Our ten-year-old Sheltie is the baby in the family. She’s also the most spoiled. Her good looks and gentle demeanor make her irresistible to almost everyone who comes in contact with her. Affectionate and loving, especially with her family, she’ll gaze and paw at you sweetly when she wants your attention.
Abby has learned a vast repertoire of tricks including “playing dead,” “roll over” and “find your leash.” My favorite is “whisper,” which is a variation of “speak.” Smart and driven to please, all it takes is a few treats and a day, to teach her something new. Her two most-loved toys are a stuffed bunny and a large horse, which she knows respectively as “Bunny” and “Horsey.” She enjoys herding Horsey, and she expects you to “neigh” while you play with her. When she was younger, she adored the neighborhood park. She raced ball-loving dogs to their prize and if she got there first, she would bark at the ball as if to say “Here it is! Here it is!” As you can imagine, this always produced chuckles from spectators.
Like most pets, our Sheltie’s not perfect. She doesn’t like to be left behind under any circumstances and she hates it when anyone, friend or foe, tries to come or go in her presence. She’ll bark hysterically and spin around and around until someone yells “Abby, sit!” or “Abby, No!” Sometimes, we pick her up and she quiets down. Other times, we throw up our arms and laugh at her. Obviously, at our house, people don’t linger at the front door for goodbyes. Car rides are also a challenge. She’s overly vocal until everyone is secure inside the vehicle.
Our little girl has had some health problems lately. Just before our move to Arizona, she was diagnosed with Liver Disease. At one point, we didn’t think she would survive long enough to make the move, but we changed her diet, added a few supplements (including Milk Thistle) and she’s doing better. With luck, Abby will be with us for a few more years.