My dog Nellie, or Nellie Bly, came with her name. She’s a rescue shelter dog.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll recognize “Nellie Bly” as the pen name of American journalistElizabeth Cochrane Seaman, who took the record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days.
Like Elizabeth, my dog likes to wander. It’s a beagle thing. She keeps mostly to our yard though she’s been known to escape to our back woods for an hour at a time to dig for chipmunks and chase deer.
However, I do wonder what she was doing wandering around the streets of northwest Atlanta. They found her weighing 12 pounds less than she does now. Did Nellie run off? Did her humans abandon her?
When we first met her, Nellie was one of the only dogs in the shelter who wasn’t barking. When we got her in the car, she loved “navigating” by standing on the center console and looking out the front window.
She quickly bonded to me and seemed scared of my husband and son at first. Why was that? While she was fine with the kids, she liked adults better, which was unexpected.
We’ve had Nellie for two and a half years now. She was MY rescue dog when I got sick with a brain tumor two years ago. It was so comforting to lay in bed and have her next to me.
Now Nellie’s my “body dog” and follows and guards me wherever I go. She hangs out in my office most days, though she’s on the bed with “daddy” in the evenings while he watches TV.
When it’s time for bed, Nellie dutifully follows my daughter, Lucie upstairs for a snuggle party and snoozer. I was amused to find out that dogs like to sleep on top of their human siblings. Nellie also snores, kicks, and sometimes stands on the bed, shakes and circles around the bed before settling down.
No wonder my daughter asks that Nellie sleeps in our room some nights, though I find sleeping with the dog more relaxing than sleeping with my daughter or husband. (She’s less of a bed hog.)
In the mornings, Nellie acts as my four-legged alarm clock by jumping on the bed if she knows if I’m awake and putting her snout in my face to smell my breath. If I’m asleep (and Paul’s still in bed) she’ll curl up on her pillow next to our bed.
Keeping your dog healthy and youthful
Nellie’s been a wonderful addition to our family and I want her to be around for a long, long time. So I take her health seriously, which is why I make sure she gets her daily walks. (I need those walks, too!)
I make sure Nellie visits the vet regularly for checkups, dental cleanings and vaccines, and that she eats quality dog food, healthy treats, and not too much people food. (Nellie begs at the table and you often see her head right next to your plate – and her tongue licking up the last crumbs on it!)