Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ella - The Bubble Machine

Now, my close friends and family know that I have never been a "dog" person. We had turtles, gold fish, a duckling, & two cats (for a brief time) growing up but never a dog. I also think something happened to me with a dog when I was much younger that made me eternally afraid of them, but I've suppressed that memory...

That all changed when my daughter in law, Amber, brought Ella into our lives three years ago. Ella is a yellow lab and was just a puppy when Amber got her and brought her home. Being a puppy, she was very lively and thought everyone just loved her and wanted to play with her. I thought she was adorable with those big eyes and loving nature but I was very nervous.

We went camping with my son Adam and Amber and Ella that first year and Ella, left in my charge for an hour, got the rope that she was tied up with all tangled up in the bushes and trees on the campsite. Every time I got close enough to try and untangle her, she would nip at me because she didn't like the situation. I was afraid to get too close, afraid of the sharp teeth, and unfortunately had to wait until they came back to untangle her - what a coward...

Over these last three years, I have gotten much calmer with her and have realized that she isn't trying to bite me, but it is part of her playful nature. I am no longer afraid to pet her and attempt to hug her; although she still thinks everything is a game and wants to play and lick.

I was really put to the test one Saturday morning last summer. Adam and Amber had gone away for the weekend and my other son Chris was left in charge of Ella and had spent the night at their house, taking care of her. He had to work at the driving range that morning and didn't dare bring Ella while he was mowing and picking up golf balls. She tends to chew on the golf balls and chase the mower and ball picker upper. He dropped her off with my daughter Amanda and I. Being Saturday morning, (oh who are we kidding - the weekend in general) we weren't dressed yet. I told Amanda that I would watch Ella while she showered and dressed and then we could switch places.

Amanda had no longer left the room and Ella disappeared; a matter of three seconds... I began calling for her, but couldn't hear her anywhere. I went upstairs to check and found the door to my bedroom open. As I walked in, Ella came out of my bathroom. She wasn't making a sound and I noticed a large bulge on either side of her mouth. I told her to come see Memere and asked her what she was up to. She was looking at me but couldn't make a sound. I realized that she had gotten into something in the bathroom but couldn't figure out what, at first, but that it was in her mouth. Awwwww, that meant that I had to open up her mouth to find out what the problem was, and it was full of sharp, pointy teeth..... All of these dog biting images came to mind but I knew something was wrong and didn't want anything to happen to her.

I gave her strict instructions not to bite Memere and opened up her mouth. A freshly opened, big bar of soap was stuck in all four corners of her teeth and wasn't going anywhere. She had gone into the shower in those few seconds and gobbled it off the shelf. I grabbed the soap, gave it a tug and pulled it out. Ella started licking herself to try and get the soap taste out of her mouth. I can imagine how nasty it tasted, but then again, she puts anything in her mouth - we won't go there.... I convinced her to come downstairs with me and she followed eagerly. I checked the label to see if there were any warnings of any kind but didn't find any. I gave her a large bowl of water to get rid of the soap, and because I wasn't really sure of what else to do and she took to it happily.

I watched her for quite awhile after to make sure that she was okay and to make sure that she didn't start "shooting soap bubbles"!!!

Ella attempted again and succeeded this time in eating a bar of soap that following week at Amber's, but at least it wasn't on my shift....

All in a day with Ella!!!

1 comment:

  1. She sounds like an absolutely wonderful dog! I have a black lab-boxer mix. He is 9 and a big boy...130lbs. with a 44" chest and all muscle! My mom was terrified of him for years until she found out he likes M&Ms. She started giving him a couple before she came through the gate and quickly found out he is just a baby in a really big body. Thankfully she no longer has to bribe him to get in our house. :)