Abby the Wonder Dog

Boxer mix, Abby the Wonder Dog, Elaina Avalos, Elaina M. Avalos

I have a dog. Her name is Abby. But I call her by many other names. See – I have this problem. It involves nicknames. I usually end up with about a bazaillion nicknames for kids and animals. Abby has a boatload. She is Booty Boo, Boo-Boo Bear, Boo-Boo, Abigail Ann, Abster, Busy Body, Ab, Weirdo, Stinky Pete, Abby the Wonder Dog, and occasionally – well, occasionally she is kind of a brat – so she gets a name of my choosing at those moments. Ten years ago yesterday, on April 2, 2011, I adopted her at the Morongo Basin Humane Society in the desert of California. The shelter is in Joshua Tree – just a quick drive from the cute little house I rented, near the downtown of that weird and wonderful little town.

Abby is something special. She’s crazy and weird. My life would’ve sucked these last 10 years without her. Abby was originally “Irene.” Her sister is the dog I originally thought I’d come home with, after seeing them online. But Abby stole my heart. This is Abby on that day 10 years ago.

Abby is a boxer mix. She was abused and neglected. I’ve been trying to prove to her, for ten years, that she’s good now. She believes me and then she doesn’t. She believes me when she has entire pieces of furniture that become hers (a love seat and now a chaise lounge). She believes me when she gets her very own blankets and comforters, and makes herself comfy atop her throne, on my couch. She gets small amounts of wet food on her dry food because she is an inconsistent eater and I want to keep weight on her. For quite a few months, I made her homemade food in the crockpot when she was feeling yucky.

She is extremely bossy. But about weird things. Like sleep. She is obsessed with it. And if I stay up too late, she does things like this:

Other times, I get this look. I don’t know what I did. But whatever it was, she was not amused in the least.

And then, other times, she still seems to think she’s that little starving pup out in the desert. When they were found, her sister had a brand mark on her side. They were both emaciated and scared of everything (I’m not exaggerating). But they’d been in someone’s home because she was mostly potty-trained, knew some commands, and knew the second we walked into my house that the couch was super comfy. I told her to get off the couch and she made this face like, “But I’m cute. And it’s comfy.” So . . . I said it again and she complied. She’s smart as a whip. In her boxer-ness, she is a born entertainer and loves to be silly. I think she is mixed with pit and though this sounds weird, greyhound. Greyhound people always tell me this. The way she runs, I truly believe it.

Abby loves:
– Kids. She misses my boy, so much. She didn’t forgive me for his absence for at least a year. She adored him. She accepts me again – finally.
– Being a caretaker, protector, dogmommyboss.
– Water & snow.
– Running is her favorite thing ever.
– Sleep.
– My mom.
– Car rides (now – she used to puke and shake like a leaf every time we got in the car before).
– Telling me when it’s time for bed.
– Chilling outside. Especially when she could nap in the sun, on the deck.
– Naps (she was meant to be mine).
– The beach – if no one is there.
– Hiking the Neusiok Trail with me.
– Adventures.
– Grown people who know how to ease her into liking them – in very small & specific doses. Haha.
– When I sit on the couch and read or write (as long as I’m not moving around).
– Making sure I’ve eaten. Haha. She will not eat until I do. She is precious.

Abby doesn’t love:
– Noises (hahaha ha).
– Black trash bags (I kid you not).
– The dishwasher running in my apartment.
– The Fed Ex/mail/UPS truck.
– Men. Except for ones I’m fond of, that treat her like the princess she is, & then she likes them more than me.
True story for the above. Her trainer was the wife of one of the Marines in my squadron. He wasn’t a big fan of most of the dogs that came & went but he and Abby bonded. She adored him. They would run together. When he emailed me from Afghanistan about something work related, he literally started it, “How’s Abby?” Hahaha. Not…how are you? How’s Abby? Haha.
– When her schedule is off.
– When I’m working around the house. The more stationary her people are, the better.
– She acts horribly toward neighbors (barking & growling) but then when they pass by she wags her tail and acts like she wants to follow them. Like, “I’m sorry I had to act crazy, just protecting my Elaina. Be my friend.” Lol.
– She is fairly dog aggressive. Except our neighbor’s dogs at one of our houses. She loved the dogs on both sides and they’d “play” through the chain link fence.
– She hates dog toys with squeakers so I have to buy her stuffed toys in the kid’s section at Dollar Tree.

She’s adorable & funny. I’m so grateful she crossed my path. Even though her quirks make things challenging sometimes (i.e. afraid of dishwasher, trash bags, random people and dogs).

Last night, I brought Abby a couple of new “babies” and a sweet treat for our 10th adoption anniversary. ๐Ÿ™‚ In typical Abby style, she ignored her ice cream until she’d had time to play with her new toys. Once she’d played for a bit, she came back to the ice cream and licked the bowl clean. So funny. Food is always second to all of her other favorite things.

She is a delight. She has brought many happy moments to my life the last ten years. She’s my best girl.