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Helping Annie

by Brian Walker
| December 9, 2010 8:00 PM

POST FALLS - Annie Davis lost all of her belongings in a fire, but the single Post Falls 72-year-old is full of thanks.

Her single-wide trailer was destroyed last week and she didn't have insurance, but the community is rallying to help her and her African barkless basenji show dogs.

An Oldtown man, who couldn't be reached for comment on Wednesday, has offered to give her a 26-foot fifth wheel to move into after her property on Elk Drive is cleaned up.

Davis and her four dogs are staying at the home of an anonymous retired doctor in Dalton Gardens until she gets back on her feet. And a storage unit and bank account have been made available to accept donations.

"I may not be in great shape, but I look down and I'm still standing," she said. "What's saved my life is the people. My dogs would freeze to death if they didn't have a place to stay. I am absolutely awestruck about how good this community is.

"I'm overwhelmed with the disaster and I'm overwhelmed with the goodness of people in this area."

Davis, a daughter of the late Moose and Neita Jamison who owned YJ Foods in Post Falls, trains show dogs and has donated her time with her training skills to 4-H kids.

"I remember how dad always supported the community and that was important to him when we were growing up," she said. "You help out with what you've got."

Debbie Meredith, Davis' niece, is among those assisting Davis by making the STCU bank account and storage shed available.

"Her family is well-known for helping the community and it's weird now that it's come around to where one of ours needs some help," Meredith said. "She lives alone and she lives modestly."

Davis, who said she gets less than $500 from Social Security each month, has pancreatic cancer and has been going to a Seattle facility for treatments. She also has the sleeping disorder atypical narcolepsy and appreciates the American Red Cross for expediting her prescription for that after the fire.

Meredith said Davis' biggest outstanding need may be cleaning up the mess from the fire. Fire investigators said they believe the fire started in the area of the stove - Davis said she saw a "flash" in that vicinity when the door was opened - but the exact cause remains undetermined.

Davis runs a class each January and she lost her client list in the fire. One of her dogs is still unaccounted for. She also lost two old Bibles and a computer.

"She really has nothing other than the dogs, which are her life," Meredith said.

Davis was sleeping in her van near her trailer when Friday's fire was reported by a neighbor. She said she was sleeping in the vehicle because she had two male dogs that fight, two females that fight and another dog in heat.

"I wanted to keep them separate because, in this economy, I really didn't want to bring babies into the world," said Davis, who has raised and trained dogs for 30 years. "I was rotating them between the trailer, a heated doghouse and the vehicle. Everyone got some mommy time. I wasn't cold, and I wasn't destitute. I just didn't want to bring any unwanted puppies into the world."

The Red Cross put Davis up for three nights in the Sleep Inn, while other organizations such as the Mica Grange and a Seventh-Day Adventist Church have donated to Davis' cause.

"These people really need to be thanked," Davis said. "How many hotels will allow you to keep your dogs there?"

Those wishing to donate household, clothing and other items can contact Meredith at 640-4252. Any items she can't use will be donated to the Real Life Ministries Thrift Store, where Meredith volunteered at.

"My dream for her would be to eventually buy her a used mobile home to put on her land so she can have a normal life again," Meredith said. "I've been praying that she'd get help. This is an opportunity for me to ask because she won't. This is what Christmas is all about."

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