If you had asked me a few months ago if I would ever recommending getting a dog I would say, "No!" However today, a few months later I would have to say, "Yes". Ellie has been a very good for our family and quite frankly she thinks she is one of the children.
It's interesting to see the different relationships the children have with Ellie. Rock is a parent to her, she is wonderful about taking her out to the bathroom and cleaning up after her. He practices lacrosse with her and she loves to retrieve the balls.
Brick has a love/hate relationship with Ellie. He adores her, but is learning the hard way that mistreating her has some serious consequences. It's been wonderful to him to learn to be affectionate and soft, while learning how forgiving Ellie is. He loves to tell everyone about his puppy that is hypo-allergenic just for him. He has terrible allergies.
Ellie is so patient with the not so soft loving she receives. Can you imagine how irritating Loaf can be poking her nose like that? Ellie just looks at her and patiently waits for it to end. There have been a few times when Loaf's play is too rough and Ellie will nip at her. Quite frankly I would nip at Loaf if she bugged me like that.
Loaf and Ellie are practically litter mates in that they do everything together. Ellie helps Loaf get cleaned up after most meals and Loaf loves all the kisses and affection. I think it's gross and Ellie knows not to give me kisses.
Unlike me, Gus enjoys the kisses and affection. Ellie adores Gus and Gus adores Ellie. It's so fun to see Gus get home from school and see Ellie's entire body wag in excitement. Ellie shows her love, by putting her bottom end up so you can give her a rub. It would be really cute if it were quite so gross.
Then of course Ellie tries to sniff your bottom. Dogs can really be disgusting.
Dash loves to snuggle with Ellie in the mornings when he is trying to wake up. There is nothing quite like a snugly puppy to rub to help make the mornings better. Ellie has Dash's respect because she is faster than Dash. He loves to run outside with her and see if he can beat her in a race.
Those sleepy eyes get to me every time! That Dash is such a sweetie. Side note: It's interesting to see the light and color difference of all these photos taken at different times of the day in different rooms.
I am constantly finding a ribbon tied to Ellie's collar. The girls always dress her up when it's a special occasion. I usually protest and take it off after a little bit. I always said I would never be "that kind of a pet owner" when I would see something I thought was ridiculous, but I have quickly learned the error of my judgments as my daughters love to accessorize their puppy.
Ellie's birthday sweater and ribbon. Yes, there was a party. No, I didn't purchase the sweater or the rain coat. (Gus bought them) Yes, the sweater is put on her every chance they get and yes, I take it off when the girls are not looking. Ellie is ever patient with this dressing and undressing.
Everyone helps in Ellie's training. It's especially fun to teach her new tricks and give her treats. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but after much study and testing we decided to use an e-collar with Ellie. We have tested it against our skin to make sure it doesn't cause any physical harm. It has been a wonderful training tool. Our trainer has taught us how to make the e-collar a positive experience so that Ellie looks forward to wearing it because she will get new adventures. She loves it and it has worked really well with our unfenced yard. She doesn't stay outside unsupervised as the horses are far too tempting to try and play with.
One thing we have learned is how loyal a dog is. She knows where we are in the house and will sometimes nap at the top of the stairs to have a view of both levels. She is content to follow me around the house or one of the children. She is affectionate and protective.
One day when Ellie thought Arnold was being too rough with Loaf, Ellie herded Loaf into the corner of the room away from Arnold and then stood guard against Arnold. Of course all Arnold had to do was call her and start rubbing her head and Ellie was mush, but it was sweet to have Ellie protect the younger, weaker members of the family.
That younger, weaker member of the family is still up to her hair cutting antics. This time victimizing Ellie. Imagine if I hadn't walked in when I did. Poor Ellie was siting calmly while our scissor wielding Loaf did her magic. When we took Ellie to the groomers to try and fix the mess, they didn't get the message that it was Loaf that had created the bald spots. The sweet groomers were trying to figure out what sort of illness would cause hair loss like this. They deal with abused or sick dogs on a regular basis. We all had a bit of chuckle when I informed them that the baby with the scissors was cause. Sometimes when you deal with difficult cases, the simplest answers are easy to overlook.
Now as perfect as Ellie is, she is still mischievous and like all the Kimball females loves fabric. She loves to go into the studio and pull out the bins and make a mess with the fabrics. One day I caught her and she came running out with an innocent expression, of course the fabric draping over her was hard to dispute.
She also loves to tear apart chipboard and cardboard. It's a terrible habit, that and eating people food. She loves to reach up and lick things off the counter and table. She looks around to see if anyone is watching before she reaches up so she knows it's wrong, but the temptation is just too great.
One of the beautiful things about Ellie is that she doesn't shed and as a result she is allowed onto our couches and even my bed. Every night around 7 or 8pm she starts to whine if she isn't already on my bed. She snuggles up and relaxes. It's interesting to see how much she thrives on routine and her internal clock tells her where she should be.
Sometimes she falls asleep with her legs in the air. It makes us all laugh.
The children all come in and give her a little rub before they go to bed. Truth be told I think this is why she loves being on my bed, not because it's comfortable. She loves all the attention. She is a wonderful pet and we are blessed to have her in our lives. I'm so thankfully I persevered through the puppy stage because she has grown into a lovely dog.