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Mac or PC?

I am not ashamed to say that I am a dork. An internet geek. Next to Ella, my computer is my best friend. And it's one of the best friends a girl could have. It doesn't give me attitude; it would never leave me for another user; it wouldn't borrow money and then disappear. Yes, I'm happy to say that our relationship is truly solid. That's not to say I haven't had some bad ones in the past, but ever since I got together with my Mac, it's been pure bliss...

As a quick aside, I happen to love the series of Mac vs. PC ads created by Apple. In case you aren't familiar with them, here's one (I chose one with a dog in it for the sake of blog relevancy)

Anyway, I hop into bed with Mac every night. Ella's not particularly happy to have to share the bed with him. She usually puts up a fight and tries to draw my attention away from his glossy screen by digging at the bed, climbing in my lap, or just plain barking in my face. Yes, my little girl is the epitome of subtle and mature.

But, as with most, Ella can only hate on Mac for so long before she realizes that, well, he's pretty freakin' cool. See for yourselves...

Don't be alarmed, folks. My Mac is NOT growing an odd, furry appendage...

...nor has Apple developed the technology to spawn animal hindquarters (at least, not to my knowledge)...

That's just my Ella finally letting go of her completely unfounded objections to Mac...

...and feeling totally good about it.

"Ohhhhh, never felt this good with PC."

A shoebox-sized world record?

How many creatures do you imagine could squeeze into my little shoebox of an apartment? Lord knows I've complained before about it being too small for Ella and myself, so any more than two would certainly be a bad idea, right?

Well, for kicks, I decided to test that out Labor Day weekend when my parents (Ella's grandfurma and grandfurpa) came to stay with me and also brought their 12 year old dog, Jenna. "Five living things coexisting in a tiny apartment for 36 hours" may not actually break any Guinness world records, but I wonder if "Five living things almost losing their minds while failing to peacefully coexist in a tiny apartment" would?

Ok well I should clarify that it was really the furry inhabitants that disturbed the peace. The drama began when I busted out the aerobed. Ella is not a fan of self-inflation - that much was made clear as she ran to her protector (the toilet bowl) to get away from the weird blue rapidly growing monster that makes "ssssssssssssss" noises...

Of course, when faced with the choice of sleeping on the cold, hard bathroom floor, or cuddling with momma on the crazy bed, she demonstrated a miraculous recovery...

Of course, that is not to say that Ella didn't try to recoup her spot on the real bed and tell grandma to bugger off...

But the activity that caused all the humans in the shoebox to drink heavily and look for ways to pop the top off or bust through the sides or SOMETHING was the incessant posturing between Jenna and Ella. Momentarily fearful of the aerobed, they soon both decided to take it over. As you can see by their expressions, the take-over was not a joint effort and it would take a battle royale to determine who would ultimately become Queen of the Faux Mattress.

Only Ella doesn't truly battle over anything because she doesn't take anything seriously. Yelling, lunging, barking, howling...all signs of play to my Ella. Dominance schmominance. Territory? Mi territory es su territory! No worries! Let's just play!

Jenna's response? Shut it, kid...I haven't played in years and I'm not about to start with you...

In the end, I'd call it a draw. Jenna and Ella agreed to disagree and the humans parted ways with hugs and headaches.

Nothing like old news...

If I were a journalist, I'd surely be fired for being this late on a story.

Lucky for me, I'm not a journalist - I'm a blogger. And I've got puppy pics that are timeless in their adorability. I can even make up words like "adorability"...with this kind of freedom, why would anyone want to bother reporting on legitimate and current news?

Anyway, in case you hadn't heard, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the development of the original design plans for Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation set up a hot air balloon ride for New Yorkers and visitors alike to catch a bird’s eye view of the City and the Park. The balloon was flying through August 22nd. Sorry you missed it. If the site's still up, you can get more detail on it here. (but why's over and done...perhaps you should just scroll down to the cute puppy pics below since that's what you're here for anyway)

Strangely, dogs aren't weren't permitted on the balloon ride.

Perhaps it's too risky having all that fur flying around so close to the flames of the burner (although I bet the FURminator could take care of that)...Or maybe it's because the basket wasn't intended for quadrupeds, so allowing them would mean fewer riders per trip and less $$ in the balloon company's pocket (Cue hard-nosed journalistic headline: "Dogs keep Aeroballoon's profits from reaching the sky")...

Honestly my biggest concern was that Ella would have caught the urge to indulge her predatory bird instinct at 500 feet in the air. So we thought it best to admire the balloon from the safety of the ground at Cherry Hill.

Sorry I don't have any aerial shots for you, but aren't pics of Ella with her tongue hanging out WAY cuter?


And here are some views of the balloon from the northwest side of The Lake...

Back AWAY from the water fountain

Ella LOVES horses...almost as much as horse poop. (sorry - but it's true...that sh** is like doggie catnip!)

But while she might admire them from afar as they majestically trot through the park, she isn't too keen on them being all up in her water trough.

Only it's not technically Ella's trough (try telling her that). This is one of the troughs along Central Park South dedicated to the carriage horses by the ASPCA. And the truth of the matter is that Ella is too much of a diva to stick her head in and drink directly from the trough anyway. Momma had to fill her portable plastic cup from the spigot like we do at all the other people-dedicated water fountains (momma's actually ok with that - if you saw how dirty that water was, you would be too).

Anyway, point is, Ella was really lapping up that nice cold water in her clean personal cup when she came face to face with the one animal she has never (yet) tried to incite play with (thank god)...

Horse to Ella: "You betta check yo'self."

Horse again to Ella: "Uh huh, that's what I thought."

Ella to Horse: (mumbling under her breath) "Oh come on this is getting ridiculous now. Nobody needs THAT much water..."

Ella to herself: "OK THAT IS IT! I'm about to make my move if this horse doesn't trot on in 10 seconds."

Ella to Momma: "Momma are you sure you don't have any Poland Spring in your bag? I am so parched..."

She keeps going and going and going and...

You might have noticed that I've been a bit light with the blog postings lately. I can't deny it - guilty as charged. But there are extenuating circumstances, I swear. I have proof.

Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A. Meet Ella - The Energizer Puppy.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was plugged into the wall somewhere because her energy just never seems to drain.

It is my only mission in life to find SOMETHING that will tire Ella out so that momma can get a moment to relax (is ONE moment too much to ask for?).

Thankfully, I recently managed to find something that occupied Ella for one evening (hey, I'll take it) - a puppy-sized stuffed toy creatively named "Monkey". I owe Monkey a great deal for this - he not only filled in as Ella's playmate for an evening, but also provided priceless entertainment...

Ella was so excited to meet Monkey that I didn't even have time to remove his tags and stickers before she pounced.

Ella shows Monkey she ain't afraid of no primates.

"Yeah, a lot of good those opposable thumbs are doing you now, eh Monkey?!!"

"Say uncle! Say uncle!!"

Ella puts Monkey in a head lock. He looks surprisingly comfortable.

Monkey tries to gain advantage by tickling Ella - she laughs uncontrollably but won't relent.

Time out.

Like true competitors, in the end they lay down and snuggle and put the match behind them. (Wait, that's not what Nadal and Federer did after the finals of Wimbledon this year? Hmm. Humans are weird.)

Anyway, Monkey succeeded in draining Ella's batteries for a little while. The question in my mind is, who will take on Ella next? Because right now, momma is saying uncle. UNCLE!!!

It's a shoe! It's a toy! Wait, what's the difference?

"Oh, look! it a puppy?"
"Yes, she's not quite 8 months."
"Oh, she's beautiful. Is she trained?"
"Um, how so? I mean, she housetrained but eh er uh..."
"She's a good girl - for the most part. She's just got a lot of energy."
"Well of course...she's a puppy! Is she a chewer?"
"Definitely, yes, I'm going bankrupt buying bones to keep her mouth occupied!"
"Does she chew on your shoes?"
"Haha...well if there's no bone around, she's got to chew on something right?"
*coughs, looks down at the ground out of embarrassment, scurries off*

Look, don't blame me! I'm clearly doing all I can to train Ella properly. To ensure she chews only on designated toys and bones. To teach my furbaby the difference between a "good chew" and a "bad chew".

Are you saying there's some reason Ella might think that because it's ok to chew on this toy...'s ok to chew on this too?...

I don't see the connection.


"Saillling...takes me awaaaay..."

Today was one of the most beautiful days we've had in NYC in a long time. Perhaps it's the relative lack of humidity that's got me feeling so good...or maybe I'm deficient in Vitamin D and the sunshine has replenished truth I think I really owe it all to Christopher Cross. He's in my head, he won't leave, and I'm totally fine with it.

As Ella and I made our way around the Conservatory Water in Central Park, we both found ourselves smiling at all of the sailboats. For those of you who aren't familiar, the Conservatory Water is an ornamental boat pond of sorts where people can casually sail (or race - for the true sportsman or uptight New Yorker) sailboats. It's a relaxing place to begin with, but the sailboats just add to the magic. And I couldn't help but set the whole scene to music - Christopher Cross's "Sailing". I think I kept the theme music mostly inside my head, though I can't deny there may have been some humming aloud during the chorus.

Now it's your turn to hum along...

The ravages of Raffy, cont.

I recently relayed the news about Ella gutting her beloved Raffy. The loss was so sudden and shocking that I made the decision to keep Raffy's remains around for as long as I could.
Sick, maybe...but with his stuffing fully gone, I figured he couldn't pose much of a threat to Ella's digestive system, and frankly I really like Raffy and am perfectly happy tossing his limp shell around the shoebox for Ella to chase.

Earlier this evening, I noticed Ella was hiding under my desk, shooting me a guilty look out of the corner of her eye. I knew immediately that meant she had something in her mouth that she knew damn well she ought not to. I pried open her jaws of steel, and a round, brown, mushy ball-shaped thing dropped into my hand. I screamed bloody murder at first, thinking it was part of a bodily organ of another animal she'd killed, or a piece of some kind of nasty that she'd snuck in from the mean city a few seconds though, my squeals turned to hysterical laughter as I realized what it was.

Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A:

And Exhibit B:

And Exhibit C:

Ella's wrath directed toward Raffy is relentless! The poor thing is now eviscerated and sans eye. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say Ella will take the other eye next and then move on to his ear.

I will say, though...I've never seen ANYTHING keep Ella's attention quite so much as Raffy's eye. Perhaps I'll hold onto the eyes and use them as training treats. That might be a good, maximum incentive treat to use while we're practicing "Come"...even filet mignon couldn't top a furry eyeball apparently.

Ella to stick: "Nothing can come between us"

Though there are sticks covering every square inch of ground in Central Park, lately Ella has developed a particular attraction to only the "hard-to-get" sticks. This sort of stick is bad news - you know the kind. It sits there looking all big and strong, knowing full well it's already attached (to the ground). It's the kind of stick that flaunts its barkiness while laying right next to its fence who is determined to protect it against all the other dogs ready to pounce.

I guess every girl goes through this phase at one point in her life. I'm just hoping that Ella will quickly learn that the stick is not always tastier on the other side of the fence. Until then, I have to keep watching painful and desperate scenes such as these...

"Ooooooh, you are a tough one to wrap my teeth around, aren't you!"

"Sticky don't run from me!...We're meant to be...come back..."

"OK, this hard-to-get shtick was cute at first, but it's beginning to get old now."

"Don't fight the inevitable, stick! I WILL have you!"

"See. I told you I'd get you eventually. Sure, it's a little awkward now, but in time you'll learn to fully let go."

Ella killed a giraffe!

We were out for our evening walk in Central Park, and just as we entered The Ramble, out of nowhere appeared this HUGE giraffe! We couldn't believe it...I mean, squirrels - definitely...little birdies of all varieties - of course. But a giraffe?? See for yourselves...

Before I knew it, Ella turned into a fierce predator and became more of a threat to the poor giraffe than habitat destruction...and in the blink of an eye, she tore it apart like it was a stuffed animal!

Oh wait a second.

I think...

Oh my mistake...

It WAS a stuffed animal. Sorry about that.

The sick look of satisfaction post-killing...

The gutted remains...

The gutted remains (different angle)...

R.I.P. "Raffy".

You were the first and only toy Ella ever humped. I'm sorry she used you for her amusement and then discarded you.

If it makes you feel any better, she gutted her stuffed puppy first. I think that just shows how much she truly cared about you.

You will be missed.

Sprinklers are the best medicine of all

The bad news is...Ella's diarrhea was back this morning. The good news is...she barely even thought about her fiery bum because she was distracted by the sprinklers that were out again in Central Park!

I am totally willing to risk boring you all with repeated posts and excessive pictures of Ella and the sprinklers - in my opinion, it's just too hilarious not to share each time. And I have to admit, playing in the sprinklers is a lot of fun even for me (not to mention incredibly refreshing on blazing hot days like today). We do get a few strange looks though - sometimes during the festivities (people just can't fathom a dog who loves to get wet as much as Ella does - clearly they've never known a retriever), but mostly afterward as we walk through the park dripping wet. Most people are confused as to how we got to be so wet. They assume I let Ella jump in The Lake or Bethesda Fountain (which always upsets me because they are so filthy i would NEVER let her jump in there)...I can only assume they think i jumped in with her or something. (Can you imagine those pictures?)

Anyway, get ready for some action...

Wait for it...

Wait for it...


Now pose pretty and act like nothing happened...