Thank You, Annie Dog

I wanted to take a moment this Thanksgiving to write about how grateful I am for my Annie dog. If you read our origin story post, then you’ll know that Annie came into my life when I was really struggling. She’s one of the main reasons I was able to stop self-harming when I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been.

She’s sweet, friendly, and loves attention. If I lie down on the floor, she’ll come right up to me and snuggle in next to my neck.

She snores, she’s whiny, gets powerful gas, and I don’t know if all her fur will ever grow back. But, I love her.

I recently read a book called 12 Rules for Life. The author made an interesting comment that we love people because of their limitations. A person’s limitations are just as much of what makes individuals unique as their strengths. I thought that was a powerful thought, and I think it applies to our love for our pets too. Complete love means recognizing the other completely, including the things you like and the things you don’t like about them. Annie is such a great example of this. She loves me completely, and I feel that from her. I hope to learn how to incorporate this true love into the way I treat others.

Thanks, Annie dog, for coming into my life when you did.

Thank you to everyone who’s been reading about our experiences. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fixed? Fix What?

Annie recovering after surgery and wearing one of my old shirts so she won’t lick the incision site.

Yep, you guessed it. Annie got spayed.

Getting Annie dog fixed was something I’d been planning on doing sometime every since I adopted her; however, since she was still recovering from mange, then an ear infection, and then a paw infection when I got her, I wanted to wait until she was healthy before I had it done.

Then, after those conditions cleared up, her hair was still taking a long time to grow back. It still hasn’t come back completely although she has a lot more now than when I first met her.

Earlier this year when she got her teeth cleaned, I had the vet’s office also do a full blood panel to see if there was anything else going on. Everything came back in normal range, and she doesn’t act sick, so she’s healthy.

The other thing preventing me from getting her spayed earlier on was that I was strapped for cash. Due to my own medical bills and financial obligations, I just couldn’t afford to get her fixed (which was fine with Annie, I’m sure).

But this year, Annie and I have both been blessed with better health and an improving financial state, so I finally scheduled that appointment.

Everything went well, but Annie gave me the “How could you let them do this to me?” look for a couple of days afterward. I was a little worried when she didn’t eat anything (except like 2 dog treats) for a few days following the surgery, but she started feeling better and is doing fine now.

I researched a little about spaying dogs before taking Annie to the vet, and here’s the gist of what I learned:

  1. Spaying an animal means removing the entire uterus and ovaries. Although, there is an option out there for just removing the ovaries.
  2. A female dog’s behavior can be influenced by having these parts removed because it affects hormone production. It seemed like it might calm them down some, but I got the vibe it doesn’t affect a female’s mood as much as a male’s mood is affected by getting neutered. However, it will not change their personality completely.
  3. It can help prevent mammary tumors (My childhood dog, who never got spayed, had a benign one of these.) and serious uterine infections.
  4. There’s potential that spaying your dog can help them live longer. Not sure why, but supposedly it can increase their natural lifespan.
  5. A dog’s metabolism slows down after being spayed.

It’s been almost 2 weeks now, and Annie dog has mostly recovered! She has some scarring down her lower belly. This may or may not be permanent.

I plan to do something fun with her soon to make up for what she’s had to endure.

Do you have any “tales” about getting your pets fixed?

Lots of tail wags and smiles from Annie and me!

Information can be found at https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/spay-and-neutering-dogs-101-everything-you-need-know#:~:text=When%20a%20female%20dog%20is,and%20eliminates%20her%20heat%20cycle.&text=When%20neutering%20a%20dog%2C%20both,is%20also%20known%20as%20castration. and https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/spaying-in-dogs .

Annie Lines and Rhymes: “I’m a Little Annie Dog”

Welcome to a new section of The Annie Dog Blog!

Every once in a while, I’ll be posting silly poems (either original or based on common poems) and maybe making posts with Annie “inserted” into famous speeches.

It’s to add a little fun into everyone’s day.

Without further ado, here is the first one.

(To the tune “I’m a Little Teapot”)

I’m a Little Annie Dog

I’m a little Annie dog

short and stout.

Here is my tail.

Here is my snout.

When I get all worked up,

hear me shout

a bark, a howl that

everyone will hear, no doubt.

But…I’m the baby…and you’re the baby too?

Annie feeling the need to be involved with playing the board game too.

It’s become a fairly normal thing to refer to your pet as a “fur baby”. While I don’t really use that term with my Annie dog, she certainly fits the title some days!

For instance, sometimes after she comes in from outside in the morning, she just wants to cuddle on my bed with me. (I kind of like the validation that she loves me, actually). She loves being petted and snuggled with. If I lie down on the floor, she’s quick to jog over and lie down next to me, her face next to mine. In fact, if I lie down on the floor and don’t show her affection (like if I’m exercising or stretching or playing a board game), she gets confused. Apparently, what else would I lie down on the floor for if not for her?

However, in addition to being the baby, Annie likes mothering babies.

One time I tried to save a stray kitten. We couldn’t find her mom for more than a day, and her little siblings had frozen in the cold. Unfortunately, the kitten, which I’d named Bella, died in the end, but while she was alive, Annie just wanted to whine and smother her with love. Her “affection” was strong enough that I had to keep the kitten out of her reach most of the time since the kitten was so small and fragile.

It doesn’t end with animal babies, either. Annie likes human babies. Every time a baby comes over to the house, she whines and wags her tail in excitement, following the baby carrier around. She just has to say “hello” to the baby.

Beagles are known for being friendly dogs and great for families. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s “no wonder that for years the Beagle has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners” (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/). I can attest that Annie fits the stereotype there. She’s a sweetheart, really. She may get spooked easily, but Annie is loving, trusting, and will let you do just about anything to her as long as you pet her.

Annie just loves love, whether she’s receiving it or giving it. Just like an innocent, furry baby.

I Speak Whine

Annie curled up with her favorite toy.

I love my Annie dog, and she can be the sweetest little thing. However, there is something I need to work on with her….

She whines like crazy!

I have worked with Annie some about this, and her whining isn’t a bad as it used to be. Sometimes, though, I feel like giving up because it seems like she’ll never overcome it.

I know there are different reasons for her whining. There are two main ones that I believe would solve most of the problem if we can work through them.

  1. She Whines For Attention

When it’s for attention, there can be a real need behind her whining. For instance, she might need to go outside or need her water bowl refilled. I don’t mind so much when Annie whines to get my attention for these sorts of things. How else would she let me know?

It’s the whining purely for attention that can get annoying. I try to pet, cuddle, and play with Annie regularly. I want to be a good dog mom, but how do I balance giving her attention without giving in to her whining?

According to sites like the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), when a dog whines just for the sake of attention itself, you should ignore them. I try to do that when I’m doing something and know that Annie is just whining and doesn’t need something. But what about when I am playing with and petting her, and she starts whining for more attention during the middle of that? Almost like a happy “pet me more!” whine. Do I just suddenly start ignoring her then?

2. She Whines Due to Separation Anxiety

Annie has had separation anxiety issues ever since I adopted her. I think it’s due to a mix of her previous owners not treating her well and spending a couple of months in a shelter.

Even though I’ve owned her for almost three years, she still freaks out and whines like crazy when I leave or when I first get home.

At this point, I’m considering if she needs anti-anxiety medication.

I’ve tried a number of different things since she’s become my dog to try and ease her anxiety and whining. I’m a bit flummoxed about what more I can do.

Has medication helped your pets with anxiety? Do you have any you reccommend?

I don’t want to just “drug” my dog in order to not have to deal with whining, but I think it might genuinely help her. And she’s helped me so much through the worst of my self-harm and depression that I want to help her back as much as I can.

A-Snoring We Will Go

This is one way Annie likes to sleep.

It happens on a regular basis I’ll be working on something or in the middle of watching a show or even trying to fall asleep and….

SNNNNOOOOORRE!

The loud, throaty vibrating sound erupts from Annie.

I’ll look over to see her sleeping contently, oblivious to the noise she’s making.

Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s annoying. But I guess that’s the way things are in both pet-human and human-human relationships. The other being can’t be the perfect white horse, prince, princess, knight, or perfect whatever all the time. They’d have to be fake all the time to achieve that.

I prefer authenticity, and Annie sure as heck doesn’t care for pretending to be anything. She’s true to herself, snores and all.

But I did get to wondering if her loud snoring could be a health problem, like it can be in humans, and here’s what I found from some light research.

  1. Know the nose- The flatter the dog’s face/shorter the nose, the more the dog’s breathing is naturally constricted, making them likely to snore. (Being a beagle, that’s not what’s causing Annie’s snoring.)
  2. Weight- If the dog is overweight, they are more at risk for snoring. I don’t think Annie’s that fat, but others have described her as chubby so….
  3. How the dog sleeps affects how they snore- Apparently, if the dog sleeps on its back or with its head lower than the rest of its body, it increases its probability of snoring. That’s why those dog beds with raised sides are good. Being able to sleep with their head lifted up opens up their airways, making snoring less likely. Annie, well, as you can see in the picture above, she has some interesting ways she likes to sleep.
  4. Air Dryness-How humid the place you and your dog live is also influences their snoring. The drier the air, the more at risk you are for hearing your dog “enjoying” their sleep. This is because dry air dries out the nose and throat. Since Annie and I live in a very dry climate, using a diffuser or humidifier could help diminish her snoring.

As you can see, I have a couple of things to try to decrease those loud snores of Annie’s.

There is a chance that a dog’s snoring can be caused by sleep apnea or an infection in the nose, mouth, or throat. However, since Annie recently had a vet appointment and came out with a clean bill of health (and clean teeth), I don’t think anything serious is causing her to snore.

I’ll try experimenting to see if any of the above methods work, especially since they seem to be good for Annie and not just for my benefit. But, if she continues to snore like a rhino, I’ll still love her, noise and all.

Also, don’t forget that we have a YouTube channel you can visit for funny and cute videos of Annie!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr3oDeQ_7SU00HMC2OX6lkA

Research for this post came from these sites below.

https://wagwalking.com/wellness/how-to-prevent-your-dog-from-snoring

https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/respiratory/does-your-dog-have-snoring-problem

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! Coronavirus Can’t Stop This.

Extra snuggles with Annie.

It feels like the whole world is shutting down around us due to the coronavirus. Even though I’m one of those people who spends most of her time at home anyway, the pressure to avoid going anywhere or be around people still feels stifling.

I do believe we’ll get through this. Due to personal circumstances, the virus is scarier for some than others. I’m grateful that I don’t have a compromised immune system and for the people still working to keep everyone safe and the country running. Prayers and love from Annie and me to all of you.

This past week Annie has been more playful. I see it partly as a sign that she’s come to accept that little Jasper is gone and also as a sign she likes the extra snuggles I’ve given her lately.

One of the things that happens when Annie wants to play is that she gets the “zoomies”. If you have a dog, you’ve probably witnessed them do this too. Annie gets all excited and will suddenly bolt off running around the house on her stubby legs, her long ears flapping before she races back to where I am. Sometimes she repeats this a few times.

I think it’s funny and cute. When I’m feeling down, it lifts my heart to see Annie dog having fun and being silly.

I’m glad I have her, even more so right now when everyone is supposed to be practicing social distancing. I can cuddle and play with my dog all I want. Take that, coronavirus!

Annie dog and I hope you and your loved ones are all safe. We send you hugs and tail wags!

You can see a snippet of Annie “zooming” at https://youtu.be/Np3jO53DRQQ .

Furry Heartbreak

Jasper

Annie and I have sad news to report.

Little Jasper was run over in February. It happened when he was following Annie and me on a walk. It was somewhat traumatizing to witness as he didn’t die instantly, and I’d rather not go into graphic detail.

I sobbed on and off the first couple of days. Annie seems to be grieving in her own way. She’s been whinier than usual, and sometimes when she first goes outside, she waits on the step for Jasper to come and tug on her ear in the “C’mon, let’s go!” fashion that he used to.

She’s also been even more of a cuddle bug lately.

Little Jasper will be missed. He was an energetic fur ball who was always eager to play. If you sat down next to him, he saw it as an open invitation to sit on your lap.

He was only a couple years old. In one sense, I hope he rests in peace, but in another sense, I hope he’s up in heaven romping around with all the other dogs.

It sucks when a pet dies. What are ways you cope with the grief of losing a pet?

A Dog’s Selfishness Is Different

Happy New Year!

Annie wearing her bandana

I’ve spent more time away from home the second half of 2019 than I have before in the two years I’ve owned Annie. This also means that I’ve spent more time away from Annie than ever.

She’s been a pretty good sport about it, which is saying a lot considering how bad her separation anxiety was when I first adopted her. My little Annie dog has gotten stronger. Pardon me for feeling a ping of pride when I think about that.

Some things have happened in my personal life that have left me thinking about what people expect from each other and how no relationship realistically (as far as I can tell) exists without each party being a little selfish. After all, you should feel comfortable asking for things in an authentic relationship, right? They should be reasonable things, and each side has to be willing to give, of course.

Personally, I struggle with asking for things from others. I may think about it, but it’s difficult to say.

That’s one reason why I love dogs: their selfishness is different than humans.

Annie is open about what she wants and doesn’t hide how she feels. It’s all there in her body language. Yet, when she’s being selfish, demanding my attention for more cuddles more letting me know it’s time to feed her, there’s an innocence in it that I don’t see in adults. I never feel used or like I’m getting the bad end of the deal. It’s simple, open, loving communication. I give her love, and she gives love back. There’s no need to make it complicated.

Annie’s selfishness is innocent.

How grateful I am that I have Annie dog, and that she looks past all the faults I have (if she even notices them in the first place) and simply loves me. She gives me hope, and that’s a powerful thing to give.

Push The Bowl

Annie by her water bowl


We’re back! It’s been a while since the last post. Annie and I are doing good: Annie’s paw is all healed up now, and my fibromyalgia symptoms haven’t been as bad lately.

Though I’m not by any means over-scheduled, I have been busier lately, and Annie’s demeanor shows she’s feeling a bit left out. She jumps up on my bed every night now and wants to cuddle every time I sit on the floor, even if that means messing up whatever I was doing on the floor in the first place.

Despite this behavior, she’s still come a far way from the terrible separation anxiety she had when I first adopted her. And she’s gotten used enough to my parents’ house that she doesn’t constantly whine when I’m not home (I’m sure my parents appreciate that).

I guess I’m reflecting on how pets are like four year-olds, sensitive to the amount of direct attention you give them.

Annie developed this “push the bowl” habit not too long after I adopted her. She knows her water goes in her blue bowl, and you should know that she drinks a LOT of water. So, it’s not unusual for me to glance over and see that her water bowl is empty. However, if I’m preoccupied and fail to notice that she needs a drink, Annie will start pushing her blue bowl around. It makes a scraping noise on the plastic mat or kitchen floor, and the sound is Annie’s way of getting my attention to let me know she’s thirsty.

While I’m glad she has developed methods of letting me know when she needs something, I wonder how often Annie feels the need to “push the bowl” in other areas in order for me to give her the proper attention. I try to make sure she feels loved and is cared for, but what is the proper balance between loving and caring for your dog and overdoing it? I don’t want to be neglectful in any way, but I also don’t want to be that crazy chick who overindulges her dog, treating it like a royal baby.

Maybe I’m overthinking it (That seems to be a habit of mine.), but if I’m going to care for an animal, then I want to do it right. And Annie’s been through enough in her past. She should feel secure with me.

What do you think is a good balance between owner and pet?

Human, That Is NOT Food!

Annie hugging her toy

Annie has had a rough couple of weeks. She’s been in heat (No, she’s not fixed.) and had to wear diapers. If that wasn’t enough, she hurt her left front paw somehow.

She started limping one day, and when I checked, I saw that in-between her paw pads was a swollen red. I cleaned her paws with epsom salt water and tried to keep her paw clean. She wasn’t bleeding or anything, and I’d hoped she’d recover on her own after a day or two.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and we ended up going to the vet. Annie was fine in the waiting area, but as soon as we entered the examination room, she started pacing and whining. There must be a scent in those rooms–probably given off by other animals–that makes her feel uncomfortable since this was the first time we’d been to this vet.

The assistant ended up holding Annie while the vet took a small pair of forceps and investigated the most sensitive spot on her paw.

Well, as you can guess, Annie didn’t like that at all. She struggled, whined, and even tried to snap at the vet. Poor thing. I felt bad, but we needed to find out what was going on.

The vet ended up pulling out a tiny piece of what looked like a brown thistle. He said, it seemed strange that her paw would hurt so badly because of such a small piece, but there was infection too.

Before sending us on our way, the vet gave us some antibiotics and pain reliever. And, in case you’re wondering, Annie doesn’t like pills either. The vet assistant found that out when she gave her her first dose. She put each pill in a treat pouch, and Annie was okay with that when it came to the pain pill. However, the antibiotic pill was in capsule form, and Annie wasn’t having that. So, what did she do? She maneuvered the treat pouch around in her mouth so that she could eat the treat, but then she spat out the untouched capsule at the vet assistant’s feet.

Yep. She wasn’t afraid to tell us what she thought of that pill.

Back home, I had to either trick her with cheese or basically shove the capsule into the back of her mouth to get her to take it, and even then she managed to spit it out half the time somehow. For such a sweet dog, Annie can be really stubborn when she wants to be.

Annie just finished her pills, and I can happily say her paw looks a lot better and she’s no longer limping.

And we’re both glad we don’t have to fight the battle of the pill anymore.

I wonder how many other dogs (or pets in general) also manage to be so tricky when given pills or medicine? If you have any such stories about your pets, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Cuddles Help The World Go Round

Annie dog cuddling with me on one of my bad pain days

Last time I wrote about what I am doing to get Annie’s fur back to a healthy, full state. This time I’m going in the opposite direction and writing about how Annie’s helping me.

If you don’t remember from an earlier post, I have fibromyalgia-and the depression that came with it. These chronic conditions wear me down some days, to the point I become an emotional glob, especially if it’s a bad pain day.

But something I love about Annie is her own capacity to love. Despite all she’s been through with the terrible case of mange, spending months in a tiny shelter, and the supposed mistreatment from her previous owners, Annie’s always been eager to love and be loved.

She greets me every morning with a wagging tail, and on those rough days? Well, she does what you see in the photo above: she cuddles up to me as if contact will help me feel better. And, to be honest, her cuddles usually do.

Annie’s not registered as any type of service animal. She’s had no special training. But there’s something about her earnest sincerity that let’s me know she’ll love me no matter what kind of a mess I am in. I don’t have to worry about her being disappointed in me. She doesn’t care if I can’t do all the things I feel pressured I should be able to do. She’s not hung up on my potential being wrapped in what I can accomplish. Annie just loves me for being me.

And I feel that superpower of hers in her cuddles.

Happy Easter…Bunny!

Someone has bunny ears!

Annie and I just wanted to stop by and wish everyone a happy Easter.

With all the 2020 craziness, it’s nice sometimes to let myself be silly with my Annie dog. Luckily, she’s fine with me playing with her ears, which I do on a regular basis.

I hope we all can take a moment to enjoy the holiday as well as remember to let ourselves be silly occasionally.

We send you hugs and tail wags!

Annie Kind Of Has A Brother?

Annie and Jasper

For the past year, Annie dog and I have been living with my parents due to financial and health problems. However, something I haven’t mentioned until now is that my parents also have a dog: a white and tan pomeranian named Jasper. He’s a few years younger than Annie and a lot more energetic.

When Annie and Jasper first met each other at Thanksgiving a couple years ago at my grandparents’ house, they chased each other and played. Annie, being bigger, would sometimes roll onto her back as they played. I learned that this is a behavior bigger dogs utilize when playing with smaller dogs to keep from hurting them, a way of evening the field so to speak.

When I first moved back in with my parents, Annie and Jasper continued to play like this, excited to have a playmate. However, as time went on I realized they were developing a sibling relationship that had things in common with human sibling relationships.

They still play together, but they don’t get nearly as excited to see each other now that they are with each other every day. Jasper likes to pull on Annie’s ears, especially when they first go outside as if to tell Annie to hurry up. Annie’s good-natured about this and doesn’t get angry at him for doing it. In fact, they tend to stick together when they are outside.

But there are other times when they seem to argue or get grouchy about each other’s presence. In fact, I’ve seen Annie go after Jasper if he tries to get her food, and Jasper growls at Annie if she tries to eat his.

If I’m cuddling with one, the other acts jealous, coming up beside me, wagging their tail and whining. Sometimes one even tries to push themselves in-between me and the other dog.

Jasper, like the typical younger sibling, wants to have the same things as Annie. He likes to chew on her toys, and lay in her bed. And Annie puts up with it.

They definitely remind me of a sister-brother pair.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, many of us start thinking of love, mostly romantic love and relationships, but it’s crossed my mind how much love is ingrained in us and in animals. We crave love, and so do animals. And, well, animals showing loving relationships with us and other animals is just cute.

So, here’s to Annie and Jasper adopting each other.