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Random pics of cuteness

Clearly I've been a slacker when it comes to posting lately...single furmotherhood is officially kicking my ass. I'm still sleep deprived and running on fumes, but wanted to at least check in with a handful of pics I've taken over the last few weeks. As you can see, Ella is twice the puppy we once knew and loved, and growing more every day. Before I know it, she'll be married with lil pups of her own - that is, if the neighborhood dogs get to her before I can get her spayed in a month (they find her entirely too attractive...i've had to put a stop to a few too many attempted humping incidents...). Anyway, enjoy...


Hey, you know what they say...if the shoe fits...

What's going on back there exactly? And by "back there", I'm clearly referring to Ella's hindquarters...

"But why would you want to wash all of this? It smells soooo gooood just as it is......"

Too big? No such thing.

This one makes even me blush. Socks and underwear were one thing, but clearly this crosses a line.

Ella Enchanted...Queen of Belvedere Castle...

Ella contemplates approaching the Central Park horse & buggy for further investigation. But somehow I don't think that horse is particularly amenable to Ella trying to sniff his ass.

This has got to be why they say "Let sleeping dogs lie...". Shes not only staying out of trouble, but melting my heart too...

TV tray - protect me!

Change is a slow process, and it takes work. Overcoming a fear doesn’t happen overnight, and setbacks are normal. At least, these are the things I used to remind my clients in my former life as a therapist. Clearly, the same process is true for pups.

From the start, Ella has had a fear of the vacuum cleaner. There have been glimmers of courage and progress since the early days when she ran and hid behind the toilet or tried to squeeze herself into a space one-quarter the width of her puppy belly behind the bookshelf. On several occasions since that time, she’s boldly come within a few inches of the Bissell, at one point even sniffing its attachments. My brave girl.

But, of late, she’s reverted to past behaviors a bit. As the clips below show, she has at least learned that she is now too big to seek refuge behind the bookshelf. She’s now turned to the TV tray as her fallout shelter. As you'll see in the first clip, it's a good thing I had the window closed or else she would have made a mad dash out and down the fire escape. Of course, there's a cat in heat down there that's howling so crazily it scares both of us, so I'm not sure that would have really calmed Ella's nerves as she'd hoped.

I must say, it is interesting that Ella is so terrified of the vacuum yet has absolutely no fear of any loud noise momma can make to distract/scare her when she's chewing up a bill or stealing the toilet paper roll from the bathroom. Do you think they make battery-operated portable vacuums that I could carry in my pocket and turn on whenever she's misbehaving? I'll check ebay...or'm sure I can't be the first to think of this...

Happy returns...

Ella and I finally made it back to Central Park today after a rough week dealing with a lame leg, diarrhea, and exercise restriction (that is, Ella’s lame leg and diarrhea…just to be clear). I think she managed to poop out whatever was ailing her leg because she seems about 90% recovered this morning! We are both noticeably a little less in shape than we were a week ago (amazing how fast the fitness level degrades…), but managed to make it through a nice long walk/sprint regardless.

Here are a few shots of Ella atop a hill just inside the park on the east side...

Ella, my little flower
"You better hurry with this shot cuz I'm 'bout to eat these bright yellow things."

Ella, my little model
"Check out my hot new collar and leash set!"

Ella, so over it.
"And if you look behind me, you'll see a lovely gazebo well-suited for small wedding ceremonies...blah blah blah"

Ella, my heavenly angel
"Damn light's in my eyes...what's that on the ground - more mud?"

Playing the water hazard

In a game of catch, my apartment is not that unlike a golf course. There’s a main fairway lined with all sorts of metaphorical bunkers, and it’s a challenge to find the green (let’s face it, there’s not a whole hell of a lot of green period – it’s a Manhattan apartment, people). Few would have the precision required to always keep the ball – or in this case, squeaky hamburger – on course…or so I like to tell myself.

Anyway, the most devastating hazard on this course is undeniably Ella’s water bowl. If I tried, I couldn’t dunk the hamburger in the bowl 3 times out of ten. Without trying, however, I hit it about 60% of the time. And it definitely puts a damper on our game...not to mention the hallway and kitchen floor. Who wants to play with a slimy hamburger that's so water-logged it shoots out dirty bowl water when you squeeze it? And who wants to keep mopping up the dirty bowl water and filthy puppy paw tracks running up and down the hallway EVERY TIME it happens (and it happens a lot)? Well the answer to both of those questions is of course, NOT ME! And frankly Ella doesn't care for the wetness and mess either and generally prefers her toys dry and clean. But that incessant energy motivates her to keep the game going. She may curse the bad shot and stare in disbelief that it's happened yet again, but ultimately she puts her game face back on, picks the hamburger out of the water and takes the 1-stroke penalty, and plays on...

"Haha momma! Your aim SUCKS!...Now what do we do?"

"Oh if you expect me to dip my nose in there and play with a wet hamburger, you've got another thing coming."

"FINE. But this is the LAST TIME I'm fishing this out for you! And I'm going to attack the mop when you try to clean up the floor too, just out of spite!"


(Warning…puppy poop talk ahead…)

As you know, Ella has been nursing a lame left front leg for several days now. The doc put her on an anti-inflammatory to ease her discomfort while she’s in recovery. She warned me that the Metacam “can cause some stomach upset”. Ummm…folks, I don’t think “stomach upset” quite describes it adequately. Poor Ella has had the shits all night – at times to the point that she scared herself by the noises coming out of her bum and ran off, dribbling doo doo across the floor as she scurried away in fear. And poor momma has had a fun night cleaning up behind her. It’s one thing trying to scoop up diarrhea off of the sidewalk outside with a little baggie (totally pointless but I had to try). It’s quite another dealing with the mess indoors. It’s easy enough to clean up the wee wee pads, but I have been through an entire pack of matches and half a bottle of febreze just to clear the air in here! At least I’m getting my exercise running dirty wee wee pads down to the garbage every 20 minutes, but I can tell it’s going to be a long night.

Anyway, Ella is still limping unfortunately. She seemed slightly better on our evening walk, but not enough to ease the knot in my stomach. I’m giving her a couple more days to show a full recovery, or it’s back to the vet we go for x-rays.

In the meantime, I’m not so sure the Metacam’s benefits outweigh its side effects. I know if it were me, I’d choose the strained arm anyday…

Even I’m not so dedicated a blogger (or tasteless for that matter) that I obtained footage of Ella’s runny poo fest to put on display here (I mean, I’ll TALK about it – but pictures cross a line). I will, however, provide evidence of the resilience of the puppy spirit…even in spite of her ills, Ella couldn’t help herself from attacking the empty paper towel roll while momma was cleaning up her messes. Oh well…perhaps the cardboard will be “binding” and counteract the Metacam…

Lameness Update

OK so Ella’s PREVIOUS vet got even lamer today. Dumbfounded that I didn't hear from him yesterday, I didn’t receive any call from anyone at all until 12:30pm this afternoon. He left a message. Had the nerve to use the ol’ “Um, I didn’t feel my beeper vibrate in my pocket and just got your message.” excuse. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? Are you a guy giving me an obligatory call back after a few dates when you really just want to blow me off (hypothetically. That’s never happened of course), or are you my veterinarian? Anyway, I called his office, had them fax me Ella’s records, and that’s the last I will ever speak of Dr. Lamo.

Moving on…tonight I took Ella to see Dr. Jackson at the Center for Veterinary Care on E. 75th Street. SO MUCH BETTER! She doesn’t see any evidence that it’s broken or fractured, although Ella did not like her manipulating either of her front elbows very much (in all fairness, if Dr. Jackson were pressing that hard on my elbows, I wouldn’t much like it either). But Ella really didn't have much of a reaction to any of the other horrifying positions in which Dr. Jackson maneuvered her legs. She suggested it would be good to get her elbows x-rayed when she gets spayed just to make sure they look ok and are in alignment. Of course I’m already nervous about her joints so that didn’t help my anxiety level much, but she recommended it really more as a precaution than because she has any evidence of a problem. Because of course immediately after Ella was done glaring about the elbow exam, she got up and RAN up and down the hallway – not exactly the behavior of a pup with bad elbows!

So anyway, back to the here and now…Dr. Jackson prescribed her an anti-inflammatory (Metacam) and advised continued exercise restriction for the next week or so. If Ella gets better, fabulous – then it was probably just a sprain. If she doesn’t, then we have to get some x-rays and go from there. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a little more rest and time will heal all wounds.

Of course, restricting Ella’s exercise is easier said than done. And I think that Metacam was actually liquid speed because it gave her the zoomies like nobody’s business. Her adrenaline was pumping so hard she was running like she was on fire, jumping up and down off of the couch, and even up onto my bed (which she’s normally not yet able to get up on). And all this jumping is not exactly what the good doctor prescribed! I had to literally lie on top of her when she got on the bed just to stop her and make sure she didn’t try to leap off like Super Puppy! (I swear all she was missing was the cape) Ahh, well. I think that anti-inflammatory just had her feeling like her old self again…spry and ready to go!

Reminds me of the good old days when she was running me ragged 3 hours a day in Central Park. Speaking of, here’s a clip of us on the day she was injured (before the injury, obviously)…hopefully I’ll be complaining about all that excessive physical activity again very soon…

P.S. Ella is now 26-and-a-half pounds!!! Holy cow! Dr. Jackson says she’s going to be a ‘big girl’. How did this happen? She had such tiny paws when she was 8 weeks old! Oh well, might have to get rid of some furniture to make room for her in my apartment, but we’ll figure out how to make it work…