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Elsa

Our little dog, Elsa, is not as little as she was when we got her.

I knew she was chunkier.  I had a feeling you know.

And of course, some signs are clear.

It was a very stormy night here in Virginia, and Elsa is terrified of storms.

My first clue that she had gained weight was the “thunder shirt” I got her didn’t fit anymore.  I couldn’t get the velcro closure to close around her tummy.

Thunder shirts are supposed to feel like swaddling and hopefully calm the jitters.

When Elsa is really frightened she looks for a close covered shelter where she can go to shake and shiver.

During one previous storm I had to laugh when she literally flattened herself out and slithered under our bed.  That was when we first got her.  After the storm of course, she slithered herself back out.  I called that acrobatic maneuver The Return-Slither.

Well,  last night, when I was all tucked in and ready for a long sweet sleep, there was a thunderstorm. And this time, sans Thunder Shirt, she needed an escape cave – fast! 

Once again Elsa slithered under the bed.  Unfortunately, I never saw or heard her emerge, even when the storm was over.

There were subtle movements like maybe she was trying though, like the bed kind of heaved.  And then I thought I could feel her trying to turn around under there.

Was Our Dog Stuck Under the Bed?

  • Oh No!  Had Elsa gained so much weight she couldn’t slither back out?
  • I agonized over what to do.  
  • Would Elsa have to spend the night in the dark?
  • I lay there imagining.  Was she frightened?  Could she breathe under there?  Did she feel abandoned?
  • And I lay Sleepless in Virginia, imagining the worst,  and plagued by worry for hours and hours..
  • I couldn’t call to her or I would wake Bill.
  • I dozed and woke and dozed and woke.

Finally at 3AM I thought I heard a little cry so I jumped up, got a flashlight, and determined to wake Bill to help me lift the bed off our poor littlechubby Elsa.

But she was up and out.

Elsa had managed the Return-Slither.

It must have been a struggle though.

And Elsa is now on a diet.

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Elsa-the-Dog on Dehydration

My humans seem to think I am a crazy critter, especially when it comes to water.

The first odd thing they did was put two water dishes down.  One is in the kitchen next to my food dish.  And the other is in the bedroom in case I get thirsty at night.

water dissh4

Water Dish Kitchen

I am afraid to drink from the kitchen water.  I will not touch it.  Never.  Ever.

As for the bedroom water, I only drink there when nobody is looking and I hold my thirst for a long time before I try to sneak back into the bedroom.

The Lady thinks I am getting dehydrated.

Water Dishes

Water Dish Bedroom

She also thinks there must have  been a  water trauma in my previous life. Maybe she is right.  What do you think?

One day I got something stuck in my throat and it made me cough and cough.  The Lady decided to put another water dish by the fireplace.  I like it there and it is my favorite place now.

She also put a water bowl out on the deck.  I like that too.

So now there are four water dishes in my home!

water dish3

Water Dish Deck

Water Dish2

I think the humans here are strange, don’t you?

But I have stopped coughing.

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Elsa 3-25-19

I know it!  I just know it!

She has cookies in her pocket.

Maybe if I stare into her eyes she will get my message.

I can tell it’s working.

This is my most pathetic big eyed stare.

Uh Oh!  She’s getting irritated.

I think I am connecting but

she thinks I want to go out.

O.K.  I will humor her and go, but

I don’t really need to.

Ahhhh.  A cookie!

I think I will try the staring thing again.

 

 

 

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night caps

It has been an unusual winter here in rural Virginia.  Everybody says that around the globe, but it may actually be true here.  One day it feels and looks like Spring with balmy breezes and sunshine.  And the next there may be snow or freezing rain or rain or flooding or wind.

With each ensuing event our family and friends (in warmer climes) would call and ask if we were o.k.  “No problem.  They simply exaggerate the weather here.  All is well,” we said.

But then for the last two days we got seriously punishing winds.  Gusts were up to 60 miles per hour which caused limbs and toppling trees to fall onto power lines and then massive outages.

Even so,

for a time we were spared any inconvenience and we smugly carried on.

But then there were the inevitable lights out.

It was our turn.

Ah well, no problem.  There is a trusty wood stove in our living room and a little generator only Bill knows how to operate.  And soon we were once again smugly carrying on.

And in a mere two hours our lights returned and we let the fire in the woodstove slowly burn itself out. 

I retired around 11PM and went into a warm cozy dreamy kind of sleep

when around midnight the lights went out again.

The house slowly turned stone cold.

So did the top of my head

and then my nose which woke me up at 3:15 A.M.

Have you ever tried to warm your nose and keep breathing?

I did manage to create a sort of blanket tent

around head and face but

the cold kept seeping in.

I got up to put on a wool cap

(not particularly becoming).

It kept slipping down over my eyes.

The forehead got warmer

but the nose re-froze.

This went on until 5 AM…. a rough night.

Bill finally got the wood stove going again at 6AM and the power returned about 10 AM this morning.

My nose is warm again.  So is the forehead.  But I had a lot of time to think about coping with a cold nose and other bodily parts and kept remembering “mama in her ‘kerchief” in the Twas The Night Before Christmas poem.  Surely she and my ancestors had the same problems with the fires going out and the cold creeping in.

Today my side of the bed is at the ready with

  • a wool cap nearby (forget romance forever),
  • an extra blanket for swaddling semi-exposed areas of face and body,
  • tightly closed windows (never mind allowing in fresh air for health),
  • and warm socks to avoid frostbite.

I wonder if “mama in her ‘kerchief” had a canopied curtained bed.

Not a bad idea.

Now if only Elsa-the-fuzzy-wuzzy-dog would recognize the value of cuddling, winter’s woes will disappear.

 

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Elsa Who Me

Elsa Ostrich

Elsa, our new little friend, puts on a mighty show of strength and valor

until her safety is threatened by a plane above or an unexpected sound.

 

 

 

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Elsa

Elsa is beginning to love and trust, but it’s a long haul.

As difficult as it is, I now aim for the floor to meet her on her own level. Elsa is our little rescue dog who has been with us for three months. 

Getting up from the floor is the challenge of course but Big Foot (swollen foot that is now Slim Foot) is allowing weight bearing moves!

At first Elsa seemed confused and suspicious when I hit the carpet but she decided in two days it might be acceptable (if not alarmingly odd) human behavior.

She comes closer now when I am down there, close enough for a belly rub but not quite near enough for a hug.

We are making slow but positive progress.

Yesterday while Elsa and I were connecting on the floor,

the looming shadow of a man-person emerged. 

Gentle Bill wanted to join the party too and was on his way down.

Immediately alarmed, Elsa gave a mighty jump and hit her head on the coffee table. Then she crouched nearby in a terror pose.

She finally realized we humans were down there for family love and noone wanted to hurt her.

She inched closer, sat between us, and rolled over for double belly rubs.

This is true progress because Elsa cringes when we try to pat her head and shows unmistakable signs of previous abuse.

For now,  with patience and gentle handling,

Elsa is beginning to love and trust, but it’s a long haul.

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elsa tri-color

It has been almost four months since we adopted Elsa the Great, the little rescue dog who shivered and shook en route home and who is still frightened of strangers and strange noises or quick movements.

In spite of being a cowardly little girl dog, she exhibits signs of mighty-ness, especially when she succeeds in training her new caretakers.

Elsa has learned many things.

BEGGING WITH BIG EYES REAPS REWARDS

We vowed we would never feed her from the table.  Like most New Year’s resolutions, there are now infractions.  But Elsa’s on the chubby side so it’s mini dog treats (only 5 calories each) for her.  And we even break those in half.  But she’s still getting noticeably rounder.  Could it be the little extra bits we give her for being good, for being cute, for just being Elsa?

ELSA IS COOPERATIVE AND WILL COME WHEN CALLED  (IF THERE IS NO OTHER DISTRACTION)

It snowed one night and she loves to eat snow.

Else loves to eat period.

And if she is released into our little fenced yard (for business purposes), she will stroll around devouring snow and ignore all calls to “Hurry Up!”  “Do your business!”  “O.K.  COME!”

WHOOPIE!  LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!

The sweetest moments are when she gets the “Zoomies.”  Evidently that is when a pup is extremely happy, excited and feeling just – well, WONDERFUL!

It happens when she comes in from a walk and is suddenly thrilled to know we are both on site, and again when we return from the outside world and she has been alone for even an hour, or even when she has had a long drink of water.

She literally tears around the house aiming for a collision with first Bill, then me then back and around the house again and again.  It is a grand show of enormous energy and leaves us laughing at each display of unbridled joy.

KEEP ‘EM WORKING!

elsa sheds

I am thinking of starting a new business selling pillow stuffing!

I never thought about it but Elsa has turned out to be a SHEDDER!  And I mean a MEGA-SHEDDER.

In a day or two I can see hairs floating before my eyes.  And she sheds multi colors since she is a tri-colored dog to begin with.  She’s a combination of black, white and beige/brown.  Take your pick!

Life with a mega shedder takes on a whole new meaning.  It means more exercise for me (good for Big Foot?) with more vacuuming and dusting and cleaning and brushing.

Elsa is now family.

We love her but

we are all still “in training.”

 

 

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