A Christmas Story.

Today my page is dedicated to telling a Christmas story. About love, devotion, & family. But I suppose I need to start from the beginning…

Paulette & Annette. Best friends. Business partners. Identical twins born 2 years apart…

Their lives have been filled with all the finest things life has to offer. Traveling the world together, loving the arts, meeting amazing people, & saving the lives of many animals have made everything even richer…

Earlier this year Annette was traveling out of the country & wound up in the hospital. Diagnosis was a broken arm. And pneumonia. She got a bit better & came back home to rest.

It was cancer. What would happen in the months to come was even more unbelievable. Starting with an amazing series of graphic art by Paulette to express her roller coaster of emotions. For months they were a team & a positive force to be reckoned with. They vowed to beat it. Together.

Let me rewind a minute…

2 years ago I spent the day with Kelle from Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward Project. A skinny white dog came running across a huge field to greet us. He was very sweet & needed help, but if you know the “bridge story” you’ll remember we had bigger fish to fry that day.

Annette & Paulette saw the photos I posted here that night & Paulette asked me to take her back to where we saw him the next morning. And there he was! Happily got in the car & we were off to Gulf Coast for his first treatment of many over the last couple of years.

Here’s Paulette with Bob aka Bosley in much happier & healthy times last year. He’s an important part of the story…

Paulette & Annette have rescued so many dogs together & they have donated an ungodly amount of their income to the rescue, care, & medical treatment of so many others.

Annette’s cancer treatment continued with her sister by her side.

Then awesome sweetheart Scooch went to heaven.

Then their precious Pooey The Poodle died.

All the while, the sisters were caring for their mom Eloise who had Alzheimer’s. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago when they brought her in for portraits. She passed away in their home peacefully only a few months ago.

Bob turned out to be an incredible soldier & nursemaid to Eloise. He never left her side in those final months.

Why was this happening to their beautiful family all at once?

Then the news came. Paulette reported, “We found out my younger sister, my best friend, my favorite and best person I have ever met, kindest most ethical and genuine human being ever made….has no more viable options for treatment of her cancer. She is terminal, and has entered hospice in our home.”

Paulette & I have been discussing a visit. She wanted me to capture this time which we finally did last Sunday morning. I was so saddened to hear that the night before my visit they lost another pet. Berkley, a gorgeous beagle mix had died of old age in their home. Besides Bob, Hermoine is the only other dog left in their home now.

“There is no doom nor gloom, we know love outweighs loss, and life goes on even when we are missing the life we have loved and lost. They say expect three months. But no one knows. We take each day and love.” –Paulette

In true Super Bob fashion, he was a lovely host during our visit…

…& he hasn’t left Annette’s side either. He signed up for this mission. That’s why he showed up that day & jumped in the car like he was saying, “Geez. I’ve been waiting on you guys. What took you so long?!” Incredible.

So sorry, but there isn’t a happy ending to this story. Unless, of course, you pause for a moment to consider what the Universe has planned for Paulette. Annette’s life will live on through her in the lessons they learned together & the wisdom her sister showered on Paulette daily. She is an amazingly talented doll designer & artist who has told me she would like to pursue her art more seriously once she has time to devote. Whatever it is, it will be magnificent & I can’t wait…

XO,

RA


Bringing you these dog stories takes precious time and resources. It's important to me, and I'll do it no matter what. But your small donation — even $1 or $2 — goes a long way toward helping me maintain my website and continue to invest my time and energy into helping give voice to these animals who so desperately need one.

robyn arouty