Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yesterday Ellie was 15

Ellie is our Brittany. I didn't post to this blog yesterday because she was happier with me on the couch next to her. Ellie's formerly orange cheeks have faded to white, and she has many fears that plague her. She has always been strong willed, and when I think about it, I'm sure we have not shaped her will one little bit. She is the sweetest companion and will nuzzle our faces and lean her head hard into out chests - as close to hugging as a dog can get, I guess. We've often feared that her fears would be the death of her. Since she was two, she has been beset with stuff that makes her incredibly anxious - separation, fireworks, thunder, rain, beeps, smoke alarms (those terrorize me, too), noises on TV, and very recently riding in the car. She wants to flee, to escape the fear or the thing causing the fear, so we have to hold her until the issue passes.
She's been on Prozac for a few months. I'm not sure it has made much difference except that her tail doesn't wag as much, and mostly it stays in the tucked position, but an occasional half of a Valium for acute situations gives her back her happy wagging tail. Don't know why. These medications were a last resort because my DH needed surgery in Tampa, and she and I would have to stay with sister-in-law and brother-in-law for several days. We had to do something for the two hour car ride and possible episodes at their house. It turned out she was the perfect house guest while I was at the hospital all day. They enjoyed her the way we do.

The following photos were taken five years ago. When she is outside, she has no time for relationships. She is all about the hunt, always on the alert and ready to run. Even now she loves to run, just a little bit slower and in shorter spurts, huffing and heaving, scaring her mother to death that she's about to have a heart attack. A harness worked better to stop her from pulling. She seemed to resist pressure around her neck, and no amount of choking would dissuade her. Poor parenting? We did try. I guess we're just not alphas.
Her full registered name is Lady Elgin Escapement. DH used to repair clocks and watches, so when he gave in to my demand to get her, he said, "OK, but I get to name her. Lady Elgin, a watch dog." We added the second name because of the ability she has to escape crates. She hates them and will put her body through any pain and abuse to get out of those things. We resorted to cable ties for the nine months she had to stay in one during the day. An escapement is part of the mechanism of clocks and watches.

 She is the strongest 38 pound dog that ever lived - IMHO.

Here she is with her brother, Pepper, a Standard Poodle, who passed away last April. He was the dearest boy. We still miss him. This is his glamor shot.
 And here's Ellie's. I have a feeling this post has a sad feeling. Saying goodbye is not something I look forward to, naturally, and I know that day grows closer.


  1. Sherry, thanks for posting the pics of Ellie and Pepper. I remember Pepper's passing and the rose you planted on the grave and the postings about Ellie's terror attacks. Is that dh in the pic?

  2. Yes, that's DH holding her back from where she wants to go. Thanks for remembering. You're a sweetheart.

  3. Sherry, what a touching post about your wonderful and beloved dog. Makes me want to have a dog even more... I hope you still have a few years together with Ellie.

  4. Thank you, Christina. Dogs that become your children and friends are wonderful, and I'm sure they all can do just that. They're such unconditional lovers. Mine does think she's the boss though. :))

  5. Dogs are a special part of the family. Thanks for sharing Ellie's story. We have a 10 year old Bichon, Andy. He has us trained just to his liking.

  6. I like that, NanaK. "He has us trained just to his liking." It's a much nicer way of saying it.

  7. Alas, I have only a cat, but I also am well trained, lol.