This morning, while I was traveling on business, Ginger took Cali to the vet. She had been suffering from cancer for a while and we’ve prolonged her life with treatment. She is old and has had led a great dog life. You will recall several entries in my blog featuring this amazing friend. This is the last entry I will make of her as she entered Dog Heaven. I received the call from Ginger just about lunch time; the tears in her voice said it all. Family members who were near, held her in their arms, saying their so long’s, as she painlessly went to sleep. I’m still numb. Most everyone who has had a dog understands the sense of loss that accompanies their passing. I don’t know how to properly pay tribute to a dog you loved and now is gone; I’ll remember her in the fondest of ways.
Cali is at peace now. We are not; but are happy she no longer suffers. We remember Cali in this light:
She was very obedient but always a dog. In other words, her nose drove her passions and she had a knack for steeling cookies or other treats she could figure out how to reach. She learned how to open a cooler with her nose. Oh, what a nose. She was the best bird dog I have ever seen, but her athletic season was shortened by an ACL injury. She loved to hunt and please her master. When I drove the old bronco, she knew it was time (for a hunt) and jumped in the front seat with me. She once ate an entire bag of dog food and a pound of chocolate at once. We had to have her stomach pumped. She filled our lives with adventure and surprises, some good and some not so good. Her kind nature, however, made it impossible to be mad at her for too long. She knew when she had messed up- but she evidentially thought it was worth it as her “time out” punishments never did stop her from following her nose.
When I came home from the trip, I missed the floppy eared chocolate lab running out to greet me. When I got up the following morning and was doing my readings, I missed her snores and grunts from the laundry room. I got up a couple of times to let her outside- I already miss the routines. Even a couple of days later, I found myself saving part of a banana while making my shake as that was my daily treat for her and she looked very forward to it. I left the banana piece on the counter anyway in remembrance. It’s pretty quiet now. I saw a rabbit outside the front door and thought about how the animals and critters will not have to run for their lives for a while; in an odd way they will probably miss it.
I’m sure grateful for ole Cali Dog. We loved her so much and will miss her greatly. If you have a pet, give them a good scratch today.