Sunday, March 14, 2010

Games Abby Played: Part II
The Inside Games

Even though this entry is about Abby playing inside, the above picture was taken outside while Abby was playing with Nikki. I don’t have any pictures of Abby roughhousing me, but the above photo well represents the fierce intensity with which Abby would play with me. She was all in it and didn’t hold anything back when she played. I don’t know remember taking that photo or even the day it was taken, but I can promise that Abby was the instigator of the event given her aggressive nature as a puppy.

Inside, Abby’s main form of play was her toys, in particular her chew toys and tugging toys, and roughhousing either me or Father, and it did not take much to get her going. I do remember that if I sat in my chair, I was safe from her, but if I sat on the floor, I was fair game for her and was essentially inviting her to play. Abby would approach me and do one of the three things or a combination thereof: climb on me, jump on me or bite me. If I pushed her away, she would only redouble her efforts to get at me. Just as in the above photo, Abby would bare her teeth and smack at me with her paws just as she did to Nikki in that photo above.

Sometimes I would lie on my back and put my feet up in an attempt to keep her away. She would first respond by trying to run around me to get me, but since I could swivel pretty quickly on my back, the ‘run around’ tactic most often failed. Abby would try to jump over my feet. Once in a while that worked, but sometimes it didn’t. Barking and growling at me the whole time, Abby would pursue these bouts for several minutes at a time, a few times a day, especially on the weekends when I had more free time. After a few rounds of this, my arms would be red w/ bite and scratch marks all over them.

People said to me that I should not have played so hard with her, “It makes her mean” they would say. I honestly don’t know if it is true, after all, I knew very little about dogs when Abby came into our lives. There is a “nature v. nurture” aspect to this. There was no doubt that Abby was naturally aggressive in her younger days, but maybe playing so hard with her intensified her aggressiveness. I tried roughhousing Father and Andy, but they would have none of that. It turns out that the ‘wrestling play’ was a phase in Abby’s life. She was a high energy, turbo-charged, rambunctious puppy, and her outlet for relieving that energy was with physical play-fighting. Andy was just as high energy as Abby, but he loved to play fetch – inside, outside, morning, noon or night. I haven’t introduced Andy yet in this blog, but when I do, the subject of fetching will be brought up and discussed at great length.

Abby’s other source of fun inside was what I call ‘chasing games’. I’ll discuss this in a later entry.

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