Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ellie and Macy

Ellie loves her puppy pal Macy. They have fun every weekday, chasing each other up and down the trails on Montara Mountain. Ellie's become a real teenager, with selective hearing and stubbornness, but still a sweetie that keeps us entertained. She is getting a thick winter coat, especially around the neck and shoulders. Her waggy tail and wide grin makes us smile every day.  She weighs 31 pounds.

She's had a couple of trips to the vet in the last two weeks, once for a tick and once after eating a Bird of Paradise flower. These can be very toxic to dogs (news to us), and we've got them in our yard. Time to rethink landscaping and puppy proofing! We never had to worry about it before with Duke, our previous dog. He was older and never botherered with eating flowers and odd things. Ellie's eaten or torn up: shoes, a couple of area rugs, paper napkins, a cardboard box, a kitchen sponge, and assorted puppy toys and other things.

Paul says that squeaky toy manufacturers should hire Ellie as a product tester. She has killed every squeaker in every toy we've bought for her. Some do last longer than others, especially Kong toys and Ruffians. We feel this experience qualifies her as a master squeaky toy tester. I'm sure there must be a squeaky toy company who would pay for this service.

The Ruffian rubber chicken finally passed away, after at least a month of daily chomping.  This may have been a squeaky toy record in our house.

The Kong toy definitely lasts and lasts, but the squeaker died after only a week.
She maintains a fondness for bully stix, but we try to limit those to a couple per week.  After all, she's a young lady and some appearance of propriety is in order.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two months later ...

Wow, I can't believe it's been two months since Ellie graduated from puppy school! She's gotten bigger (30 lbs), smarter, faster, and dare I say, cuter than ever. She's become an expert at fetch, and she's mastered the art of getting the ball out from under the coffee table.  She's also grown a very thick winter coat!  Here she is, playing with her favorite toy, a red rubber chicken that squeaks.  She'll wait for me to throw it, then bring it back and drop it at my feet.  Then, when I try to grab it, she'll try to grab it first.  How entertaining!  Just watch the fingers.  I actually think she smiles when we play this game.

Aside from her talents, or maybe because of them, she's exceptionally skilled at causing all sorts of trouble. She can jump up and grab things from the top of the dryer in the garage (her outdoor toys and my gardening clogs found a new place to live). She's extremely good at darting past me, into the bedroom, to grab Paul's slipper that wasn't put away.

She also likes to pick up Paul's workout gloves from where he left them, on the floor next to the weight bench. We've tried looking stern, no tug-o-war, and saying in a loud voice, "DROP IT." This usually does the trick, but sometimes it's just an exercise for me. In the past, my discipline has been proffered in a quiet manner to whomever would receive it. Now, I find myself using my outside voice in the house -- very disconcerting.

But Ellie takes everything in stride. Even during loud fireworks after the Giants won the World Series, Ellie seemed unperturbed. Her ears perked, but no running and hiding. Very good girl!

Ellie loves her doggie pal Macy, whom she sees on her daily walks. She politely sniffs new dogs and people, and always wants to playplayplay.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Puppy School Graduate

Ellie is now a puppy school graduate. She and her puppy classmates including puppy pal Chun Li successfully completed an eight-week class. Ellie learned, sit, stay, down, come, shake, leave it (sort of) and rollover.

She impressed us by obeying a down-stay command for a total of 45 seconds! It wasn't long enough for the grand prize -- a new squeaky ball -- but terrific nonetheless.

Congratulations, Ellie!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ellie's Brothers

It's about time for some new photos! Ellie has two brothers, George and Bear, and we recently got in touch with their families via email. These are photos of the three of them when they were first adopted.

Here's George:


Ellie and George:


Left to right: George, Bear, Ellie

Amber and Jerry adopted Bear. Bear is about 20 lbs and Amber says he love love lovesss squirrels, playing and following her around the house. He also got the most outgoing award in doggie preschool!

Andi and Jeff adopted Marcus, who is now called George. George is also around 20 lbs and is very friendly, especially with kids. He comes when called, and will sit and stay and do some other tricks. Andi thinks they all look alike, too.

Ellie is definitely the big sister, at around 25 lbs. She's very playful, loves playing fetch and chewing on bully stix. She can sit, stay, rollover and shake hands. She has a charming habit of moving one ear independently of the other ear. Today is her graduation day from puppy school, so we'll be sure to take more photos.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Growing Up

I can't believe she weighs 22 lbs. Her official birthdate is April 7, 2010 on her records, but we think it might be a couple of weeks off. She was only about 12 lbs. when we got her!

(I know I said sit and she was already sitting.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A soft bed and a chew stick ... life is good

Dad's slipper tastes pretty good, too, but that's supposedly off limits.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pawprints and Dog Biscuits

Sometimes life is tough, like when you leave pawprints all over the kitchen floor and have to clean up after yourself.

And sometimes you just need a good dog biscuit to make your day a bit brighter. (These are easy to make, and Ellie loves them.)

PeaMutt Butter Dog Biscuits

2 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine oil, peanut butter, and water. Add flour, one cup at a time, then knead into firm dough. Roll dough to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen. [Note: My puppy-sized cookie cutter made a lot more than that!]
(Recipe from the Doggy Bone Cookbook, by Michele Bledsoe.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ellie is a Growing Girl

Ellie is getting bigger by the day. When we first took her to the vet for a checkup, she weighed in at 13.5 lbs. On our scale at home, she's up to 15.5 lbs -- just a week later. How is this happening so fast? I'd like to think that our scale is off and that I weigh 2 lbs. less. However, this is how you weigh a squirmy puppy:

1) Step on scale and weigh yourself.
2) Pick up squirmy puppy.
3) Step on scale and weigh yourself with puppy.
4) Subtract weight in Step 1 from weight in Step 3.

No mistake. Her paws have gotten much bigger, and she's gotten longer. So, what does Ellie eat? She loves Canidae dry dog food. We've been giving her about 1.5 to 2 cups per day. This seems like a lot, but growing puppies are like teenagers. They want to eat and sleep all the time. When she plays, she zooms around like a racecar. I can't help laughing when I see her zoom past me with a chew toy, trip over her big puppy feet, and roll over and over.

She also has a secret obsession. One she doesn't talk about at parties. She loves bully sticks. It's no secret that these chew sticks have become the tantalizing chew of choice for many dogs. When we first met Ellie, she had one in her paws and was gnawing at it quietly. What a cute puppy.

Now, we know the terrible truth. She can't get enough of them. These bully sticks are not rawhide. They are ... well, they are from a part of the bull that no one talks about, unless you are a manufacturer of bully sticks who is making a fortune on these things. They can be found at any pet store. They are sometimes loose in large bins. Sometimes, they come in a five-pack or six-pack. These packs cost as much as a pack of cigarettes. Or, if you want to go really wild, you can buy a three- or four-foot bully stick. Are they stretched to this extraordinary length? I'm afraid to ask. You can also buy the expensive and long-lasting braided bully sticks.

Ellie also loves peanut butter and Old Mother Hubbard's puppy bones. She eats much of her kibble from Kong toys while she is in her crate. When I stuff her Kong with kibble and peanut butter, she instantly runs into her crate and waits for me to give it to her. She is one smart puppy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ellie is Home

Ellie was found in Madera County by the side of a road with her mom and two brothers. The pups were about two months old. She was taken to the Madera County Animal Shelter, where she stayed until she was rescued by Pound Puppy Rescue.

We had been looking for a dog for the last few months and just recently found the PPR website. After submitting the adoption application online, a PPR volunteer called us at home and interviewed us. They like to weed out people who are just not ready for a dog, and especially a young puppy who needs a lot of attention. We got the picture.

On Saturday, June 5, at the PPR adoption event in Mountain View, we were able to meet dozens of puppies. It was a little overwhelming when we first arrived. The pups were corralled by litter. Unvaccinated puppies are not allowed to socialize with other puppies, to avoid picking up any diseases. Many families who wanted to adopt signed in and then waited to be interviewed by a PPR volunteer. It seemed like a hundred people showed up.

At first, we considered a mixed breed pup who caught our eye on the website. But when we met her, the chemistry wasn't right. She was very submissive and didn't seem to connect with us. Then we saw Ellie and her two brothers. They were playful, energetic and very interested in everything that was going on. We knew that any one of these pups would be a great new addition to our family. We went home and emailed PPR with our puppy selection, and in less than a day, Ellie was ours!

The next day, we went back to the pet food store and Ellie was there with her brothers. Caesar was already playing with his new parents, and Marcus was waiting for his adoptive family. Ellie was curious and happy to play with anyone willing. We held her, took photos, and got some great advice and instruction from the PPR volunteer. PPR provides support before, during and after adoption, so you always have someone you can call or email for advice. They gave us her medical records and a bag of food, and we signed a seriously long adoption contract. Basically, if we let her run around wild and she gets put into a shelter, they would hunt us down. Ellie was already spayed and dewormed -- yay -- so we just have to wait a little while before she gets her final shots and then we can socialize with other dogs!

Since adoption day, we've been crate training Ellie and teaching her about our home. We've hired a walker who helps train her while we're at work. Ellie's learned to sit and stay and come. We've been to the vet once who said Ellie is a healthy three-month old puppy. We've never had a puppy this young before, so we're learning, too.