In the fall of 2004, ANNABEL was found wandering the streets in a small town in West Virginia. The Greater Washington DC Scottie Rescue saved her from being euthanized and brought her into the rescue program. ANNABEL spent two weeks under the care of a veterinarian receiving antibiotics and fluids. She was very thin and her hair had to be completely shaved. Life on the street had been rough. After recovering, MaryLou Kuklentz and her husband Dick brought her home. They had lost one dog earlier that year and had a fifteen-year-old Westie battling Addison’s disease. They needed ANNABEL as much as ANNABEL needed them. MaryLou worked with a trainer to teach ANNABEL that life was safe and that people were good. ANNABEL’s very gentle soul emerged and she immediately fit into her new family.
ANNABEL is a certified therapy dog and she loves people. She has visited children at the local hospital. While on her hospital visits ANNABEL will often curl up on the bed and just relaxes for petting. She has calmed many a youngster with her sweet nature and love of people. She just seems to know what is needed and steps up to the job. ANNABEL is well known by the nursing staff and happily greets them each week. She is well known in the halls of the hospital as well and does a lot of her work before she even gets to the pediatric wing. ANNABEL also loved visiting patients on the oncology unit at the same hospital.
ANNABEL has visited several assisted living and nursing facilities in the Charlotte and Harrisburg area.. She has participated in several programs at a local library and has been part of a tutoring team at the library for several years. ANNABEL participates in Paws for Exams at UNCC – a program to give college students a break while studying for exams. She also visits seriously ill and homebound members of her family’s church . MaryLou and ANNABEL have also given talks on how to take care of a dog and they participate in other events featuring therapy dogs.
Her Mom relates the following stories to illustrate ANNABEL’s gentle and loving soul:
1. Annabel and I visited an oncology unit every Wednesday afternoon. Most patients receive their treatments on the same day each week so we would see some people many times. One lady was particularly fond of ANNABEL. Every Wednesday she looked for us at 1:30 and every Wednesday ANNABEL would curl up in her lap and just relax and spend time with her. This went on for weeks. This lady was discharged and I had not seen her for months. At the Blessing of the Animals at a different church than ours I took ANNABEL and my other dogs. This lady ran through the crowd of people and dogs to get to us. She told me that ANNABEL was her saving grace during her chemo treatments. She told us that ANNABEL got her through a very tough time in her life. There were tears in her eyes. She stayed with us through the entire service and kept thanking us for being with her.
2. On one visit to the pediatric wing of the hospital, a young boy had been crying all morning. He was in pain. The family and staff could not console him- but ANNABEL did. When she got up on his bed he started to stroke her and you could see him relax and stop crying. ANNABEL stayed with him while the nurse flushed out his incision. I so admired ANNABEL’s courage in the face of so much confusion.
3. An elderly couple in our church had dogs all their lives. They were both struggling with illnesses and could not take care of a dog at this time. I took ANNABEL to visit every week. The gentleman called her his little peanut. She went to their home, to the hospital and to the nursing home to visit with him. He always looked forward to her visit and told us so many times how wonderful she was and how great to have her visit since they were unable to care for a dog of their own.
4. Currently we visit a nursing home for homeless people dying of AIDS. ANNABEL sits on the laps of the folks as we all visit. One of the residents really liked ANNABEL. One visit he was very ill but still wanted to come out and visit with ANNABEL and Mozart (another therapy dog). She sat on his lap and did her magic. The next week the director told us that the gentleman had died that Friday. He had told the director that his last pleasant memory was ANNABEL sitting on his lap and how much the visits meant to him.
In addition to therapy work, ANNABEL has excelled in Rally Obedience. She has her Championship title in AKC Rally, her third level championship title (ARCHEX) in APDT Rally (now Cynosport Rally). She also has several level championship titles and was fifth place in the nation in RLX2 in 2011. Her little tail just wags and she is a delight to watch in the ring. One judge said she has the cutest pivot she has ever seen. There are not many Scotties that compete in this sport and she is a wonderful example of what a Scottie can do!
ANNABEL is now about eleven years old and shares her home with four other Scottie Rescues. She is still the queen of her home and her castle! This little waif who was someone’s discard is now her family’s precious treasure. ANNABEL has touched the lives of so many lives. She is a wonderful dog and a wonderful representative of a Scottie rescued from a horrible situation.