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Noon may not be a traditional naptime, but if you’re Annie Grace, you’ve earned the right to nap anytime you want to, and as often as you want.
At 20, Annie Grace may be the world’s oldest living Italian Greyhound but since the American Kennel Club doesn’t keep that information, there’s no way of knowing for sure, said her human companion, Patty Standridge.
What Patty does know with certainty is Iggies, as they are called, have a life span of 12-15 years and it’s been nothing short of a miracle that has kept her friend with her.
Annie came to Patty several years ago as a foster dog–her owner was ill and he needed someone to care for Annie and his other dogs.
Within those two to three months, Annie was first diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and returned to her owner.
A few short months later, Annie came back to Patty–wrapped in a blanket, weighing about three pounds and missing her lower jaw.
“She was just emaciated,” Patty said.
This breed of dog needs extra special dental care and Annie didn’t get it, she said. When infection permeated the jaw bone, there was no choice but to remove the lower jaw, leaving Annie’s tongue lolling and forcing her to have a liquid diet because she could no longer chew.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of her being hungry,” Patty said, “and I told myself she would never want for anything again as I nursed her back to health.”
That was six years ago, and along the way, Annie has battled cancer, gall bladder and liver dysfunction and developed cataracts.
At 20–and with all her disabilities–she shouldn’t be alive, but this Miracle Dog manages to interact with the other dogs in the household, negotiate stairs to use the bathroom and all without bumping into anything.
“She’s learned to see around her cataracts,” Patty said, who takes Annie with her most places.
And when she’s not frolicking, she’s napping. That’s her right.
Patty knows the end is close and her emotions run deep.
“She’s my heart,” she said.