It's been almost a year since we adopted Gracie Lou from a shelter. However, I like how my friend John described her when he met her for the first time: "she's a salvaged dog, right?"
Salvaged dog. I thought that was pretty darn funny. And, it fits. Gracie Lou is not just a rescue, she's a salvaged dog. And as we have discovered in the almost a year of having her in our lives, salvaged dogs can be weird. Lots of quirks and/or issues that you probably wouldn't have with a dog you've raised from a puppy.
She's slowly getting over her fear of thinking every dog she sees is out to eat her. Lately, when she sees another dog on our walks, she waits until the dog is a safe distance before she barks and jumps around instead of trying to climb up my back in sheer terror the way she used to.
She still barks at inanimate objects, such as orange traffic cones, a backpack hanging on a doorknob or things invisible to the human eye but not quite as much.
One of her quirks, and there are quite a few, is her inability to walk down stairs. She'll do fine until the last 2 or 3 steps when she just kind of missteps and does a belly slide the rest of the way.
When we're out on a walk and she spies a food wrapper, she will sneak up on it, snatch it up and then run like crazy with it in her mouth. She doesn't get far thanks to her 12' leash so she'll start running around me in a 12' circle, still holding the food wrapper in her mouth. I'll just stand there holding the leash handle above my head as she runs around and around and around. And around.
My dog is also extremely camera shy. I don't know if it's from having to pose for mug shots on numerous occasions (Im her 3rd owner) or she thinks the camera will steal her soul but every time I've tried to take a picture of her, even when she's asleep, as soon as I pick up my phone (it takes good photos), she jumps up and goes running down the hall to my room so she can dive under the bed and be safe from the evil camera:
The only way I got this shot was by holding up the bed skirt, thrusting my phone under the bed and hoping I got a decent shot. Okay, semi-decent. She doesn't always make it completely under the bed. Sometimes, only her head is under the bed but in her little pea brain, she's completely hidden and Safe.
Gracie Lou also gets a thrill when you move a body part under the bed covers. When you do that, either intentionally or unintentionally, she sees it as prey that must be attacked. I don't know how many times I've been reading in bed and reached down to scratch an itch and this dog, who moments before had been snoring on her back, will pounce with lightning speed, just like a cat. And she'll growl all ferocious like. And of course, TheManTheMyth thinks it so funny and he'll move his leg under the covers just to watch her freak out and pounce. Until last night.
Last night, they were playing the Pounce on a Moving Limb game when Gracie Lou got a little too carried away. The leg moved, she pounced and proceeded to, um, hump the heck out of TheManTheMyth's knee, growling and snarling like a rabid dog.
And of course I started laughing my fool head off, which only made her more crazed and the humping and ferocious growls grew even more frantic, probably because TheManTheMyth was trying to remove his poor assaulted leg from her feverish grasp and Oh! It was pretty hilarious and I guess you had to be there.
He finally succeeded in peeling her off and I asked him if his leg needed a cigarette and TheManTheMyth didn't find the experience as humorous as I did.
Gracie Lou is laying there, panting from the exertion when someone moved his knee AGAIN and she was on him in flash. She loved his knee long time.
Wait, did I say, "salvaged dog?" I should have said, "Savage dog."