Mewsings Blog - Rainbow Bridge

December 22, 2007

Our wonderful volunteer, Anne "Annie" Stuhr died unexpectedly on Sunday, December 16, 2007, of a pulmonary embolism while recovering from pneumonia. She was only 59.

All of us at Thundering Paws -- cats, dogs, bunnies, and humans, will miss her greatly.

Eulogy for Annie Stuhr

Our wonderful volunteer, Anne "Annie" Stuhr died unexpectedly on Sunday, December 16, 2007, of a pulmonary embolism while recovering from pneumonia. She was only 59.

She was born in Washington, D.C. on May 9, 1948 and, with her husband, William "Bill" Stuhr, she lived all over the world. She was influenced by her time in Japan and was ever after enamored of things Japanese.

Annie held a Masters degree in school administration, a career from which she was retired. That was the only thing from which she was retired!

She married the love of her life, Bill. He survives her, along with numerous "fur" children. Their 35 year marriage was a inspiration of love and respect.

She was a master craftsperson, creating teddy bears dressed in anything from school colors to cowboy outfits. She also made quilts and jewelry, which she sold at craft shows that she organized and invited others to join. All of her craft work was flawless.

Annie had more energy and could produce more work than anyone half her age, twice her size, and twice as healthy. She was tireless and trying to get her to sit down. eat, or even drink water was a useless endeavor. She had her fingers in a dozen pies, and she would make you one, too, if you asked! She cared for the Stuhr home, their animals, and, for that matter, anyone's animals.

She was a volunteer at Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary for the last five years of her life, doing morning chores every day, Monday through Friday. She would always transport an animal to the vet, go on the TV spot, or come to the sanctuary five times a day to nurse the sick. If you wanted to see her smile, you could always hand her a kitten.

Annie was opinionated and you were never in doubt of where she stood on any issue. She was fiercely loyal, honest, and ethical. She loved country music, and could be spotted often on the move, radio blaring, in her black pickup, along the back roads near Dripping Springs. She had a host of friends, who were proud to be among her chosen. She was a good woman, who would go out of her way any time to help someone in need. She gave generously of herself in every way.

Her last illness was the result of smoking, which she stopped seven years before she died. In her last week—when we had no idea that she would not recover--the message she asked me to give people was this: STOP SMOKING NOW! If you need help in this endeavor, please contact the American Cancer Society. They will help you.

A memorial service will be held at Harrell Funeral Chapel on the corner of Hwy. 290 and RR 12 in Dripping Springs at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2008. After the service, there will be a cook-out at the Saddletree clubhouse, about 7 miles north of Dripping Springs on Ranch Road 12, on the west side of the road. Look for the flagpole with an American flag flying. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary or a charity of your choice.

news, Rainbow Bridge


May 26, 2007

This evening I took Fox to the vet for her last trip. She had a long struggle with stomatitis with many ups and downs. She went very easily with me telling her how much I loved her and what a good kitty she has always been.


I found her and her family when I was looking for this house. I looked at a house in North Austin and in the back yard were a mom cat and her kittens. This was Memorial Day, 2000, and they were a month old, so I decided their birthday was April 30, 2000. I hated the house but I asked one of the neighbors if he knew who owned the cat, and he said she was just a stray. What sad words! I couldn't get them out of my mind so I went back and got them all the next day. The mom had to be trapped but once she was trapped, the kittens were easy. Fox was the only girl.

When I took their mom to be spayed, it was discovered that she had feline leukemia. On very good advice, I separated her from the kittens. She was fortunate in that she got a placement at SARA Sanctuary, in their feline leukemia room. When I visited SARA two years ago, she was there, looking quite healthy, and no more friendly than when I trapped her.

The screen house that is now housing Misty and Malcolm, the two newest kittens to arrive at Thundering Paws, was built by some friends of mine to house these kittens. They lived in that house in my back yard at the house in Austin. When they were five months old, I took them all to ATA to be spayed and neutered, and tested. All were negative. I had ATA run the tests -- all of them -- again. I called it the Brookfield Miracle. The house from which I picked them up was on Brookfield Street.

Timothy was adopted to a wonderful couple on the next street over, and he still lives there. Gordon was adopted by the daughter of one of our volunteers. He was renamed Freddie and is doing just fine. Both those boys are well loved.

So was Fox.

I loved her dearly, as did our volunteers. She used to run up to people, hop up and bump into their knees, earning her the nickname, "The Jump and Bump." I named her Fox because when she was a baby, she had a little fox shaped face with amber eyes. I had been privileged to be the friend of a gorgeous red fox at the Austin Nature Center whose name was Amber.  Fox reminded me of Amber in some way.

To do this work, I have had to develop a different approach to life and death. It is a fact that these dear beings don't live as long as we do. If I rescued elephants, blue whales, or even chimpanzees (considering I started Thundering Paws in my 50s), many of my charges might outlive me. I don't take death lightly. I always cry. It's the ultimate passage. But I don't think it is the worst thing anymore. I think that not being loved is the worst thing. And the animals here are loved, even the feral ones who run in fear from their human caretakers.

Fox had a good life at Thundering Paws, was loved dearly, and will be missed by everyone. Thank you all for what you have done for Fox, and for all the animals here, and elsewhere.


Rainbow Bridge