Cassie  July 2000-June 2015

 

Cassie

Cassie

We said goodbye to our wonderful dog Cassie this week.  It was a terribly hard and upsetting decision, but she was failing, and her quality of life had deteriorated to the point where we knew we had to make the right decision for her.  We are at peace. She lived a good and  long life for a dog.  But we are also incredibly sad.

Cassie was a pound puppy.  We got her at the Thomas J. O’Connor animal shelter in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the summer of 2001.  The police had picked her up after finding her tied to a tree in a trailer park in Chicopee, and no one would claim her as theirs.  She had been in the pound for only a few days when I saw her on Petfinders.com and suggested we go take a look.

She was skinny, dirty, and overly excited.  Harvey and Maddy were skeptical, but I was in love, and I knew right away that she was sweet and gentle and loving.  And I was right.  Cassie never once growled at a person or a cat, and she only growled at dogs if they invaded her space, which wasn’t very often.  She never, ever hurt anyone.  She loved everyone.  When we told family and close friends that she was gone this week, everyone described her as loving and sweet and gentle.

August 2001

August 2001

Our vet estimated that she was about a year old when we adopted her at the end of July, 2001, so we assigned her a birth date of July 31, 2000.  She took almost no time to adapt to living with us.  She was clean and playful and smart.  She could run like the most graceful of animals.  The first time we took her to the beach, she ran all the way up a high dune.  We raced after her, fearful we’d never see her again, but there she was waiting for us at the top.  It took a long time before she was ever let off the leash again.

Cassie was with us during that dreadful fall of 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11.  She was such a positive distraction.  When my family, all shaken still by the events of that September, gathered for Thanksgiving, it was Cassie who made us laugh.  She was still new and puppy-like, and she’d run from one member of the family to another, excited and happy.

My dog and me November 2001

My dog and me November 2001

November 2001

November 2001

Once she settled in, she became calm and unflappable.  No matter where we took her—to the Cape, to a new house, to a temporary apartment before our new house was ready, to our cottage—she adapted almost instantly.  We even once dragged her all the way to Geneva, New York, so she could visit Maddy at college.  She was great in the car, great with children, and great with us.  I often felt badly that she was growing up in a home with no small children since she would get so excited any time she saw a young child.  And children loved her.  She would kiss them, and they would hug her.

So gentle with Nate as a five month old

So gentle with Nate when he was a five month old

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And with Nate when he was three

About the only thing she didn’t like were elevators.  Can’t say that I blame her.  She liked going to the groomer, she liked going to the vet.  She liked strangers, she liked anyone.  She didn’t bark at people at the door or those who entered our home. She never jumped on people or pushed them around, despite the collie herding instinct.  She was definitely not a watchdog.  She was a love dog.

Cassie and Maddy

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And our cats Smokey and Luna adored her.  From when they were little kittens, they would curl up on her, and to the very end of her long life, Smokey still treated her like his mother, kneading his (clawless) front paws into her belly and nuzzling his nose into her fur.  The only thing that seemed to light up Cassie’s eyes as she declined was Smokey.  She would even chase after him a bit to play.

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Look how gently she handled Smokey as a kitten

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Cassie and Smokey

 

Cassie was an incredible companion—on long walks in the neighborhood or the woods or the beach (even though she didn’t love the beach much) and just being with us in our home.  She was always right there with us wherever we went.  I can’t tell you how much we will miss her and how much we agonized over her decline and our final decision to give her peace.  But she had been there for us, and we had to be there for her.

So we are at peace.  She is no longer distressed and confused, and we can look back with deep love and gratitude for the fourteen years we had her with us.  Goodbye, Cassie.  You will always be our dog, and we will always keep you in our hearts.

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32 thoughts on “Cassie  July 2000-June 2015

  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Cassie. You were obviously meant for one another. The time together is never, ever long enough. Thanks so much for sharing her story and pictures. She was a beauty! Sending you hugs.

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    • Thank you, Davita. You are right—the years are never enough. It’s part of the deal when you get a pet, and you know it, and yet we are nevertheless so shocked when their time comes. Thanks so much for your comforting words.

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  2. Even though it was hard on all of you, you did the right thing by allowing Cassie to cross The Rainbow Bridge where she will be pain free and able to romp like a puppy again. She has now joined many of our beloved fur babies and is in good company, especially my beloved little Mocha. You released her to a new life where she will be waiting for you.

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    • Thanks, Nina. I do believe that her soul lives on in our hearts and memories, and I am hoping that our memories of her as a happy and active dog will soon erase the pain of losing her.

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      • Amy, I don’t think that you ever get over the loss of a beloved pet. Sometimes the sadness is very strong and other times, although less frequently, the good memories prevail. It is a tribute to Cassie that you will never forget her.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy, it is so hard to loose a member of the family that becomes so very close. Last year we lost our “Honey” who Elizabeth and i found almost 18 years ago in the West Virginia mountains when she was a small puppy. we understand your pain
    Bruce

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    • Thanks for your comforting words, Bruce. And I am so sorry about Honey. She must have been well-loved to have made it to 18. And I hope that over time you are remembering more of the happy times, just as we hope to do as time goes on.

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  4. We had a black lab for 11 years who protected 10 grandchildren that they still talk about today. It will be 3 years this coming January we also had to make that same decision and while we were at peace our hearts were hurting for the same reasons you speak about in your post. Thank God we all have those special pets in our lives. I have been blessed to have more than one in my life. I am sorry for your loss but know that she is wagging her tail from heaven in anticipation she will see you again one day.

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    • Thank you so much, Diann. It always helps to know that others understand the love and the pain of having a pet in your life. (Sorry for the delay in responding. For some reason your comment ended up in Spam. I hope I haven’t missed others.)

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  5. Oh Amy I grieve for you. It is so very hard to say goodbye to a member of the family whom you’ve all lived for so long. Cassie was very fortunate to have had such a good life and a peaceful dignified death. Your post is a lovely tribute to a beautiful soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jo. I will always remember you and Joel walking her on the beach. And Mark and Steven roughhousing with her—they were the only boys she knew well.

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  7. Oh, Amy, I’m so sorry about Cassie. Pets are so important to me and to husband and kids. I can see what a beautiful dog she was by the photos and what a sweetheart by what you write about her. I’m so glad you have such loving memories of her.

    Liked by 1 person

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