Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meet Miss Ellie

This elegant lady is spending the next ten days with us while her family vacations on Cape Cod. They will have many aunts and uncles and cousins and other dogs all camping together in a state park on the Cape, but both the twelve-hour drive and the hubbub are too much for this lovely lady, so she is camping with us.

As you can see from her gray muzzle and paws, she is no spring chicken. A hand-me-down dog her family is not sure exactly how old she is, but something around ten seems right. It is nice to have her sprawled on our hearth, or under the deck in the shade while I was gardening this morning. It brings back the good feelings that we had for so many years when we had our own dogs.

We are told that Ellie likes her twice-daily walks and will chase her ball - for a while. She had not been here fifteen minutes before finding the lily pond. By "finding" I mean, of course, "getting into". Somewhere there is a terrified frog! The pond is not a good fit for her, as the bottom is quite small with a large potted water lily taking up most of the available space. But she apparently found it cooling enough that she did it twice!

We already know that she is afraid of shiny floors. Our carpeted house is great for her, altho feeding in the kitchen may be a stretch. We have put throw-rugs from door to door in hopes of breaking up that huge expanse of shine for her. It also seems that she is a bit spooked by the open back of the steps coming up to the house. Although we have four possible ways to enter the house all require coming up to a deck and she doesn't really like doing it. A cookie made the deal this morning, so I am not sure who is training whom!

Somehow dogs seem to bring out the best in people. We show them the overt affection that we sometimes are too inhibited to show to the humans we love. It's easier to touch a dog than a person, and you can tell a dog your deepest secrets without fear of their going any farther.

So, we will enjoy a new routine for the next ten days - walks in the early morning and evening - and a presence in our home. It will be like old times with Jack, or Buck, or Mocha. But when she goes home we will no doubt be happy to have our quiet little house become quiet again.

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