Sunday, April 03, 2016

Second Sunday of Elfie

I'm afraid if I'm to blog at all at the moment it will inevitably feature a great deal of Elfie, since she remains very much the focus of things.

She's very observant of anything I do and very reactive, and tends to change position or move towards me whenever I point the camera at her, so it's something of a challenge to take her photo.

She has a new collar (and matching lead) all of her own, rather than darling Molly's hand-me-downs.

It's really more turquoise than it looks here; nevertheless, I would have preferred a deeper, more 'teal' shade, to go with her Rita Hayworth colouring, but I dare say with a bit of rolling in fox/squirrel/magpie poo it will darken up nicely. 

In fact she hasn't caused us too much worry at all in the last week; a very long dead shrew found in amongst some leaf litter was given up to me almost graciously. Somewhat to our relief she proves not to be a water dog, seeming to quite dislike approaching streams and rivers and is even a neat and sparing drinker. Though we've not tried leaving her completely alone for more than a very short period, and then remaining in the house ourselves, she is being quite brave about my going out without her - only springing onto the table in a panic and giving the nearest we've heard to a bark from her when my departure unfortunately coincided with the dustbin lorry going past, presumably thinking they'd taken me away with the rubbish.  The following day, when I was going out to walk other rescue dogs, I bribed her with a stuffed Kong and she wasn't bad at all, going out later with Tom quite happily. They are rather falling in love,

though I still seem to be the focus of need for her. He has been feeding her almost exclusively to offset this, so as it edges towards dinner time, and he's still upstairs painting, she is hedging her bets:

We've not let her off the lead outside at all yet, but I feel trust and confidence is building, that she's more focussed on and connected to me/us when we go out, seems to check back a lot and leave quite seemingly interesting smells and things to catch up before being called or getting to the point of tension on the extending lead, and will stay and submit to training sessions even in quite distracting surroundings. Car travel is a little easier, but we're going to meet Emmy the vet for the first time next week, to get some advice about travelling crates etc. She continues to be charmingly friendly and polite to all other humans and dogs she meets, and is generally winning hearts all round.

Well, she is rather gorgeous, we think.

We have managed to do a few other things than obsess about our dog. The partially anatomically intact fowl was taken out of the freezer and is now a plate of neat chicken meat in the fridge, the gall bladder (which was still attached to the liver) remained unperforated, as did the sack of stones and vegetable matter inside the gizzard (I did that bit, so proud!), and guess who got the liver, heart and gizzard, nicely cooked in bacon fat?

Though I trimmed off the sot-l'y-laisse and set them aside for myself.

And I thought I'd unravel a jumper I knitted a couple of years ago from some not very special yarn with a bit of wool in it, always too lumpy and heavy though I rather liked the grey and red.

Now I have many nice little cakes of recouped yarn, and am knitting them into, guess what?

A blanket for Elfie!


Zhoen said...

I'm sorry, what is not wonderful about "great deal of " your furry friend? I don't understand...

She begins to look much more relaxed and happy. Maybe you should call her Rita, it does fit her looks.

Catalyst said...

That first picture of Tom and Elfie/Rita (the mystery dog) is a classic! Worthy of printing and framing and hanging. I, as you know, am a cat man but these photos of the beautiful new member of your family are wonderful. Keep them coming.

The Crow said...

Okay, Rita Hayworth had nothing on her canine counterpart when it comes to sexy poses. First the over-the-shoulder, looking at the camera one near the stairs, then the one where she peers around the edge of the door, then...well, they're all glamorous, even the ones rolling on her back!

Yes, Rita would be a good name for her, fits her personality.

Avus said...

She is lovely, Lucy and seems to be settling well. The first pic of Tom and her gazing at each other besottedly is a classic.

Nimble said...

All good wishes for bonding with the new family member. She's much more beautiful than the Brittany Spaniels I've seen in the US.

The Crow said...

I just realized - she has eyebrows! I mean her eyebrows are darker than the surrounding fur, which enhances her expressions.


the polish chick said...

she's beautiful. and i do really love her name - i think she's a perfect elfie!

Lucy said...

Thanks all

Z - I might have considered it had she not had a lovely and appropriate name already. Most refuge dogs get renamed more than once, I think, but I think she was getting to answer to Elfie already anyway. I might also have thought about calling her Lila after the character in Marilynne Robinson's Gilead novels, whom she reminds me of in her way of coming in from the wild, deeply sensitive, loving and intelligent but with flight, fear and freedom so deeply ingrained that she is in danger of fleeing from love and happiness when she finds it. Anyway, we just like Elfie as a name!

Cat - thanks mate! I think they probably will keep coming!

Crow - yes, and she has black eye-liner and long auburn lashes, which does give her quite an exotic look!

PC - yes, she is a true elfin child! (If elves like rolling in fox poo.)

Avus - indeed, we are very happy. She still has her wild child moments, and I have just had to scrub fox poo - or some similar wild animal spraint from off her beautiful turquoise collar!

Nimble - thanks for stopping by. She has a very pretty face. The American Brittanies are a slightly different breed now, I gather, though there are quite a few French Brittanies in the States too now. I've been chatting on the American Brittany Rescue forum, and have got some really good advice and support from them, I like the ethos there better than on the French or British scene. Epagneuls bretons, as they're known, are very common here, in France in general and Brittany in particular; some are breed registered but many are just strains developed among country people amongst themselves for different qualities. Some are quite elegant, rangy, pointer-ish creatures, others are quite rough and lumpy mutts, she's about average, I think. She's not an enthusiastic bird or water dog, I imagine she was someone's rabbit chaser, but perhaps a bit too sensitive and flighty for it.

rr said...

What a darling she is - how wonderful and joyful-making.

Soize said...

Elle pourrait peut-être venir nous voir à la bibliothèque ? comme ça elle pourrait suivre l'avancée de sa couverture ! ;-)

Pam said...

What a lovely dog! I know what you mean about stirring up memories of Molly - we visited our son and his wife the other day and they've acquired two cats, and I buried my face in the lovely fur and felt a bit weepy for our poor deceased little cats. But we can't face getting more ourselves.

Rouchswalwe said...

She's certainly paying attention as Tom tends to the chicken! Elfie is fabulous ... I'm sure she'll love her new blanket.

Claire said...

It seems like you are great team with Elfie in the middle :) Wonderful blanket for Elfie. I'm sure she will love it.