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Raising Annie



This story is probably every pet owners story but it is one that I share in hopes it will make you smile, giggle a little and remember what it is like raising a puppy. It is also a wonderful reminder of how God is constantly raising us to be the children he has created us to be. It was a bright early summer day in June 2013 when Cliff and I decided to adopt another dog. As we drove to the Animal Shelter that Saturday afternoon, we stated that we wanted a younger dog no older than two or three. Interesting enough adopting a puppy was not discussed as we entered the shelter. We walked around looking at all the dogs that were barking but some how none of the dogs caught our attention. Then out of the blue, Cliff asked one of the animal shelter workers “Do you have any puppies?” I looked at him with surprise. We were escorted into the puppy area and there were three adorable puppies two black puppies and one golden brown puppy. Cliff wanted to see the golden brown puppy. Cliff picked her up and we were escorted to a small room. Cliff put the puppy on the floor and I immediately dropped to the floor to inspect this little pup. She started biting my hair and licking my face. She had that unique wonderful puppy scent. My heart melted and I whispered lets “ adopt her.” With joy and tears in our eyes, we signed the adoption papers. With fear, excitement, doubts and joys all mixed together, we carried our little wiggly bundle of joy into our home. We said we have to pick a name for her. In a matter of a few minutes, Cliff blurted out, how about the name “Annie.” I looked at the pup and picked her up and announced that name fits her just fine. Annie is an all American Kennel dog—in other words a large mixed breed. She appears to have the markings of a boxer, a splash of shepherd and a dose of Labrador in her and a little of this and a little of that. We soon realized in a matter of minutes we had to scurry around to puppy proof our home. Puppy proofing consisted of covering up all electrical cords with towels, blocking off entrances behind couches, chairs, etc, etc, etc...... After the first night, we woke up in the morning to lots of surprises of puppy poop. We never realized puppies go to the bathroom a lot and everywhere. We decided to purchase a dog kennel and a couple of dog gates, puppies pads and plastic runners. The dog crate was a good choice as she could be confined at night and dogs will instinctively not go to the bathroom where they sleep. We had to get up in the middle of the night a few times to let her outside. But amazingly in a few days, she could last all night without having to go potty. In a matter of a few weeks, she was house broke. Annie was also sharing our home with our four cats-Babie, Tess, Chubbs and Heidi. These felines are very set in their ways. Over the years the cats tolerated other older dogs sharing their home with them but never a puppy. Life was good for the cats until lo and behold Annie came galloping into their lives like a bull in a china closet. To say the least they went into shell shock. In puppy proofing the house and the yard, I came to realize you have to think outside the box. You have to think like a puppy and view the world from “Annie's eyes. Everything within reach, she grabbed, chewed and devoured in a matter of seconds. Raising Annie has given the phrase “living off the ceiling.” a whole new meaning. We jokingly smile and say, “we need to purchase some “sky hooks.” for our shoes, books and other household items. But alas there is a period of time which comes and puppy owners relax because the house and the yard is now puppy proof or so we think. We are extra vigilant about making sure she doesn't chew and devour things that could harm her. But still it is impossible to succeed 100% of the time. Whenever I saw her chewing on some unknown thing, I'd prey her mouth open with my hands and pull, dig and grab all kinds of things from her throat. Then one day I panicked, I seen her grab a push pin and put it in her mouth. I let out a blood curling scream that would scare anyone or anything into submission. Thankfully Annie dropped the push pin immediately. While this was happening I had visions of rushing her to the animal hospital clinic for emergency surgery to remove a push pin from her tummy or throat. At about 12 weeks old we signed her up for nine weeks of obedience classes at Petco. I am not sure who needed obedience class more, Annie or her owners. We both needed it. It had been a number of years since we raised a puppy. We needed help big time. Annie learned so much in the nine weeks and so did we. Her social skills still need to be worked on. Annie lives with just the two of us and is not around other people or other dogs. Needless to say she goes ballistic when she meets a new person or another dog. She is still working on the “meet and the greet.” Annie is almost a year old now and weighs in about 84 pounds and has learned so many words. Annie knows the word treat, go for a walk, go for a ride, fetch the ball. If I say to her “do you want to go for a walk”, she runs to the door and looks up at her lease hanging by the entrance of the door. I love my walks with Annie as I use this time to pray, and to reflect and get in tune with the Holy Spirit. I am sure we will have challenges ahead with Annie but we are enjoying the adventure one day at a time. Even the cats seem to be relaxing a little more around the dog. We took the dog gates down recently and the cats and Annie are working on getting to know each other. Annie is surprisingly gentle with the cats and if she gets too overbearing, the cats give her a swat on the nose. Her large yard has become an adventurous playground. She has dug up bricks and proudly brings them to us so we nicknamed her “the brick layer.” She also is known as “ the rock miner,” digging up buried rocks and presenting them to us. She has perfected her skills at being a "logger."  She finds big and small logs in the yard. I am not sure where she discovers these treasures but she is delighted and very proud of them. Recently she required a new trade-“tree pruner.” Annie is diligently pruning the trees this Spring. As Annie continues to learn and grow, we also have grown so much in love with her. At times she can be a handful and quite exasperating and I wonder if we have taken on too much. But then one look at Annie with those big brown laughing eyes and her comical personality, I realize we are very blessed to have her as a member of our little family. She makes us giggle and laugh whiich is healing to our souls.  








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21.06 | 13:10

So true.

28.02 | 07:56

Yes -- be quiet and listen.

14.02 | 12:50

Well said

13.02 | 19:05

Not so easy.

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