Here's my Tippi. We figure this is a great name for her, since when you go to pet her, she "tips" so that she gets a belly scratch, too!
Anyway, as most of you know, we rescued her this January. She's 3 years old, and we don't know a lot about her history, but we know enough to realize that she really needed a stable home with a Pack she could love and be adored by, and where she'd always have good vet care, good food, and no fear.
Now comes the Rain Stick. For those of you who don't know, a Rain Stick is essentially a cactus branch that's about 3" across, and it's dried out; sometimes painted with "aboriginal" art, and it's got seeds in it. When you tip it one way or the other, the seeds cascade, and it does sound like a soft spring rain on your roof. We use it in church sometimes, when there are sprinkling rites, because it makes a nice addition to the music.
So Hubby and I are getting ready to go to Mass, and he brings the rain stick down the hall. Tippi and I were in the dining room, where she was getting her ears scratched. All of a sudden, she catches sight of Hubby and FREEZES. Her eyes get big, and she looks as if she wants to say, "Oh, noooooooooooooo!" She stood stock still, and Hubby commented that she must be skittish of the sound of the stick.
Nope. I saw the look on her face. Man + Stick + coming toward me = maybe I can disappear and he won't hit me. I took the stick from Hubby and set it on the floor. I called Tippi toward me and put my hand gently on her back, and asked her to sniff the stick. She did. She looked at me as if to say, "Only because you're standing here." And then she walked over to the dining room table and crawled beneath it till we left.
I know she's had trauma in her life. As a re-cap: her first owner bred her to a pit bull (and I have NO bias toward the breed; just against idiot breeders) and the puppies were apparently vicious. Her second owner kept her in a fenced yard with 3 or 4 Rottweilers and she had to fight for her food; this guy's idea of discipline was to throw the dogs. Her THIRD owner "accidentally" bred her with the male Norwegian Elkhound she had. Imagine that?? And again - remember, Tippi's three years old. She rejected that litter and then we became aware that she needed a new home.
See, this is the hard part about adopting and rescuing a dog. You don't know a lot of the history, and sometimes, you really don't WANT to know.
I want to go find her prior owners (except for the last one; she was just stupid and in over her head, not deliberately cruel that we can see). And I want to plant the rain stick. Somewhere where they'll be needing a doctor's care to remove it. Just far enough so that they can't walk or sit comfortably - or even bend. That would make me feel better.