Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dogs on Thursday: Annie

"Annie and Molly had lived with their caregiver in Florida since they were pups. But these two red and white dogs -sister Cavalier King Charles Spaniels— saw their lives change suddenly when they were five years old. That’s when their owner passed away. Taken in by a rescue agency, the pair was placed together in a new home in Virginia. They were barely settled in when they lost that home as well, due to no fault on their part. A home willing to take both sisters was proving difficult to find (after some time in foster care). It was beginning to look like these girls, who had been together their whole lives, might need to be separated for them to ever find a new home.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, sisters Sadie and Diana were grieving over the losses of two of their beloved dogs. Tara, a liver and white Brittany, lost her courageous battle against cancer. Then, just a week after losing Tara, the sisters found themselves back at the animal hospital with their boy Cooper, a red and white Brittany, who was in advanced lung failure. Both deaths, so close together, were heartbreaking to Sadie, Diana and their remaining dog, Emma.

Although not nearly ready emotionally, Sadie and Diana considered adopting another dog because Emma was in a severe depression, having lost her best friends. Their now lone Brittany refused to leave the living room even at night when she would normally be tucked into bed with Diana. It was the room that all three dogs had played in together their whole lives. When left alone now, even if only for a moment, Emma would sit in the living room and let out the most sorrowful howl. Sadie and Diana’s hearts were broken. Emma’s seemed to be broken too. Perhaps a companion for Emma would help?"

That's the way the story I wrote, "They Find You", starts and though some details are changed (like names and places), it's the story of how Annie & Molly and my aunts Sally & Dianne would come to find each another - both pairs in need, both exactly when they needed each other the most.

As you know, I do special needs rescue. I love it and talk about the special animals in my life all the time, so I guess it's bound to rub off on those who love me. Well, when my aunts found themselves looking for a new dog to add to their family, it was proving difficult - after looking at a few dogs, they were getting a little dis-hearted about the whole thing. One dog's foster didn't seem like they were actually going to give the dog up and the other dog they met with didn't get along with Emma, my aunts' now lone dog and their main reason for looking for a new dog so soon.

Just when they were thinking maybe this wasn't the right time, maybe there wasn't a dog out there for them now, my aunts found out about a pair of pups - they were smaller than my aunts were looking for (they were used to Brittanys and this was a pair of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) and a pair of pups rather than one dog, but something pulled them to the little dogs ... even when they found out the one sister in the pair of dogs, Annie, was also deaf and born with a heart condition.

These ladies (related to me, remember) had no hesitation even with Annie's "special-ness," which is and of its self is commendable, I think.

Deaf and a heart defect? We're up for that! Love them!!

My aunt drove several hours, picked up the pair of girls and the sisters fit in perfectly (Emma slowly accepting them)! Fate had found my aunts the perfect fit for their home and the girls had finally found their forever family. My aunts, being good new owners, quickly set up appointments to have Annie's heart evaluated, even when they had her previous medical information, and, when necessary, they started her on medication.

Over the past year and a half, Annie could often be found in a corner napping. A time or two she also quietly slipped in behind my aunt as she walked into the bathroom and was left in there. Did Annie bark? Panic? Tear things apart? No, my aunts would find Annie a few minutes later just napping in the bathroom. When not in a corner or quietly padding around, Annie could be found on top of a pillow ... or two or three pillows, if she could find that many - the more, the better in Annie's opinion! She even had a pillow in the car she could prop herself up on. Oh! And there was often the frequent joke that Annie's deafness was caused perhaps by her far from quiet sister, Molly, who is pretty much always barking - the opposite of her quiet sister, Annie.

As with special animals though, they are sometimes not with us long enough. Unfortunately, and very unexpectedly, Annie passed away last week after having a heart attack in the middle of the night and passing on the way to the vet. There's no denying that there is simply nothing that could have been done for Annie - she was happily romping around in the yard with her sister, Molly, and Emma just a few hours before passing. However, as we all know, the pain is not easily soothed even with facts like that.

Thank you, Aunt Sally & Aunt Dianne, for taking this sweet, special girl in and loving her as much as you did for as long as you could. She was loved right until the end and her fate could have been so different, her time with her sister so much shorter if you had not found them and adopted them together.

Though Annie's time with my aunts was far too short, she was deeply loved, spoiled and will forever be in our hearts.

Rest in Peace, sweet Annie