Ahh, Annie.


July 3 2002 - March 11 2007

 

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Although it's been more than a year since my little Annie died, my heart still tightens when I think of her.  Tears come to my eyes.  I get that familiar ache in my heart.  The day after she died, I wrote this about her...

"My little kayaking buddy.  Yappy little beast.  So hard
to potty train.  The most expensive "free" dog that was
ever dumped on my doorstep.  I didn't really mind not
being able to move my legs at night.  I will miss her
so much.  RIP little Annie dog."

There were tears streaming down my face as I wrote that.  I sobbed and sobbed for my little companion.  Even now, there are tears threatening to fall as I re-read it.  I remember thinking "what am I going to do without her?" 

Annie came to us on the 3rd of July, 2002.  I had lost my companion dog PBGV, Abbi, several months before, and was grieving for her.  Someone....someone!...evidently decided that a puppy would help me recover from Abbi's death.  That "Someone" didn't know me well enough to know that I am not a PUPPY person.  Ugh, puppies!  They yip and they snip and they chew and they pee in the house.  And this little puppy was way too young to be away from her mommy.  We discovered her sitting at our garage door that evening--a tiny ball of fur.  "Someone" had left her there for us.  We later learned that she was a schnoodle.  She was very young, very tiny, and very sick by the next day.  She spent the first few days of her life with us at the animal hospital getting fluids and antibiotics.  (Cha-ching, if you know what I mean.)  We almost lost her before we even got to know her.  After spending all that money on her, it was a little hard not to keep her.

I took her with me everywhere and soon loved her...despite her puppyness.  She went to swim team practice every morning.  We took her canoeing that very first summer.  She was tiny, and had the cutest little lifejacket.  Everyone that saw her fell in love. 

About a year later, we got Biscuit, our yellow labrador.  As a puppy, Biscuit was smaller than Annie, so Annie bossed her around.  Then Biscuit got bigger, and Annie still bossed her around!  They were best buddies, though, and slept together on the bed.   Like Mutt and Jeff. 

In November of 2003, when Annie was a little more than a year old, she escaped and was hit by a car.  We rushed her to the vet, who met us after hours.  She had fractured her left hip, and destroyed the ball and socket of her right hip.  We were faced with the question of letting her go, or trying to save her.  I tried so hard to be brave, but it was a dreadful decision, knowing that we also had a family to take care of.  Our wonderful vet, Dr. Lowry, gave us enough options and hope that we tried to save her.  He gave her meds and kept her on an IV.  Several days later, she had surgery on her right hip.  She had lots of scrapes and bruises on her lower half, but her face and head were uninjured.  She spent the next 8 weeks living in a laundry basket by my side.  I won't describe all the tears and pain we went through together during those 8 weeks, but it was terrible and bonding all at the same time. 

She recovered so much better than anyone thought she would.  When she ran really fast, she would hike up one of her legs and run three-legged.  She was happy.  She went with us on vacations, kayaking, absolutely everywhere.  She would sleep with me, and lay by my side while I read.  She was such a wonderful companion. 

 

In late 2006, Annie started having strange episodes.  Staring into space, "freezing" in place, odd moments of "not-Annie" behaviors.  In March, after a strange episode in our yard, she passed away, in my arms.  We buried her on our land, under a shady tree.  Her place is marked with a brass plate on a granite stone.  It's very hard to walk by and not stop and touch her rock. 

At first, I just cried and cried.  All those little things that were "Annie"....they left a huge hole in my life.  The house was so quiet, even with all the noise and activity.  I cried whenever I came home from work and she wasn't there to greet me.  I had no desire to go kayaking, because my kayak was so empty without her as my figurehead.  My lap was so lonely.  No curly hair to run my fingers through.  No one to snuggle up next to me as I read my book.  She was gone.

When Annie died, I made sure that everyone knew that I did NOT, under any circumstances, want another puppy.  I was not ready for another dog, and I certainly did not want a puppy.  I threatened that any dog left by my garage door would be taken to the pound immediately.  (Yeah, as if I could do that, but I made sure it sounded serious.)

I knew I wasn't ready for another dog, but I also knew that we had a good home for a dog.  So we decided to foster a dog, here and there.  During this year without Annie, we have fostered quite a few dogs through a local rescue.  I tried to give each dog everything I could.  I gave them all the love I could, in memory of Annie.  Several of them reminded me of Annie.  I thought about keeping a few of them.  In the end, I adopted them out, knowing that I wasn't ready, or that I wasn't what was best for them. 

Almost a year after Annie's death, I began fostering a little dog named Dixie, along with several of her littermates.  She is a Chihuahua/Dachshund/Beagle, by our best guess.  She was 8 weeks old when she came to us.  She was a little monster.  Snipping and growling and creating problems with the other foster puppies, as well as our own dogs.  She got Parvo, and although I thought we might lose her, she survived.  When everyone else was adopted, Dixie stayed.  There's something very "Annie" about her.  She looks nothing like Annie, except for her size.  Sometimes, when she's running ahead on the path, I can squint my eyes and see Annie running there.  They have the same back end.  She's a complete pain, LOL.  Just like Annie.  I'm a Christian person, and have never believe in reincarnation.  But somewhere in my heart, I almost believe it's Annie. 

Ahhh...Annie.   I miss you so.