A King, A King, My Bedroom For A King

A close-up view of our dog Ellie watching me as she rests on her homemade dog bed in my wife's office in the basement

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
King Richard in Shakespeare’s Richard III

Ellie had an upset stomach this past week which led to a rather unfortunate if prodigious emptying of her bowels in the living room. The vet suggested we switch her to a bland diet of rice and cooked meat (no bernaise sauce) for a few days and thankfully there have been no more incidents. Erring on the safe side, we isolated her to the easily-cleanable part of the basement while we were at work and at night while we slept. She didn’t mind the imposition while we were gone but our champion snuggler was not pleased about the loss of bed privileges at night.

The morning after she had to be encouraged to eat (a surer sign of the apocalypse than any four horsemen) but otherwise her appetite has been fine. Her energy level and spirits have also been high the whole time and today we started slowly working her regular food back into her diet. So far so good!

She was allowed to rejoin us in bed at night after a few days of no accidents and I’m happy to report that she now moves over when I come to bed at night. I can’t say if her banishment to solitary affected the change but regardless I’m no longer wishing for a king-sized bed.

Ellie Earns Her Freedom

We’ve completed a month of obedience training with Ellie at the Humane Society and have seen a marked improvement in her on-leash behavior. She’s still an excitable girl but her twice daily walks are much more manageable now. Her off-leash behavior is, well, she’s not going to be outside and off-leash anytime soon.

Indoors though she’s been fantastic and gets along well with the cats. Fortunately she’s sleeping on her bed in the basement at the moment, as Sam and Emma are asleep on her bed in my office with Scout a few feet above them in one of the warm beds. Ellie’s been so good with them that this week we’ve allowed her free roam of the house while we’re at work.

We’ve also started letting her up into our bed at night. Like me she’s a real snuggler, so that’s good, but I’m less pleased at the immovable black mass that occupies my spot when I come to bed at night. I naively assumed she’d move over when I climb in. She does not. Sam and Scout don’t always move either, but they also don’t weigh 80 pounds.

Ellie’s a black lab mix but we weren’t sure what makes up the non-lab part of the mix. After observing her for the past month, however, I can definitively state that she was mixed with 100% purebred stomach. After her early adventures with chocolate calcium chews, a tub of caramel, and a jar of dog treats, she has branched out into a block of cheese, potato chips, a batch of muffins my wife baked, a bag of noodles, and a variety of other snacks.

Oh, and some granola bars and breakfast bars in my backpack. Which were in a zipped compartment. She didn’t chew her way in but instead seems to have worked the zippers. Zippers. Zippers!