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).
A friend of mine from high school (Sandy) just e-mailed me photos of our group Halloween costumes from 19...82 (I think it was 82...). 5 bonus points for those of you who already know the "theme" without peeking at Flickr; 10 more if you're under 25 and know it off the top of your head.
We had one more 'dandy highwayman' but he wasn't in these photos (dang).
Me (yes, me).
Here's another one from the Way Back Machine - senior prom, June 2, 1984. I'm the "shy" one in front:
Me with my pal, Ken, and Sam (Sandy) in the back with her date David. I can't remember the names of the other couple who were exchange students from Mexico and taught me the double meaning of huevos.
People tend to look at me in disbelief when I tell them I'm in no danger of slipping out of either end of my 40s, but now you've seen the photographic proof. So there.
Today I played the role of the clumsy fat girl I always saw myself as in high school. Feelin' crampy and icky, I fell off an exercise ball at the gym and banged my knee on the ground. After icing it for 15 minutes, I went to the river with Allyson, Lulu and Abby just to end up slipping in the mud and landing on my ass. Dainty and graceful to the last. At least I was rolling my eyes and not crying. Geez.
I am now sitting at home with my feet up, more ice on my knee (and the hip that I apparently roughed up on the way to a quick sitting position), some red wine and a puppy lap-warmer.
I'm hoping tomorrow will be a bit less injurious to my joints and confidence.
p.s. I am also finally about half-way finished with a piece Allyson asked for almost two years ago. It's of her doggie as a skelepup - photos to follow when I can drag my sore butt up the stairs to the good computer with my sore knee. Oh, and it's a secret, so don't say anything if you see her (she never goes online, so this is pretty safe).
UPDATE: OK, so here it is about half finished. I used some music notes ('cause she's a mucisian), sacred hearts for her coffee house "the True Love," and the river where she takes Lulu (and Abby and me) several times a week. More layers to come!
Thanks to everyone for your concerned notes and teasing comments/posts questioning my absence. In all honesty, I do tend to disappear most years somewhere after Day of the Dead until January or February. This year, it's early January.
Abby is doing very well and is fitting in (mostly) with our furry family. She's mellow for a JRT (jack russell terrier), but just as stubborn as promised. Training is coming along well though, and I love her and her stubborn streak. Here's a vid or two of her running along the river bank with her BFF Lulu.
Artwise, things have been slow, but I have been working. I have two new pieces available on Etsy including "Release" which I created for National Bird Day this year. Born Free USA will receive 50% of the sales price of this piece. The other piece is "Grinding to a Hault" and is my first meager attempt at assemblage. Check 'em out:
I've also got the Skelekitty stamps, other original art pieces and LOTS of super affordable unframed prints available on Etsy. Don't see what you want? Just e-mail me and tell me what you would like.