Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 18, Annie!

This sweet creature is Annie, and she lives with Martha, who has a huge heart!  I am including pretty much all that Martha wrote me because it is such a great story and I did not know any of this at all!
As for the painting, I am having a hard time with it- not sure it is finished. There's something about the subtle shading and the colors on her face and I just can not get it done to my satisfaction, so I'll be going back into it. Anything you all see or suggest is great!

About Annie, the pointy nosed beagle with giant ears: I adopted her from the Madison College Vet Tech Pet Adoption program, a mouthful I know, but an admirable program. The Vet Tech department brings in 20 or so pets-cats, dogs, small animals- each semester to be the "patients" (guinea pigs?*smile*) of the students, who also take care of their everyday needs. They pull animals from local shelters and obtain retired research animals, mainly beagles. We have several institutions in Madison that keep beagles for research/testing purposes, including the UW, VA Hospitals, Covance (drug testing company) etc. I don't even want to think about the fate of most of the research animals, but the Madison college vet techs get about a half dozen each semester. (I suspect they use this resource in part because the animals are healthy and not neutered, so the students can observe/assist with that surgery at the college.) Anyhoo, at the end of the semester the student-run adoption program finds homes for all of the pets. They have open houses, meet and greets, etc. to do this. The adopter gets a pet that has been well "vetted" and comes with a very clean bill of health, all shots, teeth freshly cleaned, neutered. Not necessarily housebroken or trained, but well loved and socialized, and sort of leash trained. Most of the animals are older.

OK, back to Annie, she was a lab beagle, involved in some "non-invasive" research, but bred for research and never lived in a home. Her age was given as 4 years last August. Annie loves everything! People, other animals, the outdoors, food, being a lap dog even. I've attached a pic of the poster the students had on their pet adoption board, and that pretty much describes her. I've had people from the program tell me she wasn't timid like many of the lab beagles are, quite the opposite. Somewhat sadly my other two dogs just won't play with her, they must be too old and stuck in their ways, but the cat does play with her, it's funny to watch them wrestle and Dot is forever stalking Annie and surprise! pouncing. She obsessively chews up sticks and paper but has no concept of fetch or play, like tug of war, with normal dog toys. Food a-holic too.

Ironically, over a year ago I met a gal whose primary job is caring for research animals at the U. She told me a few things: that the dogs cannot be housed alone, they always are with a kennel buddy, tho' the buddy changes a lot. So, they are dog social. And they are handled regularly by people, and given LOTS of treats, so people are not scary. The companies that breed research beagles have selectively bred for compliant personalities too. About the only thing she doesn't like are loud mechanical noises, like dryers and the outside AC unit.

So, TMI I know but "retired lab animal" is a whole large class of rescues I have learned. I think I got lucky with my happy little gal. We're still new to each other but I look forward to doing more training and the like with her in the months ahead.

8x8 acrylic on wood
I think spoken for but not til I'm happy with it...

the poster Martha saw to adopt Annie!


Gina G. said...

Hi Kat! I like the shading on the face, though I’m wondering if it’s a bit dark under the nose? I wonder too if part of the struggle you’re feeling with it is the background color interacting with the shading- too similar? I just love her expression you captured! xoxo

DaneBirder said...

Hi Kat, here's my take-- I don't think the coloring is especially wrong. I think the dark spots under the nose are too large, they don't extend beyond the edges of the nose. The white sort of encircles them.Love those soulful eyes! Martha

Michele said...

What a lovely story. I'm glad you included the whole thing. I used to know VetMed students at the UofMN and had heard about these dogs. There were usually never any available for "regular" people. There were so few or they were in high demand from all the VetMed students, staff, and faculty and their insider friends. Annie looks wonderful!