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Annabelle's Journey

How many of you have experienced days where it is nearly impossible to accomplish all the things you need to get done? Now, add to that the burden of having a sick pet or sick relative. The weight just became ten times heavier.

We have all been there.

I grew up with a family dog as a companion. Buddy was the focal point of my family, and I loved him more than anything. Once I was out of the house and on my own, I knew I needed a pup to keep me company once again. This is a story about my cute, sweet pup named Annabelle.

When I adopted Annabelle, I thought having her around would be all fun and games, laughs and smiles. I was wrong. I quickly realized that one, she’s a young pup and young pups are no easy responsibility. Two, I learned that Annabelle was in poor health, and had several issues that were not easily diagnosed. 

As a dedicated, passionate pet owner, determining what was wrong with my sweet girl’s health became a priority in my life. Other responsibilities began to take a back seat to finding help for my Annabelle.

If you are a pet owner, you may be able to relate to the idea of falling so in love with your pet only later to find yourself unable to help or provide care for them. It is devastating.

I went from vet to vet, specialist to specialist trying to find help for my girl. All this travel to new places added to the stress on Annabelle’s health, so, I decided to take a step back and reflect on what was working and what wasn’t.

I concluded that I had to simplify. I decided to return to my original vet and devise a straightforward plan of action, which ended up being just what Annabelle needed.

Today, Annabelle is in great spirits, and her health issues are well under control. Our heads are finally above water. My girl is back to being a happy girl. Now, I finally have time to focus on helping others who have encountered, or are encountering, similar situations with their loved ones. 

Throughout this process, I have been fortunate to learn many lessons. The first is how strong we, as people, truly are. We are so much stronger than we think we are. I was able to climb the highest mountain to help Annabelle, even though I never thought I had the strength to do so.

Next, I learned very quickly that not everyone is willing to help you in your personal struggles. You are your pets best advocate. As we know, animals cannot speak, so we must speak for them since no one else will.

Above all else is the importance of perseverance. Many people will tell you “NO” or find excuses not to help. Don’t accept “NO” for an answer. Keep going.

 I started The Stray Stitch movement and blog to spread awareness of not only shelter animals, but also families like mine who love their pets and would go to the end of the world and back to help them.


Sometimes the solution is to push for more answers, but often the answer is to take a step back, gather your breath, and determine what’s working and what’s not.

At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for you and your pet that matters the most. Through this blog, I will continue to talk about Annabelle’s journey and share some helpful tips and tricks that we have learned throughout our experiences.

We want to hear from you! Reach out with thoughts and questions. Let’s continue to promote a movement of change where we can foster a community of like minded pet lovers and make a difference in pet shelters.



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