Elsa has now been with part of the Ranch pack a little over 9 months. And yes, it rather does feel like birthing a new kid. Her transition from a shut down, puppy mill survivor to a quirky poodle has been filled with tears and smiles. The tears from the fact that she didn’t even know how to take food from my hand initially and from her diagnosis of canine idiopathic epilepsy shortly after she arrived. Loads of patience and love have been in her life since she joined our merry little band. Even with a big brother who at times has been slightly unkind, she is morphing into a bona fide poodle. The smiles show up nearly every day as she discovers that being a poodle in Denver isn’t a bad life after all and one who has now found her barking voice and speaks in a poodle dialect of Yugoslavian whenever she looks at something and barks. We still have no idea as to what she’s saying but it must entertain her fancy because it gets her wound up and most definitely animated.
So what’s a bona fide Standard Poodle like? Compared to previous contenders I’ve owned over the years, these dogs are brilliant (ok, that might not accurately described Sam but for purposes of this post, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s sort of clever). They are athletic and can bounce and jump with the best of them. They are quite affectionate. And yes, very fun-loving. All my poodles have been sweet dogs and Elsa is learning that snuggling can be very reassuring and comforting. Plus there’s that whole thing of us uprights having nice cushy furniture they seem to relish.
While she still has a looong way to go before I could pronounce her a full-fledged “Standard Poodle,” and who knows, she may never make it all the way, she does continue to make progress.
Take a couple of mornings ago (but please disregard the clutter ok…remember it was early before I had a chance to pick things up). We rise early so we can enjoy our walks in the cool morning air. While waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew, little Miss Ninja went on a zoomie terror around the house for several minutes. She became transfixed with a tug rope that the sheepdogs used to play with. Sam was never interested in it but Elsa will occasional pull it out of her toy basket and ‘floss’ her teeth on it once in a while. That morning, she barked at it, pounced on it, repeatedly zoomed from the living room into the kitchen with it hanging from her mouth, play bowed repeatedly before attacking it and tossed it repeatedly. I was laughing so hard I could barely get a picture with my phone on the QT. She enjoyed playing with it for an unusually long time and I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that this ‘baby’s come a long way.’ It may not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve been a puppy mill survivor who only know a small cage for her entire life beforehand, it seems like a mountain of progress to me.
May you continue to blossom into a marvelous Standard Poodle, sweet girl and may you continue to keep tickling me along that way.
Live, love, bark! ❤︎