Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How an Abandoned Dog Found Her True Calling

By Linda Cole

Sometimes, life throws even dogs a curve ball and they suddenly find themselves abandoned and alone. And sometimes, life has something special in store for a little homeless dog left all alone. This is a story about an abandoned dog named Antoinette, and how she found her true calling.

When this story began for Annie, it could have had a completely different ending if the right person hadn't found her. It's easy to pass judgment on others, especially when it comes to the treatment of a pet, but none of us really knows how we will react to a situation until we're confronted with one. Sometimes, it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel and we make the decision we feel is right at the time. For Annie, everything turned out better than her owner could have guessed. Her guardian angels were watching over her and placed Annie's fate in the hands of a stranger who found her in a dog park on a cold Thanksgiving night last year in Springfield, Illinois.

Stormy Edwards was walking her dog when she heard a dog barking from the Stuart Park area. The dog sounded like she was in trouble, so Edwards decided to investigate. As she neared the sound of the barking, she realized it was coming from one of the pens in the dog park. Using a flashlight, Edwards found a scared and confused Cockapoo named Annie that had been left inside one of the pens, along with a dish of lasagna and a bowl of water. A note had been placed under the lasagna that began with “My name is Antoinette, Annie for short.” The note went on to say that Annie's owner had become too ill to care for her and she had put Annie in the pen in hopes another dog lover would find her and take her home. Annie's shots were up-to-date and she had been spayed. It ended with a plea to whoever found Annie, “Please take me home. I am a loving dog.” The note was written by a woman.

Reading the note left Edwards teary eyed and she called the police. Annie was taken to Sangamon County Animal Control and everyone was amazed at how well she had been taken care of by her owner who had abandoned her in the park. The five year old dog was housebroken, well groomed, healthy, and had apparently been in a loving home, until her owner's medical concerns left her with a heartbreaking decision. No one knows why the owner didn't take Annie to a shelter in the first place. In a way, leaving Annie in the dog park may have been the best thing for her because she ended up at the right place that would lead her to her true calling – as a therapy dog at Regency Nursing Care in Springfield.

Regency had been looking for a happy and gentle live-in dog to use in a pet therapy program for their residents. As it turned out, Annie is the perfect dog for the job. Carol Rodgers, a volunteer at the shelter where Annie was taken, was the person who contacted the Regency care facility when she first saw Annie. She is quick to point out we shouldn't be too harsh on whoever abandoned Annie. “It makes me think that this owner honestly didn't know what to do. It may have been an older lady who was sick and didn't know about Animal Control or Animal Protective League and thought, well, people who go to dog parks like dogs.”

Everyone loves Annie, and this new chapter in her life seems to be exactly what she was born to do. Abandoning a dog, however, even with the best of intentions, is not in a pet's best interest. Things turned out well for Annie, but she could have just as easily been found by the wrong person. However, I'm not here to pass judgment on anyone without knowing the full story. Annie has a new life with people who love her. Her new journey began in a shelter, and her story is a good reminder of the millions of other dogs and cats waiting in shelters for their forever home.

If you're looking for a fun, smart, laid back, loving, loyal and easygoing dog, a Cockapoo will fill the bill. They were the very first designer dogs and were created in the 1960's by breeding the Poodle with the Cocker Spaniel. No dog is completely hypoallergenic, but the Cockapoo is a good dog for people who have allergies because they don't shed a lot and have low dander. They get along well with other pets and children. Because they are intelligent, the Cockapoo is easy to train.

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. What a heartwarming story! Too bad Annie's owner didn't use a better option but at least this story ends very well.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  2. How sad that Annie was abandoned in the first place, but what a wonderful ending to the story. This sweet doggie has indeed found her life's calling, and it's a beautiful thing to behold.

  3. That is such a great story, Sorry Annie got abandoned but good that she was found by the right person. How terrific. Miracles do happen. We like that story.

  4. What a fantastic story and I'm so pleased that Annie has found such a great home. It's sad that she was abandoned but it's also very sad to think that her owner, who obviously cared a lot for her, had to give her up in the end.

  5. This is a lovely story! I think lots of people abandon animals because they think it is better than taking them to a shelter. The realty is that most stories of abandoned animals don't turn out like this ...glad Annie's story had a happy ending!

  6. I don't agree with it, but I think that the idea that Annie would be found by dog lovers was done out of love. It hurts that any dog and owner must part, but I'm so glad that there was a dog lover out there who took care of Annie and that she found her calling.

  7. So glad all ended well for Annie :)


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