Posts Tagged ‘Mama’

Three weeks, a (foster) home, love and a new name. Instead of Crazy Mama (wishful thinking, from what I can tell), our dog sports the new sobriquet of Annabelle, in a nod to the South where she lived so unhappily. When I walked in a few days ago, she came to meet me, friendly but not leaping up; happy to be petted, but ready to go back to our daughter, her one constant in these days of adjustment.

Doubtless because of her former life,(fighting or as a bait dog, we don’t know), she has separation anxiety issues. Twice while our daughter was at class, Annabelle managed to push hard enough on her crate, not to pop the door open, but to create a small space where she somehow shoved her rather large head through, followed by her still a bit too skinny body. Once she tore the bottom of the crate. Fortunately, both times she neither damaged herself, except for some scrapes, or much else once she got out, although my Guinness hot pad, a gift from our older daughter, direct from Ireland, fell victim.

After the second time, our daughter and a friend covered the edges of the crate with colored zip ties, frustrating her latest escape attempt. Now, part of Annabelle’s work consists of being left briefly in the closed crate, while our daughter closes the door, standing outside the room, then coming back in to reward Annabelle for not getting too excited. She made it close to a minute today. Progress indeed. Once she realizes that when we leave, someone will come back to let her out, she can relax.

During Japanese lessons, Annabelle curls up on her sleeping pad. Mrs. Saito (and everyone else) loves her. She’ll be a good companion for someone who wants a friendly, loving dog that doesn’t require athletic training to keep happy. She knows how to sit and lie down; we’re working on “Shake”, an always popular trick. Sometimes when we go into another room, she can’t figure out immediately where we are and she trots from room to room, a panoply of wrinkles on her forehead, puzzling it out. Her feet mostly stay on the floor, even under the intense provocation of food smells. She likes to sit on a lap, pushing her head into the object of her affection, or to curl up in her round pad in an impossibly small space. Often, her head lies on the edge of the pad, squashed into a definitely non-feminine but unquestionable cuteness.

Yet this dog and thousands like her, suffer from breed discrimination all over the United States. In Denver, for instance, “It shall be unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport or sell within the city any pit bull.” Section 8-55. A pit bull owner even has to obtain a license to transport a pit bull from outside the city, through the city to destination outside the city of Denver. There’s a separate section about dangerous dogs. So pit bulls are even below dogs that have to be demonstrably vicious!! Welcome to Denver, city of discrimination (and not in the positive way), a place that, when I was growing up, was where I wanted to life at some point! I’ve re-thought that idea and not just because of the pollution caused by inversions.

Welcome to a brave, new world, Annabelle, one where some places and people hate you without even knowing you. Given a chance, one loving dog at a time and lots of vocal owners, perhaps this will change. Until then, you can keep the Rocky Mountain high.