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!


So hard to say good bye

This has been a hard week for my friends, Ellen, Jack and Bitsy. On Monday they had to say good bye to their loyal and faithful dog Trail.

A little about Trails history…at about the age of two he developed seizures. They seemed to get things under control for him with the seizures but then he had a toxic reaction to the medication which greatly compromised his immune system. He was a very sick boy and had to be hospitalized at Michigan State Veterinary Medical Center, but they brought him back from that and life went on for many years. Then just over a year ago he went blind and developed diabetes. Ellen and Jack worked hard to get him regulated on his insulin and get the diabetes under control. After returning this past spring from wintering in California they took him in to the vet for a checkup and although the diabetes was in a good place they discovered he now had Cushing’s Disease. So after a great deal of discussion with their vet, and I am sure many long talks with each other they felt the most humane and loving thing they could do for Trail was to let him go before the disease had a chance to ravage his body any more.

Trail became Bitsy’s (Maia and Titans sister) big brother when she was eight weeks old. She was a terror as a puppy with him, leaping, nipping and doing all those annoying puppy things but Trail was always very patient with her.

This past Sunday I took the older girls over to see Trail. I wanted to see him one last time and since he has always been a part of our extended family I knew he would enjoy seeing the girls.

He was happy when we arrived, barking and saying hello! They all had some good sniffs and barks. Of course I made them pose for photos!

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers~Misty Shores (14)From left to right: Cheyenne, Bitsy, Riva and Trail

Our hearts are breaking for the loss of Trail and for our friends having to make such a difficult decision and the loss of their dear friend.

Poor Bitsy has been having a very hard time with it. Ellen called me to get some advice on how she can help her get through this sad time. She has been very depressed and mopey. It is so hard for them as I don’t think they have the concept of death they just know their friend is gone. This is the first time in her life she has been by herself.

How have you helped your dog’s deal with losing their canine friends?

So I will end this post with some happy photos of Trail over the years!

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers~Misty Shores (2)From left to right: Cheyenne, Bitsy, Riva and Trail

4From left to right: Cheyenne, Trail, Riva around 2006-7

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Trail (1)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Trail (2)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ TrailTrail ~ Chesapeake Bay RetrieverAnd this is one of my favorites! He was so tolerant of the kids wrapping him up like a baby. He even let them hold him.

To my dear friends Jack, Ellen and Bitsy


The dogs who’ve shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a barking at the door.
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometime, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them…
and always will.

—Linda Barnes —

Tina and the Brown Dogs