We took Lillabelle to the vet for her regular checkup on Saturday and when the nurse combed her for fleas, she seemed surprised that there weren't even traces of dirt in her fur. I think Lillabelle is an exceptionally clean dog because we rarely take her outside. We are trying to involve her more when we go out and about, especially since San Francisco is such a dog-friendly city, but she's not the sort of dog we could leave in the car or tied to a post if we step into a store.
People who are considering getting a small dog ask me what it is like having a dog like Lillabelle. Lillabelle is a purebred Maltese. After doing a bit of research on a few breeds, we decided on a Maltese primarily because they are suitable for apartments and smaller urban homes with no yards. If you are looking for a low-maintenance dog, Malteses are good because they don't need to run around outside, and are content in relatively small quarters. Lillabelle is house-trained so she does her business on a puppy pad we keep in the tiled area of the kitchen. We've experienced that even when the puppy pad is in a different place, such as when we visit my parents' house, she will recognize it and know what to do with it. She also doesn't shed, which has the upside of not coating all of your possessions with fur and the downside that she needs regular brushing when her fur is long in order to avoid matting; we always keep her hair pretty short in what's called a "puppy cut". When we are home, she spends a good chunk of time in our laps, but she also understands when we're occupied with other things that she should play with her toys by herself. She has a sense of ownership and therefore can distinguish which items in the home she is allowed to play with.
Stay tuned for more advice and information for people who are considering getting a Maltese.
| Photo Credit: Me. |