Whelp it sure has been a while since I’ve shared anything on here! I’ve been so wrapped up in work and life and ~!!being a puppy mom!!~
If you follow me on any social media this is not an update for you. I am obsessed with my dog. I thought I was better than this. But you guys just don’t understand. SHE’S NOT JUST ANY OTHER DOG. SHE’S THE BEST DOG AND I MEAN IT. I probably have over 100 pictures in my phone of her just sleeping.
I had been really wanting a dog for about a year, but in March the urge was really strong, and I was working from home so I had all the time and attention in the world to give a puppy, right?! I Googled some shelters in Southern California (even perused Craigslist but regret that and don’t recommend after hearing horror stories) and eventually found one in Idyllwild called The Living Free Animal Sanctuary. After seeing Eloise’s picture(the shelter actually called her Tess) and reading about how shy and in need of love she was, I filled out an application, got a phone call 15 minutes later, and set up an appointment to meet her that weekend.
…Then I started having an identity crisis and really contemplating whether or not I was ready to get a dog. But I did soooo much research and budgeting and more consulting with friends and family, felt like I was prepared, and drove up to meet “Tess”.
The shelter thinks Eloise had been in a puppy mill until she was rescued at 4 months old. Puppy mill dogs are illegally kept in cages and used only for breeding purposes, not getting any human contact or even any space to run around. Eloise was 6 months when I adopted her and completely terrified of everyone. When you held her, she would shake uncontrollably and was too scared to even make a noise. When you put her down she would immediately run to the nearest corner or hide under a chair. I went home that day wanting to make sure that adopting her would be the right decision for both of us, and for the next week I could not stop looking at pictures of her on my phone (like the one taken the day I met her, below). About a week later I drove back up to Idyllwild to officially adopt my sweet little pup, and she was shaking in my arms the whole time I signed the papers. It’s hard to believe that puppy that shook uncontrollably in my arms is the same pup that snuggles up to me every night and wakes me up with kisses!
Her first day home she didn’t make a single noise and wouldn’t walk anywhere on her own. If I put her on the grass outside, she would just stand there looking at me like, “What am I supposed to do?” She was so timid and hesitant and just unsure of everything. I spent almost every moment with her because the most important thing with a shy, timid dog like her is that they’re able to gain trust. After about 4 days, she was completely a new pup! She started showing interest in chewing on her toys, loved cuddling on my lap, found her bark and got so brave exploring all the corners of the backyard.
One thing I’m so glad I learned early on was how to avoid separation anxiety, because she’s so attached to me and I was worried about how she’d do when I left the house for longer periods of times. I learned from Ceaser (the best!!) to 1. Make sure the dog has low energy before you leave the house (the best way to do that is by exercising them) and 2. If you don’t make a big deal out of your exit, then your dog won’t know that it’s a big deal when you leave – just casually walk out the door. Eloise gets sad when I leave, but waits patiently for me to get home instead of tearing up the house with anxiety. If anything, I’m the one with separation anxiety… I can’t stand being away from her for too long and no matter where I am, I am wishing I was with her. It’s unhealthy, you guys.
After doing a lot of research, I really thought crate training was going to be a really good thing for her, and she didn’t mind her crate at all, but after about 5 nights I caved and put her in bed with me. Now she sleeps with me every night and it is The. Best. She falls asleep on her own pillow, but in the middle of the night she gets up and curls up right next to me. She is just the sweetest!! Such a lover.
I’m really glad I’ve been able to invest so much time and attention into her, because it’s still rough raising a puppy sometimes. I’m still working on socializing her – she gets nervous when dogs come right at her and stick their nose in her face, and she barks when a new person walks in the room. I wouldn’t say she’s 100% potty trained (but she hasn’t had an accident in the house for a couple weeks, knock on wood). She’s still absolutely terrified of being in the car. But it’s so easy to take care of her because I love her so much – I can’t even be mad at her when she chews up my make-up!
It’s been so fun watching her find her puppy personality that she never had a chance to unleash (no pun intended;) ). After about a month she finally started to love going on walks and playing with toys. Her favorite toy ever is a small squeaky tennis ball (because the big ones don’t fit in her mouth). She carries it around with her everywhere (seen below) and always wants to play fetch with it. The first thing she does when she gets up in the morning is look for her ball. And when I say, “Go get your ball,” she knows exactly what I mean and brings it to me (I say “it” but we are on the 6th ball now).
I can’t even stand to think of Eloise with another mommy!! Adopting her was 2,000% the right decision. Taking care of her is second nature. I know she’s happy and has a good pup life, but MY LIFE is so much better with her in it!
The Living Free Animal Sanctuary is really an amazing place run by volunteers who really care about the animals. I can’t recommend them enough! They don’t just adopt their animals out to anyone, they really care that each one ends up in a loving home. It was also so nice to adopt a puppy that was already spayed, had all her shots, and was microchipped. They even gave me a file with all her paperwork to give to my vet. And on that note, if you’re thinking about getting a dog, I 100% suggest you ADOPT. There’s something so special about rescuing a dog and loving them to life.