Saturday, January 9, 2016

Welcoming Ellie to Her New Home

So today we finally did it: We made connections to meet a new doggie up for adoption, and we fell in love with her. She came to us as "Ellen," and that can remain her name for the record, but we've nicknamed her Ellie. We wanted a golden to follow in Super Sadiedawg's tradition, and her sweet face indeed is reminiscent of Sadie's. So is her temperament, though she has her own personality.

Ellie is considered a senior dog at age 7, but she is full of energy. She loves to take long walks so I now have a personal trainer who will kick my butt. Her story: Her owner passed away (I don't know the details) and she found herself in a high-kill shelter. The good folks with all4paws rescue in Pawley's Island obtained her and placed her with a wonderful foster family where she has lived with two resident golden retrievers the past three weeks.

She jumped right in our car when when left Petco, our meeting place this morning. She rode quietly home, dozing some and looking out the window some. At home she took a tour exploring her new home. So far so good. Then we sat down for lunch, and I heard the storm door open and close. Oh no! Ellie had bolted and run down the block. I of course chased after her, the best an old man can with an artificial knee not meant for running. Luckily a neighborhood family caught her attention -- she loved their children, a good sign -- and I was able to get her leash back on her. I didn't take the escape personally; I'm sure she was just exploring. But it was scary. Tomorrow we will get her collars and a harness with nameplates and contact info. She was microchipped yesterday.

Tonight I made another discovery. I thought that I had failed to close the storm door completely. However, after family visitors had left, she stood up on her hind legs and was manipulating the door handles with her front paws! She knows how to open doors! Smart doggie -- but we must always lock our doors. (Which is a good thing to do anyway.) I hope she will outgrow this propensity to bolt. (And I hope she doesn't know how to pick locks.)

Right now, with no completely enclosed backyard, I will need to walk her at least two or three times a day. Although I don't like those retractable leashes, I may buy one so sometimes I can sit on the back patio and let her wander out to the cedar trees but without being able to run away. Before too long, I hope, we can convince her not to run away.

There is lots more to say, but that will do for tonight. Next will be the adventure of the first night sleeping in her her home. Her foster mom says she doesn't much care for crates (though she is crate-trained) so I will try putting the doggie bed in the bedroom right next to my side of the bed. If that doesn't work out, we will bring the crate out of the garage and put it up tomorrow.

In short, we feel blessed to have a new dog in our family. Our family seems complete now. Next we need to get the new family member all settled in for the duration. (My son took a few pictures with his smart phone. I hope to take a bunch more tomorrow.)

                                   © Robert G. Holland  2016

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