We tend to be "house potatoes" on days off, and she's with us in everything we do, even if it's just curled up on a comfy dog bed while she listens to us putter around in the shop. We'll get to the shooting range again soon, but for those first few months, we wanted to establish a pattern where she has a schedule and other than during morning and afternoons on work days, she is not left alone. On work days, she has a professional dog walker taking her out each day for playtime and even a sleepover at her house (with big fenced yard and another rescue lab) on the few nights we were both gone.
Our new friends have treats for Abby and Andy!
We made sure she had play dates there, first with S's rescue Lab Andy so she would see it as fun as opposed to being left behind again. From the photos S. sent by phone each day, it was obvious she was very happy and had a great time with Andy and his loving people she considers part of her "pack", sleeping on her bed in front of their fireplace.
I did the same with Barkley, for Tam stayed over at the Range with him when I traveled with Mr. B. and Midwest Chick always ready as backup as needed. He loved them all as his own and treated them accordingly. Abby is going to have the same, as with our work, there are times, where we both have to be gone overnight and often on short notice. S. lives just a few blocks from us but if need be, I always have my best friends as back up.
Comfort - it tastes like chicken!
Abby's very much different in personality than Barkley, shyer at first, quieter, and she would rather nap than get into mischief. She is becoming more outgoing as she realizes she is in her forever home but her laid back personality is a good fit to a household that runs on caffeine and Type-A energy a lot of the time.
She's an older dog, chosen with purpose, as it's easier for the younger and purebred dogs to get a home. Abby is almost six and a mix (we're thinking lab and flat coated retriever by her looks and fur). She'd been left at a shelter, heartworm positive some months before we got her. It wasn't the best shelter, and like they often do, the Love of Labs Indianapolis people drove hours and hours to get her before she was put down. After a week in a loving foster home while she was assessed, her Foster Mom brought her over and I adopted her on the spot, having already been through a thorough assessment of home and family to make sure we were offering a safe and stable home. She was ready for some love.
Unlike Barkley, she loves stuffed animals as opposed to chew toys. Her favorites are the plush Angry Bird toys that makes the Angry bird sound when she bites them or her Winnie the Pooh Beanie Ballz that always lands on his feet (playtime meets uneven center of mass!)
I did come home the other night to find one of her Angry Bird toys (the green pig) floating in her water dish (If I can't bite it, I'll drown it!)
She is also very affectionate and has the most expressive face, moving her mouth very subtly and softly when she looks at you as if she is talking, it's too cute. Plus when she gets excited, she almost looks cross eyed. Of course, all of her looks can inspire her imagined words.
Thank you everyone for the support after the loss of Barkley and Big Brother, there within weeks of one another. That helped more than I can possibly say. I also want to thank everyone here for the encouragement as I wrote our story (see my upper right sidebar to order the book) to find the love and trust it took to open my heart to loving another four legged soul again.
The second printing of The Book of Barkley is out! I set aside 20 autographed copies of the first run (plus one for Naturegirl when she gets settled), a gift for the first 20 folks that donate $50 or more to Kilted to Kick Cancer Team Borepatch as he recently lost his Dad to this disease. If you would like one of those, hit Kilted for Cancer's donation page (and select Team Borepatch from the drop down menu). There are instructions on the Borepatch blog as to getting him your donation and shipping address information. I have just a handful of first run books left! It's a great cause and it's tax deductible as a 501(c)3 charity. Shipping costs are on me.
Thanks to all of you guys who are doing this--Evyl Robot, Old NFO, Ambulance Driver, Jay G and others. It's the cause that's important and you all realize that, even with the lively spirit of competition.