Now if you choose to read on any further you will just hear the random facts of how we have dealt with our now (at the time of this post) 14 week old Australian Labradoodle. If I were still scrapbooking I might create an entire mini album to document this huge change in our lives, because being the owner of a puppy is no small task. However I am not still scrapbooking, at least in the traditional sense so this post will have to do because this is all I have time for.
NAME: Ellie is the name our breeder chose for her. It's a darling name, one of the girls mentioned they wanted to name one of their daughters Eleanor, but call her Ellie. So after seeing the first pictures of Ellie from the breeder we tried out various names and had narrowed her name down to a couple that we would try out when she came home as we learned changing her name would not be a problem. However as soon as we got out of the car her first day home and she was loved on by all the children the name Ellie stuck. It's very sweet to hear Loaf calling her.
TRAINING: I know that last post was a little misleading about how prepared we were, most of the preparation happened the day before and the books arrived after Ellie. We have never had a dog before and I can assure you we are being overrun due to our inexperience. We did however get the name of a wonderful trainer who is helping us understand this new world that is a puppy. Thankfully Ellie was already crate trained when she came home and nearly house trained, because after a week and a half we are so grateful for all or any training she already received... Now we are working on the nipping and not taking down the babies and Loaf, whom she treats as litter mates. Ellie loves Loaf's hair, but then who doesn't.
We set up a puppy play area with some baby gates to keep her in and the children out, however I wasn't very far into my Labradoodle 101 book to know that Labradoodles can be champion jumpers. Ellie learned to jump the gate her first day. All the girls would oooh and aaah when she would stand up at the gate and peer over to see what we were doing. She won everyone's heart quickly.
Ellie anxiously waits to be taken outside to run and play. She is also very conscientious about where we all are and voices her displeasure if we are too far away or she can't see us. It's very sweet right now, I'm still trying to decide how enduring it will be later on. Thankfully she's not a big barker and we intend to keep it that way.
COAT: Ellie is a beautiful coppery color (these photos were taken with two different cameras, both Nikons but my newer camera does a much better job with more accurate colors). She does have a strange bald spot on the top of her head due to a careless groomer, prior to Ellie joining our home. We have an appointment to get it fixed because this is not the only spot, especially after both the trainer and the vet commented about how horrible her coat looks. Every girl has to have a bad haircut everyone once in a while, right?
I have really appreciated being able to call and text my friends who are dog owners. Truly I had no idea what I was getting myself into, except that it was going to be a lot of work. There have been so many little things I didn't think about and it meant so much that I have been able to quickly ask and get support. Sometimes I feel like I've just had my first baby, especially when I called the vet 3 days into bringing Ellie home. She wasn't eating very well, at least in my opinion and I thought she was coughing or gagging. I felt silly explaining everything to the vet and remembering back to when Munch was tiny worrying about every little thing. However in this case Ellie had developed kennel cough and a round of antibiotics quickly brought her back to health.
THE BED: I really don't anticipate having many posts like this about Ellie, things are settling down and the newness of her is wearing down. On the other hand, I don't want to forget this first bed, not because I have any particular fondness for it. It has special meaning because Brick chose it, he loves the color red and he thought Ellie would like the embroidered doggie with a bone in it's mouth even if it is a little small for her. This alone is sweet, but there is more to the story.
We chose Ellie and her breed for a specific purpose, we are hoping to train her as a therapy dog or at the very least she will help with a few of the emotional issues we are currently dealing with. Nothing serious, but enough that I will do anything to help my darling children, even get a dog which I have never wanted.
Ellie's coat is hypoallergenic and we had a guarantee from our breeder that she would not be a problem for Brick who has terrible allergies. We made it very clear from the beginning to both the children and the breeder that the first few days were going to be a trial period to see how Brick's allergies fared. The first day home after chasing Ellie around in the yard and petting her, Brick's eyes immediately started to swell. I was worried because the children had formed a very quick attachment to Ellie. I warned the children that Brick's health came first and that we might not be able to keep Ellie.
Brick happens to be allergic to MANY things so I wanted to eliminate other possibilities before making any decisions, like the fact that the grass had just been mowed or the pollen count was unusually high that day or a new shampoo had been used. However in their frustration a couple of the boys said some mean things to Brick and he was devastated to think he would be the cause of Ellie's removal from our home. So the next day after a few tears, lots of love and hugs I asked Brick if he wanted to come with me to pick up some remaining supplies for Ellie. He enthusiastically jumped at the chance to help.
So this bed is more than just a bed, it was part of Brick's healing and coming to understand the allergies are not bad they are just part of who he is and he is a very special little boy. As you can see Ellie is still here, thankfully he is not allergic to her because like the rest of the children he has grown very attached to her.