Tag Archive for cuteness

Elphie at six months

Elphie Category

A couple weeks ago, Elphie turned 6 months old and we passed the three month mark as her owners. She has her own blog (sort of). If you want to see almost daily pictures of the cuteness that is Elphie, you can check out the Daily Elphie.

At six months old, Elphie is still a puppy, but getting more Elphie - 5 Months Oldindependent and adult like every day. She’s pretty much house-broken. Some days are better than others. Sometimes she’ll go to the door and paw at her leash, letting us know she wants to go out. Sometimes, she’ll go into the kitchen or onto the porch and do her business. She holds it as long as she can, but I had some long days at work in the past couple of weeks and she went in the kitchen while I was out. She’s not so reliable about going on her pads when she goes in the kitchen, but it’s better than cleaning up carpet pee spots. Last weekend, Chris and I were both sick and were probably not taking Elphie out as much as usual so she had a couple of accidents on the carpet. It’d been weeks since she’d done that up to then. I keep looking out for a bigger mess, though… she should be going into heat sometime soon.

Sometimes, when we go out at night, she gets very loud and yappy when we come home. We’re trying to let her out, but ignore her until she quiets down. It’s a little ear-splitting, but I’m sure we’ll miss it when she’s older and couldn’t care less when we come home.

From not being able to go down stairs when we first got her to her barely reaching the side of the bed when she stood a couple months ago, she can now jump up onto the couch and bed all by herself. She’s not allowed on the bed and only on the couch when her blanket is out. She’s getting to be a tricky trickster, though. Chris left the bedroom door cracked open when I was in the shower one morning and when I came out, little miss had helped herself onto the bed.

After the first month, she had a problem with barking at other dogs while we were walking her. Not in an aggressive manner; she just really wanted to meet them. We didn’t want to reward the barking with her meeting the dogs, so this led to some frustration on walks. After taking her to the dog park at least Lazy Sundayonce a week, she’s gotten much better in the complex. She’s got two special friends: Starbucks, a Min Pin who’s been over here a couple times, and Mozart, who we joke is her boyfriend. Mozart is a boxer mix about her age. He’s the first dog that Elphie met after we brought her home and she and him are the funniest things when they see each other on walks. Elphie runs toward him and Mozart just stops and kneels down. They sniff each other and bat each other around the face and jump around. Mozart’s owner says he’s not like that with other dogs at all.

We took her to the biggest dog park around this weekend and she went swimming. Kind of. She found herself in the water, swan further out, realized she was in water and swam back as fast as she could. I was shocked because she doesn’t like baths at all yet, so I was sure she wouldn’t go anywhere near the water.

She can dance and high five and sit and lay down and sometimes come and stay. If she feels like it. The thing she really excels at: being incredibly frickin’ cute. At least once a day, Chris and I remark how she’s the cutest thing that ever lived. Cute, well-behaved… she’s our lovely dog.

Bringing Home Elphie

Elphie Category

Previously… after figuring out what kind of pup we wanted, we found a really promising pup.

So down to Ocala we went. When we got to the breeder’s and met the pup and her parents, I could see why she was the last one left in the litter. She was perfectly content with herself and her toys and wasn’t bouncing up and down to see the new people… most people will take the first puppy that comes to them. We found out that the original litter was 10: 5 boys and 5 girls. A really large litter for a tiny dog like a bichon. Two of the boys were lost early and the other three were stillborn. The five girls all survived. The mom was really interested in us…

Elphie, on her way home

Our first picture of Elphie... before she was even Elphie.

more than the pup was almost. The breeder liked that we knew the owners of one of his other pups. The pup was quiet the whole time… no yapping or barking at all, like we were afraid of. After asking more questions and cuddling with the pup more, we decided that we definitely wanted to get her. We filled out some paperwork, got the paperwork from him (she’s AKC registered), handed over the money (within our original budget), and after he gave us some food, one of her toys, and a collar and leash, we were on our way back home with our pup.
We put a jumper of Chris’ on my lap and I held her in the car. She whimpered as we pulled away from the breeder’s and I felt like we were doing the worst thing ever in taking her away from her mom. She continued to whimper and whine for about 20 minutes, as I held her and said “It’s okay… You’re okay.” She looked at Chris intently the entire ride. Eventually, she settled and I was able to get a picture of her and post it to facebook. It still felt a little surreal that we had a puppy. That she was our puppy and we were bringing her home. To our home. In the car, we starting brainstorming names a little. I suggested Cecelia, which Chris didn’t like. Katy was an option. And then Chris suggested Elphie. As in, Elphaba… as in Wicked. It seemed to work, but we didn’t want to jump into a name too soon. We brought her home, where we had one of her beds (we’d ordered a second one when it looked like the first wouldn’t ship for a month) and her crate and toys all set up for her.

Elphie

With the aforementioned duck. About 13 weeks old.

Yesterday, Chris found some videos on his phone. Check out Elphie meeting her duck (who would become her new best friend).

We got right on exposing her to new things. Our friends Bruce and Nikki came over that first night for dinner and she did great with the new people. Scott, Ashley and their baby came over the next night and so Elphie met a baby for the first time. That Thursday, she went to her first vet appointment and then we took her to meet my parents. A week after we brought her home, she came to a family dinner at my parents and met my brothers and sister-in-law and their baby. Two infants in one week! After a little bit of whimpering and a second “good night” the first night, she slept through the night from Night One and has done ever since.

We had the joys of potty training to deal with. I had a plan… had done ever since the first puppy that we hadn’t gotten. I knew I wanted to crate train her. Since, as a puppy, she wouldn’t be able to avoid accidents, I wanted to have a baby gate set up in the kitchen and keep her to the kitchen (the rest of our apartment is carpeted) when she might have an accident. We got puppy pads and worked on training her to go on those when she did need to go. Accidents happened, of course. And as the weeks went on, accidents on the carpet have pretty much stopped. When we take her outside, we walk her in one patch of grass first. When she does her business, she gets to explore and go elsewhere. Our big issue with her now is barking at other dogs while we’re walking. She’s so excited and she wants to go meet them… but we don’t want to reward the barking. We’re working on that with her. Taking her to the dog park to meet more dogs in a more neutral territory (I think she thinks she owns the whole complex here).

She did not like her first carrier at all. It was small and soft… I thought it would be nice for carrying her around it. She didn’t agree. We got her a larger carrier and she took to it immediately. It was great for when we took her down to St. Pete with us for the day (to see relatives) and it’s great for taking her somewhere with only one of us. She got to meet her brother, Buddy, and even got to spend a couple days with him when we went down to South Florida to see friends. They got along amazingly and need to have another play date again soon.

First groomer's visit

Bows and everything!

She’s been to the groomer once. She was practically catatonic when we picked her up. We thought we had the wrong dog. I think she was just overwhelmed and so shut down a little bit. I can relate to that. We’d given her a bath at home before that and I’d been brushing her every couple of days, but I’m sure that there was so much going on, she didn’t know what was happening. We’ve given her a few more baths since. She doesn’t love it yet. I don’t know what it particular… she doesn’t mind rain, so it’s not an aversion to water in general. It’s something we’re working on. We didn’t love the first vet we took her to, so on the recommendation of some of Chris’ co-workers, tried a new vet. The new vet’s office is much better. It’s about 25 minutes away, so less than convenient, but the staff and the vets are much more friendly and they gave us a goodie bag with tons of awesome stuff and information. We switched her from the food she was on to California Natural. There were some bumps along the way, but once her tummy adjusted, the switch was great. And then the pet store ran out and we’ve been having to give her wet food from the same brand this week. They’ll have more in on Monday. Phew. Her breath stinks on the wet food.

She’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. I mean, I might be biased, but I don’t think it’s that much of an exaggeration. And she’s very photogenic. I’ve taken more pictures of her than my brother has his two month old son. She’s getting bigger and bigger every day. And I love her so very much. I think she loves us quite a lot, too. She’s the perfect pup… she’s cuddly, but fun and playful. Too playful sometimes… she’s slammed herself into walls or table legs at high speed a couple times. She’s making us more social as we walk her and meet our neighbors. She’s got a boxer mix boyfriend called Mozart who lives across the way and a min-pin friend named Starbucks on the other side of the complex.

Most importantly, she does give me something to take care of. And something to take care of myself for. I’m keeping the apartment cleaner (well, the Dyson that Chris got helps with that, too), and doing what needs to be done more rather than just sitting on the couch and moping when I get home from work. Yeah, she adds some stress sometimes, too, like the time that she pooped and stepped all in it, getting it all over the kitchen floor, five minutes before I had a telephone interview. But at the end of the day, she’s cute enough to make up for all that.

Elphie

The Cutest.

Finding a puppy… the long way

Elphie Category

I’ve always been a pet lover. Well… more specifically, I’ve always been a cat person. Well… a cat and rabbit person. My first pet at age 3 was a rabbit. When we moved to Florida, a friend of my mom’s cat had kittens. We chose the runt of the litter, who ended up living longer than any of the other kittens. He was a beautiful blue eyed albino cat that was deaf and was the loveliest cat I’ve ever known. We also got a hand-me-down rabbit from a fair that our neighbors didn’t want to keep. My dad built another hutch for him. When his hutch was blown down in a severe thunderstorm, he decided he liked free-roaming the backyard. At the age of 8, he died peacefully in the backyard and my dad buried him under his favorite bushes. When we had to move out of our house, my mom gave my cat away without telling me. Between college and living with my new family (who are anti-pet) and roommates, I haven’t had a pet other than fish since.

Around our first anniversary, Chris and I starting thinking about getting a dog. With Chris, cats and rabbits are unfortunately not an option, since he’s allergic. We’ve baby sat a Min Pin a few times, but Chris has to be really careful not to pet the dog and then his eyes and we have to be ultra vigilant about vacuuming up hair and such. So it’s not a breed that we could really live with. We wanted a dog that would be good in an apartment, would be cuddly sometimes, but not a mindless lap dog… a dog that would still be fun. A dog that would be good with children when we got around to having those and one that was from a rescue organization. We did some research into dogs that might not bother Chris… I’d mentioned bichon frises, I think, but Chris thought they were too fru-fru. That left us with (mostly) minature schnauzers and poodles. My aunt has a giant schnauzer, and Chris doesn’t love that dog. I don’t love the poodles that I’ve met, but was willing to give them a chance. And we wanted a puppy.

Aren't they cute? Too bad it was too good to be true.

We started to go to adoption fairs and speak to some local rescue organizations to let them know what we were interested in. I kept an eye on Petfinder. Around October of 2008, I found a listing for some cockapoo pups from a rescue group about an hour south.I emailed back and forth and put down a deposit on the puppies, getting ready to meet them. Chris warned me to take it slow and not get invested. Then, the listing changed a bit and noted that the mother was a schnauzer. Um… there’s no schnauzer in cockapoo. I emailed back and forth some more and it became clear that we couldn’t be sure that these puppies would be okay for Chris. And even if the puppies were, the adults might not be. I got my deposit back and we stopped looking for a bit. It was really heartbreaking. I don’t know how people who try to adopt kids and have them taken back by the birth mother deal with it… I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking it must be.

So we stopped looking. Football season came around again and we found ourselves going to our friend Scott and Ashley’s for the games sometimes. And Chris met their dog Buddy, a bichon. Buddy was about 3 years old and they kept him cut in an all over cut, rather than the typical fru-fru bichon cut. Buddy is one of the coolest dogs in the world. He’s cute and cuddly and fun and playful and hearty. Chris loved him. And even better… he didn’t bother Chris’ allergies at all. So now we knew what we wanted. A bichon.

To Be Continued…

What’s been taking up my time lately…

Elphie Category
Elphie, originally uploaded by That Girl Crystal.

This little bundle of love and trouble has been occupying my time lately. I’m still determined to get back to updating this blog on a regular basis… if anything, it might become a puppy blog. You have been warned.