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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...

"Talkin' 'bout a HEAT WAVE..."

It is HOT in NYC could fry an egg on the sidewalk (though i wouldn't advise eating it)...and I can't say the timing is the greatest what with Ella battling her tummy troubles and all. Heat like this could give anybody the runs.

The good news is that Ella seems to have perked up a bit and her energy levels have returned to normal. We're still working on getting that tum back to normal though - better, but not where I'd like to see we'll keep our fingers crossed that she keeps progressing over the next several days. And in the meantime I am working hard to try to keep her from eating any other random things that could aggravate her, say, for example, paint chips from her chewing on the wall last night? Uggh. Lead poisoning...yeah, that's just what we need right now.

Anyway, we have managed to make it to Central Park in spite of the heat. The athletic pup she is, Ella understands the importance of staying hydrated in such extreme conditions, so she's taken it upon herself to make sure she's got water with her every step of the way. In addition to making me stop at EVERY water fountain in the park to fill her drinking cup, she also picks up every discarded water bottle she finds along the way. It's not just for her though - it's an important job...She's really doing her part to keep the park if I can only teach her to drop the bottles in the recycling bin when she's done, I'll have a very trendy "green pup" on my hands...

I'll see your nose scrape and raise you...

a mysteriously inflamed colon and bloody diarrhea. Anyone think they can top that hand?

Poooooor Ella has had a rough week. As I mentioned in my last post, the trouble began last Friday with an in-crate explosion while momma was at work. It continued on Sunday when she somehow managed to scrape the black off of the top of her nose! I still don't know how she did that...all she ever gets into is toilet paper and paper towels...perhaps I need to start buying some softer tissue to prevent nose chafing?

Anyway, things only got worse from there as Ella’s bowel issues worsened and, by Tuesday, there was another crate incident and the loose stool had turned entirely to blood. It may sound strange but I actually found myself WISHING she had a parasite – at least those critters can be banished relatively easily with some antibiotics. I rushed a sample to the vet that evening for testing, hoping to get a call back informing me that the worms were back in town (she had coccidia when she was just a baby). No such “luck” – it was negative.

At that point, I was already anxious enough about Ella being sick, but it didn’t help to have incredibly insensitive and overly dramatic neighbors who were saying things to me like “Look at her…she’s crying inside”, and “See how sick she is? She’s not even jumping on people”, or “Blood? My dog lived 13 years and she never had a problem like that.” Great, thank you, that helps, I appreciate the optimism. Or there was my personal favorite…some lady walking by who witnessed Ella leave a puddle of gross on the sidewalk and made a point to say entirely too loudly “Ewwww, that dog is SICK”. Tempted to rub her nose in it – literally – I simply rolled my eyes and secretly hoped that someday she’d get the runs somewhere in public where other people could gawk at her.

Anyway, I took Ella to see Dr. Jackson last night who, after examining her, said “Well, I didn’t see anything scary.” So that’s something, I guess. She prescribed Ella some Metronizadol and a bland diet for the next week or two, so we’ll see how it goes. If she doesn’t improve or if the symptoms return after she stops the medication, then we bring her back in for further testing for allergies or IBS…and in the meantime, it’s rice and baby food for my little one. (As an aside…baby food…who knew?! Ella is already a fan of the vegetable chicken and turkey rice blends…)

Aside from my anxiety over what Dr. Jackson would find in Ella’s colon, I must admit I was also a bit worried I might be questioned about the boo boo on her nose. When a pediatrician sees a child who has a noticeable cut or scrape or bruise, you just KNOW the mother is going to be questioned…as Ella’s furmomma, I was equally worried. On my way to the vet’s office, I was trying to think of excuses…”Geez, how did that scrape get there? It must have just happened!” or “Um, she bumped into a wall while chasing after her toy”…those excuses sound so bad I’d be inclined to charge myself with suspected animal abuse. Fortunately, the nice doc had no intentions of calling CPS (Canine Protective Services) and simply said “looks like that nose scrape is healing nicely, that’s good…”.

Whew. Close call.

Just been hang(er)ing around...

Ella and I have been laying low for the past couple of weeks, trying to recover from her recent spaying and subsequent piddling problems. Just when her UTI seemed to have cleared up (and I was almost caught up on laundry), she developed incontinence of the other kind and has been having "issues" for the past few days. Momma came home on Friday to the stinkiest shoebox on the planet as Ella had an accident of monumental proportions in her crate. And momma was nauseated for the remainder of the weekend after having to clean up that mess.

One thing I have to say about Ella, though - no amount of uncontrollable poo or pee can dampen her spirit! She has been feistier than ever this weekend, and every time I turn around she's found something else to get into (you might see us on The Dog Whisperer soon - i think only Cesar Milan can cure her of her shredding fetish...toilet paper...plastic bags...cardboard boxes...envelopes (usually containing bills or other important documents)...).

Anyway, Ella tried on something new for size yesterday - a hanger. While I was trying to tidy up my closet, she thought she'd borrow a hanger or two and experiment with a new look. Personally, I think the white plastic asymmetrical necklace doesn't do much for her, but you know you can't tell adolescents anything.

And for those of you concerned Ella may have been in some sort of discomfort here, let me first say that fashion trumps pain when beauty is at stake - she's seen momma wince after a day of wearing high heels enough to have learned that sometimes a little pain is necessary when it comes to sporting a fashion-forward look. That said, my Ella's a lean little lady so she had plenty of room to breathe. Also, those cheapo hangers weren't around for long. A minute after I took these shots, Ella flexed and the hanger popped off into pieces.