Annie's Story (formerly Xena)
This page was last updated on November 17, 2002

Introduction - 10 Mar 00
Annie's Story (Her little tail) - Part 1 - 10 Mar 00
Annie's Story - Part 2 - 12 Mar 00
Annie's Story - Part 3 - 15 Mar 00
Annie's Story - Part 4 - 22 Mar 00
Picture of Annie & Jackson - 27 Mar 00
Annie's Story - Part 5 - 28 Mar 00
Annie's Story continues.... - 9 Apr 00
Annie's Golden Meadow.... - 27 Apr 00
Annie walks, for those who can't..... - 07 May 00
Tug Boat Annie - 01 Jul 00
Annie's story continues...... - 16 Jul 00
Annie photo - 30 Jul 00
Annie's First Christmas - 19 Dec 00
Annie visits her past life... - 02 Jun 01
My Long Journey... - 09 Nov 01
Photos of Annie... - 07 Feb 02
The Annie story continues... - 15 Nov 02
Hannah and her Babies! - 21 Nov
Annie - 13 Jan
My darling Annie - 9 Feb
Annie sends Valentine Greetings - 9 Feb
Annie's Story Continues... - 10 Mar
Annie, the angel. - 16 Mar
Bella the beautiful. Annie the angel. - 27 Mar
Annie - 27 Apr
Annie - 20 Sep
Angel Annie, is watching! - 25 Nov
Annie - 24 May
For Annie... - 7 Mar


Fri, 10 Mar 2000 11:24:39 PST - from Hannah

Hannah,Annie(formerly Xena),Barry

Dear Mag,
Although I do not have a scanner to send pictures I would like to contribute to the IMPS web site by our story of Annie who came to her "forever family" on March 3rd 2000 through IMPS.
I plan to update the story from time to time. Perhaps my thoughts and feelings will help others who have a rescue dog. These dogs of course have "special" problems that are not easy at times to understand and get answers to. Most of the time I (and probably many others who have a rescue dog) just use our very best judgements. I wish there where a "post" and "answer" web site for people who have these horribly abused animals. By sharing stories, perhaps we could learn a few things about how best to help these dogs. At any rate, I thank you for posting my stories and look foreward to seeing them. If anyone wants to e-mail me, I welcome that.
Much thanks
Hannah Sawyer
Orangeville Ontario.

Now..... on with the story.

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Annie's Story (Her little tail) - Part 1

Fri, 10 Mar 2000 11:24:39 PST - from Hannah


It's nap time at my house. We don't have naps very often, but since we got Annie we seem to snuggle up on the couch or on top of the bed more often. Annie has been here almost a week and the only time she feels safe is cuddled in a warm blanket and resting close to someones body.
As I lay here, Annie close beside me and Jackson (my other beloved minpin) I reflect back on her life.
Annie was born into this world needing very few things. For those miserable few things, she would give back a wealth of love and devotion. No matter how bad your day was, she would greet you with a wagging tail and a good lick. She didn't care if you where wealthy, ugly, fat, poor, black skin or white. She didn't care if you lived in a cramped one bedroom dwelling or a mansion on the hill. Give her food, shelter and love and she loved you back, with all 10 pounds of her.Love that had no conditions. If you where sad and crying, she cried too. If you where happy and playful, she was in her glory. For you see, minpins, love to play.
But Annie never got the chance to play, she never got a chance to wag her tail, she never got a chance to greet you at the door and lick your face. She never got a chnace to give her unconditional love. Annie somehow landed into a puppy mill. She was a beautiful little lady, who would give beautiful puppies, and that was the SOLE reason they wanted her. They knew NOTHING about what Annie could give and they cared even less about that.Their main purpose in life was to make money. So when Annie wagged her tail, NO one ever noticed. When Annie cried, NO one noticed. When Annie needed to relieve herself, NO one noticed, when Annie's fur came out, NO one noticed, when Annie's feet became painful because they never clipped her nails, NO one noticed. When Annie lost weight, NO one noticed, when Annie's ears where full of ear mites, NO one noticed.
And as the days went by in Annie's world, a cage, Annie STOPPED wagging her tail. But, of course, NO one noticed.
Annie's days in that cage, stretched into 4 years!!
By the time Annie was rescued and came into the care of IMPS, her tail had stopped wagging permanently.
Or had it????????
Please come back to this site, for more "tails" about Annie.

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Annie's Story - Part 2

Sun, 12 Mar 2000 08:53:04 PST - from Annie

I guess the people in the Ohio puppy mill did their job very well. For you see, it took awhile, but now I'm no longer a dog, I'm a "robot". They took my bark from me, so I'm not really sure if and when I should use it.It's not very loud anyway and probably no one will pay any attention to me. Why would they? They never did before. When my new mommy takes my brother Jackson for a walk, I HAVE to come along. I don't want to, I'm really scared of everything. I'm scared of the grass, the birds, the trees, the bushes and most of call I'm scared of the HUGE outdoors. My brother Jackson sniffs at EVERYTHING, I can't figure out what and why he's sniffing all the time. He runs free and I just plod along like a good little girl, only because my mommy makes me. Sometimes I go pee out there and mommy sais "what a good girl I am" I can't figure out why she is saying this. No one EVER told me I was a good girl. I produced all these puppies. I thought I was a good girl, BUT no one ever told me!!!
I am soooooooo confused. These people are so different from the people at the puppy mill. I have no cage here and there is sooooooo much food, I eat real quick, just in case they run out, like at the puppy mill. Today I had toast with my new mommy. When ever she gives me a piece she always gives one to my brother Jackson too. It's all so strange. My new mom and dad act strange too. I always kind of duck when their hand comes down to touch me. I always figured people just hit you when their hand comes down. But....... I told you these people are very strange here, their hand doesn't hurt. They want to stroke and pet me, but I don't really like it. I don't trust them at all. I just figure sooner or later they will be like the puppy mill people. I had 4 years of that stuff and I'm not about to forget it. Plus I don't really like people touching my head, not after my ear drum burst. That hurt a lot and then I had all those ear mites in there. So, I know these new people are really trying to be nice, but they haven't fooled me. After 4 years in a cage, I just know I'll soon be back there.
These new people think they can teach me to play. My brother plays all the time, he looks so silly, I can't figure out what he's doing. He's got all kind of toys that I have never seen before and I don't really care if I ever see them. He runs and jumps a lot and he makes some awful noises. If I made those noises back at the mill, they would have hit me, but these people laugh and think he's funny????? It's all very confusing for me.
But, you know, when I was at my foster home, Vince and Nancy taught me to jump on a couch!!!!!! I'd never seen a couch before. I was scared of that too. My new mom and dad let me jump there too and there are some nice warm minpin blankets on it and I do like to get into them. It's all very strange and confusing.
Nancy and Vince let me sleep in their bed!!!!! I had never slept in a bed before, and of course I was scared of that too. Now my new mom and dad let me sleep in their bed too, along with Jackson my brother. Their sheets are sort of furry and really warm and when they get in there it's even warmer. I really like it, but I'm sure I'll soon be back in my cage at the mill.
They tell me that I am now a Canadian. I wonder what that is????? I wonder if it's far from the mill??? Here in Canada, I have a little yard to walk in, but I'm scared of it. I just keep pacing all the time. That makes me feel like I'm in my cage at the mill. Jackson doesn't pace at all. He runs and jumps around all the time. Wonder why he's not afraid?
The one thing that I really hate here is this white stuff on the ground. My mom calls it snow. My feet get real cold and when she sees that, thankfully she picks me up and stuffs me under her fleece jacket. I'm kind of scared of that too, 'cause no one ever picked me up or stuffed me under their jacket. I'm telling you all, these people are VERY strange.
When my mom is on the computer, I sit on a counter in the same room. It has a warm blanket on it and Jack and I sit there and look out the window. Today Jack saw something out the window and he started barking, so I figured I'd so it too. Just to see what my new mom would say. Whenever I barked at the Mill, they always either said to "shut up" or they would hit you. So, I gave my very best, loudest bark and you know what my mom did???? She CRIED!!! I don't know why. She said something about it being music to her ears. Wonder what that means???? All I know is that I didn't get hit or told to shut up. I think I may do it again. After all, Jackson does it and no one is mad at him.
I'll write again soon. By then I'll probably be back at the Mill.....

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Annie's Story - Part 3

Wed, 15 Mar 2000 17:24:39 PST - from Annie

In another 2 days I will have been a Canadian citizen for two whole weeks. Every day I am a "gooooood girl" so my mom sais. I'm not sure what that is. But she gets all excited when I poop or pee outside. Wonder why? She always tells me I'm a "goooooooood girl". God, I'm getting sick of her saying that. And you know what? That "minpin" shuffle Jackson and I have to do each morning and night is sort of getting to be fun. When Jackson has a poop he ALWAYS scratches the gound real hard and send mud flying right over me! I hated that and couldn't figure out why he was doing it. But I figured I'd give it a try too and now I make the mud fly on him. Serves him right. Plus, my mom always told me to sniff, just like Jack and I didn't know what she ment at all. But then I watched Jack. He sniffs everything and I figured I'd give that a try too. Now I sniff all the doggy poop in the fields and it's sort of neat. My mom said I'm becoming a "REAL' dog now and she's happy. Heck, if that makes her happy, I'll keep sniffing poop. Doesn't take much to keep her happy!!!!
I want to tell all my friends in the USA how much dog food Canada has. They have bags of food and big boxes of cookies for dogs here. In the morning my mom always gives Jackson and I dog cookies. I run to the computer room and hide all mine for later, just in case they run out. At the puppy mill they always ran out and they might here too.
You should have seen my mom this morning jumping out of bed REAL fast. She said it was only 4am, and I know it was dark. But my tummy was upset and I had to upchuck in the bed. She sais it's because I eat too fast. But, you know something? She wasn't mad at all, she just cleaned it up and we went back to sleep. She NEVER gets mad. I can't understand that. At the "mill" they where always mad. I told you before, these Canadian people are very strange people.
I'm getting use to the 5 people who live here, but I hate when they have visitors. They scare me and I always jump on the couch and hide behind my mom or dad. But just so they know I mean business, I give them my loudest bark.
Actually what I like most here is to SLEEP. My mom calls it my "healing time". Wonder what that is? I sleep on the couches or in the bed and they always have a warm blanket for me, 'cause my mom sais I am so little. My mom had this big furry blanket and she cut it into small blankets, so now we have little blankets all over the house just for me and Jack. He gets under them too.
I think Jackson was feeling sorry for me this morning after I upchucked, because he was licking my face a lot.I liked that.
Well, I'm off to bed now. I like that most of all. Mom and dad get in there with Jackson and we get all warm and snuggly and I just drift off. When I first came here I slept all curled up in a ball, like a cat, but now I stretch right out. My mom sais I now sleep like a "REAL" minpin. I don't know what she's talking about. I thought I was always a "REAL" minpin. Talk to you all later.
PS. That awful white stuff they have here on the ground has left and I like it a lot better now when they take me for that morning shuffle.

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Annie's Story - Part 4

Wed, 22 Mar 2000 16:36:17 PST - from Annie


Spring has arrived early to Ontario. Hundreds of robins chase each other over peoples yards and into the tree tops. The sun is getting warmer every day and people are once again outside chatting to their neighbours. It's a time to rejoice. A time of new beginnings.
The grass is still brown but there are new smells in the air and each day that I and Jackson walk in the fields I find something to give me hope. Hope, that I will be happy and do all the things a dog should do.
Today I had the very best day yet, because my mom has been teaching me the command "Annie come" and she thought that I had sort of learned it. Or at least I was paying attention to her. So she took me to the ball park, where the field is completely fenced in (but I didn't know that). There in that ball park I had my first taste of freedom. I RAN FREE!!!!!!!!!! I chased Jackson and he chased me and I kicked up my heels and my mom cried. I don't know why she was crying, but she said I looked like a REAL dog now and she thought I looked really happy. Well, I was!!!!!!! No cages, no crates, no leaches, no leads, just me and the wind, the sky, the birds and the sun and of course my mom and Jackson. Many times I heard my mom saying "Annie come" and then I always ran to her because I don't want to loose her. I'd be VERY scared if I did. I really like my mom a lot. I follow her everywhere she goes.
I'm still scared of a lot of things around here. People scare me most of all. Mom sais I pace a lot and then she just picks me up and wraps a blanket around me and I'm not scared anymore.My mom has a big son named Doug. I'm scared of him. Mom doesn't know why, because he's always trying to be nice to me, but when I see him I just bark. My mom thinks that Doug reminds me of someone at the puppy mill or someone who's been mean to me. She sais she will find out, because she e-mails a lady that was actually there when we where all taken from that mill.
My BIG brother Jackson is alright, but he wants to play, he's rough and I really just want to sleep on my mom's lap. He hasn't been through what I have been. If he had, he'd want to sleep too for about 10 years probably. After the day I had today, I hope my mom takes me back to that park and lets me run with the wind again.
Oh, that son named Doug just drove in and I can see his car from the window where I'm sitting, so now I have to bark.
My big brother Jackson is leaving now to go to his doggy classes. I don't go, because my mom sais I am too scared of people, and she's right. I'll miss her, but I guess I'll just sit with my dad and watch the hockey game. They watch a LOT of hockey here in Canada.

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Picture of Annie & Jackson

Mon, 27 Mar 2000 19:34:34 -0500 - from Nancy
Click here to read Annie's Story (formerly Xena)



Attached is a picture of Annie & Jackson together that you can put with her story.

Nancy & Vince Giammusso

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Annie's Story - Part 5

Tue, 28 Mar 2000 17:50:28 PST - from Hannah


Almost four weeks have passed since we met Nancy and Vince and exchanged Annie on that highway at Rochester New York.
I have shed more tears over Annie than any other dog I have ever had. Sooooooo many tears for the four years of her life that where stolen from her in that puppy mill. Tears because she's so sad, and not quite sure if she should be happy. Tears because she was a "no name dog" for 4 years. Tears because no one loved her and told her what a wonderful little lady she really is. Tears because she HAD to produce all those puppies. Tears because she NEVER slept in a warm dry place like a little lady should. Tears because NO ONE cared and buckets of tears because she never got to lick anyones face when they came home from work and wag her little tail to greet them. What a horrible world we live in and the sad fact is that for ever Annie in the world, there are millions of others.
Annie got LUCKY. She had the wonderful people of IMPS to heal and nurse her back to health and from the very first time I saw her picture on the IMPS web site, I KNEW she was DESTINED to come to me.
Although Annie is NOT the dog we where looking for, she HAS found her perfect home.
Here, above all we give her dignity. I give her space to develop into what she can. I wanted a play dog for our Jackson and Annie may never be that. I have accepted that. Annie will develop into what she is capable of and that's the way we will accept her. We won't make her into something that we may want, she'll set her own ways.
To see her develop these past 4 weeks has been nothing short of amazing. I now have a little dog who greets me when I come home from work!!!!!! Her tail wags a lot, but she remains fearful of people and still does quite a bit of pacing like a caged animal. The other day I came home from work and she ran around the living room like a little puppy and then jumped on the bed and attacked the pillow!!!!! Each day she is "OFF LEAD" in a totally fenced ballpark. She runs and plays like a little puppy. ALWAYS comes when I call her. I take her and Jackson to this park and they both have a great time. Annie is really enjoying these walks, sniffing at everything just like her brother.
For a dog who pooped in a cage for 4 years, her toilet training is outstanding. I doubt that I have had anymore than 2-3 accidents in the house. We walk EVERY morning and EVERY night and she does all her businesses there in the parks.
To relieve her stress somewhat I took her to my vet and she's now on a drug called CLOMICALM, it's non sedating and not a tranquilizer. He told me it would take about 10 days before I would notice a difference, if at all. So we'll see.
Yes, I have applied for another dog from IMPS. A "BIG" minpin, like Jackson, who loves to play. I hope to have her in a week or so and hopefully she will be a playmate for Jackson.
BUT, Annie will always hold a VERY special spot in my heart. She's my little broken angel, that I am going to fix, come hell or high water.
If proper care, a good home, and lots of love can save Annie, then she's been saved!!!
Thanks to IMPS and all the wonderful people they have who help these little dogs who can't help themselves.

Hannah, Jackson and Annie
and soon to be: Maggie

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Annie's Story continues....

Sun, 09 Apr 2000 09:10:02 PDT - from Annie


Yesterday was MY special day. For you see.... my mom and dad left me ALL day alone to get ANOTHER rescue dog. Now, mom and dad leaving was the pits, but there is a girl who lives here called April and she's REAL nice. She just LOVES to fuss with me. First, since my mom and dad left early, April came and got me and we both went back to her bed. She loves to sleep in and so do I. We slept in for a long time and then the very best thing happened. The cable went off the TV!! So April had all day to fuss with me!! First she took me out for a little walk, then she got ready a real nice warm bath for me and put some smelly people stuff on me to wash my fur. April had to do her laundry and when she got it out of the dryer it was nice and warm and I jumped right into it! She just laughed, she never gets mad at me. No one ever does, 'cause how can they? I am SOOOOOOO cute. Plus I never get into any trouble anyways. All afternoon April strung these little pink beads and then she put a diamond (I'm sure it's real) pendant on it and after she was all done she PUT IT ON MY NECK!!! WOW, now I look and act like Queen Annie. I smell so pretty and I'm so nice and clean and fat, I just love it here. April and I waited ALL day for my mom and dad to get back from Chicago. They shouldn't have gone because we had a big snow storm and they headed right out in it. They said, they couldn't wait and left ALL kinds of instructions for my care. Like April and Matt don't know how to look after me!!!! Really.... they are the best...... My mom told them to make sure they walked me in the fields at night and all that stuff. She should learn to shut her mouth.She worries far too much about me.

They never came back until it was dark and late and then this dog came in that looks just like my brother Jackson. I thought my eye sight was going on me 'cause I could see double!!!!! God, NOT another dog!!! I just want to be Queen Tut around here, I don't need any more brothers or sisters. TAKE IT BACK I say! But mom sais it's here to stay. So I'll just be my crouchy self and it won't bother me at all. As long as it doesn't try and get my space in bed, who cares?

Boy, was I happy to see my mom and dad when they came back. I just wiggled all my 10 pounds all over that couch. Mom picked me up and kissed me and told me that she had missed me a lot. They where really tired, so we all went to bed. I LOVE my bed most of all. I get to sleep real close to my mom or dad and they stroke my belly and rub behind my ears. It feels really good.

My new sister's name is Daisy, she use to be called Tara, but mom and dad already had a dog named Tara, so they are changing her name. Right now they call her Tara-Daisy. It's too bad that they seem to really like her, because I guess that means she's here to stay. Mom sais there is enough love for all of us and enough food, so I don't have to worry at all. Sometimes I still worry, but most days I don't. As long as there is enough room in that bed for the three of us, I guess I'll be fine.

Today I had my nails clipped and with my lovely scent and beautiful hair and my diamond necklace I do really FEEL LIKE QUEEN ANNIE......

Even though that awful snow came back I really like it here. When we walk, and it's very cold, my mom has a bag now that she stuffs me into. I can look out, but don't need to walk in that awful white stuff. Then when we get back to the bush, where the wind doesn't blow and there is less snow she takes me out of the bag. That's where I run around for awhile until I get cold. Mom always knows when to pick me up, I just have to give her my little sad look and she scoops me right up and puts me in that furry bag. I say HAH HAH on Jackson and Tara-Daisy, since they have to walk!!!!!! Serves them right for growing so BIG.

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Annie's Golden Meadow....

Thu, 27 Apr 2000 03:28:11 PDT - from Annie

I can't believe my life in Ontario,Canada. My mom picked out a place for me she calls "Annie's golden meadow". We walk there each night when she gets home from work. While I am walking close to roads and people, my mom puts a little purple harness on me and a lead and I walk right beside her. I never went to obedience classes like my brother Jackson did, but I just know how to "heel" real nice. I'm not too fond of walking near cars and people and when I get real worried, mom just picks me up and I feel safe. After a little walk we come to some beautiful fields and a nice path and then my mom takes the lead off me. This is where I have my best times. The grass is so nice and green now and tastes just wonderful. I stop and smell all the roses along the way. The little path winds across the beautiful fields and I think I am in heaven. Those big Canada geese fly over my head and everwhere I hear birds singing. My mom sings too. Sometimes her and I play a little game. She'll call to me "Annie, run" and then she runs away from me. That's when I turn on my speed and kick up my little back feet and run with the wind. I always catch her, because she's not too fast. She can't ever get away from me.
Just where the path divides and swings away is a beautiful sheltered spot my mom call "Annie's meadow". The sun always shines there and the grass is soft and full of golden coloured flowers. I run and play there in that meadow and at times I look at my mom and she will have this far away look in her eyes and they will be all watery. Wonder why? My mom will sit on a rock and watch me play. She will take off her coat and then I go an sit on that and play with the collar. I give her collar my hardest tug and that always makes her happy.
Jackson, Daisy and I where all in the meadow one night and close by is a little river. Jackson and Daisy are "big" minpins and they went down to the river and got into the water and all covered in mud. Actually it looked like fun, so I went down there too and came back with mud all over me. Mom said that now I looked like a "real" dog and since I got wet and the air was chilly she wrapped me in her coat and I got carried all the way home. My mom sais it's time for me to thank all the people at IMPS for all they have done for me. If all those people had not rescued me from that puppy mill I would still be looking out of a cage and not have ever found "Annie's meadow". Thank God for IMPS and the people who helped me find "Annie's Meadow". Mom promised me that when I came to live with her I would "ALWAYS WALK IN SUNSHINE" and would never ever hear a cross word. And you know what??? She's keeping her promise!
It is my hope that ALL dogs everwhere will find a place like "Annie's meadow".

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Annie walks, for those who can't..........

Sun, 07 May 2000 17:40:54 PDT - from Annie

Ontario is busting out all over with spring!!!! The white stuff is just a memory and everywhere you look, the grass is lush and green. To be a minpin and run in the cool grass is...... heaven. I visit "Annie's meadow" all the time, play in the sunshine, and eat the fresh new grass. My mom sits on a huge rock watching us, and Jackson my big brother and I play beneath the trees and run in the meadow. Daisy, my sister sits with my mom, she can't be off a lead, because she runs away.

Today was a very special day for me and my mom. Mom has been collecting money to help other dogs that have been abuse like me, and her and I had to walk about 8 miles in a "Walk-a-dog-athon" to raise money for the dogs that can't play in "Annie's Meadow".

Boy, was that a LONG walk for a little girl like me. But mom told me I was such a "good girl" because it was soooooo hot and she only had to carry me about 1/2 mile, I walked ALL the way MYSELF!!!!I walked for all the abused dogs everywhere. The dogs in cages, the dogs chained to a post, the dogs in shelters that need a home, the dogs in the puppy mills, but most of all I walked for MYSELF!!!!! I walked to show the world that there is HOPE, hope that someday ALL dogs will find a forever family and find their OWN "Annie's Meadow".

Along the walk way, kind people had cool water and ice for all the dogs and when we finished we all got a "goody bag" full of treats for us. When we got home, I just crawled into my moms nice shaded flower bed and went to sleep between the ferns there. Mom said I looked just like a little fawn, sleeping in the forest. Boy, was I ever beat!!!!

But if the money we raised, feeds just one hungry dog, then I don't mind my sore feet at all.

I love my mom and I love "Annie's Meadow" and it's my hope that ALL dogs will find their own "Meadow" real fast and never be hungry, cold, or hit, ever again.

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Tug Boat Annie

Sat, 01 Jul 2000 20:45:43 PDT - from Hannah and Annie

Dear Mag,

Hope all is well. Please let the members of IMPS know that Annie's story continues. Much thanks for all the work you and IMPS do. Without IMPS I'm afraid that Annie would no longer be on this earth today.

and so we continue........


It's July the 1st, Canada's birthday, a reason to celebrate. Soooooo many reasons, really. In another 3 days I will have been here for 4 months!!!! The life I have now is so very different from the hell I endured for so many years. I give thanks first and foremost to IMPS and the wonderful careing people who helped me find my mommy and daddy here in Canada. I give thanks to Nancy and Vince who nursed me through the mange and all my hurts and fears. Nancy, who believed in my mom and made the choice to send me to Canada.
My mom and dad have taken up camping. The weather is so nice now and Jackson my brother, mom and dad all pack up and away we go in a red camping van. The van has a wonderful foam mattress in it and most of the way I just sleep. It seemed like a long drive, but finally we got to this wonderful park, with bush, a lake and beautiful beaches. We parked the van by the lake and all got out to have a good look. Jackson and I ran to the water. My mom always thought I was scared of water, since I hate rain. But we both got right in, right up to our bellies. Neither one of us need to be tied up, since we both know what the word "come" means and both Jackson and I are very good. Plus I never let my mom out of my sight for very long anyway. The park is full of chipmunks and Jackson and I are on "chipmunk alert" all the time. Just when we think we may have one, the damn things run up a tree. I sit by the tree for a long time, just in case it comes down. If we ever caught one, I'm not sure what we'd do with it.
Now my mom loves her little kayak. She's out in that thing all the time and the best part is that she always takes ME!!!!! She packs a little lunch and treats and water for me and away we go. The kayak has a little round hole for my mom to sit in and there is just enough room for me to sit on her lap. When the wind is cool, she stuffs me down the front of her jacket!!!!! I love it there. I'm close to my mom and nice and warm. I just sleep in the warm sunshine and stick my head out of the zipper of her jacket to have a look see. Whenever I see another boat go by I give the people my loudest bark and you should see the look on their faces!!! They don't mess with me!!!!
One night Jackson and I and my mom went for a walk in the bush and we saw a BEAR!!!!!! My mom was happy that we where both on our leads and we just gave that bear a wide berth. I barked at it and really wanted to mess with it, but mom didn't think that was a good idea at all. She just walked back to our camp real quick.
When we camp, Jackson and I are on the wonderful diet that people eat. My dad makes bacon and eggs for ALL of us, and we get toast with peanut butter. We eat the same stuff mom and dad eats and I just love it. Mom and dad take us to the "Dairy Queen" and Jackson and I get our very own "baby" cone!!!!! In fact, for the last month or so, Jackson and I have not eaten "dog food" at all. My mom reads a lot about dog care and dog training. She has her head in a book a lot and decided to make her very own food for us dogs. So now we eat "people food" all the time. Mom always tells my dad to be careful what he grabs for his lunches, since our food looks the same as the people food. Funny thing, since I have been eating "people food" I haven't had diarreah at all or thrown up!!!! Mom sais I run faster and my coat is soooooo shiny and glossy. All I know, it tastes great and I hope she keeps making it. Most of the time I am happy here. But sometimes I get scared. I'm still scared of ALL big men who wear caps on their heads. I bark at them and hope they just go away.
I hope my life here is not just a dream and one day I will wake up and be back in the "puppy mill". Here I have so many choices and sometimes that is scary too.
In 4 months I have learned a lot. The most important thing that I have learned it to "TRUST"! After the hell I went through, I NEVER thought I would ever trust another human being. But hands that once hurt me, are now kind and gentle. Voices that where stern and loud, are now soft and music to my ears. My stinking cage has been replaced with a clean warm bed that have humans in it to snuggle up to!!!!! The dirty bowls that held awful slop and dirty water has been replace with clean dishes and clean water and wonderful home made food.
And now, when I run up to my mom and wag my little tail, she picks me up and strokes me and cuddles me. She pays attention to "ME"!!!!!! For you see...... I AM IMPORTANT!!!!!! My mom always tells me that I am the "SUNSHINE" of her life. She LOVES ME!!!!!!!
And you know something? That's all I ever wanted. Just someone to love me. For that love, I give back so much. I may only be 10 pounds, but I can lick my mom's face the same as any BIG dog. I can stand at the door, looking and waiting for my mom to come home from work, same as a big dog, and when she does, my little tail goes into overdrive.
I know when my mom is sad, I just sit quietly on her lap then, and in the evenings when we all go for a walk in the fields I run and play in "Annie's meadow" and then sit close by my mom and that's the very best part of the day. My mom sais she will never be lonely, as long as she has me and of course I will never be lonely as long as I have HER!!!!
And as the day ends, I jump on her bed and all the dogs get their spot, I close my eyes, snuggle close to my mom and dream that this will never end. I dream that ALL the puppy mills are closed and that all the dogs are "IMPORTANT" to someone.

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Annie's story continues......

Sun, 16 Jul 2000 23:29:09 GMT - from Hannah


Hi Mag,
THanks for posting "Annie's story" all the time. I appreciate it very much. Please let the members know of this latest addition. Thanks.


Author, Jeffrey Masson writes in his book "Dogs never lie about love" and I quote "THE WORSE MENTAL PUNISHMENT A DOG CAN BE GIVEN IS TO BE KEPT ALONE IN A TIGHTLY CONFINED SPACE WHERE NOTHING VARIES".

How very correctly he described my life for 4 years in the Ohio puppy mill. Four long years, stolen from my life that can never be replaced. Four year, that all the love I have now won't completely erase. Four years that built the foundation of my fears of men.

I ask you, "Do you have a heart?" "Do you have a soul?" "Do you feel ANYTHING?" After IMPS closed you down and got all the abused dogs out, what did you do? I venture to guess that you just set up shop somewhere else. After all, my pain and anguish was your meal ticket. Your greed for easy money was paid to you a thousand times over with pain, death and suffering. Did you EVER think of me as a DOG? A dog that has emotions, that can feel pain, that can feel such horror at your hands that I trembled all the days and nights I spent with you.

Did you not hear the cries of the pain? Did you not notice me tremble when you approached? I doubt it very much. I gave you EVERYTHING you wanted, puppies, but you gave me nothing except sheer terror.

When I first came to you, I tried to be the sociable little dog I was ment to be. I wagged my tail and was very happy to see you. For you see, dogs are social creatures by nature. But it soon became apparent to me that you did not get me for this purpose. I tried to fight back, but what chance did I have with my 10 pounds against your huge bulk? What chance did any of us have confined to a cage day and night?

Did you not see me trembling as I layed in my own feces? Did you not see the fact that my fur fell out and I suffered terribly from mange? Did you ever see the bugs crawl out of my ears? Did you not see the blood all over me after I gave birth by myself?

You know, I spent 4 years with you. Four years in a cage, that works out to about 37500 hours. For once, just once, please try and imagine what this is like. Four years in a stinky, bug infested, feces encrusted cage.Four years of fighting for every bit of food and water you ever gave me. Four years of no sunshine, no soft winds, no birds, no trees, no grass.Four years of never having a kind human hand touch me. Four years of being a "no name dog" a NOTHING! 37500 hours of just walking back and forth in my prison where NOTHING ever varied. Gosh, even convicted murderes get treated better than this. And, I ask you, "what crime did I ever commit?"

I asked you before, "do you have a heart or a soul"? You need not answer, because I know the answer.

But now that I am a "SOMEBODY" now that I am "IMPORTANT" to someone, now that I have all the love in the world to help me heal, I wish to tell you that I am much much better off than you are.

For you see...... I hold no malice towards you at all. I have forgiven you!!!! I know you stole 1/3 of my life from me, but the remainder of my life is filled with such joy that now I have only pity for you, because you will NEVER feel this joy. How can you? You have NO feelings . And that's a real pity, to be human and have no feelings. I feel so sorry for you now. When I met my new mom I knew right away that she was kind. For this reason I hold no grudges. I licked her hand, her face. Yes, I had been beaten, yes I had suffered and hurt deeply, but I forgive and I want to be her friend, much like I wanted to be YOUR friend.

I look into her eyes with trust and I forgive. I looked into your eyes too with trust, but all I ever saw was indifference, but I still forgive. For you see... to forgive and trust again is the only way I will ever know any measure of happiness. I am a dog, but I am far from stupid.

Although I forgive you, my mom does not. She will NEVER forgive you, not in a thousand life times. She knows that you and thousands of others just like you are still doing the same thing. She knows that you and others like you are feeding your families, buying new cars and houses and sleeping in warm beds all because of money gained through suffering and deaths. She knows that a dog's life means NOTHING to you, except money as long as it's producing. She can't find the words to type, that describes the horror of how you dispose of us when we are no longer valuable. She can't find the words, but she knows.

Her heart is heavy, with utter contempt for you and she hopes with all her heart that there is justice somewhere in this life or afterlife.

This is another terrible sin you have committed towards mankind. You have inflicted a "heavy" heart on millions of people who love animals and who are trying hard to put a stop to the pain and suffering that only you are responsible for.

I hope you sleep well in your warm bed, for remember I hold no grudges and bear no pain towards you. I AM FREE!!!! I have forgiven.

Love Annie.

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Annie photo

Sun, 30 Jul 2000 09:12:03 -0400 - from Nancy


Hi Mag,

Just received a bunch of photos from Hannah of Annie (formerly Xena) showing how happy and content she is. This is my favorite one of the group and I told Hannah I would share it with everyone. Looks like she is doing what minpins like second best. (of course eating comes first VBG)

Nancy G

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Annie's First Christmas

Tue, 19 Dec 2000 11:52:31 - from Hannah

Hello Mag.

It's been awhile since I have written "Annie's Story" but see it fitting that I should now, with the holiday season here. Annie is the love of my life, a TRUE IMPS rescue example. She was the perfect match, so dearly loved and spoiled. I know if it where not for IMPS she'd be dead now and to them I will be forever grateful. I wish all the hard working volunteers the very best of holidays. Please advise the members of my posting of "Annie's story". Much thanks and have a great holiday season.

Hannah Sawyer - Ontario, Canada.

ANNIE'S FIRST CHRISTMAS...... all is bright, all is right (or is it?)

The months have flown, and Annie has been in my home and heart for 10 months now. I sit in my cozy little house, Christmas is all around me. The 3 loves in my life are nesting in their fleecy baskets in front of the fireplace. Jackson, Annie and tiny Brandi, all dogs that became disposable, like a piece of trash, are now the picture of health and contentment. All 3, born into this world, wanting nothing in return except to please a master, got an ugly twist of fate and became just an "object" Something for adults to shape and twist at will and then dispose of.

"HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING..... GLORY TO THE NEW BORN KING...... PEACE ON EARTH...... GOOD WILL TO ALL MANKIND....... Surely this message includes ALL living things. But my mind wanders, to all the puppy mills, to all the pet shops with babies in cages being sold at whim to be disposed off after the novelty wears off, to the dogs running the streets, the dogs tied in backyards for hours, days, forever. To the thousands of dogs who will yet cross "Rainbow bridge" because the shelters are overcrowded. For all of those, there is no fireplace, no cozy blankets, and no love. Their only sin was to be "born", they are blameless. For them there is no "PEACE ON EARTH".

I ask myself, "when will it ever stop?" Each week I go to the IMPS web page and each week there are new dogs needing homes and someone to love them. In fact, the web is full of rescue clubs for all different breeds, all desperately needing that "special" someone. The want ads are full of "Free to a good home". Why? I guess to an awful lot of people a dog represents nothing more than the trash they put out each week. God, don't they know, that dogs have a soul, they have feelings? What is wrong with people anyway? This feeling of despair and hopelessness casts a shadow on my otherwise bright holiday season.

I try and quiet my mind by cuddling Annie and holding her close to my heart. She is the sweetest little thing, but has eyes that have seen far too much suffering. Her demons from her past stop he from being truly happy. It's like she can't quite figure out what has happened to her. I stoke her belly and she always feels a need to lick and lick me to death. Like her way of saying "thank you" and yet I remind her that she does not need to say "thank you". I'm the one, that thanks HER every single day for coming into MY life.

As the 3 dogs lay in front of the fireplace, I look at them. Nice shiny fur, round full bellies, their eyes closed in contentment, basking in the warmth of the fire and I try and still my mind to all the countless suffering souls all around me. WHERE is their Christmas? Perhaps, the lucky ones will be dead by then, since death for some of these dogs is far kinder than life.

At this time of the year, I try and help out, just even a little bit, since every little bit helps. I save all my old blankets now for the shelters and buy a huge bag of food as a donation. I always wish I could do so much more, but I guess if EVERYONE did even just a little bit it would all add up. Somehow we have to find the answer to stopping all the suffering, but I don't know how. Education and rescue clubs seem to be the only way presently.

I wish all the members of IMPS the very best of the holidays. You do great work!!! Hopefully all those bundles of love, that need a home will soon be basking in front of someone's fireplace.

A very special holiday greeting to Vince and Nancy, IMPS volunteers, who gave us Annie to love. Her life is now peaceful and she has found "PEACE ON EARTH".

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Hannah, Jackson, Granny Grunt (Annie) and tiny Brandi.

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Annie visits her past life...

Sat, 02 Jun 2001 02:04:36 - from Hannah

Hi Mag,
I haven't been in touch for such a long time, but nevertheless, your'e all still in my thougths.IMPS is always pretty close to my heart, for the wonderful work they do and for giving me Annie.
So, her story continues........

Spring has once again come to Ontario, in all it's splendor and wonder. It's a wonderful time to be alive, after the long hard cold winter.Five months of being cooped up inside the house, made the dogs cranky, but we had weather not fit for human, let alone beast. The fireplace we had installed last fall, was the greatest "toy" for the dogs. There they laid, in utter bliss and calm and waited out the long cold winter. Most days it was a mad dash outside on the paths that dad had to shovel in the yard to do their business and then right back to the fireplace and the warm minpin blankets and doggy beds.

Our daily walks in the fields and bush became a distant memory. I missed it terribly and the dogs suffered along with me. We ventured out only on "good" days, when there was a bit of heat in the sun and the wind wouldn't chill you to the bone. But those days where far and few between.

But all that is now behind us and Annie, Jackson and Brandi are once again playing and running in "Annie's meadow". The grass is lush and green and very tasty and there are so many great things to smell and see. Annie now is making up for the time she lost in the winter and her little legs are flying over the fields and through the bushes.

Not only did the winter hamper her spirits and freedom, but she had many health problems that prevented her from walking. Perhaps her past mistreatment is catching up on her and she had to make many visits to the kind vet and by trial and error we now have her up and running.

Annie,Hannah Brandi,Barry

A few weeks ago we decided to take Annie back to her "foster parents" in New Jersey. This was a 12 hour car ride for her and her buddy Brandi (a tiny poodle that is also a rescue). Both Annie and Brandi love the van and love going anywhere with us and they where good as gold driving all that way.

Vince and Nancy have a wonderful house, full of minpins of all sizes and shapes. It's very plain to tell that they are truly dedicated to animal welfare, since the home is organized for the dogs pleasure. Secure fences, minpin cuddy blankets all over the place, doggy door to go outside and most of all they give them tons of love and affection.

After being separated from her foster for 14 months, she still remembered them and the house!!! She also seemed to remember the little minpin, Bambi, that was rescued with her and that the fosters kept! In fact, Annie made herself at home right on the same pillow where she always laid when she lived there! I guess you could say, "Annie had come full circle" now.


This spring I have noticed a change in Annie that I thought I'd never see. She is actually developing into a dog!!!!!!!

As readers of all my past posts will know, Annie was terribly abused and as a result she was so submissive, to a point where she really just gave up on life and would deal with anything life had to offer. I always wanted her to be just a little bit "bad", show some spunk, some spark in her eyes. Just something to tell the world that "she" matters and has a right to a kind and decent life.

Well, she's still scared of people, but now she does bark at them and sort of tells them to back off. She also doesn't like this little white dog that lives close by and walks on "her" property! So she not shy about telling him to bugger off and leave "her" property alone!

She had come so far in such a little time. She listens to me, comes when she's called and I have trained her to come outside with me and not go on the road and she always stays by my side. Her and I work in the garden in front of the house, no fencing there and she always sits and watches me and never leaves me.

She is my "velcro" dog, my little soul mate and soon we will be spending 2 glorious weeks at a cottage, just her and I in the kayak. Annie loves that kayak and as soon as she sees it, her little bum wiggles a mile a minute. She sleeps in the kayak for hours as the water gently sways the boat.

Yes, Annie, Jackson and Brandi are all spoiled beyond belief. I guess I've ruined them all. They sleep in beds, with clean sheet, hog all the room and the adults can just move out if they don't like it. Brandi eats her supper on top of the kitchen table, since it's handy! When we go to work, we have the fireplace going and soft music playing for them! They eat all kinds of human stuff that they shouldn't! Instead of 2 ice cream cones (one for hubby and one for me) at the Dairy Queen, we get 5! We bought a new couch and it had to be a dark color, so it wouldn't show dog dirt! Each dog has her/his own knitted blanket for bed and the toy box that was emptied long ago, since the kids are all moved out, now is full once again with doggy toys.

Our social life is zip, since we work all day and wouldn't leave the dogs at night too. We had to pay $100.00 extra for the cottage rental, for dog damages! The hotel in the USA charged us and extra 50 bucks for the night to have the dogs there! Out savings account has long gone to the vets office.

But you know, we wouldn't trade our life for anything. The dogs give us so much love, it's hard to describe. To see Annie wag her little tail, after years of suffering and abuse is worth more that all the money and gold in the world to me. And sweet little Brandi, only 5 pounds and no teeth and now she's old, she loved her former owner so much and pined and looked for him for months! And the heartless son of a b#*ch was taking her to the vet to be put down, but I stepped in and she now loves us so much she turns cartwheels on that kitchen table when the hubby comes home from work.

Annie's life now is far removed from that puppy mill in Ohio, thanks to IMPS. She has a life full of love , warmth and good food and perhaps most importantly she "belongs" to someone who loves her very much.

As her "puppy mill" life fades in her memory, she is starting to develop into what was rightly hers. She is starting to live the life of a "real" dog. And that's all I ever wanted for her.

Hannah, Jackson, Granny Grunt (Annie) and tiny Brandi.

Money will get you a dog, but only love will get you the wag of his tail.

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Fri, 09 Nov 2001 12:19:29 - from Hannah

Dear Mag,

Gosh, it has been a long time since I was in contact with you. Summer is now gone and that horrible Canadian winter is on it's way. The dogs all say "snow snow, go away" since they had such a great time romping in the woods and fields all summer long.
Please tell the members of IMPS that I have posted an update once again to "Annie's Story"
Much thanks.

Hannah, Jackson, Granny Grunt (Annie) and tiny Brandi.
Money will get you a dog, but only love will get you the wag of his tail.

from a Ohio puppy mill, to love, peace and contentment in Ontario, Canada.

I am surprised that people actually take time to read "Annie's story" but have gotten emails wondering where we're at and how come I haven't updated for awhile! So I feel flattered, that her story is important to some people.

As past readers will know, Annie was a "nothing" dog, belonged to no one, had no name and was used for the sole purpose of breeding. She lived her life in a cage, and the people who are her actual heroes are the good people of IMPS. IMPS saved her life, along with 120 other dogs and I just had the good fortune of becoming her mommy after IMPS nursed her back to health.

Annie was somehow destined to meet me, I have no doubt of that at all. She started a relationship with me that comes along once in a lifetime. Inside her crippled little body, beats a heart of gold and she tugs at my heart strings the way no other dog has ever.

Now don't get me wrong, Annie has a brother, Jackson and a sister, Bandi and both of them are true loves of mine ,Although those 2 have been rejected in life also, life for the most part was far kinder to them, than it ever was to Annie and perhaps it's because of Annie's sad and abusive background that I fell the "need" in her to make her life extra special. The interactions I have on a daily basis with Annie, has assured a bond that won't be broken. Annie is just plain spoiled rotten. Seems like I am making up for all the hurt in her life in the past 4 years. Spoiled rotten is the way she is and spoiled rotten is the way she'll always be.

She came from such a filthy rotten place, that I made her a promise that won't be broken when she came here. Being clean, having good food, always a soft place to lay her head and never ever hearing an unkind wordarthritis promises that I have kept. I told her she would always "walk in sunshine" from now on and would never ever see the inside of a cage again, and she never has.

But love can't mend all the broken spirits of her past and Annie has had many health issues and many fears to overcome. She has arthrits bad and a immune system that is out of wack and this has not made all of Annie's life rosy all the time. The dreaded trips to the vet, all those needles for the blood tests and some pretty horrible medicine. The horrible side effects of pednisone, a drug not of choice, but of need, since she would have died without it.

But through it all, she's had my love and concern and the her road to health has been made easier because of it, I'm sure.

One of my proudest moment with Annie came at a Tellington touch session, not long ago. Annie and I went to 8 sessions, so I would learn the Tellington Touch, to help Annie with all her anxiety and stress of life. We where in a group of 6 other dogs and their owners and of course Annie clung to me like a wet dishrag. This socialization thing was just way to scary for Annie, the little dog who only ever peered out from inside a crate for 4 years or more. From a 2x4 crate, to a large room with strange people and their strange dogs, was just too much for Annie to handle. This was a place she did not want to be and the only safe spot was mommy lap and no way would she even get on the floor.

Well, we kept going and doing all the stuff the teacher told us. Tellington Touch is also a confidence builder, it takes the stress lever of the dog way down and in turn makes them more confident, or so the teacher told us.

On the 6th session, the plan was that each dog should walk around the room, on their own and just sort of observe their surroundings. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Annie would do this, since of course she was glued to my lap.

So session number 6 came and when it was Annie's turn, I almost dropped dead. There she went, my dear little scared girl, her head up high and in the regular minpin strutt, all around the room. Her whole body language told us all that she finally was a "SOMEBODY" For the whole room to see, she told them all that "I AM A DOG" now!!!!! Not a "no name" in a cage.

Gosh, I was hoping like crasy that no one was looking at me, since of couse the tears where there. I was just soooooo proud of my little girl. From a terrified dog in a cage, she came such a long long way.

Annie showed me that day, what true courage looks like.

Tellington Touch makes Annie feel good and each night she now "demands" it, so we spend time on the couch, lots of time, since of course Jackson and Brandi aren't missing out on this wonderful rub either.

Now that the kids have left the nest, the dogs have pretty well taken over. I just can't see my life without them. Yes, they are work and responsiblity, but the returns you get, money can't buy.

To see their little tails wag and the contentment in their eyes, is priceless. Brandi, the 4 pound poodle, who was rejected by her owner of 10 years, now turns cartwheels when my husband comes home!! Her owner ran out of time for her, and the appointment with doctor death was already made, when I took her sight unseen. She is a dear little soul, who has many years yet to live and much love to give. I just don't undertand how people can be so cruel.

The positive and absolutely wonderful experience I have had with IMPS has resulted into us opening our home for "just one more" needy dog! Like all minpin lovers will tell you, one is never enough of this wonderful breed. If I had my way, I'd probably have a dozen or more of them, but there is such a thing called "work" that becons me each day and takes up most of my time also. But I'm sure, I could fit one more into this crew and looking after these delighful little dogs, all you really need is love anyway. Well, a bit of cash does help and that's why we all go to work, I guess.

As write this, the long cold Canadian winter is on it's way. Already some evenings our walks in the bush and fields are cut short and the dog beds have been placed once again in front of the fireplace. Seeing the end to our nightly romps in the fields is always a sad time for me and the dogs. Walking them is a therapy to me, the stresses of life just seem to melt away with the birds singing and watching the dogs contented sniffing all that horrible old dog stuff that they love so much. Every blade of grass needs inspected and the odd rabbit we see is the highlight of their walks.

Now that the evenings are already dark, all 3 dogs wear blinking lights on their collars and to see the lights bobbing in the fields at night, makes me feel that all is OK in my world and theirs.

We will keep walking for as long as we can, but once the snow settles in, we're pretty well settled into the house also. That's when daddy starts digging paths in the backyard for the dogs to use. In fact this year we are erecting a shelter for the dogs to use in the winter, to run out and do their business in. The shelter will keep the rain and snow off them, both are not a welcome addition in the day of a minpin at all.

The Canadian winter usually lasts for 5 months!!! Five months of hell and feezing cold and weather not fit for dog or man, but then comes the glorious spring and once again Annie and her friends will be running in ANNIE'S MEADOW. By that time, I'm sure that IMPS will have found friend number 4 and LILLY as she'll be called, if it happens to be a girl, will join the clan in Annie's meadow. Lilly will be become just another spoiled rotten dog to romp the fields and bush in Ontario, Canada.

God Bless America!!! In your fight for freedom and justice and all that you hold dear and near. Many Canadians fly your flag, including us and what happend on September the 11th is inprinted in our minds and souls forever. May it never happen again.

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Photos of Annie...

Thu, 7 Feb 2002 19:11:44 -0500 - from Nancy


I just received a package from Hannah with some photos of her and Barry and Annie and I have scanned a few of them for the web site.

Annie Hannah,Annie

Hannah you did a great job and Barry thanks for being there for her and Hannah. Annie you look good (although I see you need to loose some weight, but that is the least of our worries). Your sister Bambi and your Aunt Nancy and Uncle Vince send you their love and wish you the very best. Get better so you can come see us again this summer!

All our love and good wishes.

Nancy & Vince and the crew (Max, Nikki, Dallas, Lucy, Bambi & Glory.)


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The Annie story continues...

Fri, 15 Nov 2002 15:11:37 +0000 - from Hannah

Gosh, a whole spring, summer and fall has come and gone and the once again the dreaded Canadian winter is looming quickly. Christmas is just around the corner and a month later, on January 17th, Annie will have had her permanent tracheotomy for 1 year! Annie had a wonderful spring and summer and really developed a lot of confidence this year. From a dog who had no choices in life, but to breed, have her babies and live a life of utter horror and despair year after miserable year, Annie is now DEMANDING the finer things in life! She's paid her dues, over and over again and now wants only hugs, kisses, warmth and great food. But most of all she wants love and getting an abundance of that each day paid off handsomely. She's no longer the frightened little minipin she once was. It took 2 years of loving Annie, but she now will take a chance once again on people and actually let them touch her and pet her and she's quit all that fear barking! Annie is finally a SOMEBODY and she knows it! She's a dear treasure in my life who has taught me a lot about courage and the will of a soul to live and keep fighting and hoping to find happiness along the way. Annie NEVER once gave up and surely she had many reason to give up. IMPS saved her life, but I gave her the reasons to keep fighting.

Annie remains "fragile" and needs someone like me to look out for her. She needs daily cleanings of her stoma and sometimes through the night too. But if Annie can manage, so can I. She's off all medications and eats too well and remains "fluffy" like a lot of middle aged gals. I guess her waist is gone forever! The eye surgery she had last May, is all healed now, but one eye was not completely successful and she lost some vision in that eye. She had "indolent ulcers" in both eyes and the surgery and her aftercare where no fun at all. Nothing is simple with Annie and it took 3 months for the one eye to heal, after running to the ophthalmologist weekly all that time. It was a 3 hour round trip and we had to borrow a car with air-conditioning, since Annie has problems breathing in the humidity. We also had to install central air in the house this summer, since without that, she could not survive. Heat and humidity are killers for her tracheotomy and she's actually better in the cooler weather. I would have thought the whipping snow would bother that, but it doesn't.

Annie ran the fields and the meadows this spring and summer with great glee. She went in the kayak with me and still loves that and went on many car rides and outings. She really is a normal healthy little minpin, who fought the fight and won!

Oh, I know she is fragile and on borrowed time. But we're all on borrowed time on this earth. I did come very close to loosing her once this summer. She occluded (plugged up) just like the vets told me may happen and I was not home and got home in the nick of time. She was stretched out on her side, barely conscious, and I did what I had to do and she came around quick. It was all very scary and I shook for hours. But 10 minutes later she wanted her supper! I called my good friend the vet at the university and she said to "put it out of my mind" since it MAY never happen again. I do for the most, but really freak if she's not at the door waiting for me when I come in!

I think her quality of life is good, but she does get winded at times and her organs do have to work overtime to compensate for her condition, and of course that is a concern I have. So I love her while I can and leave the rest to God. We've had him on our side for so long now, that I am sure he's got things under control.

Annie, Jackson and Brandi, presently have a visitor. Fred, a very needy old dachshund, who no one wanted. Fred weighed 12 pounds when he came to me and should weigh around 25! The one thing the Sawyer's are great at, is putting weight on dogs! LOL In the first week, Fred gained 5 pounds! He's an adorable badly abused fellow, so much like Annie was. To see him wag his tail and run and chase the ball is pure delight. My 3 spoiled brats always seem to sense a "need" in these abused dogs that I foster and I never have a problem introducing them to each other. Fred fits in like a glove and due to his age (9) and a host of health problems, may never leave here. Fred is just another life saved from this disposable world we all live in. Thank God, for rescue.

Well, I have a bit of a job ahead of me. Got to line all the 4 fur babies up, complete with their Christmas neck ties and have their picture taken! That should be fun! Having the picture made into a Xmas card and will send one to Annie's former foster mom and dad, Vince and Nancy and she can post it on the IMPS site. A picture is worth a million words!

Thanks for all your best wishes and prayers in the past. See, wishes do come true!

Dogs are the friends, we can only aspire to be.

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred.

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Hannah and her Babies!

Thu, 21 Nov 2002 09:18:30 +0000 - from Hannah

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred

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Mon, 13 Jan 2003 14:02:34 +0000 - from Hannah


Hello to all my friends at IMPS

I hope you all had a really good holiday season. Santa brought me a digital camera for xmas, and I thought it was really fitting that I send you this picture of my dear Annie and her buddy, Fred today. Today marks the day of the one year anniversary of Annie's and my nightmare that led to her eventual surgery, 5 days later. Althought it's not been all smooth sailing, you can see by the picture and Annie looks well and healthy. Fred is my latest "foster" who never went on to a foster home, but just stayed with us.

Much thanks.

Dogs are the friends, we can only aspire to be.

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred.

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My darling Annie

Sun, 09 Feb 2003 01:45:18 +0000 - from Hannah


Hello Mag,

Please put this wonderful pic of Annie and I on the IMPS web site for all to see. The picture was taken at the University Hospital visiting room almost one year ago. As you can see Annie was healing from her surgery at the time, since her scars are plainly visible yet. What a brave girl she is! But her mommy was absolutely wrecked!!!!

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred.

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Annie sends Valentine Greetings

Sun, 09 Feb 2003 01:51:34 +0000 - from Hannah


Here is another picture for the members of IMPS to enjoy. This was taken the year before Annie's surgeries, since of course she has a collar on, something that she can't wear now. Annie and I where actually out in my kayak, and she and I got out for lunch and she slept under the shade of a tree on this little island we where on. As I was watching her sleeping, I noticed ants crawling on her, and I put my thin squall jacket on top of her, and that is what she is sitting on in the picture. Look at her dear little face! She is so cute!!! Every day I give thanks to IMPS for giving me Annie.

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred.

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Annie's Story Continues...

Mon, 10 Mar 2003 12:12:48 +0000 - from Hannah

Hi Mag,

People have actually been emailing me and asking for updates on my dear Annie!!! I know that IMPS is VERY busy, since I have been on the web site many times and it seems to me that there are more and more lost souls needing a warm heart, good food and all that cuddling that minpins thrive on. It's all so very sad to me, to read the stories of what they have gone through, since I of all people know so very well the horrors that abused and unwanted dogs go through daily. The abuse leaves such an inprint on their minds, that some of it just never leaves them no matter how much love you dish out and this never makes them completely free. At any rate, on to "Annie's Story".

The winter in Ontario has been frighful, minus 30 degrees, snow over the fences and it's not fit for humans, let alone small minpins to be outside at all. It's sadly been a winter of inactivity for all. Hours of sleeping and resting in front of a fireplace in a cuddle ball is not the healthies for dogs to spend their days and nights. They suffer from "cabin fever" and unrest, much like humans. They long for sun, fresh air and green grass and most of all lasy walks in fields, sniffing the new spring season. It's been a long long time since their little feet hit the green grass of home, and spring in all it's glory can't come fast enough to suit us here. Moutains of snow will have to melt yet and the fields will have to dry up before that happens. But the fact that Annie is alive and will enjoy this spring at all, is a miracle in itself. From her devastating surgery, just over a year ago, to now, her course of healing has not been smooth. It's been far more of a challenge and dedicated care than I could have ever imagined. Very little of her "minimal after care" that was explained to us before her surgery, has come true. We where led to believe that after the healing process was complete, Annie would require a couple of "wipes" to the outside of her tracea opening and would have very little limitations. Seemed very easy to me, at the time and no big deal. But Annie presents a very unusual case and is not following the medical text books like we had hoped.

From just before Christmas of last year, she presented a challenge to keep her air way free of obstructions. Cleaning her airway was a daily challenge that had to be met almost hourly. In fact Annie "occluded" twice, with very little warning and had no one been home and seen this, she would have been dead withing minutes. Her tracea is so small ( the size of a straw) that any small piece of mucus will obstruct her almost immediately. Of course, every time she is left alone, there is a real danger of this happening. So we got medical advice once again and in this department, we feel we are mostly on our own. I felt she had an infection deep in her tracea that was responsible for her occlusions and tests revealed this. Meds cleared that up and she was much better as long as she was on the medication, but once the course of meds stopped, it came back again.

I was at my wits end, and knew in my heart that I would find Annie dead one of these days. Her death, in my mind, I am prepared for. Or so I think, although when it happens, I have no idea how I will react. But sure as I am sitting here now, it will happen. It's just a matter of time, where and when.

At any rate, I made the painful decision to have Annie once again admitted to the University, where she has all the top notch specialist to poke and prod her and give us some answers. Why is she needing 10 to 20 cleanings of her tracea a day??? Is there something that we are all missing here? Can she be helped or is it all for not? Will she live the rest of her days, dependant on me to get enough oxygen? There is no way that I or anyone else can provide this kind of care.

The day before Annie was admitted to the University Hospital I compose the most painful letter of all. I knew they would ask me all kinds of questions as to what my wishes where if the tests showed that Annie would have a very poor quality of life left from now on. I knew that I would be in very bad shape emotionally to answer any questions, so I composed the letter and sealed it. Of course I was prepared to let Annie go in peace and I stated in the letter that it was my wish to take Annie's body home and my plan would be to bury her in the garden where she loves to lay in the sunshine. The big worry was tracea collaps, a condition that would hamper her quality of life greatly, along with her other problems.

So dear brave Annie and I walked into the University once more. Her wonderful doctors came immediately and took her away quickly. It was the best thing to do, since Annie is so deathly afraid of this place and deathly afraid of leaving her mom. Immediately they gave her sedation to calm her somewhat and take the edge off leaving me. The testing was to last the whole day and I spend it all sitting in a waiting room, with her doctors coming out and bringing me updates. By 5pm, a dopey and sleepy Annie was brought out to the waiting room in her favorite dog bed and dumped in my lap. There wasn't a dry eye in that waiting room when I saw her dear wee face again. Three vets stood before me, crying their eyes out! Annie's and my meetings are always very emotional, and the fact that I may have never seen her again, except in a dead state, it was even more emotional than every. She licked my tears, as if to say "it's allright mom, I forgive you for bringing me here" and very quickly we where in the car driving home. Annie slept all the way home.

The tests revealed nothing abnormal. Yes, she did have a raging infection once again, deep in the tracea. It's this pool of mucus that she can't expell on her own, that is causing all the problems for her and me. Medications of course cleared this up, but it will return. All of the millions of germs that float around the air are a direct darget for her, since she has no filtering system like normal dogs do. She's been on a 2 week course of antibiotics and her problems cleared up nicely. Now that she has been off the drugs for a week or so, it's coming back and she will once again have to go back on the drugs.

I know some readers reading this will ask themselves if it's really fair for Annie to live this way. But I am the only one that can answer that honesly, since I am the one that takes care of her day in and out and I see her daily and what she is like. The vets all agree, that it's ME that has to make this decision and no one else.

I look in Annie's eyes and talk to her daily and she wants to LIVE and be with me. She's struggled far to much to give up just yet. She looks great, nice shiny coat, sweet sweet face and her little nub always wags and she is soooooo happy to be with us. It's not her time yet, I know that. But I also know that her time will come. And yet in my heart, I know that Annie is waiting for spring and the green grass and being able to romp in Annie's Meadow once again this year. I hope that I am right. When her time comes, she will go in peace and I will have the peace of knowing that I did everthing I could and never let her down.

I don't worry about where to bury Annie, since she will be buried deep in my heart and that's where she will always stay.

Annie is a fighter and so am I and her and I have been though so many bad things, that it's only made us more of a soul mate than ever imagined.

I know in my heart that Annie and I will romp the green fields of home once more this spring and I am hoping for a good season for her and her brother Jackson. She deserves that so very much.

Thanks for all your support and prayers. I know that they all where instrumental in helping Annie cope for this long.

"Dogs are the friends, we can only aspire to be."

Hannah, Jack, Annie, Brandi and Fred.

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Annie, the angel.

Sun, 16 Mar 2003 18:02:16 +0000 - from Hannah

I thank each and every one of the members here, for their kind emails, their thoughts and their prayers.

My days are filled with grief and all I do is cry. I can "see" and "hear" Annie everywhere in this house. I just can't believe that I will never be able to stroke her little body or rub her ears by the hour, something she loved so much. I use to be able to put my little finger, gently right in her ear, and then I would draw little circles in her ear and she thought she had died and gone to heaven. Always after I came home and fed them, Annie and Jack would jump up in the couch and one would wrap their little feet around one thigh and the other around the other thigh, and it was like they where holding onto me and did not want me to ever move and leave them!!

Then of course when I go to my bedroom to change into the old grubbies, Annie would come up there flying up the stairs and I would put her on the bed and she'd play with my pantyhose. She just loved those pantyhose! Now I just pull them off and cry. Well, I cry and kiss her picture that is now on the bedside table.

What is making it even worse is the weather. Spring is making a stab at it, and the sun is warm and the snow is melting. Annie so loved the warm sun on her little body, and I took great care of her all winter long, just waiting for spring and a walk in the fields to "Annie's Meadow". In the fields Annie was free, and of course it was so important to me that Annie be free, after 4 years in a rotten cage in that puppy mill.

Yesterday I took Jack, my other minpin to the fields and "Annie's Meadow" and emotionally it just wrecked me. I saw the huge rock, Annie and I use to sit by and how she made her first attempt when I first got her, to be a "normal" dog and she pulled on my coat collar when I spread it on the ground for her to sit on!! That was a huge step for a dog that only peered out of a cage for 4 years!

Annie would have been so happy, running in the sun yesterday. Sometimes I call her name and I can hear her!!! It's very spooky.

I hope no one takes offence here now, but I find no comfort in "Rainbow Bridge". All I know is that Annie is gone forever. I know she is in my heart and will always be, but that's cold comfort to me now. I want her HERE, with me, running in the sunshine and over the fields and her little "wiggle bum" so happy. I want her pulling at my pantyhose, laying in her snuggle ball in front of the fireplace. I want her beside me in my bed, where she was for 3 years. I want to be able to hear her breathe and pet her little face at night. But most of all, I want her to lick my face and lick the tears away. She was very good at that.

Good night, sweet Annie, I will always love you. On earth you suffered far too much, it's not fair.

"Dogs are the friends, we can only aspire to be."

Hannah, Jack and Brandi.
(and Annie who was buried in my heart, on March 14th)

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Bella the beautiful. Annie the angel.

Thu, 27 Mar 2003 18:48:57 +0000 - from Hannah

Dear Mag,

Please post this on the "Annie Story" that I will keep writing. Many IMPS members have written to me and told me what the story has ment to them. Some even said it changed their life and they are now into dog rescue work!!! The power of words, I guess you just never know how it affects others!



Out of the darkness and into the light! Yes, I've been in a tunnel of darkenss and now a darling little red head by the name of Bella, has brought me the light. In my heart I know, that the angel that sent Bella to me, was none other than Annie. You can call is corny, call it all hog wash or wishful thinking, but how else can you explain that a little red head of a dog was found wandering the streets of LasVagas, caught by the pound and put on death row. Scooped by an IMPS volunteer on her last day of life and then travelled 5 hours in the belly of a huge plane, landed thousands of miles away, and stepped on Canadian soil for the first time in her life and is just perfect! Come on people, Annie was looking out for her mommy!

Annie said, it's time to dry your tears, I hate to see you unhappy and crying all the time. Annie was so "in tune" with my feelings, as I was with hers. If I was sad she always sat by me and gave me the very best kisses ever. She would lick my face, like only a soul mate could.

Bella Marie Annie Sawyer arrived by Air Canada on a 8:10 pm flight from LasVagas, last Tuesday night. Bella means beautiful and that she is. She was in amazingly good shape, consitering she was "in transit" for 8 hours! I peered in her little crate and the tears where close, she was so beautiful. Yes, it was love at first sight. Bella's foster mom, Vicki Peters was sweating buckets back home, worried about a little girl that she found difficult to part with, and send off to some godforsaken place called Ontario, Canada. Canada, the land of snow and ice, when her baby has never seen snow in her life before! It was a difficult parting for Vicki, and I had promised to call her as soon as we got in the door and I did and Vicki cried. Vicki was very brave taking this huge step into the unknow, since Bella is sweet beyon words.

Not many people know about my private life. I have never written about it. But I lived a childhood of abuse. Suffice to say, our home was always in a state of unrest, and never peaceful, due to alcoholism. No, I am not complaining, since millions of people carry the same scars. Also I have a wonderful family of my own, 4 wonderful grown sons and a husband that no one would ever come close to. But the reason I say this, is because of my disfunctional background, the fact that our home was never a safe haven, is the reason I understood Annie's pain in a way that people who live a happy childhood could not even imagine. Annie's 4 years of puppy mill time, was filled with horror and nothing but chaos. She was afraid, as I was as a child. She never knew peace and quiet, much like me. I filled her life in a way that I wish mine had been and even if I do say so myself, I did a wonderful job at it. I never spoke a cross word to Annie and now that she lives only in my heart, I can say that I have nothing to be sorry about. Many many times when someone dies, we have so many regrets and wish we had said this and that more often. But not with Annie. I told her I loved her thousands of times and always made sure to tell her "what a good girl you are" each and every day.. She never heard that at the puppy mill, since she was a "nobody" there. So I made sure that every single day I had her, I told her she was the VERY best ever! And she was! The last time I saw Annie alive, she was sitting on the rug by the door chewing a carrot and I bent down and kissed her head and told her that "mommy loves you" and I'll be home soon! Her wee nub of a tail wagged and she looked happy. She knew the routine here and knew I would be back from work soon.

For those that don't know, Annie passed away peacefully in her doggy bed, and the fact that she never got out of the bed tells me that she did not struggle and death came fast. This is very important to me, since I always feared the end and just how it would end.

Annie's ashes sit on the mantel right now and her picture is beside it. Heck, her pictures are all over the house, as are Jack's and Brandi's. I have just decorated the house for Easter and put some cute wee bunnies beside Annie's ashes. Yes, her picture is beside my bed too and each night I kiss it and tell her "you're a good girl" and it makes me feel better. I wear a little heart pin each and every day to work. It reads "My best friend" and has Annie's picture in it. I wear it over my heart and it keeps her close to me.

The first time I saw Bella, I knew she would fill a void in my heart. She is soooooo beautiful and as Vicki said "she wants to love someone badly". She is still scared and confused, and not at ease with us yet. I hug her and hold her close and she sleeps close to my body at night, much like Annie did when she came her, to ease her fears. She looks nothing like Annie and that may be a good thing. She is NOT Annie and had she resembled Annie too much it may have been painful for me. Bella has the most wonderful stick up natural ears. Poor Annie, someone thought shopping her's pretty well off was a good thing to do. Annie had these little spike up ears, but I learned to love her ears, and would stick my finger in them and rub them in a little circle, and she loved that. So I am happy that Bella has these huge ears, and they are not like Annie's at all.

We brought Bella home in the same blanket that we brought Annie home in. But I went to the store and bought Bella her own collar and her own food dish. Even though Annie has loads of collars, that of course after her operation she could not use, plus she had this little yellow "Happy" dish, I find it too painful yet to use her stuff. Vicki had bought her a wonderful collar, but I wanted her to have one to match her "heart" dog tag which is red, that I got her.

I know that Annie is behind all this. She has send me a wonderful friend, and an "easy" dog to look after. Bella is quiet and reserved, and Annie knows that I can't handle all that much yet. Bella and Jack have been to the fields together and this morning we went to "Annie's Meadow" and Bella who is yet unsure about all this walking and the great outdoors that she has never seen before, is learning quickly to love it as much as Annie did. I can see and feel the connection between Bella and I already. She walks on her lead, and ever once in awhile sneeks a peek to see if I am still behind her. This morning in bed, she licked my neck!

Bella is so good, she is so precious, and she will now get all the love that I gave Annie. Bella will ride the kayak this spring, she will run "Annie's Meadows", but most of all she will never hear a cross word and always know love.

IMPS, you have made me happy beyon words. Another match made in heaven. I want to thank all the IMPS members who helped in any way at all, in letting me have Bella. Some people have emailed me and said that Bella is a very lucky girl to find me. They use to say that about Annie too. But I never looked at it that way, I always felt that it was me, who was lucky to have Annie and now this darling Bella in my life.

This weekend I will take lots of pictures of Bella and her big brother Jack. Jack is very good with her and they fit together like a glove. Jack is dark and handsome and bigger than Bella. Bella is a rich red head and together they make a very striking pair. I will send pictures soon of my love bugs.

Thanks to Nancy, Petie and most of all Vicki for once again giving me the opportunity to make a difference in Bella's life. I won't let you down. Bella the beautiful is sleeping in the bed beside me, and looks very content. She is so perfect, that I just can't imagine that her previous owners are not looking for her and crying their eyes out. She has been well taken care of and does not show the signs of abuse or neglect. I feel she has been someone loved pet. I guess their loss is my gain.

Hannah, Jack , Brandi and Bella.
(and Annie who was buried in my heart, on March 13th)

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Sun, 27 Apr 2003 10:33:10 +0000 - from Hannah

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my "Little Wiggle Bum" Annie. I walk the fields with Jack and Bella now and so wish Annie was at my side. I've shed a million tears back in the fields and when I get to "Annie's Meadow" and sit by the rock where her and I spent so much time, my emotions just overflow. It's spring here in Ontario, the most beutiful time of the year. Annie loved the spring so much. After our long cold winters of being cooped up in the house, she would romp the fields and meadows with glee, just donig what dogs love to do. Eat grass, smell old dog poop and sniff a million new scents and kick up her heels and just run in the sunshine. The memories flow back so vividly and sadnees follows me wherever I walk. It's hard to walk these paths without her, but I do it, for Jack and Bella now. Annie and I almost made it to spring, but I guess it was "not to be". The sadness is clouding my vision of all the new beginnings that spring brings. I don't hear the birds, I don't see the trees budding, I don't see the little flowers poking their heads up or the new lush grass. All I see through my tears is a brown expanse of field that is empty without Annie.

Click HERE for the full-sized picture

I made this picture for Annie that I am sending you and framed it and it hangs in my living room. I love the way it turned out, but it's still "cold" comfort to me. I wanted to share the picture and poem with the members. I am not the author of the poem, but I am working on a poem for "Annie" that is of my own thoughts.

Hannah, Jack, Brandi and Bella.
(and Annie who was buried in my heart, on March 13th)

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Sat, 20 Sep 2003 14:32:42 +0000 - from Hannah


Dear Annie.

Jack, Bella, daddy and I all sent our love to you. You never really knew Bella. She did not take your place, since no one can. But she was scared and needed love like you did and I knew you would want me to do that. No, she does not eat out of your bowl, or wear your harness or play with your toys, or even lay on your blankets or your doggy bed. Mommy saved all that stuff for you in a "Memory box" and no one can touch that. I still have all your coats too and Bella has her own stuff. I also put away your little "smiley" drinking glass that was on the night stand and Bella has a new one. You have a little tree now in the back yard, with you name on it and I hope it grows big and strong, like you could not. Mommy is so sorry about all the trips to the vets place all the time and all the time you had to spend away from me in that hospital, but I could not help it. I visited you every single day and the hardest part was having to leave you in that awful cage everytime I left! You did not see me crying all the way home, since i wanted to be just as brave as you where. Mommy is still sad and cries a lot, I can't help it, since I want you back so much. I know you had to leave,but you and I where such a dream team and I did not want to let you go.

Annie, you where the bravest dog that I have even seen. Your bravery taught me so much. Remember when I was always so afraid of the dentist??? Well, I have had to go there a lot lately, and the first time I had to go for that dreaded "root canal" stuff, I just told myself "look at what YOU had to face" and did, and ever since then I have not been afraid again! When I have to face something bad, I just think of you and that puts a different light on it. I took the chance of loving another dog again, since I also learned that from you. The world abused you so terribly, and yet you found it in your heart to love once more, since i know that you loved me with all your little heart. After years in a stinking rotten cage in a puppy mill and those people talking away all your babies, you had ever reason to give up on life and yet you never did. You came to me, thousands of miles away and so scared of everything and everyone, and yet little by little you opened your heart and took a chance once more on this cruel world. What you went thought, no dog should, and I am so very very sorry for all that. Annie, your ashes stand on a little shelf with wonderful pictures on you around it, but you are not really on that shelf, you are buried in my heart forever.

I am sorry that I still have lots of tears to shed, since I am not nearly as brave as you. Hopefully someday I can think of you with only a smile on my face, but not yet. I know you don't want me to be sad, but I can't help it.

I send you all my love baby, and someday we will meet again. Oh, if I could only stroke you ONCE more and tell you what a "good girl" you always where!!!

Annie, I miss you so much in a million places. I just wanted you to live forever. But your poor broken down body got in the way, I guess.

Hannah, Brandi,Jack, Bella and Annie who is buried in my heart forever.

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Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:18:56 +0000 - from Hannah

While walking Bella and Jack on a dark cold winter night last week, a black pick up truck pulls along side of me, stops and a stranger rolls down his window. The lone male occupant, perhaps 35 years of age yells out the window "I see you have minpins, would you like one more, that I will need to dispose of"? Well, what is the problem, I ask. So he talks about moving and how first he can't have a pet, and then admits he can, but does not want him anymore. I make a few inquiries, age (9yrs), sex (male), health (not too good), name (Killer), disposition (bites), and I search my soul, but just for a second. That's all it took, since on my shoulder I actually FEEL Annie and she is telling me "mommy, take him" he needs you like I did! I give him my phone number and the next evening he calls and I give him my address and within 1 hour he's in my driveway with Killer in tow.

Killer is shaking and looks like a wee sewer rat, all hunched up, with a little grey face and hobbles around the kitchen on 3 legs. His master is standing at the kitchen counter with a 5 page "legal agreement" that must have taken hours for him to draw up, complete with 5 copies that I must sign and have witnessed! It outlines mainly how this man will not be responsible for any vet costs, can't be sued by me, if Killer bites and that I am taking this dog, KNOWING that he has a lump on his back, bad teeth and "something" wrong with his feet and his hind quarters. I really was not in the mood for all this nonsense, so I said "what if I don't sign this"? and to that he stated "well, I will take Killer back and have him disposed of"! I look at Killer the wee rat, hobbling around the kitchen floor and CLEARLY see Annie. She appears in a white haze and her wiggle bum is going and I had to blink my eyes. Without a word, I quickly scribble my initials on all 5 copies and he gets my husband to witness this. Killers only "property" is a huge bag of "no name" dog food and a chewed up plastic dish, and then I mentioned that Killer would be changing food, his owner asks to take his food and dish back with him! Out the door he walks, carrying his dog food, the old chewed up dish and his 4 copies of his "legal agreement" and never takes one look back at Killer. Barry and I sit in stunned silence, while Killer runs around going nuts on 3 legs. We can't touch him or comfort him, he will bite us. Vicious little rat, he is. (Scared shitless is more like it). The day passes, with Barry or I putting on work gloves and throwing a blanket over Killer head, to take him outside, to ward off his biting. Thankfully Jack, Bella and Brandi mainly ignore him. Oh we have the usual sniffing, checking it out and some grows and snapping, but I am ever ready with the water spray and do not need to use it often.

Killer's (who is now called Billy) has crippled feet, with nails that have not been cut in years and are all misshaped, curled under and as a result Billy walks on the side of his feet and not on the pads at all. His ears are red inside,and he has a large flat hard mass between the shoulder blades. Billy is also seriously overweight.Under the blubber, breathes a tiny tiny minpin.

Next day, Billy weighs in at 12 1/2 pounds at the vet and needs to loose 1/3 of his total weight. The lump on his back turns out to be a huge cyst, that has broken open at one time, but never drained properly and should have had antibiotics for, but of course did not. But NO cancer, as I feared. I tell my vet about his biting, so we get a muzzle and she trims as much as she could off his nails. This hurt him, but Billy instead of trying to bite, is trying to lick the vet through the muzzle! Billy gets a blood test and never a peep out of him. She cleans his ears and yanks his hind quarters this way and that way and Billy is the perfect little gentleman. We decide to do an x-ray.His mouth that snapped and snarled at us, is now open wide to check his teeth and Billy is smiling! Billy can be "fixed" up and he and I drive home happy as clams, with him sitting on my lap. NO CANCER, I yell at Barry, as I am coming though the door and Billy is licking my face!

Within 24 hours of my little rat hitting my front door, Billy is now sleeping in our bed as close as he can get to one of us, he is all mush and kisses, his wiggle bum never stops, he curls his little legs around my leg when I am sitting on the couch, hanging on to me, and hobbles "off lead" in the fields, inches behind me, never really leaving my side. He's on supplement for his arthritis and the hobbling will lessen with time. His new "Happy Face" collar, suits him and with a bath (which he took in stride) he smells good now.

The angel Annie is very wise, she knew what she was doing. Had it not been for her, Billy's sad fate may have been met. Billy is by far not the most beautiful minpin you have ever seen, but in his little body beats a soul and heart of pure gold, and I will take that anytime, over beauty. This is Annie's legacy that she left behind. Oh, how I miss her, but she walks with me every single day.

Sweet dreams, little Annie. Mommy loves you so much, and she still hurts a lot.

You won't change the world by adopting a homeless dog, but you will change the world for that dog.
Hannah, Brandi,Jack, Bella, Billy and Annie who is buried in my heart forever.

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Mon, 24 May 2004 14:33:15 +0000 - from Hannah

Yes, spring is all over in Ontario and once again we walk the fields and "Annie's Meadow" and thoughts of Annie are never far from my mind and heart. It's lonely here without her, and I wish with all my heart that she was by my side in body and not just in my mind.

Here is from Annie:

Letter From Your Pet In Heaven

To my dearest family,
some things I'd like to say.
But first of all, to let you know,
that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from the Bridge.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here there's no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy
just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I am with you
every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you
when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
and He said, "I welcome you.

It's good to have you back again,
you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family,
They'll be here later on."

God gave me a list of things,
that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list,
was to watch and care for you.

And when you lie in bed at night
the day's chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you...
in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth,
and all those loving years,
because you are only human,
they are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry:
it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you
all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you,
you wouldn't understand.

But one thing is for certain,
though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now,
than I ever was before.

There are rocky roads ahead of you
and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it
by taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy
and I'd like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world,
the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody
who's in sorrow and pain;
Then you can say to God at night...
"My day was not in vain."

And now I am contented...
that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along
I made somebody smile.

God says: "If you meet somebody
who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up,
as on your way you go.

When you're walking down the street
with me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind."

"And when it's time for you to go...
from that body to be free.
Remember you're not going...
you're coming here to me."

-Author Unknown.

Annie is a soul mate that I will never forget. For her, I go on and rescue others that no one else wants and give them the love that I gave her. This is my promise to her. The tears still flow a lot and what it ment to loose her, no one will ever know. Annie's garden is in full bloom now and the angel statue looks our for her and her little sister Brandi, who also had to leave me this past March. Hug all your fur babies tight, since life for them is so very short.

Dogs are not our whole life, but make our lives whole.
Hannah, Jack, Billy, Bella, and the angels
Annie and Brandi, buried in my heart.

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For Annie...

Mon, 7 Mar 2005 15:11:09 -0500 - from Hannah

Hello Mag,

IMPS is still close to my heart, and I look on the wonderful pictures of the wee pins, travelling from "rags to ritches" all due to IMPS.
I will forever be grateful to IMPS for giving me "Annie". Her love is with me every single day and her legacy has given me a "gift" of helping other needy dogs. She opened my eyes to the horrible suffering of the abused, the unwanted and the unloved.
March the 13th marks the second year of Annie's passing. Her pictures hang on the wall, her ashes are in a blue urn with an angel sitting on top of it and her spirit fills the house. Those we love, we never really loose, since they walk with us daily.

For Annie:

You have her in your heart.

I will lend to you for awhile, a dog, the angel shone.
For you to love her while she lives
and to mourn her when she's gone.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
Or maybe for two or three.
But will you, 'till I call her back
take care of her for me?

I've looked the whole world over,
in search of a master true.
And from the folks in this world,
I have choosen YOU!!!

Now give her all the love you can,
and mend her broken heart.
Teach her that not all men are cruel,
But some day you may part.

But should I call her back,
much sooner than you've planned.
Brave the bitter grieft that comes,
and try and understand.

You have sheltered her with tenderness
and have loved her while you may.
And when she comes to me, to live
She will come, but her soul will stay.

She'll walk beside you, day and night.
her love is pure and true.
Death cannot sever such a love,
as Annie had for you.

So cry not for this little dog,
that I have taken back.
she may be mine forever now,
but you have her in your heart.

   Your mommy loves you forever.

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The grateful thanks to the IMPS, to all it's volunteers, to Nancy and Vince who gave us the opportunity to make a change in Annie's life, goes without saying.
God bless all the beautiful people here, who speak for dogs that can't. I am very interested to hear from other adoptees of minpins from that Ohio puppy mill closure. I'd like to know what their experiences have been, and swapping ideas and tips on how to help make these little lovable dogs into what they should have been, can only help.
Please post my e-mail address and I welcome and will reply to any.

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