Annabelle at home

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Dogs, Family
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If you’ve been here with me for awhile, you know about Annabelle, formerly known as Crazy Momma, rescued in Biloxi from a dog fighting ring. She’s been at our house since arriving in Cleveland, while waiting for a foster home or, even better, a forever home. When she arrived, she was skinny and hadn’t experience much love in her life. It also turned out she was Houdini disguised as a pit bull! Soon after arriving, she managed to squeeze out of her crate while our younger daughter was gone. She didn’t open the door; she managed to somehow get out between the wire and the bottom of the crate. It’s a bit like the way mice can get in anywhere but on a much larger scale!! Thankfully, she didn’t wreck the room, but you can imagine that it’s a bit stressful to leave the house, not knowing exactly what will happen while you’re gone. We found out Houdini had escaped from her crate regularly where she stayed after being rescued, so that behavior had already been rewarded. We needed to stop the reward of getting out and in addition, Annabelle was also scraping herself up in the process, something we didn’t want repeated.

With the help of a friend, our daughter used colorful zip ties to reinforce the crate. Still, Houdini managed to get out again. The next round of zip ties was more thorough but by this time, Shana, who runs the rescue (For the Love of Pits, had purchased the prison cell crate, The Zinger, (If you click on the link to connect to “For the Love of Pits”, you can see pictures of the dogs needing forever homes, learn more about the group, or even donate if you’d like to help.)

I guess just the fact that the crate on its way must have sent vibes to Annabelle, because the next time our daughter left, Houdini stayed in her crate. Our daughter had also been working with her to learn to stay in the crate for longer periods of time and that, combined with maybe realizing that “her” person would come back, made the difference, and taking a lot of pressure off our daughter! And our daughter’s definitely Annabelle’s person….when our daughter left to go shooting after lunch, Annabelle stayed by the door, barked a little, whined, ran around the house looking for her and took some time to settle to having just me around. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, she’ll get used to me again and I can become her second person.

Annabelle loves to curl up in her bed but she also likes to lie in our laps, either partially or completely if she can manage it. She has more energy, possibly due in part to getting her heartworm treated. If our daughter leaves the room, she still eventually goes off to look for her, but she’s much calmer. When we sit down to eat, she’ll get as close as possible, but she won’t jump up to try to get our food. She will keep inching closer and closer, though, and if that doesn’t work, she’ll give the soulful look a shot. When she sleeps, she often snores slightly and just a few minutes ago, she made little yipping noises and her legs twitched in some sort of doggie dream. Sometimes she stands with her head down, unmoving, for a long time, as if contemplating a profound thought or staring at something. Who knows what does on in a dog’s mind?

Annabelle knows “sit” and is learning “shake” and “stay”. She walks well on leash but still needs work on plenty of things. She’s got the main attribute of a good dog, though, a sweet temper, despite whatever she went through in Biloxi. Hopefully by the time she gets her foster home, she’ll know much more. But at least now she knows love.

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