Paws Fur Pink 2014

This weekend Chris, his sister Tiffany, Ellie, Argos and I got out to stretch our legs at the second annual Paws Fur Pink 5k in Orange, California.

The weather was perfect, the skies were clear and the sun was shining. It was a very well attended event. We got there late by about 30 minutes and were erroneously informed that we could no longer participate in the un-timed 5k. We walked around for a little bit and then we were told by someone else that we could in fact still run the 5k, so we did.

We all had a great time! There were so many dogs of all shapes and sizes to support their humans. Argos did fantastic, smelled around, he barked and ran really well. Ellie on the other hand was really distracted by all the commotion and immediately resorted to incessant barking and whining. She was really uncomfortable. So while Tiffany, Argos and I walked around, Chris and Ellie hung out on the sidelines.

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Ellie, Argos and I after the run.

Once we started the 5k, Chris and Ellie took off and were out of sight shortly after that. Chris reports that the incessant barking stopped once she had to focus on matching his stride. Argos ran with Tiffany and me and kept an excellent pace. Overall, I am very proud of what we’ve done so far in terms of training the dogs to run at our side and to keep pace. I am really proud of myself because I never thought I would complete a 5k. Ever. So I am very much looking forward to attending more events like these in the future and to continue training in this manner for both my sake and the dogs’.

But before I get ahead of myself, I have to confess I am having trouble with Ellie. The incessant barking in particular makes it very difficult to go anywhere or meet anyone new. She’s a shy girl so I need to work on that before we decide to attend anymore events such as this. I am currently in love with the Paws Abilities Helping people enjoy their dogs blog  and I am planning on using their advice as a guideline to help Ellie feel more comfortable in different surroundings.

Meeting Ellie

This is a video I took when Chris and I met Ellie for the for first time. Her name used to be Ella but I changed it because ‘ella’ in Spanish means her. I didn’t want a dog named Her. Ellie seemed sweeter to me. The tan dog you see there is Elise and she was one of Ellie’s litter mates. We had originally gone to see Elise because we thought we were interested in her but one of the staff members decided to bring Ellie out as well and it was pretty much love at first sight. Elise found a forever home as well.

Argos Rolls Around

I took this video last year in the Spring, Argos took a whiff of the grass and rolled around in it. I don’t know what that was about or what it is he smelled but he seemed pretty happy, so I let him loose.

WW: Cozy Small Spaces

Hola Wordless Wednesday!

Does your dog try to crawl into the smallest of spaces? So do mine.

Argos got in cubbie, so Chris put Ellie in a cubbie too, while moving furniture around.

Argos got in cubbie, so Chris put Ellie in a cubbie too, while moving furniture around.

 

New coffee table/nap spot.

New coffee table/nap spot.

 

Or is it Argos's nap spot?

Or is it Argos’s nap spot?

 

Under the table seems cozier.

Under the table seems cozier.

 

Yep, it'll do.

Yep, it’ll do.

Inspecting Chris's workmanship from inside the dresser.

Inspecting Chris’s workmanship from inside the dresser.

 

Argos made a nest of shoes at 3:30 AM one day.

Argos made a nest of shoes at 3:30 AM one day.

 

Running Buddy in Training

Action photo to come. Apartment is undergoing renovations so there are holes in the wall I didn't want reflected in the photo.

Action photo to come. Apartment is undergoing renovations so there are holes in the walls behind me I didn’t want reflected in the photo.

So in the last couple of years I’ve gained some weight. I think it’s normal, I’m getting older, metabolism is slowing down but certainly not my appetite and I don’t make the best of choices when it comes to food…most of the time.

So I figured small changes, little by little should make a difference. I bought myself a FitBit One, stopped drinking soda (on a daily basis at least) and I’ve lost 6 pounds. It’s time to kick it up a notch, so I decided I’m gonna start running. I came across the Pooch to 5K guide and I got to thinkin’…

Ellie, my 7 month old Cockapoo is getting a little round in the middle. She’s got a lot of energy although we go for long walks. I decided I’m going to train her to run with me as I train myself to follow this new routine. She is still working on walking on a leash without pulling, its difficult for her, anything distracts her and she wants to go after it.

I bought the The Buddy System but I don’t think I’m gonna start using it just yet. The Buddy System is a hands free leash intended for running with your dog. A lot of people also recommend it to teach dogs to walk on the leash without pulling. Ellie has not learned to stay on my side and my side only when we run. I’m pretty sure I could have fashioned a device like The Buddy System myself but, for those who know me well, it takes me a while to finish DIY projects. A long while.

Along with The Buddy System I had to purchase Ellie’s third harness. She has managed to chew through two of them. I learned my lesson, I take the harness off as soon as we are back in the apartment and I only leave her collar on for quick leashing at potty breaks. As for training treats I bought a treat tote that I clip to my pants. I used to put treats in my pant pockets and Ellie would scratch and sniff at me all day even after I had removed the treats.

So let’s see how this goes, I’m hoping that by putting my goals out there, it might make me a little more accountable and help me stay on track.

Crating Ellie

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And now, the crate is too small.

I’m a pack rat and sometimes it pays off. Take for instance the fact that I kept my dog Argos’s crate almost 3 years longer than I needed it. I say ‘I needed it’ because Argos would never say he needs a crate, of all things.

I put the old crate in my bathtub and scrubbed it down with hot water and Dawn. Dried it and lined it with pee pads and covered those with a small soft blanket I had slept in. Ellie would have a nice, clean crate to sleep in at night. However, it didn’t quite happen that way at the beginning. I know puppies cry at night in a new home and I can understand why; no litter mates, no familiar smells and everything so foreign and different, but Argos never cried. Ellie did. Ellie howled.

I tried putting a warm bottle of water under her blanket so she would feel warmth, I tried toys and treats and nothing worked. I gave up the crate for a week and instead set up a sleeping area right next to my side of the bed and close it off with a gate. For some reason this worked wonders, no more crying and no more howling. Then she chewed up my night stand and that was the end of that. Back to the crate for Ellie! To my surprise, this time around, she was fine in the crate and it was happily ever after…

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Chewed up dresser.

Until a few days ago when I realized she no longer fits in the crate. The reason for the crating at night had been because she wasn’t potty trained and I didn’t want her to roam free at night knowing all the trouble she would make for me. She’s potty trained now but she manages to chew up things she is not supposed to, mainly forgotten pieces of undergarments. The point is, after 3 months of being potty trained, I still don’t trust her to set her free at night when I’m sleeping. Argos was the king of the castle when we slept, but now he shares bunkers with Ellie because he has been demoted to her current sleeping arrangement, in the kitchen.

There was a bit of complaining from Argos the first couple of nights and now he has pretty much come to accept it. Ellie on the other is quite happy to have company when everything goes dark. I think I’ll re-evaluate this arrangement after Christmas and see if Ellie is ready for a little more freedom.