Friday, September 12, 2014

Why Black Labs Aren't Good Poker Players

Abby the Rescue Lab is doing real well in her new home, with us a little over four months now, and will be heading home to the Range with me tonight after work.

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.
Abby Normal Johnson.

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.
Mom's home with the groceries!  I hope you don't mind, I drank all the leftover espresso. Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon. 

You forgot the bacon!!!?
Oh Yes! There it is underneath the dog treats . treats treats treats treats treat.

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.


  1. What a charming girl Abby is! You are right of course, that she is so different from Barkley, which is how it should be. Though I expect over time, you will see little flashes of Barkley in things she does.

  2. Awwww! I'm so glad you adopted her. I knew from the beginning she went to a good home and it's so great to see how well she is fitting in. Love the cross eyes... That is pretty funny! Hope they don't stick! ;-)

  3. Very easy to see Abbey is very happy in her new forever home. Look forward to years of reports of her most recent antics :)

  4. Hope Borepatch got credit for mine! If not, maybe I can make another one.

  5. She's got the most beautiful coat. It looks impossibly soft.

  6. Monkeywrangler - like just now, I put her monthly meds (flea/tick) in her bowl with a treat on top of it and she stuck her head down, GRABBED the treat, and left the medicine.

    Barkley was also famous for the "drive by snooting".

    Robin - She has been a joy, the most agreeable little dog.

    immagikman - she is quite comfortable now, and after a four hour drive in heavy traffic, just trotted up the front steps of the range like it was home, even though we'd not been here in 3 weeks due to Partner and my schedules.

    Bob in Tampa - your receipt should say if it went to a team versus the general fund. In any event, you donated to the cause, that is what matters, as I know Borepatch would agree. Your book is on the way. It was nice of you to give the other one you got to someone close to read it as well.

    Jennifer - it IS, the fur much softer and a bit longer than purebred lab. It was in good condition when we got her, the rescue folks and her foster Mom got her all cleaned up. She needed some weight, she was pretty skinny, but her coat was beautiful. She's gained 10 pounds and that's stabilized now.

    10 hour work day, and a long drive in rain. . . I'm beat, and will say good night all, while I chill with Partner.

  7. Donation made for a very good cause, have lost two of my closest friends to cancer, so this is personal. Hope your dad gets better. God Bless.

  8. I came racing in her all panicked, and I appreciate SO VERY MUCH you hanging on to a book for me!!!! I'm so behind (on a lot of things). Sorry about that. As soon as I can outrun Murphy's Law then maybe things will settle down to what normal should be and I can tame some of this chaos.

    I love this post. Great to hear Abby is happy and healthy and thriving.

    Thank you so very much :) !!!!

  9. I saw a bumper sticker recently with a paw print on it with the words, "Who adopted who?" I think this is appropriate in Abby's case!

  10. All my dogs have had such different personalities. Glad Abbey is in your care.

  11. It's so sweet to see Abby settled in. Any dog is so lucky to live with you.


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..