"The Anns:" A Story of Friendship at Otterbein Cridersville

Posted by Cridersville on Jan 15, 2020 11:17:39 AM

Picture a house with a wraparound front porch, with an elderly couple sitting on a porch swing holding hands and swinging back and forth. It’s an image many couples picture if you ask them what their golden years will look like. 

They see themselves living in the house where they raised their family, with time to finally read a book without interruption or perhaps restore that classic car of their youth. 

However, sometimes life steps in and plans change. That doesn’t mean we can’t still find a way to honor that original dream. We just may need to tweak it a bit.

This is a true story about two friends and how a dog -- and a move to Otterbein Cridersville -- brought them together.

Read on to hear how the friendship between “The Anns” was born.

Meet Ann C.

Ann C. never saw herself moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community. Unfortunately, her husband George suddenly got sick, and it became obvious that he needed more care than Ann could give by herself. 

The thought of him going to a nursing home and Ann staying at home and just visiting him was never an option. 

“We wanted to be together,” she says. 

This led to a search for a community for them both. 

Ann C.’s Move to Otterbein Cridersville

Fortunately, Ann had help from her son to find the perfect place. They looked at a couple of places but decided Otterbein Cridersville was the right spot for Ann and George.

Otterbein had independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and post-acute care all on one campus, which meant Ann and George both could move to Otterbein together. 

George spent the last six months of his life with Ann at Otterbein Cridersville. They had 61 wonderful years together.

A dog named Lottie at Otterbein Cridersville

Lottie is the dog who connected friends Ann and Annie at Otterbein Cridersville.

While they may not have been able to stay in their home, they were able to stay together, and for that Ann is truly grateful.

After George passed away, Ann made the decision to stay at Otterbein Cridersville; however, she was a bit lonely.

That problem was solved with the adoption of a cute little puppy named Lottie. 

Lottie, a Maltipoo, enjoyed car rides around campus and just being with Ann. She grew up to be a wonderful companion. 

Ann C.’s Move to Assisted Living at Otterbein Cridersville

One day, Ann fell, injuring her right arm and hand. Once again, decisions and changes had to be made.

Ann made the decision to move to assisted living, and with it, the hard decision to give up her companion, Lottie. Ann felt since she couldn’t care for Lottie properly, it was only fair to find her a family that could. 

Luckily, although she didn’t know it, Lottie would find a family that was still going to include Ann.

Meet Annie

Enter Annie. 

Annie had come to the decision to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community years before she actually needed to.

After her husband passed away, Annie began to realize how isolated she was. She lived 16 miles from the nearest town or neighbor and had a big house to take care of all by herself. 

The tipping point came when Annie suffered a heart attack. It was time to find the perfect community for Annie and her basset hound. 

Annie’s Move to Otterbein Cridersville

Annie’s search began with her wanting to be closer to where her son lived. This, of course, was in an entirely different state. Luckily, that’s where the Internet came in handy. 

After lots of research, Annie narrowed down her choices and made appointments to go visit. Ultimately, Otterbein Cridersville was the only community at which she could see herself happily living. 

The patio home Annie picked needed to be remodeled, which worked perfectly since she still needed to sell her home. As a bonus, since the unit was being remodeled, Annie was able to select the colors for the walls and the flooring she preferred. 

Annie couldn’t wait to get her home sold and move into Otterbein Cridersville, and she began the process of packing and enjoying her last Christmas in her home. 

However, life stepped in, and Annie’s beloved basset hound got sick and passed away in January. Annie couldn’t believe she would have to make the move without her friend. Annie called Otterbein and let them know if anyone was looking to give up a pet, she was interested in adopting an older dog.

A Friendship is Born: How A Dog Connected Ann and Annie at Otterbein Cridersville

The timing was perfect -- Annie’s call was just a few weeks before Ann had decided to give up Lottie.

After some back-and-forth messages, it was decided that Annie would meet Lottie as soon as she moved into Otterbein Cridersville and see if they were a match. 

It was several months before Annie was finally able to sell her home and make the move to Otterbein Cridersville. During that time, she got to know Ann over the phone and learned all about Lottie. 

After Annie moved in, Ann and her daughter Cheryl brought Lottie over to meet Ann. Lottie seemed to feel comfortable from the start. She walked around and then laid down on the floor to stretch out. It was a quick first visit, but it was a good sign. 

Otterbein Cridersville residents Annie and Ann C. pose with the dog, Lottie.
Annie and Ann C. pose with the affectionate Lottie.

On the second visit, they brought all of Lottie’s things and waited to see if she was just as comfortable. As the visit ended, Ann knew that Lottie would stay with Annie, and Lottie would be just as spoiled. Ann left happy knowing Lottie was in good hands. 

Annie and Lottie became roommates and found they get along very well. The best thing is that Annie is able to “share” Lottie with Ann. Annie brings Lottie over to Ann’s apartment in assisted living fairly often to visit. 

Lottie now has two people who love and spoil her, and Ann and Annie have a friendship they never expected but treasure. 

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