Bella’s Story: Memoirs of a Princess #11

A certain princess is 9 today.

It’s hard to believe that time has flown so quickly.  It seems like it was just a few months ago when I brought the princess home from the doggie daycare center.  At the time, I had a catahoula named Stella.

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If you know anything about catahoulas, you’ll know that they need to RUN.  Since RUNNING really isn’t in my vocabulary and I was working crazy hours, I found a doggie daycare center to take Stella to 3 times a week.

On one particular day in February, I noticed a beautiful yellow Labrador puppy hanging out in the front room and didn’t think anything more about her until Stella’s next trip to DDC.  As I was picking her up that evening, the head vet tech causally mentioned Bella (the aforementioned lab puppy)  had been “living” at DDC.  Apparently her owner was living with his grandmother when he bought her.  When he moved out, he promised to be back for the puppy and 6 months later Grandma realized that (at 85) she could not take care of a–albeit sweet–very rambunctious lab puppy.  She didn’t have the heart to take her to the pound and the SPCA center was full, but they suggested bringing her to DDC since obviously it was filled with dog lovers.

Of course, anyone who met Bella fell in love with her immediately.  There wasn’t any room to keep her at DDC overnight, so the staff were taking turns taking her home for a night or two. They knew it couldn’t continue and that’s where I came in.

The only dog here who can keep up with and is willing to play with her all day long is Stella….so….would I consider adopting Bella?

I was stunned.  I mean, she looked sweet but I lived in a small apartment and it’s one thing playing all day in a neutral environment the size of a football field–it is something completely different at a home the size of a postage stamp. Plus she’s a LABRADOR PUPPY.  Everyone knows how sweet, cuddly…and destructive they are!  A LABRADOR PUPPY!

However, one look at Bella and it was so hard to say no.  Between the pleading looks of all the vet techs that were now congregating around hoping to find a forever home for Bella and the pleading-please-love-me looks of Bella, I finally relented–on two conditions:  1. that Stella was okay with Bella at home and 2.  I could change her name because yelling –ella and having nearly 150lbs of pupcicle running towards me did not seem like a wise life choice.

Stella was excited that Bella was coming home with us….right up until she realized that it wasn’t just a visit.  It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but I knew the second I got her home she was…home.

Happy Birthday my sweet Darling Princess Adelaide Grace!

Nine years is a long time to collect a ton of photos (even if your pupcicle is camera shy!)–but here are a couple hundred of my faves!!  Just kidding….sort of…

Memoirs of a Princess: Cue Jaws Theme

Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

The other day on our morning walk, the princess and I were following a lady.  And by follow, I mean we were walking in the same direction as someone else who was in front of us.

While Addy is allowed to wander on our walks, I was keeping her close enough that there was still a several foot gap between Addy and the lady we were following.  And yet, two full blocks of our walk was spent with me making sure there was an appropriate Addy/lady gap, Addy happily checking out all the smells along the sidewalk, and the lady–well, the lady was apparently waiting for an attack because her cadence upon noticing Addy quickly became: step, step, hesitation, look back at Addy, step, step, hesitation, look back at Addy, step, step.

just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water walk down the sidewalk…

da dum….da dum….da-dum, da-dum, da-dum…

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Teenage Girls: Memoirs of a Princess #9

Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Addy is definitely a people person–uh, pupcicle.  She loves everyone…except teenage girls.  Why?  Because when they see her, they like to let out ear shattering squeals.  70% of the time it’s out of fear.  30% of the time, it’s out of excitement.  100% of the time, it hurts my ears–so I can only imagine how painful it is for her.

And any time we are ambushed by a gaggle of teenage girls, poor baby girl tries to hide behind my legs for protection…which is about as effective as a giraffe trying to hide behind a zebra.

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Poptarts: Memoirs of a Princess #8

Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Along our morning walk, Addy and I pass by a bus stop filled with kids waiting for the school bus.  I noticed that Addy always beelines for a young boy (maybe 6 years old)…after a couple of days I realized it was because he was sharing his pop tarts with her.  Once I realized this, I let him know that while it was sweet, he didn’t need to share his breakfast with her.  He looked at me, with a bit of sass and said:

I share my breakfast because I don’t want her to eat me.

Oh honey, she’s not going to eat you…I promise.

Lady, I ain’t taking noooo chances!

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Naptime: Memoirs of A Princess #7

Sweet Jesus: Memoirs of a Princess #6

Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Several years ago I worked for a shall-not-to-be-named coffee company.  During this time, I was usually up and walking Addy at 2am.  This, of course, was just in time to run into everyone in the neighborhood who caught the 1:30am ferry.  Most were just getting home after a long day’s work.  Others were not so quietly coming home from a great night out.

It was while following a group of people in the latter category that one of the women in the group, who apparently has a GREAT night out, glanced back at Addy and me.  When she saw Addy she let forth a blood-curdling scream and promptly fell over, off the sidewalk into the street [don’t worry, there wasn’t any traffic].

My first inclination is to offer assistance, as her friends were too busy laughing to help, but of course, I quickly realized Addy was the problem.

I’m down, I’m down! Oh sweet Jeeeeesus, I’m ready to come home.  I’m ready sweet Jesus.

Ma’am are okay?  Can I help you up?

I’m ready to go home, Sweet Jesus just take me now and don’t make it too painful.

MA’AM [more laughter from behind me] DO YOU NEED HELP GETTING UP?

I wasn’t yelling, per se, merely speaking very clearly and very loudly because at this point I could smell the alcohol coming off her body.

She stopped her rant mid-Jesus and looked at me, slightly confused.

You mean he ain’t gonna eat me?

No, ma’am, she’s not.

Oh, well, then I’m good.

She then popped up and kept right on trucking, uh, wobbling.

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Doughnuts: Memoirs of a Princess #5

Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

I’m always mildly shocked when people, especially kids, in the neighborhood are eager to meet and pet Addy.  Today we met a nice family whose kids LOOOOOOVED petting Addy, all the while commenting how nice and friendly and sweet she was.

I didn’t have the heart to tell them that while she loved the attention, really she just was hoping they were going to share their doughnuts.

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Lipstick Kisses: Memoirs of a Princess #4

Addy has never had her colors done, but I think red is by far her best color.  And what better adornment than a lipstick kiss smack (pun intended!) dab in the middle of her forehead?  It is a classic symbol of a well-loved pupcicle (not to mention a momma’s love of red lipstick!).

Estée Lauder has never had such a cute lipstick model!

"I agreed to take ONE photo, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!"

“I agreed to take ONE photo, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!”

The Enforcer: Memoirs of a Princess #3

I’ve recently inherited a cat.  He, being Toulouse, spent the first year or so of his life with us–so he is not unknown to The Princess.  He is, in fact, her kitty.

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Baby Toulouse in Ambush Attack Mode

When Toulouse first moved in, he was small enough to fit in your hand–and naturally thought he could easily take on this 90lb dog he found himself following around the house.  He was always waiting for the perfect moment to strike.  His favorite spot was behind a pile of books at the top of the stairs: a well thought-out ambush spot for the Princess as she came up the stairs.   The problem, of course, being that she tended to be slightly oblivious of this ball of fur and could easily knock him down the stairs with her big ol’ labrador tail.  I’m quite sure she did a time or two.

A couple of years have passed and now Toulouse is back!  Addy, of course, still thinks of him as her kitty.  Toulouse–for some reason unbeknownst to me–will even allow her to bathe him (although he always looks mortified while she’s licking him).  I’m quite sure that he tips over his dinner bowl, allowing Addy to clean it out for him.  I keep telling both of them that cat food is bad for dogs, but all I get are blank “she must hate us” stares.

In the last couple of weeks since Toulouse has moved in, I’ve seen lots of pouty Princess faces, however, she always has my back when I’m fussing at Toulouse to stop clawing the furniture or to get off the countertop.  Addy is more than happy to chase after him, barking reminders at him Get off the counter!  Stop clawing!  Don’t make Momma yell! Come back you need a bath!

I think this is helping him learn quickly what he can/cannot do because not only am I fussing, but reenforcing this is Addy, barking and chasing him around the house.  Double whammy!  Poor Toulouse.  Meanwhile, Addy smiles at me I got this Momma, I got this.

Best seat in the house: a sunny window and far out of reach of a certain cold, wet nose…

Memoirs of a Princess #2

Addy hasn’t been feeling well lately.  Not that she’s been acting sick, but a momma always knows.  Especially when momma is cleaning up messes left around the house.  I can’t even be mad.  She never uses the bathroom in the house, unless…well, she has no other choice.

Not that I’m trying to gross you out, it just reminds me of the one and only time I got mad at her for going to the bathroom in the house:  the time she ate a jar of Vaseline.  A JAR.  A LARGE JAR.  A LARGE JAR OF VASELINE.

Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway): it was not pretty.  In fact, it was not pretty for about 2 weeks.

Being a labrador parent, you know that they eat everything.  EVERYTHING.  And I think (especially after watching Marley & Me) that insofar as things that Addy eats, I’ve been rather lucky.  After growing out of her puppy phase she rarely eats anything non-food based.  Not that she hasn’t had her share of gastro-adventures, including the aforementioned jar of Vaseline.

I was my fault for leaving the jar on the coffee table.  In my defense, I never dreamed that she’d even be interested in the jar, let alone eat the whole damn thing.  But she did.  And apparently enjoyed every.single.lick.  The problem–in case you were unaware–with eating Vaseline is that it is greasy.  Consequently, digestion does not hinder the oiliness after it’s made its way down and out the digestive track.  The other problem is that labradors have thick coats that seem to magically attract and trap oily things.

FOR TWO LONG WEEKS, Addy would requiring bathing after every bathroom break.  You would think that not being overly fond of baths would help reinforce that eating a jar of Vaseline is not desirable.  However, the only time it would register with Addy that eating Vaseline wasn’t good is when she wasn’t allowed on the couch or bed or chair or any of her usual favorite sleeping spots.

Poor, poor Princess Pupcicle!

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