Andreea Niculescu and Rachel Johnson with their dog Annabelle. They describe Annabelle as sweet, alert and very even tempered, even setting the tone for behavior at the dog friendly Beveridge Place Pub.
Pet of the Week: Annabelle is part of two and a half women
Andreea Niculescu and her partner Rachel Johnson got their dog Annabelle in September of 2003, "so she's almost ten," Johnson said. They describe her as, "a terrier mix but we went to the VCA Animal Hospital and got a check up and the doctor was thinking she might be part Cocker Spaniel because of her square face and the speckles on her legs."
Johnson got her at Three Rivers Rescue in Snoqualmie though she was found in Yakima. She spotted her first on PetFinder.com (which now runs Three Rivers Rescue) and then went to the rescue shelter to get her.
Johnson picked her out, "because she just looked really cute and we drove all the way out there and I saw her. You could tell she'd had a hard go of it. For some reason there was just a sweetness to her and I thought, 'OK this could work.' "
Johnson had three standard poodles growing up but for Niculescu owning a dog was an entirely new experience. She is from Romania and said that pet ownership is just not part of the culture there. "This is my first pet love."
In Romania, "There are like wild dogs and things you eat." She said in villages or small towns people may have them but not in urban environments there.
Niculescu came to the U.S. when she was 9 years old but said, "I just never thought pets were for me (...) but then I met this one and...just look at her. She's like the love of my life. I can't even articulate. She's just so gentle and she's our companion."
"There's a little bit of Jesus in her," said Johnson. "She's just so wise and sweet and she can handle any kind of dog she meets large or small," explained Niculescu. "The other day a little dog came up to her and wanted to attack and she just stood there and let him be loud. She's just like a little sweet love bug."
Annabelle, beyond being a calm and sweet presence is also remarkably consistent about time. "She does this thing we call the 'Tummy Clock' " explained Johnson. "She literally will an hour before it's time to eat she will let out the tiniest little whimper, and then it just kind of builds. But you can set your watch by it."
"When she thinks you are leaving she will put her nose on you like, 'Don't forget to feed me before you go to work'."
The stairs near Thistle Street are quite long and Johnson is often on them for exercise, going down and back up. "She has learned to wait at the top of them because I go down and come back up. But the other day we were going to dinner at Endolyne Joes and we wanted her to follow us but she wouldn't. She just stayed up at the top! We had to say, "Come on,"
She knows a lot of words and when asked a question will tilt her head in an inquisitive fashion. Annabelle has some favorite toys, especially stuffed hedgehogs with squeakers that she loves to chew and make noise with.
The couple take Annabelle to City Paws up on Capitol Hill for her grooming.
One of Annabelle's favorite activities is to visit the Beveridge Place Pub (which has a grandfathered in law that allows dogs on the premises). "She's go good there and gets along so well with all the other dogs. She sets the tone for how to behave there too," said Niculescu.
Annabelle is a very watchful guard dog, barking when strangers appear near the house and "She's kind of funny about the car. That's her dog crate," said Johnson. We have to introduce people outside of the back seat."
Summing up their feelings about Annabelle, Niculescu said, "She just the most loyal, content, sweet tempered, alert, relaxed personality ever." "It's the three of us vs. the world," said Johnson, "we're like two and a half women."
How to nominate your pet for Pet of the Week:
Want to nominate your pet for Pet of the Week? Stop by the VCA West Seattle Animal Hospital at 5261 California Ave. S.W. and just ask for a form. A nomination is not a guarantee of appearance and your name and photo may appear in our newspaper and online.
Photos may or may not be used and our "Pet Reporter" may be in touch with you to arrange to take a photo. Pets nominated will be chosen on the basis of uniqueness of the pet and the quality of the story and information submitted.