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It was a bad week to be a bed

Ella's UTI took it's toll on more than just Ella and momma this week...in particular, the bedding was virtually wiped out. She hit my bed twice, her doggie bed once, my featherbed once...and then there was that mysterious wet spot on the sofa...

After peeing on my bed for a second night in a row (fooled me twice - shame on me), I vowed not to let Ella up there ever again. I put her bed right next to mine, assertively stood my ground through her protests and barking and sad-eyed pleas, and she ultimately gave in and laid down. Some time later after I'd fallen soundly to sleep, the little stinker jumped up onto the bed and in record time nuzzled herself between my left arm and my body and laid her head on my chest with a big sigh/grumble. I woke up and looked down to see her staring up at me, clearly slightly nervous as to what I would do but also thinking to herself "If I lie very still and look cute, momma can't possibly kick me out, can she?". Totally unfair. I melted, of course. Totally caved. Does the proverb state what sort of shame is appropriate after letting myself be fooled three times?

The good news is that Ella seems to be getting better by the day. We've had two pee-free nights inside of the apartment in a row now, and her constant squatting has dwindled considerably. I suspect in a couple more days she'll be totally back to normal. Which is good. Because I'm on my last set of clean sheets and it's going to take days to get through all the laundry I just dropped off.

Anyway, here's one last tribute to Ella's conehead before we hopefully put it and the urinary week from hell behind us. Here she is, resting like an obedient puppy a couple of days after her surgery...








All Squat. No Pee.

Oh sure, it’s all cone-headed fun and low-impact post-spay games until Ella gets a urinary tract infection.

Uggh. At least I’m hoping that’s all it is.

Momma had a meltdown at midnight last night as Ella, having just gotten up on the bed to go beddy-byes (that’s what we call it), lost it and peed ALL OVER the bed…soaked the silk comforter, the blanket, the sheets, the featherbed…fortunately my penchant for bedding layers saved the mattress from urinary destruction. I guess that’s something.

The night before, Ella put her front paws up on the bed and peed like a male dog all over the side of the bed and the bed skirt (What the hell does she have against this bed???). An hour later, she left another puddle by my desk.

It’s looking like Ella may need to wear diapers after all. (This sounded much more glamorous several days ago...can't a girl make a few diaper jokes without getting punished for it?)

Anyway, aside from peeing in the shoebox, Ella’s other major symptom is her incessant and totally futile squatting on walks. Here’s what it looks like…

squat…



...keep squatting…



...lean to the side to try to work it out…


...give up and move on, only to repeat the process minutes later. It's really a sad sight to see. UTIs are awful, we've all been there...I peer underneath her each time to see if there's any action - the dribbles are the worst, and I find myself trying to pee for her (i have to be careful not to try too hard).

Anyway, Dr. Jackson prescribed her some antibiotics and didn't seem too concerned at this point. She said it's a common occurrence in puppies who've been spayed, so we’ll see how things go for the next few days…and in the meantime, I’m lining everything in my apartment with plastic…and starting my research on designer doggie depends, just in case (God forbid!).







A cone head only a momma could love

My little Ella bell is home safe and sound now, and, as promised, here are some money shots of her new cone head.








When I went to pick her up at the vet's office, I didn't really know what to expect...on the one hand, I thought she might be a bit sedate considering she underwent surgery yesterday...on the other hand, I know my Ella and the word "sedate" doesn't exactly fit her - ever.

Well, turns out surgery can't hold Ella down. She came barreling through the swinging doors (cone first) separating the back of the office from the waiting room and immediately jumped on me. She then pulled my handbag off my shoulder and tried to bury her nose in it (looking for treats, no doubt) and yanked me all over every square inch of the lobby while the vet tech was giving me instructions for her recovery. Hey, at least I now I am certain they didn't accidentally give Ella a lobotomy!

"Let's play momma!"


"Rest my ass!"

The adrenaline was still flowing after we arrived home as she reacquainted herself with the abode, making sure I hadn't made any drastic changes to things during her brief absence. It was quite a site - my shoebox wasn't exactly built with enough room for a coneheaded pup to gracefully move about. After she'd bonked her head on enough walls, she finally settled down a bit to rest...




Sadly that hasn't lasted long enough and now the restless beast has awakened and is calling, so I must go before she starts knocking over lamps. Horses make wearing blinders look so easy...



Ella had PMS

Quick update on Ella's spaying today...

Dr. Jackson called around noon to let me know that Ella's surgery went well and that she was "in recovery". She then told me that I brought her in just in time because Ella was pretty close to being in heat! Sheesh, why are the kids these days in such a rush to grow up?!

Anyway, I told Dr. Jackson that I'm not surprised to hear that because Ella has been acting even more nuts than usual this week - very restless, mischievous, and overly excited around other dogs (a few sniffs and she's spinning like a whirling dervish). I knew it was either a full moon or she was seriously hormonal.

"SHUT UP I AM NOT HORMONAL!!!!"

Anyway, hopefully she'll be feeling a little less moody from now on (though I'm not holding my breath...like momma, like furdaughter...). The vet is keeping Ella overnight (standard procedure) but I get to pick her up in the morning.

I miss my little one, but tonight...momma has the shoebox all to herself! WOO HOO! And you know what that means...

uh, ahem...

I get to sweep the apartment without a pup biting at the broom and then elevate my legs because my knees and feet are killing me from running with Ella so much. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the life of a single New Yorker is indeed as glamorous as you imagine...

Stay tuned for cone pics of Ella tomorrow!







'Twas the night before spaying...

...not a toy left unthrown...and Ella's unaware that tomorrow she'll be laid up with stitches and wearing a cone… (ugghhh...worst "Night before Christmas" parody ever...i know...but please save your boos and for God's sake don't throw tomatoes - the last thing I need right now is Salmonella...)

Anyway, tomorrow is the big day. Ella is a little over 6 months old now, and, well, it's just time to take care of this (*sigh*...it's the right thing to do of course, but not exactly a happy occasion, is it?). Momma has enough trouble raising Ella all by herself, let alone a bastard litter of little Ellas and Ellis's that are the product of a hump-by on the corner or something. Let's face it - she's the total package...beautiful, friendly, loving, great hair...sure, she's a little head-strong but some males like that kind of thing (or so I hear...but increasingly I'm thinking that may be an urban legend). As it is, I have to dress her all incognito-like in a hat, sunglasses, and a muumuu just to get her down the street...can you imagine the kind of attention she would get walking the NYC streets while in heat?!

I did think for a moment about postponing the surgery just to get pics of her wearing a diaper - those images would make for some seriously funny blog posts, don't you think? And I bet they make designer diapers too, so I'd undoubtedly have fun matching them to her collar and leash...but that's not really a valid reason to put off spaying an animal...is it?

Kidding, of course.

Besides, I can always put her in a diaper and take pictures just for fun, even after she's spayed. (Of course, that's just weird and possibly pathological...so maybe we'll just nix this whole idea...)

Anyway, like I said, this isn't really feeling like a happy occasion at all. I grew up with dogs and they've all been spayed, but I never previously gave much thought to it - it was just something you did. Perhaps because Ella's my very own furdaughter, I'm much more bothered by the idea of removing her ovaries. When Ella was about 4 months old, this guy stopped us on the street to gush over how beautiful she was and asked me if I was going to mate her. After we backed up a few steps, I told him "no" and that I'd get her spayed. Well, I thought he was going to crucify me right then and there, and he said, "You'll take her joy away...don't take her joy away". Ok, yes, he was crazy; still, I felt guilty. And it does suck...but, as I said, I know it's the right thing to do so we're just going to get it over with and head back to the park soon and forget that the horrid event ever happened. (the epitome of healthy furparenting, eh?)

Anyway, to get my mind off of the impending surgery, I decided to take a sh**load of pictures of fertile Ella being adorable. Enjoy them!

And stay tuned for plenty of post-op pics of Ella wearing a cone (hopefully)...almost as good as the diaper pics would have been!























Ella gets watered

Just when I'm feeling like it's been a boring week and I'm out of interesting material to blog about...they bust out the sprinklers in Central Park!

They were in full effect right by the Heckscher Ballfields, one of Ella's favorite places anyway because she gets to watch (and sometimes chase) all of the baseballs being tossed around.

The only thing that could have taken this to a whole 'nother level is if they'd provided a Slip 'N Slide for us. They fold up pretty nicely though, don't they? Perhaps I'll start carrying one around with me in my doggie bag. You know, just in case...

Here are a few shots from this morning's sprinkler show...

Fearless Ella takes on the sprinkler at point blank range...


...but Ella's a lover, not a fighter, and quickly decides to give in and let the sprinkler shower her with its love...

...and in the end, well, I think the tongue says it all, doesn't it? Sheer bliss...


And some bonus live footage...



For those who are interested, tickets go on sale tonight for the next sprinkler show which is likely to be held tomorrow morning. Better buy yours now - judging by the reaction of the audience in the park today, all future shows are sure to be sold out...



The Cottonelle is like crack...she just can't get off it.

I like to tell myself that Ella will eventually "outgrow" certain bad behaviors as she gets older - you know, naturally. As a mature pup, she just won't jump on people anymore, won't incessantly try to climb in my lap while I'm eating, won't bark like a mad pup at 6am because she's pissed I went to the bathroom and left her in bed...clearly these are all things that puppies just stop doing with age. Right?

All together now: "Yes, Tricia...absolutely...no need to do a thing...in fact, another thing she'll surely just grow out of is pulling on the leash and chasing after squirrels...you just sit and relax and time will do the training for you".

Thanks, everyone, for your validation and assurance. I needed that.

One thing I'm wondering though...when will she start to outgrow her obsession with toilet paper? I thought for a moment that, now that Ella has officially hit 6 months of age, it was time to bring the toilet paper down from the ceiling and try keeping it in its proper place - on the roll next to the toilet.

Apparently, on the roll next to the toilet is not YET the proper place for the toilet paper.

Add to that - behind the toilet on the floor is CERTAINLY not the proper place to store the extra rolls of toilet paper in a partially opened bag.

Let's mark Ella's progress together with regard to TP, shall we?

Here she is at 2 months: (ok true, this was with Bounty, not Cottonelle, but crack is crack)




And here at 3-and-a-half months:



And, oh, look how far she's come at 6 months of age:









And in case you weren't getting the lack of control I have over Ella's addiction, here's a clip to send the point home...





Maybe I'll just ship her off to rehab if she's not over it ("naturally") in another month or so...this is New York...I'm sure there's a toilet paper rehab for dogs somewhere in this city...



Beckham who?

Sure, David Beckham may be remarkably handsome and unusually talented, but he better watch his back because my little Ella is on course to take the soccer world by storm. She's training hard, and once she refines her skills a bit, she'll undoubtedly leave darling David in the dust. (Add to that Ella's fine fashion sense that is every bit on par with the Beckhams'...Posh and Becks can't deny that Ella's collar and leash sets are very fashion forward and sure to start a new trend in canine apparel and accessories).

Below are some shots of my furry footballer, along with a clip of her impressive footwork (and mouthwork - again, not something you've ever seen Beckham do).

Remember, folks. ..Bend it like Beckham Ella!










Friday morning fast one...

On my way to work so have to make this a quick one, but Ella was having one of those mornings where she was just so irresistibly sweet and cute that I couldn't help busting out the camera phone to snap a couple of shots (not that she's ever not sweet and cute, of course...just that sometimes it gets overshadowed when she's behaving like a royal pain in the arse pupper).

Like any retriever, Ella can't resist a good stick, and she almost tears my shoulder out of its socket several times during the course of every walk stopping dead in her tracks to change direction if she thinks she spots a good one.

Well, my sore shoulder and these pics clearly demonstrate that she did indeed find herself a good one this morning...and I thought the 2-foot bully stick was over-sized!

Fortunately, a squirrel came along a minute later and Ella forgot all about the stick which meant that I didn't have to embarrass myself trying to break off a piece of that stick for Ella to carry with her (trust me, it's happened before (what are they feeding these Central Park trees anyway?)...and thank goodness no pictures of my pathetic stick wrestling have surfaced anywhere on the internet...yet...).

TGIF, and enjoy...







My life in a shoebox...

I have big feet. I really do. Get them from my dad. But that doesn't mean I'd be comfortable living in my shoe boxes. Try also squeezing in Ella...and her toys...and her bones...and my shoes (Ella wouldn't move in if my shoes weren't part of the deal too), and you're going to need some serious scotch tape to keep that box closed.

And that's where we're at, folks.

I don't know whether it's because Ella is no longer a pint-sized pupper who takes up a mere square foot on the sofa, or because I'm just growing tired of my space in general and am ready to upgrade to a full-on extra-large Rubbermaid storage tub-sized spot. Whatever the reason, we're going to have to start tearing down walls soon.

The clip below is a perfect example of what happens when a pup and her momma live virtually on top of one another. When I eat, Ella's in my lap (can't exactly put her in another room when there is no other room). When I pee, Ella's at my feet (could be worse, I guess). And when I work out, Ella is...well...making it very hard for me to work out. Just watch the video. You'll see what I mean.

A few things to note:
1) Don't skip out on the last segment where Ella is licking the sweat off of my face. I was out of clean face towels so that sort of came in handy.

2) I found out afterward (upon examining the back of the shirt I was wearing) that there was peanut butter all over that mat from one of Ella's treats. That's the kind of thing that just doesn't happen unless you have a dog...or a kid...or you really want to nullify your workout by busting out the Skippy as soon as you're done with Core Max...

3) Please ignore the pained look on my face. What can I say...it hurt.





Is it time for Depends already?

Over the past couple of months, I can't tell you how many times I have thought to myself, "Why is my ass all wet?" Now, I may no longer be a spring chicken, but isn't 32 the new 22 or something like that? Or, at the very least, even if I'm no longer bar hopping, shouldn't I at least still be continent?

Well, you'll all be happy to know that the underlying cause of my wet bum has nothing to do with a loss of urinary control, but rather to Ella's penchant for eating ice cubes on every seat in my apartment. If she treated ice cubes like she does her meals, they'd be gone in a split second and my tush would never be the wetter...unfortunately for my bottom, she likes to nurse the cubes.

While I may like my chairs dry, Ella clearly prefers hers on the rocks...






Ella gets intimate

A couple of months ago, Ella and I met a very sophisticated, very French woman in Central Park. She was wearing a stylish head wrap and said things like "Back when I worked for Cartier..." in a mesmerizing French accent. By my estimation, she was approaching 70 years of age but was accompanied by a much younger man who I am pretty sure was not her son. She was quite smitten with Ella and shared countless stories about her own dogs tearing up the house and just generally ruling her undoubtedly very chic roost.

The highlight of our conversation came when, out of the blue, she leaned in and said, "Now, tell me. Does she love to get into your lingerie?". I immediately blushed, then looked at her companion who looked down at the ground trying to pretend he wasn't eager to hear how I'd answer. Funny thing is, as personal a question as it was, she was so spot on that I couldn't even be offended. Little did she know that the only thing harder than breaking Ella of chewing my furniture was stopping her from getting into my underwear drawer! No longer did I have to worry that Ella was indulging some pervy fetish...or, at least, now I knew she was in good company...

Not that I'm thrilled about showing off my drawers to the world...but these images are far too funny not to post...

Ella's love of undies started as a young pup...


and it doesn't look like she'll be outgrowing this behavior anytime soon...