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Sirius of the Week for Dec. 29, 2002 - Jan. 4, 2003

Meet Annabelle Lee. She's a very busy canine. Her person mom writes,

"Annabelle Lee, CGC, TDIA is a mixed breed (I prefer "Custom Blend" to some of the other terms.) was just four years of age in November. She came into my life as my old girl, Brandy, was leaving. I'd thought about raising a guide dog but felt I would have a hard time giving the pup up. I figured there must be something I could do with a dog that was good, thoughtful, caring, giving etc. but that would allow me to keep a dog that would come to mean so much to me. I'd heard about Therapy Dogs and felt that would be something I'd like to work towards."


Photo Copyright 2001, Helen Cath

"With that in mind, and being QUITE partial to mixed breeds, I started visiting local shelters daily looking for just the right dog. It's so easy to become overwhelmed by what you see there but I was determined to choose just the right dog and, as it turns out, I DID!

"Annabelle's mom was a Doberman and we'll never know who her dad was but she runs like the wind so we say she's a Dobie/Greyhound cross. She was 16 weeks old and the last of her litter to be chosen and I met her just an hour after her last sibling had been adopted. She was huddled, all alone, in the corner of a big run at the shelter, kind of dirty and stinky 'cause she'd been spayed nine days before and couldn't have a bath yet. She was sad and lonely but she wagged her tail and looked at me with longing but couldn't bring herself to come to the front of the run to meet me. Many people would have moved on, but I KNEW she was the dog for me.

"I asked the shelter staff if I could visit with her and they brought us both to a big room where we could sit alone and feel each other out. I probably shouldn't have, but I pulled her right up close to my body and then let her go. After a few moments she leaned back against me on her own and a team was born. The next morning, after a bath, she met the other two dogs and came home with us that noon.

"I've always liked Edgar Allan Poe and had named one dog Raven, and planned on naming the new dog from Poe, also. Well, she's SUCH a lady and we got her on my Dad's birthday (and his middle name is Lee), it was impossible to name her anything other than Annabelle Lee. (I know the spelling is a little different.)

"So, that is how the story started and it hasn't ended yet. We worked hard and went to lots of obedience classes to prepare Annabelle to work as a Therapy Dog. It turns out that, in those 16 weeks before we met her, some rotten stuff must have happened because she was really skittish. We worked hard to help her learn to be brave and after lots of work and even more practice, she passed the AKC CGC Test and the TDI Test (Therapy Dog International) and has been working, usually once a week, as a Therapy Dog in a local nursing home and a local adult home. They seem to love her and really look forward to her visits. Therapy Dogs International recently recognized Annabelle's commitment by giving her their TDIA Certificate (which only means she's made LOTS of visits). We are very proud of her!"

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