Some Advice For Our Dear Ellie

  • You don’t have to do everything little Sam says. While I applaud his use of the scientific method, after getting into chocolate you didn’t have to eat a tub of caramel just because he wanted to see if your poop would smell like Twix bars. (In the interest of science, the answer is no. No it did not.)
  • You don’t have to believe everything Scout tells you. When she told you that she is the only one who didn’t come from the Humane Society, that was true. But when she told you that she didn’t come from the Humane Society but instead hatched from an eagle’s egg high atop a Sitka spruce, that was not.
  • In a similar vein, she’s missing fur on her foreleg because they shaved it at the vet, not because she gave a grizzly bear the what for.
  • And please, please don’t listen to Emma when she asks you to bring back a tree when we take you for a walk. It’s only ten more months until Christmas. She can wait like the rest of us.

Dark Chocolate & Caramel

What happens when your dog eats a whole tub of caramel? I don’t know but we’re about to find out!

In all seriousness, I did call the emergency vet when I got home, she should be fine but with vomiting and diarrhea, oh joy!

Ellie dear, this is not the way to weight loss!

Hi-yo, Silver, Away!

When I got home from work this evening, little Sam started peppering me with questions about saddles. I know nothing of horses and knew neither the answers to his questions nor the reasons for them. Slowly I realized that he hoped to ride Ellie to glory in the great Emma hunts that rage through the midnight hours.

No Sammy, no. No no. No no no.

A Quiet Day

It was sunny (and cold and windy) again today so I took Sidka out for more playtime in the backyard, this time she wanted to come in after half an hour. She was very active yesterday and seemed tired today, so while she got her usual walks and indoor play time as well, she was more in a mood to sleep. That worked out well as we curled up and watched the two NFL championship games on TV.

We left the door to the basement open all day long so the cats could come and go as they please. Scout didn’t come down at all, which is a change from the previous days, but that’s OK as we’re letting each of them adapt to the dog at their own pace. Emma’s fascination with Sidka continued as she hovered nearby much of the afternoon.

But it was little Sam who made the biggest stride forward, going from napping a few feet away from Sidka yesterday to just inches and even millimeters today. On two different occasions, he burrowed under the quilt and curled up in my lap while Sidka was nestled beside me. At one point Sidka even had her head resting on his body with only the blanket separating the two. He was purring so he couldn’t have been too unhappy with the arrangement.

On another occasion, he was sleeping on the other side of the couch when Sidka jumped up and filled the gap between the two of us. His eyes got really wide for a moment until he realized she too wanted a nap and soon he was sleeping peacefully. He’s still really nervous around her, don’t get me wrong, but I was surprised to see him get so close so soon.

Sidka Meets the Queen

Not too much to report on the dog front, I called my wife when I got off the train last night so they walked down to meet me halfway. What a happy girl she was to meet me — she being the dog 😉

Sidka met the cats again last night while I held her and they mostly milled about at close and not-so-close range. The big difference from the night before is that the Queen came down to greet her new subject, I told Sidka that if she won Scout over the others would soon follow. All three are still in the curious-but-cautious stage, when treats were brought out all three came up pretty close to the dog.

Sidka is still in her curious-and-let’s-go-meet-them stage so I’ve been keeping her close at hand on her leash. No one is showing any signs of aggression, not even a hiss from the cats, so things are looking good on that front. Even the introduction of Sam and Emma to Scout brought some hisses. Not to mention the how-could-you-betray-me-like-this withering looks from Scout that make me shudder to this day.

I fell asleep early last night and then woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I turned on the light to read. I was shocked to see Scout separated from Sam by a few inches, she remedied this immediately by snuggling up to him, he draped one arm across her face and another around her body and soon they were asleep again. It took me a lot longer to follow them this time.

Oh To Be a Cat

So how traumatized are the cats by meeting the dog for the first time?

Scout is sleeping upstairs on my side of the bed, one of her favorite spots. Sam is sleeping in the heated bed next to me, one of his favorite spots. Emma is sleeping on my feet like she has been all week.

Oh to be a cat!

Since my wife has been sleeping with the dog in the basement this week, I’ve been reading in bed to help myself fall asleep. Last night while I was reading, Sam jumped into my lap and then Scout followed and curled up tight against him. She lay across him and put her head under his so that he would lick her head and clean her ears.

I don’t think he knows how much it means to her, Templeton started doing this for her when we first brought her home as a little kitten. In the early days she’d look like a drowned rat after he worked her over, less so as she grew older, the ritual continuing up until he died. But maybe Sam does have a sense of it, he started purring in full voice and that started Scout’s motor so I put down my book and listened to the harmony.

Sam wasn’t sleepy and eventually got up and Scout moved down to my feet. Emma then came up and curled up beside her, Scout fell asleep almost instantly and her loud snoring didn’t keep Emma from following her into slumber.

I turned off the light and joined them.

First Contact

Our dog Ellie on her second day with us, showing a little of the gray fur underneath her mouth

Sidka has mostly black fur save for a tiny white stripe on her chest and white around her mouth, I suspect when she was born she must have wiped her mouth on the ground before the paint was dry. Speaking of paint, she also has some white fur that is only temporary thanks to some paint splotches on her head and tail. The reason her previous owners listed for giving her up was “Moving” so they were probably painting the house to get ready to move and a certain someone got a little too close …

We are going to change her name from Sidka but haven’t finalized the name from our pool of candidates. We’ve crossed a few off the list, I had originally suggested Willow but little Sam was horrified and pointed out that Old Man Willow in The Lord of the Rings eats hobbits. I didn’t quite see the problem until he reminded me that he was named after a hobbit. Good point little one!

Today was the first introduction of Sidka to the cats. After taking her for a long walk and run and playing ball with her, I put her leash on and held her close while my wife opened the door to the basement. Scout wanted no part of the proceedings but Sam and Emma did eventually creep down, moving in super-slo-mo as they crept down from the top of the steps to the landing to the bottom of the steps and finally into the den. Sam was first to approach with the fur on his tail spread wide, he rubbed noses with Sidka before backing off again. First contact! He and Emma later approached but were intrigued by Sidka’s bushy tail, when Sam went in for a sniff Sidka turned towards him and both cats bolted under the couch at full speed. They watched from a safe distance until we decided to call it a night.

Not bad for a first introduction!