How do I say goodbye…

You may have noticed I have been absent from posting and reading all your lovely writings. I apologize for that but I have had a very devastating event happen.

On May 25th at approximately 3:00pm I had to say good bye to my beloved Cheyenne.

I am heartbroken and my emotions have been so raw I have not had it in me to write or frankly do too much of anything. But finally I feel like I just might be able to put to paper, so to speak, my journey with Cheyenne.

Although I had known Cheyenne her whole life starting from birth, she didn’t come to live with me until she was just over a year old. You see she helped ease my broken heart from losing my first Chessie, Shadowdancer, to bone cancer. So our journey began in 2004 with this very shy girl who only had eyes for me.Cheyennes first Christmas with me She would lay behind the rocking chair until I came home each day and could not be enticed by anyone in the house to come out.

She lived to please me! She was always my faithful companion, my shadow.

In the first years we did the whole dog show scene but it just was not Cheyenne’s cup of tea. She would do it because I asked her to but I could tell she hated it. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Cheyenne and Riva.                                            This was her favorite part of dog shows!

In the ring she was always looking for the exit! So after giving it a good try I decided it was time to pursue other areas. So when she was six years old we began our field training journey.

That too started off very slow but once she turned onto the birds there was no holding her back. She loved to retrieve and swim! You could see the joy on her face doing her job.Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (4)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (3)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (1)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (2)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenneswim2

At the age of eight we tried the ACC Working Dog Certification program (WD). She did fantastic on land but missed one of her birds on water, so no pass for us that day. Although I was disappointed we didn’t pass I could not have been more proud of her. She continually followed my command to go fetch more than a half dozen times but she just could not find that elusive bird. Our judge that day highly complimented her on such good work, she could not believe she was eight years old. I will never forget what she said to me that day as she patted me on the back, “you have a hell of a dog there don’t give up”!

So we didn’t give up and continued to work and train hard and at the age of nine I entered her again in a WD. This time we did great and she passed her certification, I was so ecstatic!! Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne1Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne WD (1)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne WD1I had always told her that once we passed she could retire. I kept my word, we only retrieved for fun after that.

She spent the next few years just being a dog having fun. She was always by my side. I rarely had to leash her, she would not think of leaving my side and if she did I could simply call her back and she always came. She thought crates were beneath her, and promptly let me know her displeasure if I made her sit in one. She was the queen of the house and the other dogs knew it.

There are so many things I will miss about my best girl, her loyalty, resting her head on the bed and watching me, rooing at me, her constant barking when I arrived home, not sure if this was glee or telling me off for leaving her. The list is endless, because how do you pick just one thing when a dog such as her has touched your heart so deeply. Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (2)Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (4)Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (3)

So now the last leg of our journey…how do I say good bye? I say it with love, compassion and the decision to let her go with some dignity. I say it with hugs, kisses and sweet whispers in her ear. I say it by letting her know what a wonderful loyal and faithful companion she was. I say it with one last trip to McDonalds for a hamburger and ice cream. I say it while I sat on the floor of our vet’s office holding her head in my lap stroking her sweet face telling her one last time how much I love her. Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne

So for me and in memory of Cheyenne please hug your pets and cherish the moments because tomorrow is not promised!

Tina

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24 thoughts on “How do I say goodbye…

  1. I’m so sad with you and my tears are running for your wonderful pup Cheyenne…. she reminds me a little of Easy who feels the same at shows… maybe it is time to look for another area too… he is six now… Hugs to you, this is so darned hard…. and I wish we had a cure for broken hearts….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June Wisniewski

    That’s a wonderful tribute to her! It’s the paw prints they leave on our hearts that fill our memories of these amazing dogs. Tears flowed as I read this and thought of all my previous Chessie’s and the paw prints they left on my heart. I like to believe that the rainbow bridge is just beyond the pearly gates and one day we will be reunited. I’m so sorry for your loss Tina. Hugs to you and your crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AUNTIE Rhonda

    It is very difficult, my heart breaks for you . GOD BLESS you for taking her in and loving her so completely. She is pain free and doing what the breed love to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kayla Elliott

    October 19th 2015, 8:30am..We said goodbye to Duck. He would’ve been 11 this month, I can relate to the missing the little things/habits. It took months for me not to look for him when I pulled in the driveway, it was like I could hear him barking but he wasn’t there. He was so brave and strong for me..I struggle with PTSD and mood issues. He still up to the last was telling me it was ok and everything would be ok. After saying goodbye I realized I needed him a lot more then he needed me. We found and amazing breeder, I wasn’t sure I was ready but the mother was still pregnant and wasn’t due for over a month. About a week before we went to get our new Chessie, Buck, I almost was afraid to get a puppy but my husband reassured me. Now, whats weirdest of it all..Buck is SOO much like Duck. His personality, habits and corks..it’s strange.
    Alot of people would say, you just need to mourn or your grieving..but I don’t believe either of those every true go away. I believe that I had to adjust, but I still mourn and grieve the loss of Duck and always will. Before
    Thank you for sharing your story, it’s so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Kayla. I am sorry for the loss of your Duck. I totally agree we never really get over grieving them, we just learn to cope and move on. I still grieve my first Chessie and she has been gone for 12 years.

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