We acquired an Emergency Backup Dog last November. We found her through Petfinder, and after talking with the woman who was fostering her, we met them and Ellie came to live with us.
At the time, the foster woman was supposed to get us some information on Ellie’s background, including vaccination paperwork and the like, but none of that ever materialized. Ever. The only thing we knew for sure was that Ellie had been spayed, since her belly was shaved and she had obvious stitches.
We have no idea how old Ellie is. She could be anywhere from 2 to 15 years old. I think she’s more on the young side, because when she arrived she was very much a puppy (albeit a 50-lb puppy). Other than the fact that she’s been spayed and she came from “somewhere in the South,” we didn’t know anything about her, at first.
She’s been with us for nearly a year now, and we have learned some things.
1. Ellie does not like police sirens. If she hears them on TV, she will look around with a worried expression. If she hears them for real, she will hide.
2. Ellie does not like motorcycles or cars that rev. There are a couple of teenaged boys in our neighborhood who are doing things to their cars, and sometimes if I’m out for a walk with Ellie, they will be working on their cars, revving them and generally pretending to be all fast and furious. When this happens, Ellie will not move. No way, not today.
3. Thunderstorms are not Ellie’s favorite thing, either. There haven’t been many since she arrived, but she has tried to hide behind the toilet, under the futon, and in the refrigerator. She weighs close to 80 pounds now, so imagine what that looks like, trying to wiggle under the futon. If I’m around, she will sit on my lap or do her level best to get me to step on her since she needs to be under my feet if she can’t get behind the toilet.
4. Ellie loves me. All the other animals in the house tolerate me (Carl) or actively dislike me (Piper), but Ellie looooooves me. I love her back because she is so incredibly stupid and sweet. Not a smart dog, but very very sweet, and she tries so hard to figure out what you’re trying to get her to do. Still hasn’t mastered “shake hands” but she does try.
5. Ellie is, as I said above, incredibly stupid. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can’t teach a stupid dog ANY tricks. She knows “sit” but that’s the extent of her knowledge.
6. Ellie believes that cats are snacks. It took us nearly 5 months to convince her that Carl is an exception to that rule.
7. Ellie hates the UPS truck. And when I say “hate” I mean she really, really, really, REALLY detests the UPS truck. She lost her mind barking the other day and I couldn’t see any other dogs or other barkable offenses out the window, yet 5 seconds later, the UPS truck passed the house. The dog knows the sound of the UPS truck before she even sees it. That’s cold, man. The FedEx truck doesn’t bother her at all, but hoo boy, she sees that brown truck and tries to kill it with barking.
We love her, though. She’s a fantastic addition to our menagerie and even though she’s dumb, she’s incredibly photogenic. The pretty ones are always stupid.