When Nicole Ellis spotted Maggie at a Los Angeles shelter – an incredible adventure began.
“[Maggie has] basically traveled the world with me, putting on shows, teaching people and being on TV,” Ellis, an L.A. based celebrity dog trainer and author of ‘Working Like A Dog’, says. “Together we’ve experienced so many amazing things and met so many people”
Under Ellis’s coaching, Maggie performs and models in TV, film, and print ads. Appearing in everything from an Uber commercial to a Neiman Marcus ad – the 10-year-old, Bichon/mini poodle mix’s resume runs long.
But when Maggie’s career was just beginning – the duo encountered a setback: Maggie couldn’t stop itching.
“It was pretty bad,” Ellis recalled. “She was scratching off all the fur on her chest, basically to the point where it was creating raw spots and almost bleeding.”
The Insatiable Itch
Her insatiable itch and paw-licking pointed to allergies. Ellis and her veterinarian decided to eliminate chicken from Maggie’s diet. But after two months of chicken-free food, Maggie’s symptoms persisted.
And on top of that, Ellis realized when she changed Maggie’s food to test her sensitivity to one ingredient – she was exposing the pup to new potential allergens. They both needed definitive answers.
So, on their next visit the veterinarian said they were done guessing. “There’s so many things, we could be playing this guessing game for months – and she’s obviously not feeling well,” Ellis recalls her veterinarian saying.
Then Maggie’s test results came in.
“It was mind-blowing.” Ellis says – now understanding just how many of Maggie’s allergies would’ve been impossible to guess at or test through elimination alone.
Now on treatment, Maggie’s symptoms are under control. For over five years, she’s appeared in “Ramadan Diary,” which just aired on Comedy Central and recently shot for dog accessory company, Jax & Bones.
“I tell everyone [treatment] changed her quality of life,” Ellis says. “When we have allergies, we don’t feel good … Imagine living like that every day, and not being able to express it.”
Suspect your pup has allergies? Find a participating clinic in your area. Don’t see your dog’s clinic listed? Submit this form to your veterinarian to initiate a discussion about allergy management for your pet.