I wanted to take a moment this Thanksgiving to write about how grateful I am for my Annie dog. If you read our origin story post, then you’ll know that Annie came into my life when I was really struggling. She’s one of the main reasons I was able to stop self-harming when I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been.
She’s sweet, friendly, and loves attention. If I lie down on the floor, she’ll come right up to me and snuggle in next to my neck.
She snores, she’s whiny, gets powerful gas, and I don’t know if all her fur will ever grow back. But, I love her.
I recently read a book called 12 Rules for Life. The author made an interesting comment that we love people because of their limitations. A person’s limitations are just as much of what makes individuals unique as their strengths. I thought that was a powerful thought, and I think it applies to our love for our pets too. Complete love means recognizing the other completely, including the things you like and the things you don’t like about them. Annie is such a great example of this. She loves me completely, and I feel that from her. I hope to learn how to incorporate this true love into the way I treat others.
Thanks, Annie dog, for coming into my life when you did.
Thank you to everyone who’s been reading about our experiences. Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s become a fairly normal thing to refer to your pet as a “fur baby”. While I don’t really use that term with my Annie dog, she certainly fits the title some days!
For instance, sometimes after she comes in from outside in the morning, she just wants to cuddle on my bed with me. (I kind of like the validation that she loves me, actually). She loves being petted and snuggled with. If I lie down on the floor, she’s quick to jog over and lie down next to me, her face next to mine. In fact, if I lie down on the floor and don’t show her affection (like if I’m exercising or stretching or playing a board game), she gets confused. Apparently, what else would I lie down on the floor for if not for her?
However, in addition to being the baby, Annie likes mothering babies.
One time I tried to save a stray kitten. We couldn’t find her mom for more than a day, and her little siblings had frozen in the cold. Unfortunately, the kitten, which I’d named Bella, died in the end, but while she was alive, Annie just wanted to whine and smother her with love. Her “affection” was strong enough that I had to keep the kitten out of her reach most of the time since the kitten was so small and fragile.
It doesn’t end with animal babies, either. Annie likes human babies. Every time a baby comes over to the house, she whines and wags her tail in excitement, following the baby carrier around. She just has to say “hello” to the baby.
Beagles are known for being friendly dogs and great for families. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s “no wonder that for years the Beagle has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners” (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/). I can attest that Annie fits the stereotype there. She’s a sweetheart, really. She may get spooked easily, but Annie is loving, trusting, and will let you do just about anything to her as long as you pet her.
Annie just loves love, whether she’s receiving it or giving it. Just like an innocent, furry baby.
It happens on a regular basis I’ll be working on something or in the middle of watching a show or even trying to fall asleep and….
The loud, throaty vibrating sound erupts from Annie.
I’ll look over to see her sleeping contently, oblivious to the noise she’s making.
Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s annoying. But I guess that’s the way things are in both pet-human and human-human relationships. The other being can’t be the perfect white horse, prince, princess, knight, or perfect whatever all the time. They’d have to be fake all the time to achieve that.
I prefer authenticity, and Annie sure as heck doesn’t care for pretending to be anything. She’s true to herself, snores and all.
But I did get to wondering if her loud snoring could be a health problem, like it can be in humans, and here’s what I found from some light research.
Know the nose- The flatter the dog’s face/shorter the nose, the more the dog’s breathing is naturally constricted, making them likely to snore. (Being a beagle, that’s not what’s causing Annie’s snoring.)
Weight- If the dog is overweight, they are more at risk for snoring. I don’t think Annie’s that fat, but others have described her as chubby so….
How the dog sleeps affects how they snore- Apparently, if the dog sleeps on its back or with its head lower than the rest of its body, it increases its probability of snoring. That’s why those dog beds with raised sides are good. Being able to sleep with their head lifted up opens up their airways, making snoring less likely. Annie, well, as you can see in the picture above, she has some interesting ways she likes to sleep.
Air Dryness-How humid the place you and your dog live is also influences their snoring. The drier the air, the more at risk you are for hearing your dog “enjoying” their sleep. This is because dry air dries out the nose and throat. Since Annie and I live in a very dry climate, using a diffuser or humidifier could help diminish her snoring.
As you can see, I have a couple of things to try to decrease those loud snores of Annie’s.
There is a chance that a dog’s snoring can be caused by sleep apnea or an infection in the nose, mouth, or throat. However, since Annie recently had a vet appointment and came out with a clean bill of health (and clean teeth), I don’t think anything serious is causing her to snore.
I’ll try experimenting to see if any of the above methods work, especially since they seem to be good for Annie and not just for my benefit. But, if she continues to snore like a rhino, I’ll still love her, noise and all.
Also, don’t forget that we have a YouTube channel you can visit for funny and cute videos of Annie!
We’re back! It’s been a while since the last post. Annie and I are doing good: Annie’s paw is all healed up now, and my fibromyalgia symptoms haven’t been as bad lately.
Though I’m not by any means over-scheduled, I have been
busier lately, and Annie’s demeanor shows she’s feeling a bit left out. She
jumps up on my bed every night now and wants to cuddle every time I sit on the
floor, even if that means messing up whatever I was doing on the floor in the
Despite this behavior, she’s still come a far way from the
terrible separation anxiety she had when I first adopted her. And she’s gotten
used enough to my parents’ house that she doesn’t constantly whine when I’m not
home (I’m sure my parents appreciate that).
I guess I’m reflecting on how pets are like four year-olds,
sensitive to the amount of direct attention you give them.
Annie developed this “push the bowl” habit not too
long after I adopted her. She knows her water goes in her blue bowl, and you
should know that she drinks a LOT of water. So, it’s not unusual for me to
glance over and see that her water bowl is empty. However, if I’m preoccupied
and fail to notice that she needs a drink, Annie will start pushing her blue
bowl around. It makes a scraping noise on the plastic mat or kitchen floor, and
the sound is Annie’s way of getting my attention to let me know she’s thirsty.
While I’m glad she has developed methods of letting me know
when she needs something, I wonder how often Annie feels the need to “push
the bowl” in other areas in order for me to give her the proper attention.
I try to make sure she feels loved and is cared for, but what is the proper
balance between loving and caring for your dog and overdoing it? I don’t want
to be neglectful in any way, but I also don’t want to be that crazy chick who
overindulges her dog, treating it like a royal baby.
Maybe I’m overthinking it (That seems to be a habit of
mine.), but if I’m going to care for an animal, then I want to do it right. And
Annie’s been through enough in her past. She should feel secure with me.
What do you think is a good balance between owner and pet?
Hello from Annie and me! Now that we’ve got the serious part of our story out of the way, I’m going to focus on more light-hearted parts from here on out.
The Annie tale (Get it? Tale/tail?) this week is shorter, but it’s about one of Annie’s behaviors that’s always confused me.
When I got Annie, I was a bit flummoxed about what type of toys to get her. My previous dog never took to dog toys, instead choosing to claim someone’s stuffed animal as her own every once in a while.
I ended up going with a stuffed bunny toy with a squeaker and a ball. Because dogs like to play with balls, right?
To my surprise, it took Annie at least a month before she would really play with toys at all. I think part of it was due to her still not being fully recovered from mange, but it was also almost as if she didn’t know how to play with toys and people.
But once she did start playing, I discovered something: she couldn’t care less about the ball.
She’d play with the bunny just fine, chase after it and everything. But the ball? Nope. When I tried to get her to play with it, I was lucky if she even gave it a sniff.
And if I threw it?
She’d watch it go before looking back at me as if to say, “A ball? Really? Wow, what a stereotype. You get it.”
To this day, Annie refuses to play with a ball. I have no clue why. Maybe it’s too “mainstream dog” for her.