This section of our site is dedicated to the fearless, Second Mate of the Salty Dog, the one, the only…Admiral Gimpy. We will add her trials, tribulations, stories, photos and what not.
Gimpy’s Honduran Love Affair
Ole Blue Eyes
Admiral Gimpy up to no good in Guatemala
Gimp Dog jumps ship
While Ted went back to Miami to pick up some electronics, I went on a howler monkey expedition with Conor, Meghan, Penny, and Bubby. Meg, Gimpy, and I were in one canoe, and Conor, Penny, and Bubby were in another.
We paddled across the river to a tienda to fill the cooler with beers and ice. As we were waiting for Conor, Bubby jumped out of the canoe and swam under the boardwalk outside of the tienda. Luckily, there was an opening and he swam back to the canoe. Shortly after, Penny jumped out of the canoe to retrieve some sort of trash floating down the river. Gimpy sat under a canoe seat. This was nothing she hadn’t seen before. When Pen Dog is in a canoe she tries to balance on the edges and front of the canoe and paces impatiently for Conor and Meg to paddle by the foulest smelling water or mud so that she can jump in. Ted and I have to constantly suppress the urge to laugh. Sometimes, we just laugh. In one canoe trip the Gorhams can pick a swimming, soggy Penny out of the water and into the canoe 3-4 times without even coming close to flipping.
Anyway, with all dogs accounted for and a beer in our hands we paddled to a large creek that we heard may have howler monkeys hanging out. We started paddling down this smaller creek and were quickly paddling through thick lily pads and other vegetation-so much that you couldn’t see the water at all. Also, it was a dead end. Meg and I started to turn around because we felt like we were in a National Geographic special on crocodiles, but before we could even back up I saw Admiral I don’t give a F about crocodiles jump out of the canoe.
The vegetation was so dense and the water was so stagnant that you could see a little trail where the vegetation had been separated as she swam towards a root of a tree. My heart started beating like crazy and I felt myself getting red ( I do this when I’m nervous), because it really did seem like crocodile nests had to be around here. Meg and I called every variation of her name over and over, and I was seriously thinking I was going to have to jump in. Finally Gimpy made a U turn and headed for the canoe. It seemed like it took her 10 minutes to swim back, but she made it. I was shocked about the whole situation. Meg said she thought Gimp had fallen out, which normally would have made sense considering she has never jumped out of a canoe or kayak. But, I saw her long body jump out. As soon as we got Gimpy back in and started to paddle back out into the larger creek, Bubby jumped in. Classic. He made it to the tree root, but then he swam right back to the canoe. With our eyes on these crazy dogs, we paddled out to the larger creek and found Conor. Penny had jumped out several times earlier, so we had gotten split up for a couple of minutes.
We paddled to Castillo De San Felipe, let the dogs roam for a bit, and talked about what happened. Did she think the dense lily pads and vegetation were grass? Was she just too hot? Did she hear us talking about the Rio Dulce being called the river that eats gringos, and with Ted gone, thought she should get away from us gringos? Were the Penny and Bubby shenanigans rubbing off on the old lady? Who knows. I just know she reminded me that I needed to stay sharp-no more letting my guard down with a wiener dog in the canoe.
Gimp Dog Takes on Belize
Packin’ on the LBs
When Gimpy kept refusing to eat hot dogs and cheese, we knew there was something really wrong. She wasn’t just being picky. She stopped being able to hold down water and we separated from the Gualby and sailed to two different cities in search of a good vet. I can’t even go into the details of the whole ordeal, because it is the saddest thing Ted and I have ever witnessed together. A slow boat and no internet make decisions very difficult to make. A sick little dog who remains the sweetest thing ever makes your heart hurt. After two, sleepless nights and a few tears, we were able to find a professional vet in Belize City. The vet got her hydrated again and filled her with vitamins. She was eating boiled chicken two days later and has been stealing every dog’s food since. She has gained A LOT of her weight back. We aren’t sure how much, but she is back to being a bulky, little thing. Since her trip to the vet she has gone canoeing in a Belizean cave (during the day and during the night), hiked to waterfalls and has sniffed every big dog’s private parts she has come across. She is definitely back, and we couldn’t be happier.
What’s the Skinny on Giimpy?
So..if you had the pleasure of meeting Gimpy, well watching Gimpy sleep, while we lived in the states, you would have noticed that she was not the skinniest dog you had ever seen. Some of you kept this thought to yourselves. But, some of you and every, single stranger in Miami that saw her walk by would say things like, “what don’t you feed her”, “aye pobrecita”, and straight up “your dog is so fat.” I knew she was not svelte by any means, but I didn’t think she was fat enough for people to comment on her size every time I took her to the park. I attributed her semi-hefty state to age, she is almost 11, and the fact that we worked all day so she only got walked before and after work.
We ran out of dog food in the Bahamas, so I have been making Gimpy’s food. Gimpy dinners consist of chicken or fish, rice, and peas or carrots. She flips out when I fill her bowl up and is finished eating her food in less than 45 seconds. After about a month and a half we realized that she was getting skinnier. This makes sense because she swims, walks a ton, and is not eating processed dog food.
We have been traveling for over 5 months now, and she is Angelina Jolie skinny. Not cool. A week ago I went into the pay-by-the pound laundrymat and asked if I could weigh Gimpy on their small scale. Gimpy weighs a sexy 10.6 pounds.
She weighed 13.7 pounds in October, according to our vet’s scale. If both scales were right, she has lost a TON of weight. Freaked out, I bought some dog food in Caye Caulker in hopes that it would fatten her up a little. She hates it. I don’t know what to do. She is eating enough of it to stop me from running to the grocery store and buying chicken or fish, but she is not eating enough for me to stop being worried. I don’t want to throw some homemade goodness in with her food, because she will eat it all and leave the dog food. I’m going to see what happens in the next couple of days…
We haven’t cut Gimpy’s nails since we left the states, because we can’t handle the noise she makes whenever we try. Her paws looked sadly similar to those of a velocisarus. We found a pet shop in San Pedro, and the nice guy told me to put her on the counter so he could cut her nails. The gimp paw threw him off a little bit, and he had a hard time figuring out what exactly was going on down there. I was successful at showing him where the triumphant two nails of that paw were located. I kept searching and searching for the third nail, but I couldn’t find it. The guy looked at me like I was drunk. After a couple of, “I swear, she has a third nail that is extra gross and tends to be the longest nail”, I gave up. Apparently, Gimp lost a nail in one of the countries we have been to. There isn’t even a mark or a tiny nub to hint at the fact that it use to exist. We have no idea when she lost it, and she never lead on to the loss.
Gimpy in Mexico
The Gimp was more than ecstatic to go to the Motherland. Being half Chihuahua, she felt compelled to do like her lady like, four-legged ancestors did and jumped off the dinghy, swam to shallow water and went number one, IN the water. All of her Gimpy legs were submerged in the water. She now fully understands the benefit of using the restroom while in the middle of a sentence, without being a social disaster. OLE!
Gimpy dog is a beggar. A silent beggar, but a burn a hole through your skull in her attempt to stare at you and your food simultaneously and make it levitate off your plate, type of beggar. If she was a big dog this would probably be more of an issue for me and for everyone else that eats around her. But, like all Gimpy-related things, it is just plain funny. This is what happened to Gimpy as she stood right at Conor’s feet in between him and the stove as he was cooking Hogfish and Yuca fries for everyone. It only took us about an hour to realize that batter had dripped on her…
Gimpy in the Bahamas…
It is hard to believe, but Admiral Gimpy was a bigger hit in the Bahamas than in the United States. The vast majority of dogs in the Bahamas are large, mangy, and seem to be yard dogs. Not many people seem to actually own dogs. We constantly got asked if Gimp was a puppy, what kind of dog she was, and in what part of the United States one could go to get Gimpy look alikes.
Dog food is very expensive in the Bahamas, so this might have something to do with the desire to have a small dog. Speaking of dog food, Gimpy has run out of dog food, so now I make her food. She never did this before with regular dog food, but now when I take her tupperware container filled with homemade Gimp food out she growls at me, runs around the boat all crazy, and then sits on her hind leg and a half while shaking her tail incessantly. It’s totally not cool that she growls at me, but she looks so ridiculously stupid that I can’t help laughing every time.
When we told Bahamians that she was a dachshund-chihuahua we would get this response with a smile, “oh…a little potcake!” We didn’t know what this meant at first, but as we traveled throughout the Bahamas we learned that Bahamians call all mutts potcakes. We love this.
12/01/10: Gimpy, who use to be petrified of water, now swims to the dinghy, brushes along side of it, and puts her face of misery on until we pick her up and toss her in the dinghy. -s
11/27/10: Gimp held it for 26 hours. Frank took Gimpy for a walk at the Chub Cay Fuel Dock. Frank brought Gimpy back to the cockpit of the Salty Dog. Ted says, “Shannon you realize that Gimpy is walking down the road, right?” Gimpy’s new skill-jumping off the Salty Dog onto the dock and exploring on her own. -s
11/27/10: The crews of the Salty Dog and Stray Cat made the short hike to the Blue Hole at Hoffman’s Cay. The Blue Hole seems to just pop up out of the woods. It is surreal. The cliff overlooking the Blue Hole is very steep, and Admiral Stinky, who apparently has no regard for her own livelihood, walked straight to the edge and took a peek at the Blue Hole numerous times. This is the same dog who hides behind the battery box while we are sailing.
Shortly after our mini freak out, I was about to jump off of the cliff and into the Blue Hole when I turned around and noticed that Adm. Gimpy was no where to be found. She had decided to take a stroll in the relatively dense woods leading up to the Blue Hole. After yelling about 30 variations of Admiral Gimpy, we found her. Ted tied her up, and I jumped off the cliff into the Blue Hole. -s
11/18/10:Admiral Gimpy was dinghyed to shore on Wednesday night, 11/17/10, to do her business before the journey from Gun Cay to Great Harbour Cay. Locking eyes with the Gimp Dog while she’s holding it will cause even the toughest crew member’s knees to shake. So, despite her numerous attempts, we all avoided eye contact. It was terrible, but it is what it is. We didn’t think the Gimp Dog would go to the bathroom in the weird, dog litter box thing we got for her, but we figured it was worth a try. Honestly, we respect her more for not using it. It is definitely not Gimpy’s style. Forty-six hours later it was show time. All was forgiven. ~s
11/08/10: The first thing that needs to be stressed before telling this story is that Adm. Gimpy is probably going to be on some passages that will be multiple days of us sailing without seeing, let alone walking on, land and therefore we need her to learn to do her business on the deck of our boat. Ted has lived with her since she was 1 and she is now 10 years old. Not because of anything that he did, but she has become very well trained in the past 9 years not to pee or poop in anyone’s house (before we get any emails on this point, there was a learning curve at the beginning). Anyway, because she is so “trained” not to take care of business inside it was harder than expected to “de-train” her. In summary, we went a few overnights in the past month or so where we decided not to take her on her nightly walk in hopes that she would go and then we would praise and reward her.
When when we decided to instill the “tough love” training tactic and not take her to shore anymore and instead to “walk” her around the deck of the boat she did not understand at first. We hope(d) that she would learn to go on the deck since we have drains and we can easily rinse the deck with a bucket of salt water. She held everything in for what started at hours and led to days and not only did she not have any releases but she continued to eat and drink like regular! We put a towel down on the floor knowing that if she was going to pee that is where she would choose. She did end up peeing on the towel and when we went to shore to take care of some errands for ourselves she pooped within two seconds. She held it for what must be some sort of record breaking 41 hours before she peed on the towel and 50 (yes 50!) hours before she pooped. Poor, poor, but tough Admiral Gimpy. I hope she understands that we did it for her own good. We love you Gimpy!