It was almost exactly three months ago that I got in my car and headed out of Tallahassee, not knowing what the end of the ride had in store. What I found was a dog that had been through Hell yet when I cried over her condition, gave me kisses and nuzzled up against me as if to tell me, “Hey, it’s going to be ok. Don’t cry for me, I know that you are here to help and the bad is in the past.” That dog was Annie.
Below is a picture of Annie on the car ride back to Tallahassee. It’s hard to tell, but she was skin and bones, had hardly any fur, and was completely covered in sores, bugs, and bug bites.
Over the three short months that Annie lived with my mom, her foster mom, Annie blossomed. She went from a scruffy, smelly, unwanted dog to a beautiful, happy, and carefree dog. Annie left that house in the country and never looked back. She was a joy to be around and taught us what it means to really forgive. Annie had no reason to be loving and trusting but that’s exactly what she was. I truly believe that dogs, particularly ones like Annie, are here on Earth to show us how to live and love–and that’s just what she did.
When my mom and I would talk about what the “perfect” home for Annie was, we often came back to the idea that she would be best suited for a nursing home. Annie is so gentle and loving that we just envisioned her somewhere like that. Sure, she would have been good with a family but we just saw her with the elderly. We never imagined that our wish would actually come true.
Through a series of events, undoubtedly strung together by a higher power, I came into contact with a woman that owns and runs a nursing facility in Orlando. She had been thinking about getting a facility dog and was interested in Annie! I had my doubts though. Who would care for Annie on a day-to-day basis? Where would she sleep? Would they still want her when they learned that she was HW positive and would have to pay for the treatment? And all the way in Orlando?! But I would never see this dog that was so dear to my heart if she was all the way down there.
So on Saturday I found myself headed out of Tallahassee, once again not knowing what the end of the ride had in store, my head full of questions. I was taking Annie to what could potentially be her forever home. I had spoken with Veronica, owner of the facility, over the phone on numerous occasions and had many of my original questions answered but since she is Jamaican and has a heavy accent, it was a little hard to understand her at times.
Once I met Veronica in person I knew that I was making the right decision. She couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful Annie was and how excited they were to be getting her. She had a very warm, loving, and motherly demeanor that set me at ease.
Annie would be living in a home with adults that suffer from mental illness and also traveling to Veronica’s other facility where she would be a therapy dog. Both facilities have live-in caretakers and I was able to visit both of them. At one of the facilities a gentleman told me about how he used to work for the Humane Society and believed that dogs (which he informed me was god in reverse) were here on Earth to teach us about love.
So, Annie is now home. I cried like a baby (just like I’m doing right now as I type this), but I knew that it was the right decision to say goodbye. Annie will get loved on all day long and live a leisurely lifestyle, just like my mom and I dreamnt of for her. Annie was once someone’s trash, left behind and uncared for, and she will now be treasured by many.
I am so blessed that there are a handful of fellow animal lovers that frequently travel down to Orlando to visit these facilities and will give me updates and pictures of Annie. A very, very big thank you to Rebecca for being the one that not only told me about this facility but also encouraged me to give them a chance when I had my doubts. You are Annie’s angel! And also a very big thank you to Rich. Without your support, I doubt that I would have gotten through this trip. And of course, thank you mom for giving Annie such a wonderful and loving home.