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Little Annie Fannie


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Two and a half years ago a call went out on Greytalk to find a home for a senior girl. Gil (Tannersdad) wasn't with GPA Richmond at that time, but he was helping them find a home for this special girl. Her name was Annie, she was 12 years old, and she was being returned by her family of 8 years for peeing in their new house. I was heartbroken to read this. I was also still reeling from the untimely loss of my girl Kali just a few weeks earlier. A day passed and there was a lot of concern, but no one volunteering to help. And then my heart exploded. This poor old girl was about to be uprooted from the only home she'd ever known and there was no place for her to go. So I posted and asked Gil what I could do.

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Confession: When I originally posted, it was never my intent to adopt Annie. I only wanted to help in some way. I'd only had two greyhounds before and one had just passed, so I was hardly an expert on how to deal with all of the issues I would be inheriting. But when the post was interpreted as an offer to adopt, how could I say no? The Divine had stepped in and given me time and place. I had long since learned not to ignore those moments. So I met Gil and picked up Annie. To say that my world was about to change would be the understatement of a lifetime.

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When I picked Annie up she was in pretty bad shape. Her teeth were rotting, a toenail had been ripped out of her right hind paw, and the rest of her nails were the longest I'd ever seen on a greyhound. After a weekend of relaxing in her new home I whisked her off to the vet to discuss the realities of a dental surgery. He looked at her teeth and agreed that she needed a dental, but first he'd need to do bloodwork. The results brought bad news: Annie was a risky surgery candidate because her kidneys were failing. (Now I knew why she was peeing. Her previous family never bothered to investigate.) The bacteria living in Annie's teeth was being swallowed and was slowly poisoning her kidneys, causing intermittant failure. So for two weeks I brushed her teeth twice a day and gave her antibiotics in preparation for surgery. Without surgery she would surely die and she deserved better than that. So I prayed and took her in.

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When the phone rang at 3pm my heart sank - it had been way too long. The voice on the other end confirmed that indeed it had been a long time, and that Annie was still fighting to come out of anesthesia. She said that she was showing good signs and would probably be up within the hour. She was right. When I brought Annie back home I truly understood the meaning of the word frail. So I took care of her, sometimes to the pain of my boss screaming about missed deadlines. And every day she got better. And within a few weeks there was real hope. After 60 days she went back for follow-up bloodwork. The results were staggering: everything was normal. Her kidneys had made an almost-miraculous recovery. And by this point she had a new brother named Prajna, a special-needs challenge from GPA Richmond.

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Well, because Greytalk members were so supportive while I nursed Annie back to health, I decided to hang around more than I originally intended. I even ended-up posting in the singles thread - and Annie was about to get a new family. Heather and I met, fell in love, got married, and Annie got two new sisters. I also got to see what a young Annie must have looked like in her youth - Heather's girl Hanna.

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Annie's recovery was officially celebrated a few months later when she became the oldest pack member to lure course - at age 13!

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Annie developed into a proud and authoritative pack-elder as new hounds joined the family. With each new pack member she seemed to get younger and stronger. For two years she welcomed change, handling two moves without issue and welcoming in 9 new pack members after the marriage. And while Annie was light-years older than the other pack members she acted like any other greyhound.

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But late last year Annie's blood values starting showing cause for concern and it seemed that her liver and kidneys were beginning to show signs of distress. We adjusted her diet and she recovered nicely, as always. But as the months progressed this year we noticed Annie start slowing down. It was a strange thought to think - my almost-15-year-old-greyhound was "slowing down"? But it was true.

 

On Monday morning, June 12, Annie picked at her breakfast. In our pack that's allowed every now and then, especially for the seniors. But then she skipped dinner. And Tuesday she didn't eat again. Wednesday we started feeding her Ensure to make sure she stayed healthy and hydrated. While she wasn't fond of the syringe feeding method, she seemed to love the vanilla flavor. But by Wednesday evening she had stopped going out for some of the pack turnouts despite having the energy to do so. A quick examination of her teeth revealed the sad reality.

 

When I had Annie's dental surgery done two years ago I had to make a decision as to how many teeth she would lose. After a medical consult I decided she would lose only 3 teeth. Well, 3 more teeth. She was missing 13 when I got her. I thought it would be best to leave the teeth that weren't completely overrun with plaque and bacteria - those that seemed most savable. As a result, Annie was able to enjoy crunchy biscuit treats and bones for two years instead of being relegated to a life of soft foods. And to know Annie was to know that this was important. But now those teeth were doing their final damage, rotting from the inside out, and the pain in her mouth had finally become too intense to allow her to eat. Thursday we continued to feed her Ensure and she was still going outside on her own, but she was walking much slower. Of course, when she would get to the porch steps to come back inside she would smile and hop right up.

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After two days of having discussions that no one ever wants to have, Heather and I agreed on Friday to let Annie run to the bridge with dignity. It had been five days since she had eaten on her own, though Ensure was keeping her at weight and alert. With her liver and kidney problems she had almost no chance of living thru a dental surgery, and to try it anyway would have been selfish on our part. So every minute of Friday was spent worshipping at the altar of Annie. Per her norm, Annie was eating up the attention.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday morning, June 17, Annie kissed us goodbye and crossed the bridge.

 

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Andrea Gayle

July 11, 1991 - June 17, 2006

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:cry1 What a loving and inspiring tribute to such an awesome senior and cherished family member. You were so very blessed to share Annie's last years. :beatheart Know that she is running with the wind in the company of all of our beloved Bridge angels. Thank you for giving her the best years of her life. :bighug

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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I am so very very sorry for your loss of sweet Annie. What a gal she was, and how much so many of us enjoyed hearing about her latest antics!

How lucky was she to have found you and you to have found her, and what a great life she had, totally loved and two humans devoted to caring for her every need. :) I'm sure my Frasier is showing her around heaven and I know Annie looks wonderful in her new wings and halo. Godspeed sweet sweet Annie.

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Guest guinness_the_greyt

:cry1 What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful hound! Thank you for making the last 2 years of her life absolutely wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss. :grouphug

 

Godspeed Miss Annie!

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:grouphug Hugs to you both. I'm so very sorry. :(

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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Guest argolola

Wow, what a special girl. God bless you and Heather for being such wonderful parents. I am sobbing as I read your story and look at the pictures of your precious girl. I remember Star too.

 

Thank you for loving Annie and giving her the best years of her life. Love never dies.

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Guest MomofSweetPotatoes

I am so sorry :cry1

 

Thank you for giving Annie the love that she so rightly deserved.

 

I know she is is watching over you from her throne at the Bridge.

 

I am so sorry f_yellow

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{{{{{{{{{{Ken & Heather}}}}}}}}}}

 

Godspeed, gallant little girlie.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest ShelbyzMom

What a wonderful and loving tribute to Annie :sad1 I can clearly see she is loved and VERY special.

 

Words could never express how deeply sorry I am for your loss :f_red

 

Rest well Annie

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Guest Carla

Oh my, the tears are flowing reading your greyt story about your precious Annie. Thank you for all you did for her and giving her a chance to really enjoy the last couple years of her life.

 

Annie is smiling down upon you thanking you for the time you had together. She is running free and having one hell of a time at the Bridge. You have wonderful memories of her to help you thru the difficult days ahead.

 

Godspeed Annie.

 

:f_pink:f_pink:gh_runner:f_pink:f_pink

 

Hugs,

Carla

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Guest KennelMom

Annie, sweet girl, I met you on a July 4th weekend almost two years ago when you came to visit me with your daddy. I had met senior greyhounds, but I had never shared my life with one. Wow, how you opened my mind and my heart to the wonderful world of seniors. I remember those first couple months you would give me the stink eye when your daddy wasn't looking. When he'd glance your way the stink eye would be instantly replaced with adoring affection for him. I think he thought I was crazy or imagining things :rolleyes: You made me earn your respect and your love. And I think that made me respect and love you even more. :beatheart I am the luckiest person in the world to have been so blessed to share my life with you. What I wouldn't give for another day, another hour :cry1

 

 

 

There are so many ways my heart aches missing you...

 

I miss your velvet soft fur.

 

I miss your Annie dance.

 

I miss you trying to out-deke me to run past into the house with a mouth full of poo.

 

I miss how you snapped to remind us that we weren't done petting you yet.

 

I miss your beautiful white face and your deep, dignified eyes.

 

I miss you trying to kick me off the sofa...and usually winning.

 

I miss seeing you speed across the yard. Running for the sheer joy of running.

 

I miss your ear-scritch groaning.

 

I miss everything...simply everything.

 

 

 

Oh how I wish I could see you running across the fields at the Bridge...no longer held back by corns and arthritis. Moving with the grace and speed of your youth. Eating all the poop you care to eat with no mommy there to tell you how gross that is.

 

 

 

I miss you Annie. I miss you so much. I will love you and miss you forever.

 

:cry1

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WOW, I am reading this with tears streaming down my face.

The love you both had for her is clearly shown by your beautiful tributes.

I'm so sorry for your loss and so glad that you adopted her Ken.

She had the best years of her life with you and it sure showed in those pictures how happy she was.

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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