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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.   Judy Minnick, NJ              

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Entered: 09/04/2020
Status: Adopted
Age: 1
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 35 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Alexandria, VA
Health: UTD, treatments for hookworms and bacterial skin infection completed
Temperament: Good with adults, good with children as young as 3, good with dogs, mostly ignores resident cat

Carmella's Story . . .

Update 11/30/2020:  "Although she occasionally sneaks off with her foster mom’s scrunchies, socks, the cat’s cozy pad, or other miscellaneous items, Carmella very thankfully bypassed the puppy chewing phase since being in foster care."

Still sporting her adorable puppy face, Carmella has sprouted weight, a shiny coat, and lots of confidence. The turning point in her confidence came when she was finally allowed to join the resident pack on her foster mom’s bed. She had to learn the pecking order as to who sleeps where, but wasted no time with snuggling right in. She still is initially timid when meeting new people on walks, but once the petting starts, she gets squishy eyes and loves every second of the attention.

Carmella continues to be the queen of toyville and she carries one around with her at all times. However, she’s yet to grasp how to actually play. She watches in fascination while her resident siblings play tug-of-war but has yet to engage with them despite their numerous attempts. Carmella runs all over with them as they chase/retrieve their tossed toys, but she keeps sole control of the toy in her mouth at all times. Worse, she often steals one of their toys and runs off with it while still hanging onto hers. Other than her resident siblings, Carmella is friendly but not very interested in other dogs. The resident cat is mostly ignored now.

This adorable little sprout has made great progress with leash walking and many commands; learning not to jump on her foster mom is a work in progress. When at the park – if no squirrels, balls, or other flying toys are around – Carmella is slowly being allowed to run off-leash. She’s doing an excellent job, always looking back to see where her foster mom is, and she comes when called. Given her high prey drive, the aforementioned distractions will be worked in v e r y slowly.  

Although she occasionally sneaks off with her foster mom’s scrunchies, socks, the cat’s cozy pad, or other miscellaneous items, Carmella very thankfully bypassed the puppy chewing phase since being in foster care. While she has an occasional accident, she has done extremely well with her housetraining. 

This super sweet snuggle bunny is a pure delight who only wants to please and be loved by her human.

Original:  “Toys, toys, TOYS!!!  YES!!  Carmella cannot have or play with enough toys and – except when eating -- constantly has a stuffed animal in her mouth.”

Carmella is one of several dogs relinquished to MAESSR by a Maryland breeder experiencing poor health. Originally terrified of everything and everyone, her very curious nature has transformed her into a more confident, playful, outgoing, and super lovable pup.

Carmella is currently in heat so it will be several weeks before she can be spayed. She came into MAESSR with uncomfortable and very itchy skin, the result of a bacterial skin infection for which she has completed treatment. The itchiness continues and may be due to seasonal allergies. Her weekly medicated baths will continue and, if necessary, she will be given antihistamines. Initially terrified of baths, she now enjoys them, slathering her foster mom with non-stop kisses in the process.  Afterwards, she runs several marathons throughout the house.

Having not been socialized or provided much individual attention, this lovebug is ravenous for any attention she receives – nail clips, ear cleaning, belly rubs, and especially snuggling. She will jump up on her foster mom and hug her thigh so tightly that they can walk around a room while she’s clamped on. It’s very comical and endearing; training for “no jumping” is a work in very slow progress!

Originally not housetrained, Carmella finally made great progress and is now trusted most of the day with free run of the house. Happy dancing all around! She does not signal to go out, nor do her actions signal the need due to her non-stop energy. When not outside playing or gardening (which she loves), she is let out at regular intervals to keep her on schedule. The vet did note that she has a very large bladder – a good thing – which is common in kennel pups. She takes many of her cues from the three resident ESS – especially her sister -- to the point where she’ll hover around them while they do their business, then pee in almost the exact same spot. Good girl!

Although crate trained, this bundle of joy decided in early on that she wanted to run with the big dogs and began barking while crated during the day. It was a chance worth taking, and thankfully worked. With stuffed animal in mouth, she reluctantly will go into her crate at night in her foster mom’s bedroom, waiting and dreaming for the night she, too, can join the pack on the bed.

Carmella has gone from country living to a busy suburban area near a Metro station – lots of buses, trains, big trucks, sirens, other dogs, small children, and city noises. Originally terrified of everything, outside leash walking was very limited and only in quieter parts of the area. With increased confidence, her walks continue to expand in areas and length, and now include the rotating companionship of one of the resident ESS. This elfin is now so curious and loving her walks that she is up to 2+ mile treks for exploring through all different areas and noises. Bigger dogs and sudden movements still cause her pause, yet the change in her is so amazingly pawsitive!!  Allowed to sniff and explore, she walks very well on her leash; there is no pulling, and she always checks back to see where her foster mom and canine sibling are. The recent exceptions are when she sees dogs or anyone playing with a ball – tennis, football, soccer, even a frisbee. She is obsessed with chasing it!  A very tight grip on her leash and work on redirection is in process.

There is a small group of adorable 3 to 4-year old boys she sees almost daily while on her walk.  While initially terrified of their rambunctiousness, she now sits and enjoys their doting on her. So much so that she recently sat watching them as they returned to their play, quite sad at their departure.

Toys, toys, TOYS!!!  YES!!  Carmella cannot have or play with enough toys, and – except when eating -- constantly has a stuffed animal in her mouth. She doesn’t destroy the animal, simply holds it in her mouth. She will, however, destroy a tennis ball in seconds, pulling off the fuzz, then the rubber. There are days when, one by one, she moves each of the stuffed animals from one floor to another, wherever the action is. She thinks all toys are hers, and attempt to take them away from her resident ESS siblings but hasn’t yet comprehended how to accomplish this feat. Her siblings – especially the 5-year old male who’s twice her size and quite smitten with her – have tried engaging her in play without success . . . until very recently, when Carmella actually initiated the play with her resident ESS sister, whom she adores. It was pure joy to watch!!   

It took Carmella about a week to notice the very chill resident cat; then the chase was on as she ignored the cat’s hisses and swipes. It appeared to be curiosity more than attacking, though recently came closer to the latter. After a VERY stern warning from her foster mom and by redirecting her attention, Carmella’s progress has now enabled kitty to move about more freely. Though still curious, she no longer chases.

This little sweetheart is a super snuggler with her favorite spot lying on her foster mom’s chest, head snuggled under her foster mom’s chin where she blissfully breathes sighs of utter contentment. Life just doesn’t get any better. She also will forcefully nose in whenever her foster mom is loving on another furbaby. Although being taught to wait her turn, this will take time given her need for love and attention. While excellent now, her house manners may weaken as she becomes more comfortable and confident. Carmella has a very long stretch and a love of food, making counter-surfing a very real possibility. She is making great progress on “sit,” “wait,” and “ok” when being fed.

Please note that MAESSR will require the adoptive family to take Carmella through two series of obedience classes within 90 days of adoption. MAESSR only places puppies – even older ones – in homes that are committed to training and bonding with the pup in obedience classes. Puppies require a lot of care, attention, and patience. MAESSR believes the decision to get a puppy and raise it to be a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted dog is a serious commitment. A real people-pleaser, Carmella is sure to be a star pupil.

This adorable, overly lovable and energetic pup will be an outstanding companion in an active home where she will receive the exercise she needs. A slightly more mature dog would be an added bonus to ensure that Carmella continues her pawsitive progress. Not only will she make a great snuggler, her speed, agility, strong prey drive (birds, squirrels, cats) and naturally beautiful ESS posture will make her an excellent contender in many sports, including shortstop or centerfielder. Stay tuned as Miz Carmella continues to thrive.