How do I describe my Annie?
She chose me and came bounding into my life and heart 10 years ago. Annie was an active hunt basset hound and her world consisted of being a member of a pack of 26 basset hounds bred for hunting, field trials and life in a kennel. She was very well taken care of by her owner. I was introduced to the owner by a good friend, Brent Atwater. She knew my love for animals and that I was looking for a place to live. She knew the owner was looking for someone to take care of the kennel and caretake on a daily basis (including living in a wonderful restored farmhouse). The situation was ideal for all concerned.
The first day I walked into the 26 basset hound kennel, my heart was lost to that breed. They absolutely speak to my heart more than any other breed of dog I have owned in my lifetime. Not to say the others were not truly loved beyond reason, there was just something different about these basset hounds. Their eyes project their soul piercing your soul each and every time they gaze into your eyes. I thought at the time how in the world am I going to learn their different names ?! I found like being in a school class room eventually it all works out and you get to know each and everyone's name, what they look like, their personalities etc.
The first day as I was cleaning and washing down Annie's kennel I felt this nose jab me in the back of the knee once and then several more times. I turned around and looked down and there stood Annie as if to say Here I Am take notice. This went on for several days. Within a week the owner made the comment that she didn't think Annie wanted to hunt anymore. She was going to try a few things just to make sure, and if that was the case she was going to have to retire Annie and either find a home for her or take her to the vet and have her euthanized. To me that was totally unacceptable. I told her I wanted Annie. The rest is history.
I took her home and the first thing we did was have a bath in an old fashioned claw bath tub. It became a priority with her, as she decided she loved bubble baths and wanted them once a week! She would go immediately to the tub to let you know that is what she wanted. Next I gave her a "cloud nine" soft bed the softest I could make it. She had spent her first four years on hard cement. Next I gave her the softest micro-fleece"Wubbie" blanket I could find. She adored her blanket and would wrap herself in it and snuggle herself so emerged in it that at times I only saw her nose. In fact, I would have to put her in another room or outside to be able to take it away to wash.
Annie's personality exploded into full bloom and she became the biggest love hound you could imagine. She made you laugh (which was quite often) by watching her explore the new things. She never got the hang of playing with toys. So her world became her blanket, bed, myself and Amos my cat.
Amos decided he was to take care of her and stand century over her even when she went outside and to give her baths and kisses. The three of us were always together. Annie brought such a presence of love and joy into our reality we were the end all be all for her and we felt the same about he
Our threesome went on for many years until 6 months ago when Annie's body began to give out. My heart saddened as I realized her time was drawing near. I wondered What will we do without her? The times she had to spend the night with the vet, Amos and I were traumatized without her being in the house. The day came when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I was devastated. Amos was devastated. The house felt so empty like a 200 pound presence had left as Annie's energy was so huge with the love she presented and was so tangible. I went into deep mourning. Amos went into deep mourning. I thought I was going to lose him as well because of his pining for Annie. The only peace I could find was to keep her "Wubbie" with me.
I became Linus on "Charlie Brown" carrying the blanket she loved with me. It was the only time I could feel her love and her presence. I retreated from the world. I couldn't even talk about her much less look at a picture of her as those soulful eyes looking back at me was more than my breaking heart could stand (even with my belief system that she isn't gone -she's just in another form).
My grief went on for months. Friends and family tried to help, but there was no consoling as this was my "Angel Annie". I failed to mention that on her back, there in white on a black background (she was a tri-colored basset) was an abstract Angel with wings spread and a BIG white heart There was no denying this is what the shapes looked like and really were the symbol of the essence of "Angel Annie." The pain would not go away. It was unbearable.
I had several friends suggest the idea of doing Guardian Angels for pets, but I would not hear of it. Too Too painful and not even sure I could do it, and not even wanting to try. I was not ready to go there. Finally, I started getting bombarded with things about pets in many forms, emails, images, pictures, friends kept suggesting the Guardian Angels for pets and it just kept progressing to the point where I finally got adamant with the Angels and stated "you are going to have to do better than that for symbols if this is what I am supposed to do. This is just way too painful and I need to get past this pain." Another symbol would show up. I again, would state "you have to do better than that" another symbol would show up I again, would state "you have to do better than that" another symbol would show up.
This was a first I questioned something given to me from the Angels as part of my path. Normally, I would just go with the flow. This was not the case! The Angels had enough of my denial and decided we will be "in her face" literally -until she gets this message. On Sunday, January 6, 2008 as I sat in my living room wanting to take a break and watch an old movie on TV ,a high vibrational pitch started in my ears (which I am used to), but not at this crescendo. Shapes started taking form with glowing auras that I have seen before (as I have painted them), but NOT as a large group in my living room! Commercials started appearing every few minutes during the movie and each and every time it was the images of the Animal rescue shelters over and over again you know the ones the ones with the dogs with the soulful eyes that wrench the heart.
I finally said I Get It! I Give up! I Can't take this anymore. I will go into the studio and put a canvas up and see what comes through for Annie as a Guardian Angel, but I really don't want this to be painful and I do not want to cry. I am trying to move forward and get past this horrendous pain. So that is what I did.
I said my prayer and asked for the connection to be made as I always do. I was then given the colors to use and began the painting. I would have to stop and walk into the other room for awhile and would state " I don't feel Annie Where is she?" This went on until the painting was finished, I still was not feeling Annie and went on to bed.
The next morning I awoke and the painting was fresh on my mind so I went to check it to see if I felt Annie still nothing. I walked away and went into my bedroom. As I walked back into the studio I felt Annie's spirit walk in beside me. Amos felt her presence too! He came running into the studio.
So what do we do next? Through the quiet stillness I heard "Now create a page to publish on your website offering Pet Guardian Angel paintings." I proceeded to do just that with Annie's spirit present and Amos sitting at my feet. When all was completed and ready to publish I had a light bulb moment. I knew without a doubt that this is something Annie and I were to do together her work was not finished on this earth.
Annie is going to work through my, now "our" website continuing to project her strong essence of love to all that can be helped, soothed or just to celebrate their own relationship and love of their beloved animal companion.
At that point I felt a great peacefulness settle over me and my heart for the first time since Annie had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I knew she was still with me and we had important work to do. I was able to look at the web page that has her image and feel her love, warmth and the great healing begin within me. The horrible pain had lifted.
I then said a prayer to encompass "our intent" and hit the publish button. I felt a gush of energy project out and in my mind's eye I saw Annie's spirit soar out and wrap earth in the essence of love. I knew she would be bringing those that needed or knew of someone that needed a personalized Pet Guardian Angel painting in their lives, so they too could be comforted or healed or just wanted to celebrate their living pet companion.
Annie's and my work and love continues together , forever and always........