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OK folks, it's official. Ella has been given the go-ahead to walk outside! She had her 12-week shots earlier this week, weighed in at 17 pounds(!!), and the vet said it is now ok to take her out for walkies!!

Ok, so, maybe momma cheated and took her on a few walks in advance of this marker (rules schmules), but now I can do it without feeling guilty! Of course, while the walks may be guilt-free, they're not worry-free. Between the scum on the street (I'm referring to the dirt, crud, and feces - not to Eliot Spitzer and his working girl) and the questionably-balanced dogs ALL OVER the city, I'm a nervous wreck that Ella's going to take a paw in the eye or choke on a cigarette filter. But every furmother has to loosen the leash a little at some point (Don't be fooled though - I sweep my finger inside of Ella's mouth more times during the course of a walk than a CPR instructor demonstrating how to remove blockages). AND, not only do her paws get cleansed the second we walk in the door...her entire furry little body gets put straight in the tub EVERY time to make sure I scrub off whatever crap she's picked up along the way...

Anyway, we honestly have a hard time going more than 10 feet without someone - dog, human, or both - stopping us to coo at her cuteness or sniff her bum (usually the humans do the former, the dogs do the latter. Usually.) It's my goal to try to find a somewhat secluded place to take her so she can just focus on getting out some energy and enjoying the magic that is Central Park.

Here's a clip that was actually taken a couple of weeks ago (yes, yes, BEFORE she was "allowed" to go out) that I'm finally getting around to posting. We made our way to the Woodlands just west of Cedar Hill where we could wander along peacefully down toward The Ramble. Finally some time away from everything, off the beaten path...







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