annie,  finnish lapphund

birthday belly turns 12!

My self-imposed promise that I would stay away from the computer this weekend to help my eyes heal is being broken just for this important event. Annie turns 12 today!

Trying to snap a photo of her this morning in the lovely spring-ish sun proved to be difficult due to the fact that Jinx felt he had to be the center of every photo. Each time I snapped a photo he’d push his head in and push Annie away as the shutter clicked. Great. Thanks, Jinx. I managed to get a couple of non-blurry shots of Annie with only a hint of Jinx (just don’t look at the right side of the photo) but I seem to have lost her ears in them. Oops.

It feels like only yesterday that Annie came into our lives, when in fact it was in November 2002, a week after I had my ruptured appendix taken out and had a 6-inch incision in my abdomen which was still glued together. We had our first storm of the winter that month when Linda drove up from Memphis in her huge truck that didn’t have snow tires. Annie seemed like the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. She was almost all black with only the little raccoon eyes that she still  has now and she was very pregnant. It wasn’t until the puppies were weaned that she came back to live with me full time at the end of January 2003.

Now? I can hardly think of a time in my life where I didn’t have Annie with me all the time. Annie has filled a part of my soul that no other dog ever has. Yes, I loved Lady, the dog my family had growing up and I adored Kewpie for the brief time we got to spend together and of course I love Jinx Puppy. But there’s always been this connection with Annie that I have never had with another dog. Even in October 1998 when Miriam and I flew down to Linda’s for the first time to adopt Kewpie I met Annie for the first time (only I didn’t remember until she came to live with me). Annie was 7 months old on that trip and she was all black with little brown eyebrows and she stood over me when I got knocked over from all the puppies and licked my face. I remember joking that I was going to sneak back home with her that weekend.

Seems like fate that we ended up together.

And now my Annabelly is 12 years old and she’s a much more dog-like creature than the cat-like one she started out as. Her tail wags (although somewhat stiffly) when we get home. She yips at us when we come home or come down the stairs in the morning. No other barking does she do, not for anyone but us when she’s happy to see us return. She loves to be pet and have her belly rubbed. She’s even started to catch Jinx’s toys if we toss them at her. This has been something in the last year she’s added to her repertoire… I think it’s only because she’s curious as to why Jinx loves these toys (when they are obviously NOT food) and we make such a big deal when he plays with us. She’ll spit the toy out almost as soon as she catches it and then look at the treat cupboard, but still, she’s playing.

Annie sadly is covered in lumps (which the vet says are like fat tumours? I can’t think of the name.) and seems to have a couple of growths on her. This doesn’t seem to bother her much except for being uncomfortable lying on the floor, which is why we got her that big ol’ cushion (which she fails at). She’s still energetic and loves her walks and loves her cuddles, she seems in better spirits and health now that she ever has. But still, at 12 I tend to get nervous.

I believe Annie is the last of her family right now. Her sire George (the first Finnish Lapphund I have ever met) passed away on New Year’s and her brother Dan, who carried our rings, died suddenly and out of the blue last month from a stroke. Dan’s passing had me in tears for two days and I still tear up when I see him in a photo. Her dam, Jessica (who was also Kewpie’s half-sister) passed away a couple of years ago as did her two sisters. George and Jessica were my two favourite Lappies at Linda’s. They have held special places in my heart since 1998.

Happy birthday to my Queen Annabelly. May you live long and healthy in the years to come. I, personally, hope you will live forever. I love you.


  • Shawn

    Of all the beautiful girls I have loved, Annie truly is the one I was most afraid of getting eaten by while I sleep.

    Happy birthday Belly.

    • Cat

      I don’t know, Pook. Kewpie used to look at you like you were possible the biggest rack of lamb she’s ever seen. But I guess you never slept at my apartment back then, so she had to wait for you to nap on the couch accidentally. heh

  • Joana

    Ahh! Happy Birthday Annie! 😀 She’s such an adorable little girl. I too hope she sees many more birthdays as well. I understand your fear though. My kitty Isis is going on fifteen years this year, and even though I hope to have her around for many years to come, I can’t help but worry about what time we might have left. 🙁

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