Gimli 2

This website's Main Pages (click to go there)   Home 主页    Current Update 当前更新    Resources 学习资源    Photos 影集 

  Links 友情链接    Things We've Written 我的文集   Special Features 本站特色    Site Map 本站导航    Real World 英语写作 

I've stopped updating this website, though it's pages will remain for a while. See "current update" for details.

Visit instead: and

Our experience of raising a dog in China (page 2)

("Up" takes you to Gimli's first page; click here for the Photo Album index; click below for other "dog" pages)

Sister-pages:   Home Up Gimli 2 Gimli 3 Zoe

(▲ Links to the pages at the same level as this page. If you can't see the label, put your mouse over a button and look at the bottom of your browser.)

Growth chart

(Our vet estimated that she was born in early October)

height length weight time week
11-12cm 21-22 ? Nov 25 (when we got her) 7
14 cm 24 cm 1.4 kg Dec 19 10
16cm 25 2 kg Jan 3 13
17 28 ? Jan 20 15
18 31 3 kg Feb 2 17
20 32 4 kg March 4 21
22 33 4.5 kg April 3 26
22 34 4.5 kg May 5 30
22 35 4.9 kg May 26 33
She was spayed (no more pups) June 28 37
23 36 5 kg July 1 38


We measure her from shoulders to ground and collar to rear, as suggested at 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 facial expressions.



      It is 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 old) 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 tiny office.

     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.

      On January 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 below) 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 Kunming, 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.

      We were 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.

Click here to go to Gimli's other pages (one and three)

Click in the boxes below to go to some of our most popular pages. If you get lost, just click "Home."

(There is a "search" box on the home page)


Site map (To search within any page, type "ctrl + f")

Current Update

& how to contact us

Resources  for students & teachers

Links for English Learners

EFL Movie Study Guides

Better Writing Study Guide

Our Students photos

Photo Index

South Carolina & USA photos

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Favorite Links

Things We've Written (articles)

Introduction to China

Life in China photos

Music Page & mp3 downloads

Archive Index

Real World Writing (my textbook)

See our Policy regarding the use of materials available at or