Advice And Fashion Blogger Also Loves Dogs!

I am thrilled to introduce all of you to Ellen Ross who is a  wonderful and wise-beyond-her-years young woman who I met through reading her interesting and relevant blog Ask Away.    One of many things that I love about blogging is that I  get to meet and grow to know so many different types of people…  just through reading their blogs. Through reading Ellen’s blog and getting to know her better, I discovered that she is a HUGE dog lover and is a “Doggie Mama” herself!

Ellen and her babies!

I was thrilled and honored that she agreed to do a guest post today! Enjoy!

I was just 19 when I got my first dog of my very own, my 6-year-old Chihuahua Pixie!  2 years later I got Grace, and most recently, I got Stella.  These 3 girls are the loves of my life!!  I always knew a lot about pets and animals, even as a young kid, but I acquire more and more knowledge everyday and I love sharing it with people.  So I was so ecstatic to begin answering reader’s pet questions on my advice (and fashion) blog Ask Away.   As with any topic of advice, I give a 100% honest suggestion from a totally neutral standpoint.

Here are some previous questions I’ve received for my blog:, and my responses!

Housebreaking Issues

Hi Ellen,


I know that I wrote to you once before for your advice regarding my aggressive Chihuahua.  Now I’d like to ask your opinion on a different issue…house training.  We have had Daisy since last Memorial Day.  She is a little over 1-year-old.  However, she is not house trained.  It is becoming quite annoying when I constantly have to pick up after her.  She also urinates on our small kitchen throw rugs constantly.  With a 1-year-old learning to walk in the house, I do not want him to be exposed to feces and dog urine like that.  We have tried and tried to teach her and really don’t have the money right now to hire someone to personally come to the house.  The biggest problem of all is that we are going to try to get pregnant again this Fall and I do not want to bring another child into this house without her being house trained.  How long did it take you to train your Chihuahuas?  Do they use puppy pads or go outside?  Any advice that you can offer would be SO helpful!




Dear anonymous:

All three of my Chihuahuas are potty trained.  They go on puppy pads (and outside, if we are out there) and are very good with it now.  Pixie came trained from the breeder so there were very few accidents.  Grace learned overtime from me and by about 7 or 8 months she was doing almost perfect. Stella was the hardest.  With multiple dog households, I know there are some territorial issues and sometimes something is purposely done to mark territory (like, literally, right next to the puppy pad LOL).  Patience is the best thing.  It took Stella a couple of months after her 1 year Birthday till she was 100% trained. She still has slip ups.  Weird thing is, when we are somewhere else, she does fine, but at my place, sometimes she’ll slip up.  If your Chi goes in the same spot when she has accidents, you may need to clean the carpet really well so the odor doesn’t entice her. Recently I found this stuff called Kids N Pets cleaner (you can find it at Wal-Mart) and for $5 a bottle it gets stains and odors out that NOTHING else would.  I 100% guarantee you that.  Also, try limiting water to in the morning with breakfast, and then in the evening with dinner. I always put their water bowl up after about 7pm, so that if there’s an accident, it’ll be when I’m awake, not overnight.  That way, I can discipline and correct.  When I caught Stella in the act, I would scold her right away by saying NO!  and then I would quickly place her on her pad and say ON PAD.  If I happened to catch her going on the pad I made a HUGE deal about this! My neighbors probably thought I was crazy!  And sometimes when I would notice Stella coming out of the puppy pad area, and then I saw a “mess” on it, I realized it was hers, I’d quickly grab her and run back to the pads and point to them and say GOOD GIRL ON PAD!!!!!  She would wag her tail and spin in circles and was so happy. Rewarding is everything.  They need to know what to do, and when they do it right.  If you know Daisy normally goes after she eats, hang around so you can catch her to see if she goes on the pads or not.  A good idea is always to check out a Chihuahua forum online and ask for advice because you can find all sorts of creative tips. Good luck!



Getting a New Puppy Used to Being on It’s Own

Dear Ellen-

We just got a beagle puppy and I don’t want her to end up having anxiety issues if we leave her at home. We live in a townhouse so I don’t want to bother my neighbors.  Since I want to start young, what are your tips for helping get a puppy used to being on it’s own.

Dear Shelly:
Don’t ever give in. It’s very important that if she cries now you don’t give in.  If you are keeping her in a gated area or a crate when you aren’t home, that’s a great start.  Start now by leaving the room, listening to her cry and NOT RESPONDING.  After a few minutes, she should give up.  Once she is quiet, then you can get her.  Do this at night also when you go to bed. I know you will probably be worried about her keeping you up, but her whimpers will only last for ten minutes or so.  If you start having issues with this, you may want to sign her up for Puppy Training at a local pet store. Also, checking out online resources with other beagle owners is a great start!
Good luck and Congrats on your new addition!


Ellen's Pups

Doggy Dilemma when Choosing a Breed


Hi Ellen,

 I really enjoy reading your blog and it sounds like you have been a pet lover for most of your life so I hope you can give me some advice.  I never grew up with any animals but I have always loved Golden Retrievers from afar.  My husband had a border collie as a child and although he likes dogs, he thinks it’s a lot of work.  We have 2 boys, ages 5 and 3 and for some reason my older son has a fear of dogs and we have no idea where it comes from.  He’s never been bitten by a dog or even been barked at that I can remember.  My younger son was really comfortable with dogs when he was little but I think he’s now copying his older brother because if they even see a dog, you’d think someone was coming after them with an axe or something by the sheer terror in their little faces.

 During the summer, we went to a fair and they have a show called the “Superdogs” and afterwards they welcome the audience to go down and meet the dogs and their owners.  To my amazement, both of my boys wanted to go and meet the dogs and actually petted some of them.  They were so proud of themselves so it gave me hope that maybe we can get a Golden Retriever but my son has said that he doesn’t like big dogs or puppies that will become big dogs.

 I don’t really know too much about smaller dogs and I’m guilty of thinking smaller dogs are ‘yappy’ so I apologize to dog owners everywhere for that assumption.  Can you educate me and advise what breeds of small dogs are good with kids, not yappy and loud?  Are there dogs that don’t shed as much?

 Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.




Dear Ally:

Starting with a smaller breed is probably a better idea.  I for one, am proof that not all small dogs, especially Chihuahuas, are yappy.  It all depends on the individual dog.  Also, barking is a behavior that can be corrected depending on the circumstance.

In regards to which breed would be best, I did some research on the internet and judging by your other needs, here is what I came up with.

The Brittany Spaniel is a medium size dog of thinner build.  The breed is easy to train and very sensitive, which is good.
I also found the Bichon Frise to be suitable for children.  These dogs don’t shed because they have hair instead of fur.  They are a small breed and when trained like any other dog, aren’t “yappy”.

I also found the Cocker Spaniel and Beagle on the list.  You should do some more research on all of those breeds.  They are also a decent size.

No matter what breed you may decide on, it is a very good idea to sign your dog up for obedience school when you can.  Also, your entire family should attend so you can learn everything together.  I also think that may help your son get more comfortable with dogs.  Petsmart and Petco also offer reasonably priced training.  My one Chihuahua Grace took classes at Petsmart and graduated last year!

If you decide to get your dog through a breeder, you can ask the breeder if she can help match you up with the perfect individual dog for your family’s needs.

I also wanted to say, I noticed the Golden Retriever is the ideal dog for children.  I know of many cases of people I know that had a major fear of dogs that went away eventually.  Most of those people have big dogs now.  Maybe if you do start with a puppy, and your son builds a relationship, he will not fear it when it gets older.  You could also ask a breeder of Golden Retrievers what she advises.  I think Goldens are amazing dogs so if you really are interested in that breed (and from our emails back and forth it seems you are) you should go for it.

Thank you for your question and please let me know how everything goes!


Follow Up!  Ally ended up using my tips and resources, and she adopted a new lab for her family!! She has sent me many pics and updates!


And if you ever have a question, feel free to drop me a line via email at, or fill out this form!