliver, she couldn’t. Fox took my mom’s sleeve and brought her to the car! When I came home from school, I asked where Fox was and finally my mo. Told me she had to be put to sleep because the pups were too big. They all died. It still stings actually but I never got close to a dog aft that because of fear of loving and losing them until I was hired at my present job. My former boss(bless him) has 2 poodles a white one, Sara, and a black one, Tasha. He would bring them to work and Tasha would come to me and sit on my lap for the first 20 minutes. These 2 dogs melted my heart and made me recognize that I can’t ignore the love I feel for dogs. They lived to be 17 and my boss had them cremated. He died shortly after turning 60 from Alzheimer’s and they were there with him.
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  6. I love poodles. When I was younger, the landlords had a toy poodle named Buttons who would spend Sunday evenings with us because both the husband and wife worked then, and if we didn’t, the dog would just sit in the apartment downstairs and howl and keep us awake. My dad loved the dog, and when he died I remember asking my mother what Buttons would do when he didn’t see Dad.

    Dad’s brother lived on a farm in Ohio, and one day a gray standard poodle wandered onto the property, no collar or anything. He kept the dog and advertised that they found her, but no one ever came, so he adopted it, and named her Wooly. She was an older dog, but got along with everyone and was really gentle.

    No one ever stole a pet from us. I can’t imagine someone being that much of an asshole (pardon my French).
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  7. Oh yes, I lost a dog once (or rather, Nino did) and I was heartbroken about it. In fact, heartbroken doesn’t even begin to describe it. Nino had a friend who had a griffon that had a litter of pups. He had promised us one, but when they were born, he offered all three pups to us for 20,000 liras. The catch? We had to take them now or he would kill them. There was no choice: we bought the pups and yours truly became their “mommy”. Anyway, to shorten the story, the three thrived: Blackie, Sophia and Bruiser. They were just like any other siblings–they quarreled, they played with each other, they threw themselves into my arms when they saw me. When they were about 3 months old, Nino took them out to the country where we had a vineyard, and they were ecstatic, especially since their “Mommy” came to visit them every day. They were beautiful! Pure black. Blackie was a grouch, Sophia loved everyone, but Bruiser was a Mommy’s boy. When they were 8 months old, Nino gave them a distemper vaccine. He gave the correct dosage (there was only one–a pill every day for a week). Keep in mind that he loved those pups almost as much as I did and would never have deliberately hurt them. But one day, we reached the vineyard and Blackie was dead, and Sophia was dying. Bruiser, being the largest was just fine. Sophia died in my arms about half an hour later. It appeared that the batch was an extremely virulent batch, and they died from distemper. What should have saved them, killed them.
    We had Bruiser for three years. He went hunting with Nino one day, found a trail and off he went. Nino searched for him for hours, until way after dark, but he never found him. It wasn’t a large area, and it was just outside of town, but after searching everyday for 2 weeks, Nino gave up. He never found him dead, either, so we have no idea what happened to him. Like you, Debbie, I blamed Nino, but then, after a while, I understood that it wasn’t Nino’s fault, that some other hunter had probably taken him: he was such a friendly character, he’d have gone with anyone. sigh…
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  8. Oh Debbie, that’s heartbreaking! I can imagine the pain you experienced. Your dad must have been racked with guilt. What a terrible outcome. I hope that whoever took Gigi gave her a loving home somehow. It must be so hard to have no closure, to be wondering about her fate to this day. So sorry that you went through that.

    I love the poodle breed and I like all sizes of poodles, especially the standard size. They are so smart and so sweet, all sizes of poodles. Love their fur and that they don’t shed too!

    Thanks for sharing your story of Gigi…

    Michele at Angels Bark
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  9. We have only had one black mini poodle, Quincy. When she was 4 we moved across the country and left her with my sister because we couldn’t take her with us. There she lived a full life but ran across the street one day and ………. My sis said she was the best dog she ever had and they still miss her — that was 40 years ago and reading this, of course, it brought back memories of her. So sad how you lost your little one as well.
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  10. That’s a heartbreaking story about GiGi. I remember the song as well (and it is now stuck in my head – thanks for that!) I recall when I was younger we had neighbors that had a poodle and one day when I was walking through the neighborhood I noticed it had been shaved and styled. It was the first time I had ever seen such a thing. I wasn’t sure how to react to it, not knowing what a properly groomed poodle looked like.
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  11. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I read the story of GiGi fully expecting you to tell us how old age and medical problems led to the heartbreaking decision to have her put to sleep. I wasn’t prepared for an unknown outcome that leaves you empty, wondering, and lacking closure to this day. How unfortunate that your father made the fateful decision to stop in for a beer. I can tell by looking at these pictures that you loved GiGi, and it makes me very sad to know that you lost your pet in this manner. I would have been grief stricken for an entire year. I am proud of you for finding it in your heart to forgive your dad. We can only hope that whoever took GiGi gave her to a child who had been begging for a dog and that GiGi went on to live a long, happy life.

    Thank you for giving background info about the miniature poodle, dear friend Debbie, and for sharing the true and painful story of your beloved dog GiGi.
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    1. This was a tough one to write, Shady, but I’ve been carrying it around for 44 years and needed the release. My father had a drinking problem, so I was angry at him for a long time, but at some point, you have to let it go, otherwise you become bitter and twisted. I hope GiGi ended up in a good home, but when you don’t have closure, your mind wanders into the darkest scenarios. Thanks for reading this sad tale.
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