Meet Ellie!

On Sunday afternoon, I went for a run.

Then I came home with a puppy!

Meet Ellie!

Brian and I were not planning to get a dog this weekend or anytime soon. If you’ve read this blog for more than 12 seconds — or you’ve ever seen me at my most excited in Central Park or on any given sidewalk — you know I looooooove dogs. Love love love love love them.

I never grew up with animals, so I think that’s part of the reason I absolutely must pet every pup I see strolling around the city (sorry, owners!).

Brian and I have always said we would get a dog “someday.” But in the meantime, my stuffed dog, FAO, was filling the void. Because in my mind he’s real and I talk to him as such.

We always said we would get a little goldendoodle puppy. We both love that breed, and I always pictured us having a teeny tiny curly puppy. (I’ve pictured my future dog more than I had pictured my future wedding. Solid.)

This Sunday, neither of us were feeling particularly motivated to work out or do much of anything. In fact, I was feeling a little sad. Just one of those days. I was going to go for a run, but wasn’t up for it yet, so we went for a walk around the neighborhood.

Just a few blocks south, we spotted the In Our Hands Rescue mobile adoption center. So we weren’t not going to stroll by and gawk at the munchkins in the window.

The next thing I knew, Brian had gone all “How much is that doggy in the window?” and was inside, checking out the puppies.

There was a litter of 11 teeny tiny 7-week-old pitbull mixes, and a few sweet shepherds (the only dog I’m afraid of on account of both childhood and adulthood attacks!), and there in a crate by herself was this 12-week-old “Golden Mix.”

She was just lying down, totally calm, very sleepy, and Brian was like, “I love her” in a way he has never proclaimed his love for me. He had these giant [puppy dog] eyes, and was so excited and was just completely smitten with her.

But I was basically like, “Yeah no, we are not getting a dog today. Come on. Let’s go stand outside Shake Shack and smell the burgers and fries for a while.”

We stood and stared at her for a long time. A really long time. Long enough to watch three other puppies get adopted.

Finally I was like, “No, we are going,” and set out for my run, thinking Brian was going to go home and go on a bike ride.

Five miles later, I texted Brian that I was going to swing back by the adoption center to see if that puppy had found a home. I just needed to know. I couldn’t imagine that sweet face not going home to a home that night, or ever.

I ran the mile from the park to the rescue spot, walked inside, and there she was.

And guess who else was there?


I listed all the reasons it maybe wasn’t a good idea to get a puppy.

Brian listed all the reasons to stop making up excuses like, “My hair is a really weird color right now, and I should figure that out before we get a dog.” (Seriously, I have never in my life colored my hair or touched it with anything other than a brush and a lot of Freeze-It during my dance days — why is it 14 different shades of “natural highlights?”)

Then they let us hold her.

And it was just game over.

The next thing I knew, Brian was filling out the adoption paperwork and I was staring into her eyes and rubbing her floppy ear, and I knew she was coming home with us.

Since she hasn’t had all of her shots yet, we can’t take her out and about, and they told us to carry her home.

I held onto that girl for 10 blocks, so proudly showing her off to everyone that passed and gushed over her. I immediately felt like a proud puppy parent. And immediately started using phrases I used to roll my eyes at, like “puppy parent!”

It was so exciting getting to bring her home and tell her that this is her home now. She’s not a foster pup anymore — she gets to live here forever! Or until we move when our lease is up on April 15!

Brian gave her a bath and went to Petco to buy all the supplies we didn’t have since, you know, we weren’t planning on getting a puppy this weekend. He immediately knew exactly how to take care of her, how to start training her, how to squash her bad habits (JK she has none, she’s perfect), and how to talk to her. He totally gets it, and I totally love petting her and taking pictures of her.

When he came back, we faced the very important task of giving her a name!

I am so very excited to introduce you to our new puppy, Ellie! We gave her that name because she has a floppy ear, like all the elephants we fell in love with in Kenya! So far, Ellie’s interests include sleeping, snuggling, squeaky toys, and the Hamilton soundtrack. Her dislikes include Brian leaving for work, being told not to nip, and when all her food is gone.

So basically we have everything in common.

We have spent a lot of time snuggling and playing and sleeping, and she doing very well using her pee pads. Brian has miraculously already taught her to sit and shake. Tomorrow we will start working on “jazz paws” and kickline drills.

Brian has had pets his whole life, and I once had a Beta fish named Christmas (because my brother gave it to me for Christmas and I was hella creative) that died almost immediately.

So I’d say we’re ready for puppy parenthood. We’ve got this.

We adopted Ellie from In Our Hands Rescue. The organization has adoption events all over New York City all the time. You know…if you’re interested. Or even if you’re not. You may surprise yourself.



44 Responses

  1. I’m hosting a Christmas party tonight. It’s totally acceptable to just play the Hamilton album, right?


  2. I don’t ever comment on blogs but this post just had me smiling from ear to ear.

    She’s precious. She will change your life.

  3. CUTE CUTE CUTE!!! And I love the name 🙂 So jealous! I feel like my husband and I are the only recently-married couple who haven’t gotten a puppy and I am very sad about it 🙂 We haven’t been able to justify getting a puppy in our NYC apartment — we work so many hours that it seemed unfair to the puppy — but if you freelance from home at least part of the time (not sure if that’s the case or not, so pardon the assumption), it sounds like the PERFECT scenario to be able to get a puppy!!! CONGRATS AND ENJOY — she is a cutie and the perfect addition to your little family 😉

  4. Oh my goodness, that is one sweet puppy. So happy you found your forever home Ellie. And adoption is the best!! She was meant to be yours. So funny because we are those people too. Cocoa has a sweater and we talk for her all the time. Whatever, it’s fun and we love her!!

  5. Congrats! She is so cute! Yay for dog adoption! I’ve also found that my rescue dog has turned out to be an a amazing therapy dog for me. Flares are so much better with a furry cuddle buddy! Also, I hope she does want to run with you. My young, 50 pound dog refuses to run more than a mile, so do be prepared for that possibility. Congrats again!

  6. OMG, Ellie is adorable!! Congrats on your new little one 🙂 I’m sure you will be the ideal puppy parents! There is a Humane Society on the way to our house and if my daughter had her way, we’d be in there every day petting the animals. Oh, and she talked me into being a volunteer there with her, so soon we will be petting all of those animals!

  7. One more thing, if you need a good vet consider Kim Rosenthal at Westside Veterinary Specialists. (83rd and Amsterdam). She is our vet and is AMAZING and so kind. Also, I like your hair, people pay a lot of money for that, and yours is au natural.

  8. Awww she is so precious!!! We got our dog on Black Friday. I was all like, “Let’s go to the Humane Society and JUST look…” hehehehehe

  9. AHHHHHHHHH. She looks a lot like my rescue pup (except she’s going to be bigger! do you know how big?).

    We got ours on a similarly impulsive day in January, and it was the best decision of our lives. Cherish and love her forever, and she will do the same!

  10. She is adorable! You can do a cheap DNA test to find out her mix (f you want to) via Wisdom Panel. I got a kit on Amazon Prime for less than $50. Also, she needs her own Instagram so my pup can follow her and be online besties!

  11. I’m so excited for you!! I started reading your post and immediately was like, “OMG ALI GOT A PUPPY!”I know you love them so and she is the cutest! You will never find a better friend!

  12. Total cuteness! Puppy parenthood is the best! That’s about how planned my husband and I were when we adopted our pup. Now he’s five, and still the best. I love rescues! And Ellie! Have fun!

  13. OMG. The golden paws always get me and she certainly has them!!! SHEESH she’s gorgeous! I grew up with goldens and have a not so secret obsession with them….yet I own a yorkie 😉 If you need to get her spayed look up friends of animals, they provide a much lower cost through participating vets!

  14. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for adopting a rescue! She’s adorable and you guys are going to be the best puppy parents ever. Mazel tov!

  15. What is with the holidays and rescuing pups?! We did the exact same thing 1 year ago:) Its the best! You guys should move to the UWS and our pups can play and we can be friends!

  16. I love her! She’s definitely got some pitbull in her based on the shape of her head and features. My aunt has a pitbull mix too and she’s the sweetest, most adorable dog ever. I’m so happy to hear that you rescued! <3

  17. Congratulations to you and Brian on your new puppy-hood!! She is a gorgeous girl, and even though you weren’t looking, sounds like it was meant to be (especially being the only golden one). Can’t wait to see her grow up…in other words copious puppy/dog pictures please!

    1. We don’t know exactly how big she’ll get since she’s an ominous mix (I think maybe golden and shepherd because of the ears; Brian thinks she may be part beagle…we are clueless idiots making wild guesses), but the people at the adoption center estimated she’ll grow to be around 50 pounds. Eventually I’ll probably take her on short runs — going to talk to the vet about that today, but definitely not while she’s still a puppy. Most of my research has led me to believe that they can start running when they’re closer to a year old.

      1. No words. She’s adorable. I’m hankering for a dog at the moment (one day, when we have enough space) but she’s gorgeous.

        Did you know you can get your dog DNA-tested to see what breeds are in her genes? My friend did it and it was fascinating.

      2. She looks quite similar to my pup! Mine is 2 and 45lbs! My pups DNA test said she is a pit/cattle dog/coonhound mix!

  18. SO happy that you adopted from a rescue! I volunteer at a local one and it makes me happy when people adopt instead of shop. Pitties are the sweetest dogs ever, and goldens are a great choice for first time dog owners. Good luck with her and remember to be patient! P.S. she’s adorable!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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