She's smart. She's sensitive. She's anxious. And she's a social media hit.

She's Anxiety Girl, the German short-haired pointer owned by Taupō woman Jeannie Short who not only loves her loyal, awesome and incredibly serious pet, but accepts her for all her quirks.

Anxiety Girl, whose given name is Roxy, is a generally happy dog but although she has a stable home and a loving owner, the 9-year-old's anxiety still manifests itself in a variety of ways.

Jeannie, who is well known for her work with the Tauhara Community Support Initiative, adopted Anxiety Girl from a lifestyle block where her previous owners were moving to a smaller property and didn't have room for her.


Pre-warned that the dog was a tad anxious, Jeannie was prepared to help her feel secure, although it took time for Anxiety Girl to relax in her new home.

"If you moved a chair she would freak out, or if kids picked up a stick to throw it, she would get a fright. When I got her I thought 'oh my God have I done the right thing here?', because she was so highly anxious."

Time has overcome the worst of Anxiety Girl's fears but as she became more secure she developed a range of quirks which make watching her and her interactions with Jeannie's other three pets (two cats and a dog) hilarious at times to watch.

Jeannie has taken to posting Anxiety Girl's funny behaviours on her Facebook page, and says her many Facebook friends like her dog's posts more than her own.

Anxiety Girl's main quirks revolve around the collection of blankets (she has three, and she knows if one's missing) that she carts all around the house.

In the evening she gets her blankets out of the cupboard and carries them around.

Jeannie says if the weather is cool Anxiety Girl drapes herself in one. She holds the blanket in her mouth and throws it across her own back then walks around with only her head poking out.

Owner Jeannie Short says Anxiety Girl is
Owner Jeannie Short says Anxiety Girl is "very, very different", but incredibly loyal. Photo/Taupo & Turangi Weekender

If it's going to be really cold, or she's having a major sulk, she will wrap herself completely up so she just looks like a soft rock. She can completely cover herself and shut out the outside world in about 30 seconds.


Jeannie says she always knows there's chilly weather on the way if Anxiety Girl covers up entirely. "I call her my living weather app."

Most nights in Jeannie's home there's a Battle of the Blankets, where Jeannie's other pets do their level best to stake a claim to Anxiety Girl's blankets.

She hates to share the blankets which means that Jeannie's two cats make a point of lying on them whenever they can and Anxiety Girl isn't allowed to chase them off.

Her tactics to try to reclaim her precious blankets include dragging them around to try to dislodge the cats, while the cats stay wedged in position, refusing to budge.

Her other is to fetch Jeannie and bark until Jeannie physically shifts the cats. Option three is to cover the cats right over with the blanket until they are not showing.

However, Anxiety Girl is herself not above stealing the other pets' blankets the minute their backs are turned and covering herself right up in them, apparently believing that if she doesn't make eye contact, they won't realise who the thief is.

Jeannie's chihuahua-cross, known as Teeny Dog, is the boss of the house which leads to extra angst.

When both dogs were outside one wet day recently and Teeny Dog decided Anxiety Girl wasn't allowed on the porch, Anxiety Girl had to go and sit in a flower pot, the only dry spot in the entire garden.

She knew Jeannie would disapprove. How to avoid being noticed? Sit very still and don't look Jeannie in the eye. Without eye contact, you're invisible, or at least that was the dog's reasoning.

German short-hair pointers are known for their loyalty and Anxiety Girl is Jeannie's faithful shadow, following her everywhere and maintaining a healthy mistrust of strangers, especially men, although she makes a special exception for Jeannie's son Clint, who looks after her when Jeannie is away.

"She's just the most incredible dog," says Jeannie affectionately. "She's got quite a following. People follow her on Facebook or come around so they can watch all the strange things she does.

"She definitely has to be with people that understand the type of animal she is because she's very, very different.

"It's lovely having her here because I know if anyone's around, she's better than any security alarm, incredibly loyal, so if I'm okay with someone, she's okay with someone."