Meet Ellie

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In November, we decided we needed to add another member to our household of 3 (the third being Penny, my 4-pound, 7-year-old poodle/chihuahua). Alex had been lobbying hard for a larger dog since before we even got married, and I knew that it was going to happen - there was no sense in fighting it. And to be honest, I wanted a larger dog, too: as much as I adore Penny, she can't play fetch with a tennis ball (her mouth's too small to get around it); she can't go on long walks or hikes (her legs are too short to take her very far); and you can't really rely on her for protection (although for a little one, she has quite the ferocious bark). I grew up with larger dogs, and thought one would be a good addition to the family, too. So in early November, we found a litter of Golden Retriever puppies and set out to take a look. We ended up meeting our precious Ellie that night!
Ellie at 6 weeks old!
She was the right one for us. The "Red" puppy - the breeder had identified Ellie and her 8 brothers and sisters by different colored collars, rather than naming them from birth - she was calmer and a bit smaller than the others. She came right up to me and put her paws up on my leg. I fell in puppy love.

Our first night at home with Ellie - Penny is less than thrilled!
We picked Ellie up 2 weeks later and brought her home to meet Penny. I was nervous about how Penny would react - she had been the only child her entire life. At first, I think Penny thought "This too shall pass," but when Ellie hadn't gone anywhere after a few weeks, reality sank in: Penny was a big sister.
Penny and Ellie have learned to share - sort of...
Over the last few months, Ellie has kept growing...and growing...and she's been the best puppy we could have asked for. Seriously. She's not quite as calm as she was that first night we met her, but I was waiting for that to wear off. However, she was housebroken within 3 weeks, was a star student in Puppy Class ("Sit! Shake! Rollover!") and is the perfect addition to our family. We made the right choice.
3 months old, all decked out for Christmas!
I have always heard that Goldens are kind, smart, and tirelessly loyal dogs. I can see it now, just in the 2.5 months we've had Ellie. Although she has a lot of growing and learning left to do, her demeanor is so sweet that I know she'll be good to us for years to come, through celebrations and sad times, through road-trips and vacations when she gets to tag along, and one day, through the joy of bringing children into our life. (And, okay, I am looking forward to years of all-American Christmas cards adorned by my Golden Retriever's picture. Just an added bonus!).
Sisters! They really do love each other.

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