Rose (now Ellie Rose) - an Ivy/Rudy pup:
(The following chronicle meant alot to me as it came from a lady with extensive history with the breed. She used to breed years ago and had been without an ES for many years. I am honored that when she decided to again include an ES in her life, she chose a Good Shepherd pup)
From the beginning Ellie Rose has been quick to adjust. After the first 6 miles of homesick wining in the car on Tuesday she decided that sleeping on my lap or under the front seat was the best solution for the long boring trip to MN. During potty stops she began to get accustomed to the leash, the better part of wisdom as neither Katie not I wanted to play snake if she decided to hide under the car.
Friday: The first couple of days she made good strides on house training and confining her biting to her own toys. So far nothing inappropriate has been destroyed although she has free run of the house—with a lot of close attention from visitors as well as from us, especially me. Like a human baby, she of course needs constant watching. She knows what “no” means and responds to it quickly. It’s a challenge for her to respond to five different people. As I feed her and am constantly with her, I am the first authority figure. Allan & Ayla play with her, so she doesn’t take their commands very seriously. I let them and her work it out. Ellie is quite capable of knowing there are “different strokes for different folks.”
Sunday: On Fathers Day she came with us to a picnic at our son Dick’s and met his 4 dogs. After being temporarily overwhelmed by 4 dogs rushing to greet her, she realized she was not going to be hurt and made all the right submissive gestures, then settled on playing with Dick’s puppy, an English cocker just one week older than Ellie May and about the same size. They had a great time in vigorous play.
Monday: She had her first fishing trip. She wasn’t sure that an unsteady duck boat was her favorite place to be and, when she looked at the invitingly smooth water outside it, she jumped off the rear seat. She immediately swam (climbing through the water as puppies do) over to the seat where I was rowing, and I pulled her to my lap, a frightened soggy puppy. She recovered quickly and enjoyed playing with the weeds I caught more than with the bass and sunfish, fortunately. She eventually went to sleep beside me.The first three nights she slept in a box, then a crate, beside us, whining to go out in the night only once. But now she sleeps through the night, and curls up in her crate with an old shirt of mine along with her rose towel.
Second Sunday: After a busy day outside: a walk at 6, then picking peas and broccoli, (a rest while I froze the veggies) then weeding, then walking down for the news paper, Ellie made a beeline for her sleeping crate, and I am sufficiently carefree to finish this letter.
Since I began this letter Ellie has learned a lot, and so have I. We spend a lot of time watching each other. Although I didn’t used to use treats in training, with her it is very useful as she is constantly being told she is a “good puppy”. So she needs a more unique form of praise, and food is of great value to her. She comes quite well now so long as she isn’t strongly distracted. Of course I wait for her attention before calling her. The other big stride is in house training. Since last Friday she has been barking to go outside and to come back in. Part of the reason for her learning so quickly is, I think, because of you and Ivy keeping her so clean. Since coming home she has met many new people and 4 dogs of varying ages. Our granddaughter’s Labrador puppy, Oslo, gave us a lot of information about her sense of territory as well as her pluck. After the initial greeting, Ellie tried playing with him—an unusually tall 6 months old Lab. It was no play-match, and although he tried, he couldn’t help rolling her over. After a protesting squeal, she gave up the attempt at play, then stood her ground in front of the door of her home, growled, and then bared her teeth at the advances of the giant. After a click of her sharp little teeth, he backed up. Once inside, she decided she did not want to share either her toys or her people. 13-year-old Ayla, who calls Ellie her sister, is her play-partner, and when Ellie saw her playing tug with the visiting giant, she attacked the lab, darting out from under the furniture for a quick snap, then protecting herself under the couch or chair where Oslo couldn’t follow. Our granddaughter then honored Ellie’s priorities and put Oslo in the car.One more indication of our pup’s communication ability came yesterday (her second Saturday here.) She crouched on her forelegs and gave a couple of “want to play” barks. Meredith said, “she needs to go out”. I said “she wants to play”. Both of us were right. After she peed, she made a beeline to Ayla’s door. Ayla shortly brought her back (she was about to go to a friend’s house). Next Ellie went to the garage door, then gave me a hopeful look. The three times she had gone in the car it had been to Dick’s house where she had enjoyed a good romp with his cocker puppy, Skitters.
Amy, I thank you for choosing such an exceptional puppy for us. It is clear that you pay careful attention to the personalities and abilities of your puppies and equally careful attention to the characteristics of the people and environments of their new homes. No one without continued observation of the litter would be able to do as well. Yes, I’ve trained and bred English shepherds, but I could not, having only a short time, choose as appropriately as you have.