Today Elly is 4 years old! We don’t do major hoopla for birthdays around here, but we did manage to get in a few of her favorite activities and she even got a new toy.
In the morning we went for a walk to her favorite park. I allowed a little off leash time outside the dog park and she got extra time to check out each gopher hole inside the dog park since no one else was around.
When we got back from the park I decided to take her to a couple pet stores to pick out a new toy and maybe a treat. It’s also a great place to work on her socialization skills with people and dogs. She also got several treats from employees. She is even brave enough now to go behind the counter and ask for treats!
We looked at several toys but she seemed quite intrigued by the funny noise one particular toy made. I also got her a small beef trachea for her treat.
After the pet stores a nap in the sun was in order.
She also spent time sleeping in the sun in the side yard while I was pruning the apple tree. Every now and then she would come to the back yard and check on my progress… she was not at all helpful with pruning.
After my nap (pruning is hard!) and her dinner it was time for her birthday treat and toy. She ate the trachea so fast I didn’t get any pictures. But I did get this video of her playing with her new hedgie.
Next up was her normal food toy- she usually gets one every night as part of her core and balance exercises. But for her birthday she got some extra special treats. I always put a few treats in that won’t come out on their own so she has to bring me the bottle after she gets all the easier ones out. I had just broken up the last couple treats and given the bottle back to her when I shot this video.
It’s funny how she has learned to take the bottle to her bed when she gets tired. She chases it around the room for awhile but usually ends up in her bed at the end.
Speaking of tired, after the trachea, hedgie and bottle it was time for another nap, she is after all 45% pug!
While I was typing up this post she snuggled down in her bed in my craft room…to wait until we go to bed!
I usually feed Elly her breakfast in a mushroom shaped food dispensing toy. I put it on the easiest setting to start but within a few days she was emptying it in a few minutes and I had to make it harder. That slowed her down to about 10 minutes per meal but again she mastered it and was emptying it in record time. So now I have it set at the hardest level, she still usually empties it in less than 10 minutes. She rolls it around the living room, sometimes picking it up, running with it and then letting it go. She burns a little energy and works on her balance too!
This past Sunday though she took a different tact. Usually after I give her the toy she will run off with it and I can hear her rolling it around the living room. On Sunday she took off with it but then it was quiet. Quiet generally means that it is stuck under a chair or stool and she waits for me to come get it for her. I went in to see where it was stuck on Sunday morning and found her sitting in her bed with her toy.
She spent almost 15 minutes eating her breakfast without leaving the bed. It took so long that a the beginning of the video (I recorded her whole breakfast) the entire bed was in the sunshine coming though the window, by the end of the video the left part of the bed was shaded.
Sometimes a girl just needs breakfast in bed on a lazy Sunday!
(be sure to turn up the volume so you can hear her crunching)
I can’t believe it’s been so long since I updated this blog. A busy summer working the Shakespeare Festival, some family health issues and my arm in a cast…blogging somehow didn’t rise to the top priority!
I missed blogging about Elly’s one year ampuversary although I did manage a forum post. She has been home for more than 10 months now and is really comfortable here. She is still wary of strangers and dogs and pretty much anything that she hasn’t seen before. On one of our morning walks we came across a donation bag sitting on the sidewalk- it took her 5 minutes to get the nerve to sniff it and finally walk past. Since plastic bags seem to be one of her triggers we’ve been working extra hard on getting comfortable with them. If we walk early enough in the morning there are usually several newspapers in driveways in plastic bags. Elly will now ‘tag’ them (touch with her nose) on command!
We have also completed two more classes. One was called Canine Confidence which gave us some insight on shy and traumatized dogs. And tonight we completed our third Strength, Balance and Body Awareness class. We’ve had the same trainer for all three of these and she is really impressed with Elly’s progress, especially with her confidence. Vicki was nice enough to video our second run through the equipment course tonight. I hang onto to Elly’s harness to keep her safe on the taller equipment and because I take her leash off, she freaks out when her leash drags across her back (so many issues!).
Here she is, although tired she still Rocked the Course!
If figures that I would adopt a puppy during an El Nino year! I’m happy about the rain, we need it to get out of the drought and water use restrictions, but tiring out a puppy without any outside time can be tough. I’m lucky that Elly likes to practice obedience skills, work on core strength, and play food games. Her big brother Obie likes to play with us sometimes too.
I’m working with Elly on some tricks too…but that is for another post.
Obie sitting on the balance disc… and waiting for his treat!
Elly on the FitBone with brother rooting her on.
Elly on the FitBone. She is really good at two up (feet) but we are still working on 3 up.
Elly playing Dog Twister. I feed her part of her dinner this way sometimes.
Obie and his Tug-a-Jug, he loves this thing. I don’t think Elly knows how to play with this one yet, but she knows to follow Obie because treats magically appear!
Elly and her Hol-ee Roller ball. She is still working on her strategy with this one.
I adopted Elly in October 2015, she is my second Tripawd. My first, my heart dog, was Tri-Pug Maggie. You can read her story in her Blog: Life with a tri-pug.
I decided to start a blog for Elly to chronicle our adventures together and keep track of the progress she makes.
Elly is very skittish and slow to trust. When she joined us we were her fourth home in her short 10 months of life. And being hit by a car, well I can understand her skittishness. Although her foster mom said she was with lots of dogs of all sizes Elly is kind of reactive around other dogs.
So far we have taken two classes together, a basic obedience class, and most recently a strength, balance and body awareness (sb&ba) class. I can see her gaining confidence each day, although she is still pretty reactive around any dog that is bigger than her. She is doing better with dogs her own size and smaller, we try and interact politely with every dog we meet.
Here are some pictures from our last sb&ba class. Three weeks before this she would not touch most of the equipment although we had been working with a FiTBone at home for several weeks.