Friday, March 6, 2009

Annabelle joins the family

Sometime early this year it became evident to all of us that our faithful dog Maggie was starting to show some signs of wear. She was greying around the edges, and her persistent skin tumors seemed to be multiplying at a faster and faster rate. Sensing an opportunity, the boys began making the argument that we should get a NEW dog now, while Maggie was still able to help train it, rather than wait until after she's gone. Their pleas were met mostly with skepticism that such an idea was even valid, and coupled with memories of what it's like to raise a new puppy, the whole thing didn't really gain much traction.

Until Karen started "harmlessly" looking to see if there were any pups available in the area...

And what do you know, she found a litter not far from our house! What could it hurt to just go take a look?

As everyone knows, it is humanly impossible to see brand new Labrador puppies without taking one home. It's written into the fabric of the universe, or our genetic code, or something. So, we made our pick, determined that she should be named Annabelle, and brought her home.

The next few days were spent acquiring a new kennel, new collar, new leash, new dog bowl, and all the other paraphernalia that go with having another dog. Miraculously, Annie did indeed follow Maggie's lead, and she was housebroken practically without incident. Being inveterate fans of "The Dog Whisperer", we complimented Maggie's training regimen with tips and tricks we'd seen on the show, to include making sure Annie got LOTS of exercise. When taking her for constant walks around the block proved to be impractical, Karen found a treadmill cheap and trained both dogs to walk on it. And so, a daily routine was born: wake up, let the dogs out, run them on the treadmill, and then feed them.

Feed them a LOT.

One other law of Physics relating to puppies is that they GROW. Startling so. Before you know it, they're gangly teenagers, eating you out of house and home. It didn't help any that our vet literally gasped at the size of Annie's paws during one visit, proclaiming that this dog was going to be HUGE! Great.

And teenagers do tend to push the boundaries a bit. While Annie fell right into line with Maggie in her respect for the boundaries INSIDE the house, she tended to feel released from all inhibitions when OUTSIDE. While most of her attention seemed to be focused on sticks of various sizes, she also found time to extract and completely dismantle the drain pipe from the sump pump under the house. The subsequent cycle of repair and re-dismantling went several iterations before Dave constructed a fortress of chicken wire and concrete blocks to protect the pipe. So far so good.

Annie also managed at some point to "get acquainted" with a nest of wasps, which led to some rather comical swelling and a trip to the vet, though it produced no discernible lack of enthusiasm on Annie's part. The swelling took a couple of days to go down and she was none the worse for the wear.

Since then, Annie has continued to grow up and grow more accustomed to being a part of our family. She and Maggie get along well, though Maggie clearly feels her hold on the "top dog" slot slipping as time goes by. And you can tell by the picture below that Annabelle feels that she is now the queen of all she surveys...

No comments:

Post a Comment