All Important Touch

Our third Bloodhound’s home was Thousand Oaks in southern California, and her name was Shelby. Her owner’s home was repossessed and they were no longer able to keep her. Concerned neighbors took her in, but that didn’t last long. Shelby was passed off to a woman named Olivia who lived several hours north of Thousand Oaks. Olivia was temporarily sheltering dogs who were displaced due to home repos and military deployments. A neighborhood girl was also named Shelby. She had a reputation of being a bully, so Olivia’s daughters changed the Bloodhound’s name to Sadie. Alas, Olivia was unable to find a home for Sadie so she drove one hour north and relinquished Sadie to Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. That’s where Sadie spent the next 40 days until we discovered and adopted her on July 3, 2010. Jon didn’t think the name Sadie suited her. My words to Jon—”If you allow us to adopt this Bloodhound, you can name her whatever you want.” Jon liked the name Annie.

When we found Annie, she was about 15 months old and had been passed around four times. Imagine how confusing that was for a young Bloodhound! She never forgot the insecurity and fear that stems from rejection and not putting down lasting roots. So when we found Emma at San Luis Obispo County Animal Services in January 2012, Annie wanted to make sure she felt welcome and secure in our home. Emma had been picked up as a stray in nearby Arroyo Grande at only seven weeks old. The day before we discovered her, Emma had been adopted by someone with a very big dog. The following day the adopter promptly returned Emma to Animal Services saying they were afraid their dog was going to kill Emma! Traumatic for a small puppy. When an Animal Services volunteer took Emma outside to meet Annie, 4½ pound Emma took one look at Annie and let out a blood curdling scream that sounded like a human who had just been terrorized. She was so afraid! Jon carried Emma to our car while I completed the adoption paperwork. 

What happened next still amazes us. Jon was sitting in the front passenger seat with Emma in his lap, I was behind the wheel, and Annie was in the back seat. Annie instinctively put her long Bloodhound nose in-between the front seats, reached over and touched Emma’s nose with her nose. No scream. No panic. Just superb reassuring communication between a Bloodhound and an eight week old mixed-breed terrier. From that moment forward, Annie and Emma developed the most wonderful relationship imaginable.

Annie and Emma (February 2012)

Continue reading “All Important Touch”

Super Sad Saturday

Annie – 2009 to February 1, 2020

Our dear Annie is now buried in our yard alongside our beloved Agatha and Walker. In mid December, she went from being a very alert, nimble bloodhound to exhibiting never-before-observed signs of confusion. Two weeks ago, her symptoms multiplied and worsened—

Trouble seeing, especially out of her left eye
Escalation of confusion
Stumbling in and outside the house
Running into previously familiar objects
Falling off our deck
Incessantly turning tight clockwise circles to her right
until she was exhausted
Difficulty eating and drinking
Unintentional fall into our rain-filled pond and could not get out
and perhaps the most alarming symptom for a bloodhound—
Ability to smell—GONE!

No more wagging tail
Absence of joy
Worried expression on her face
No more games with, Emma, our 18-lb. terrier (her best friend)

This morning we took her to see our veterinarian who gave her a thorough examination and believed all of her issues to be intracranial. She was about 11 years old; but since we adopted her from Woods Humane Society, we’ll never know her actual birthdate.

We made the difficult decision to have her euthanized and are beyond exhausted and emotionally drained. We have not slept in many nights because Annie had to be let outside throughout the night.

Now she’s resting peacefully.