I understand that when you adopt an animal, especially one with a "past," there is a period of relative calm behavior while the critter figures out where it belongs in your particular pecking order. I never experienced this with our kitties because they all came into the home as kittens and had their own particular baby survival behaviors. We did see it with our adopted Military macaw, Oscar, who had been abused (physically and verbally).
When Abby came into our lives just over two months ago (November 17th, I believe), she was happy to just sit on our laps at all times. I think she was just happy to have a full tummy, a place to sleep and to be rid of that shock collar that left her scarred. She didn't fetch toys or even play very much. She would spend any time at the dog park sitting in other owners' laps and giving them that sad dog look. You know, this one:
I think she has officially found her stride and I'm not sure if, when all is said and done, it's "good" or "bad." She learned how to play tug-o-war a couple of weeks ago and now plays with Lu at Body Tribe while I work out. She has also started running around the house with stuffed toys, even fetching them on occasion. She even fetched her first ball out of the river on Monday and brought it back (I've been working on that since we got her).
All of this is great, but there are other sides to her JRT personality.
She can get territorial over bones and sometimes toys, and has the scariest "growl" ever, even though it doesn't really mean much of anything. Here's a video of her impersonation as Stripe from Gremlins (or for those of you who are my age, the devil doll from the original Trilogy of Terror with Karen Black):
Right after Allyson took this video of Chip and Abby, she commented on how riling the dogs up like this would probably lead to some kind of unintentional incident involving either Abby's or Lulu's teeth. Two days later, Lulu and Abby were wrestling over a rope toy, moved the fight onto Al who was sitting on the floor and in the blink of an eye, Abby mistook Al's ankle for the toy. Sigh. Luckily, it was more of a dent than a bite and we had an icepack on hand.
Then the gross side of her doggie personality surfaced.
On Monday, Abby and I went to the river where she discovered and consumed a large portion of a really dead snake. The entire time she was looking particularly pleased with herself and making sure she stayed well out of my reach while she sucked it down. While the tests for nasty things she could have eaten with the snake came back negative, it wasn't a pleasant experience for any of us waiting for it to ... y'know ... pass. As many of you know, I volunteered a the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary scooping bear poop and making mouse salads for the ravens, so my ick-threshhold is pretty high. The snake debacle met and surpassed that threshhold.
So imagine my chagrin today when, at the river, Abby comes trotting out of the brush carrying (you guessed it) the REST of the damned "really dead snake." This time I got it away from her and can't even imagine the look on my face when I'd "won" - holding a portion of partially jerkied snake. Ew.
As Allyson said earlier today, "I'm so done with dogs right now."
While I'm typing this, my little Jack Russell Terror is sleeping in the chair next to me, looking adorable and angelic (damn her).