Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ellen, On The Occasion Of Her First Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Ellen's first birthday.

It was a time for us all to reflect on how she has grown.  Mostly physically.  She is no longer the slim-waisted little hell-raiser we fell in love with at the RSPCA shelter - she's now filling out nicely, and is well on her way to becoming a more Meatloaf-style hell-raiser.

Over the past seven months she's made us laugh, she's made us cry, she's made us very, very angry, she's made us poorer, and she has, through her own Backyard Blitz projects, knocked thousands off the value of our house.

When we first met Ellen, she was not in the least bit interested in us.  The handler at the RSPCA had a bum-bag full of chicken, and this was clearly worthy of Ellen's full attention.

She still doesn't always give us her full attention, especially if she's involved in one of her gardening projects, like trimming the rhododendron:

Or tidying up sticks that someone has carelessly left lying around:

Sometimes she doesn't like to take credit for all the work she does.  Like the time she pruned the walnut tree, and feigned surprise that someone had put all the lower branches on her bed:

 How could we not believe her when she told us it wasn't her?

Sometimes, though, she's caught in situations that are difficult to explain away.  Like when she removes fence palings.....

..... so she can get a closer look at the neighbours:

Or when she thinks that nobody will notice if she chews up her red blankie under the cover of darkness:

Or when my socks mysteriously appear in her mouth:

She's not always naughty though, and she has three super-excellent features.  Only three, but it's a start.

First, she has lovely food manners, and will not eat until invited:

And second, she has big fierce teeth that are great for eating bones, branches, fences and watering cans, but useless against burglars:

But best of all, she's got a beautiful smile, and always laughs at our jokes:

And in spite of her failures at school and therapy, and even though she lacks every single characteristic that makes the labrador a safe and reliable guide for the blind, she's still the world's best dog.


  1. Happy belated birthday Ellen. May there be many more years of rhododendron destruction ahead.


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