One year ago today, Ella Puggleton (formerly Lucinda) became an Ellis. I had begged my parents for months to allow me to bring a dog home. I still don’t think they agreed, they just were tired of arguing with me (see! Persistence does work!). I knew that I wanted to rescue a puggle and had been looking online for several weeks.

My mom agreed to go with me meet a puggle I had found online, and it was a total bust. The poor dog was skittish, unsocialized, and much larger than I was looking for. The following day, Saturday, I went to the Glendale Humane Society to meet a black puggle who I was not 100% sure about. They have a large fenced in yard where the dogs are able to get outside to play and to meet prospective families. As my mom and I waited in Rosie’s Barkyard, I was super excited to meet Lucinda but wondered if the feeling would be mutual. As soon as the gate opened, she ran right to me – I swear I heard music just like you’d imagine from a slow-motion run towards the love of your life on a beach. I was smitten. Only now do I know that she does that for most people, but at that time it was MAGICAL.

I was required to go to a doggy parenting class on Sunday – 3 hrs of what to expect, what to do, what not to do, how to read dog food labels…man, oh man was I overwhelmed. I signed the papers and came to pick Lucinda up on Monday. By that time, my mom and I had already decided on the name Ella. I added the Puggleton so she wouldn’t be Ella Ellis =). The first few hours at home consisted of the two of us staring at each other. “umm…what do we do now?”

Since that first day, Ella has snuggled her way into our family. She could not have come at a better time for me either, as she has taught me how to live in the present moment and to stop and smell the roses (or trees, or light pole, or other dog butts) often. Many of the people who have rescued dogs ask ourselves often, “who rescued who”? I truly think that without her, I’d be a different person. Definitely stressed out and unable to find the silver lining in every situation. Dogs have this wonderful and giving nature that wants only to please you. Just like Christina and Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy, Ella is my “person”.

The last 365 days have been very busy for us too! Ella achieved not only American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizenship but also is a registered Therapy Dog through Therapy Dog International. She is soon to be a bona fide TV star, as she will be appearing on E!’s Hello Ross this Friday (October 11th) at 10pm! Hopefully I also get some camera time as her trusty handler. She’s has taken a crack at agility, loves to hike, and keeps me moving every day.  She makes me responsible – I know have to be sure there is always peanut butter on hand…for both of us =). She has challenged me to be a better communicator and to relax. Ella is not biased on who she shares who love with, and is ready to give affection whenever needed. We volunteer our time for a Tail Wagging Tutors (a reading program) at a local high school for underprivileged and at risk youth. They think she’s a pit bull puppy, she just wonders if they have any treats for her.

If you think dogs don’t have expressions – you haven’t met this one. Ella communicates mostly without barking or whining, but when she does want something, she lets you know. She is the epitome of pure joy, and you can’t help but be happy too when you are with her.

I can hardly wait to give her the new toys, chews, and Pupcake I made for her!

Happy birthday little munchinkin…

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” 
― Milan Kundera