Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For the love of our Dog.

It was definitely love at first sight when we walked into the shelter and met Ellie-mae for the first time. We had talked about getting a dog for a long time and Ellie-mae was the only dog that I sent information and pictures about to Patrick that got Patrick to say "YES, lets go meet her." That was a little over 2 1/2 years ago and our love for her has continued to grow everyday. 

Day 1! Car ride home after spaying.
When we adopted Ellie we promised to take excellent care of her and vowed to give her the very best life that we could provide for her and I think that so far we have done a pretty fantastic job.

We brought her home after she had been spayed. She was still pretty doped up and I'm sure in some pain and totally confused. We had a welcome basket full of gifts and necessities for her. We wanted her to feel at home. Needless to say we spoiled her like crazy. Just look at those ears and eyes. How could you not fall madly in love with her. 

It was very clear to us that in her first 5 months of life, before she came to us, she had been abused. We wanted her to feel safe and loved. We ended up creating a bit of an issue and have ended up with a dog who is amazing the majority of the time but also has some very bad habits and emotional issues that desperately needed correction. 

The addition of the baby in the house has seemed to have caused some jealousy and Ellie-mae's behavior was becoming more of an issue every day. She definitely loves the baby and is extremely over protective of her. Now that Delilah is walking, she is also afraid of the baby when she comes charging at her swinging her arms and toys. We have never thought that Ellie would harm the baby in any way but Ellie's food aggression made us very nervous. Delilah loves to share her food with the puppy and Ellie is very gentle when taking something from her hand (which we try to avoid) but Delilah loves to share. 

When Patrick, Delilah and I were all in the house Ellie is a wonderful dog. When Patrick would leave in the morning to go to work and for the 12 hrs that he is gone I was dealing with a dog who now had complete control over me and the entire house. I became fearful of a dog that I was so much in love with. 

Taking care of me while I was 9 months pregnant.
Ellie-mae has so many amazing qualities and characteristics but she is very difficult to train. She is very stubborn and set in her ways. Her past abuse was our biggest hurdle to jump through when finding the proper method of training her. She can be very dominating but she is also extremely fearful. It breaks my heart when she shows her fear towards just a simple action of putting on her leash. 

I understood her emotional issues and her reasons for behaving the way that she did. I truly believed that with the right guidance that she could get past this and live a long happy, healthy life and no longer need to guard herself and be fearful that someone was going to hurt her. Just like humans, things happen in life that cause us to behave in a certain way. I went through many struggles in my past and I am pretty proud of the person who I am today. I was not going to give up on my dog.

We were introduced to an amazing man on Sunday who came to our home to work with us and Ellie-Mae. I wont go to deep into my spiritual beliefs but I truly believe that he was spiritually connected to Ellie. He was not just your average man. There was an amazing animal spirit to him. He worked with Ellie and worked with us. He put Ellie in my hands and guided me. I'm so absolutely thrilled to say that life at home with Ellie has completely turned around since Sunday. We once again live in a peaceful, happy home with a puppy who is well on her way to emotional freedom. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

12 months old!

Today, Delilah finally had her 12m well visit. Why so late you ask? Her 12m well visit and this 12m post are happening 1 day before she turns 13 months because we have spent the entire month of January being sick, sick and sick some more. We are so happy for this new month and to be feeling good again. 

While all three of us were sick, we introduced Delilah to Winnie the Pooh the movie. She is now absolutely obsessed with Winnie the Pooh. She sings, claps and bounces up and down the minute the movie comes on. She will do anything you need her to do if you offer her Winnie the Pooh. We do not plan on using bribery and movie entertainment as a form of babysitting, but when mom, dad and baby are so terribly sick, Winnie the Pooh saves the day. 

Along with 2 illness's this month, Delilah also sprouted 3 new teeth. All at once of course just like her first 4. These 3 didn't seem to give her as much trouble coming in as the first 4 did but it is hard to say since she had so much more going on at the time.

 She is off the bottle, but still takes a sippy cup for bedtime. We have been putting up a big fight with her to get her down for bed without it and she always wins the battle. 

She is still obsession with my hair. She twirls it to soothe herself but it is not sweet anymore. Well maybe it is a little sweet. Along with the twirling she pulls and pulls very hard. I have sacrificed a lot of hair for her to be soothed but it needs to come to an end and this battle I will win or else I will be bald very, very soon. 

Our pediatrician pointed it out during our sick visit a few weeks ago. I was holding her after he checked her out and she was sucking her thumb and twirling my hair with her other hand. It didn't even phase me at the time since it happens so much. He asked "is this her thing?" He told me that it needs to stop and that he has a women who has a 3 year old that still needs her hair to sleep. He told me that I will not be that women. Today at her well visit, after her shots, Delilah showed him how much progress she has made on the hair situation, none. 

Our pediatrician is amazing. I enjoy every minute he spends with us and he spends a lot of time with us. I love that after he examines  her that he casual sits and chats with us and seems to really enjoy us. 

Delilah has made big, big progress on her growth. He says that she is going through a big growth spurt. He was very excited as he went over her growth chart with us. In her first six months her weight was always around the 7 percentile. Today at 21 lbs and 14.6 oz she has made a huge jump up to the 50 percentile. Her height has consistently stayed at 50%. Her head gets remeasured by the Dr every visit, why, because it is big. Not off the charts big, but 75% big. Looking at her I don't think that she has a big head, but I do buy her hats that are bigger than her clothes size.

 I asked if it is normal and he said it is perfect and head size is hereditary and then he said "so who has the big head?" Patrick and I both pointed fingers at each other so our pediatrician broke out the measuring tape and measured both of our heads. Hilarious and so fantastic that he is so much fun. Guess whose head is off the charts big... Patrick's! Patrick said she can blame him for her big head and blame me for her big feet, says the man who wears a size 13. 

He predicts that she will be at least 5'10 and that she will have a big jump in height throughout her toddler years. 

She is still definitely allergic or very intolerant to dairy. We were again advised to take her to the allergist and now that she is 1 year and still having issues, we will make the appointment. 

He advised us to wait on trying out peanut butter until we know for sure what her allergies/sensitivities are. She is a really good eater and doesn't turn anything down. She loves her fruits and vegetables. She now eats what we eat with the exception of a few things. She is very entertaining to eat with and everything is yum, yum, yummy with every bite. 

She runs wild through the house with her walkers and she thinks it is hilarious. She has a wagon for her mega blocks that she climbs in and waits for daddy to take her for a ride. She is a fearless thrill seeker. She has found her confidence in hers stride and is now walking on her own. She still likes to reach for my hand and walk with me all around the house and it is adorable. 

She takes big girl baths on her own with our supervision and she loves it. She has also moved up to her big girl carseat another milestone that she is loving. 

Everyday is a thrill and a blessing, even when it is a month long of sick days.