As may be evident from my previous posts, an important part of “my adagio life” is my animals. I’ve always had a connection with and love for animals, probably since birth, and I certainly remember telling my mum when I was probably five, that I wanted to be a vet. My favourite show on TV as a child was Daktari.
Clarence the cross-eyed lion! OMG, I am going to have to get hold of that series somehow!
Well, being a vet didn’t happen but I like to think I care for animals in a different way through my work.
In any event, one of my animals is Charlie. Charlie is a female natural bob-tailed Rottweiler (I always have to stop my mind wandering in the direction of non-natural bob tails – find it too distressing!) She is a trained guard dog – trained to alert and attack. But OMG, that makes me laugh when I write that because she is wimpiest, most submissive, sweetest, compliant dog I have ever met. Having said that though, seriously, I have seen her “at work” and – well, I’d better not say certain words when she’s around to some stranger I don’t like because there’d be injuries. She can pick up when I do like people though, so if I said those words just as an attempt at demonstration say, she’d look at me as if to say, “Really?”
Highly intelligent. By far the most intelligent of all my dogs. I have no doubt she understands every word I say and every word I don’t say.
To me she seems starved of affection. I tell the kids it’s because she spent her whole life in a kennel before she came to us, with limited human interaction unless she was being trained. I’ve always been of the belief that there are some dogs that prefer human company to life with the pack and Charlie is one of those. So every opportunity she can grab she will come up to you for a pat. If you happen to be standing next to her, she’ll nudge your hand so you’ll pat her. If I happen to be giving Yogi a hug – which happens a fair bit – she’ll come up and intersperse herself between me and Yogi. (See here for Yogi’s story). Fortunately Yogi is very kind and easy-going so he doesn’t get cross about that. Once you start patting Charlie or canoodling with her you have to be prepared for a long session because SHE won’t get tired of it and in the end, you have to call a halt to the love and affection and then feel guilty when she gets this sad expression on her face.
Because she doesn’t have a tail I believe she’s adapted to communicating in different ways. She HAS developed facial expressions and profound body language. I know exactly what she is feeling.
She used to live out the front with Loopy Lucy (more on her another time), but we had to separate them as they were fighting. Well, Loopy Lucy was being aggressive towards Charlie. Charlie retaliated only the once, I believe because she’d had enough of bullying or was genuinely scared (she was cornered) and that was enough, Charlie caused some serious injury. So now they are kept separate. Charlie is much happier as a result. She sleeps inside at night and at the present time is asleep on Yogi’s mat in the living room (Yogi is asleep on his bed in my room). She’s so smart she knows if she folds the mat she makes it softer so that’s what she does. I think she might either have a bowel problem or gets into the horse food when I’m not looking because I often come out to the living room in the morning and it’s gaseous with her farts and I have to open all the windows. Can’t smell it this morning though. She is pretty healthy though I believe, although her hips seem wonky. Not sure if that’s a by-product of not having a tail, making her “off balance”.
She grunts when she sleeps which is really cute.
In conclusion, I love and care for her greatly and she has a home with me forever.