by Lee Juslin
For ten long years, Annie lived a lonely and bleak existence exposed to the extremes of Wyoming weather in an outdoor kennel with a cement floor. Her owner was a bigwig in town with a home on the golf course befitting his money and status. Annie enjoyed none of that.
After ten years, the owner decided to get rid of Annie because, as he said, she never bonded with the family. Enter an angel named Lori.
Lori, having lost her two Scotties six months earlier, saw an ad in the local paper for a free Scottie. When she answered the ad and saw the appalling conditions Annie was forced to live in, she knew she couldn’t leave her behind. Biting her tongue, she made arrangements to rescue Annie.
When the kennel door was opened, Annie rushed out and leaped into Lori’s arms. “Gosh, she never did that before,” the owner told Lori. Lori then told the owner that to bond, a dog has to be part of the family. He gave her a blank look.
Lori asked the owner what he could tell her about Annie, her likes, dislikes, etc. With a puzzled look, the owner said there was nothing he could tell Lori about Annie. “We do feed her Alpo even though the vet tries to push that expensive food he sells.”
“And that,” Lori said, “told me everything I needed to know.”
Annie is about to turn twelve and is enjoying her life with Lori. “Amazingly, she just embodies sweetness. She’s a big cuddler and sleeps with her head on my arm. She’s good with people and other dogs, doesn’t bark, and doesn’t chew.”
Of course Annie wasn’t housebroken when Lori rescued her and you’d think that housebreaking a ten year old dog would be tough, even impossible. But, with diligence on Lori’s part, Annie was housebroken in two weeks. Annie also had skin problems, but a change from Alpo to a quality dog food has solved that problem.
Annie doesn’t know what toys are for and is afraid of going outside so Lori goes with her. However, this may change soon as Annie will turn twelve at the end of March, and Lori has planned a birthday bash for her with her godparents and their two Scotties. As for Annie’s present, Lori has gotten her a pink stroller so they can get out and about together.
Recently Annie’s vet discovered a mass in her abdomen. Although the mass is benign, it is inoperable and wrapped around her liver. If it continues to grow, it threatens Annie’s life. Lori and her vet are researching holistic approaches in hopes of controlling the mass, and Lori has reached out to Scottie organizations and other Scottie owners for help. Lori says that Annie’s first chapter in life was horrible but “my responsibility is to make sure her last chapter is as good as it can be.”
UPDATE: Sadly, Annie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in mid March, before she and Lori could start their outdoor adventures with her pink chariot. Sometimes, life seems so unbelievably unfair, and yet Lori did accomplish her goal: she made the last chapter of Annie’s life one filled with love and joy. RIP, sweet Annie.
One of the organizations that has helped Lori is Charities for Beautiful Scotties. A relatively new group, they were formed to raise awareness and provide assistance to Scotties in need. You can learn more about this organization on their Facebook page: Charities for Beautiful Scotties.
Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.