Nielsen -Annie - Honolulu, HI

BARCs Lil’ Orphan Annie, Annie, BG# 43193, with Sherman at the Rainbow Bridge

BARCs Lil’ Orphan Annie (BG# 43193) earned her name after living in 4 different homes after being rescued from a puppy mill. My husband and I had decided that we were only going to take in berners over 4 years old. BARC said they needed a new home for an older girl who had been shuffled around a bit. I jumped at the chance to give her a forever home. So off I went to North Carolina.

She was a mess, 20 pounds over weight, in desperate need of a bath and barely able to walk from her severe hip dysplasia. I took her into the SPCA shelter I worked at and gave her a bath in the walk in doggie shower room. My vet did xrays of her hips and we discovered the extent of her dysplasia in both hips. We made a plan to get the weight off and get her ready for the surgery that would give her relief for her pain.

Meanwhile, Annie was adjusting to our family - BARCs Jesse, our fox terrier Bailey, the old crochety cat Ruth, and my stepson Heath. With her hips she couldn’t make it upstairs, so she enthroned herself in the middle of the hallway from the living room to the kitchen and there held court. Everyone had to go over or around her to pass from one part of the house to the other, thus ensuring that she was aware of everything going on in the house. She would talk all day long giving her opinions with a hearty AAARROOOOO. When my husband was deloyed she slept at the end of my bed, and when my daughter was born while he was away, she took on the job of primary protector of the baby.

As her weight dropped Annie was able to be more active and would bunny hop around the back yard with Bailey and Jesse. It was a joy to see her “run” and play as she got more comfortable. Then she slipped and ruptured her ACL and we knew that she was close enough to her goal weight to do the hip and now knee surgery. Her scar ran from below her knee to above her hip. She earned the nickname “Frankenpup”. She made it through the surgery well and started on her recovery. Little did we know that she had a time bomb ticking within her body.

Annie was able to walk almost pain free. I say almost because we had begun to discuss when she would be strong enough to support the other hip being fixed. Then she started to cough. I took her to the Dr and he confirmed my worst fears, several large tumors. It was Histio. I knew the decision I had to make would make her more comfortable. With my new daughter in my arms and wishing it was one week later when my husband would be home from war, I asked her Dr to send her on her way to meet Sherman. Annie was 6 1/2 years old and spent her last year and a half with us. She knew love, respect and joy. She was the chief protector of my baby girl. She kept us all informed of the goings on in the neighborhood while my husband was deployed to Iraq. She was a regal stately girl who finally knew the love a forever home could give.


baby-sitting baby Morwenna