Life after her

Whether a dog dies, is lost or stolen, or must be placed in a new home, this is the place to gather together to give and receive love and support when you experience the loss of a beloved dog.

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In loving- memory of- Cinnamon ~

A truly good dog- never really- leaves
Barked: Fri Dec 30, '11 1:22pm PST 
For dog lovers like us, every dogs life is important, every dog is special, and every dog has something amazing to offer to the humans within his life. But for dog owners, it can often be said that a true heart dog - that dog that leaves his or her paw prints on your heart for the rest of your days, the one that you will look for when you're fifty, seventy, a hundred years old despite knowing that he or she passed away twenty, thirty, or forty years ago - only comes around once in a lifetime. I consider myself lucky, because I found two heart dogs. Everywhere I went, they were at my side. Sandy would be on my left, Cinnamon would be at my right. Both of them were always within petting distance and life was perfect with each of them nearby.

Sandy and I have always had a tighter bond, of that I will admit. Sandy has always been something special. From the very first time I looked into her eyes and held her in my arms, I just knew she was my dog. She helped me through so much. She helped me through hard times, and still does. Cinnamon took some time. Cinnamon wasn't my dog in the beginning. No, she was the dog my mother had picked out. We were all attracted to her that day we went to look at the puppies. We were all drawn to her like a moth to a flame. But in the end, she was to be my mothers dog. I was so young back then, but so was she. I had no idea that one day, in the near future, she would become mine. I didn't know that we'd become inseparable. It took some time. It took years.

It was two or three years after we brought her home when she left her paw print on my heart. Until that point, she had been an outside dog. Not because my mother didn't love her, but because most of her life, all she knew was "outside" for big dogs. Around that time, I didn't have much to do. I was out of school and unemployed. I began spending more and more time with the dogs. And not just Sandy. Cinnamon and I grew closer and closer. There was always something about her. She was such a sweet, gentle creature. It was hard not to love her. As time passed, I began sneaking her inside. I'd leave her inside all day until my mother returned. The entire time, my mother knew. But she never said anything for or against it. I began taking care of Cinnamon. Brushing her, walking her, training her, feeding her. She quickly became my dog. And as a year passed by, I had successfully made an indoor dog out of her. She was inside with me at all times, and that's the way I liked it.

If one had asked me four, five years ago what breed of dog I felt was the perfect match for me, I would have foolishly said a small breed. I would have named the Yorkshire terrier, or the Chihuahua, or the Papillon. I love small breeds. There's something about them that I find irresistible. They have such small, cute features and they're so adorably loyal. However, through Sandy and Cinnamon, I learned something that I would have never guessed then. My heart belongs to the herders. My heart belongs to those intelligent, gentle, wise, playful, beautiful herders. I've tried to imagine my life without a Shetland sheepdog, or a Corgi, or an Australian shepherd and I simply cannot. Through Sandy, I fell in love with the herding group, and because of Cinnamon, that love was intensified. Now, I don't think I can accurately say Cinnamon was a 'perfect' dog. She had her faults. She liked to poke her nose in the litter box, she once counter surfed and snatched my brothers entire bologna sandwich, she was a puller on her walks until the day she died, and she would make me stand in the rain for thirty minutes while she tried to find the perfect place to poop. Maybe Cinnamon wasn't perfect by technical standards, but I don't think it would be inaccurate to say she was perfect to me.

I loved that dog. I still do. Losing her was one of the hardest things I've had to do so far. Even now, I remember how once upon a time, I had sat in the living room with her on my lap and Sandy on the arm of the chair beside me and I had fantasised about how one day, we'd have a home in the country - just her, Lilo, Sandy, Noble, and I and maybe a Border Collie or two. A nice fenced in yard. Where she could run and play, chasing Sandy for as long as she wanted and I would just sit nearby, watching in content. But she passed away much younger than I'd always imagined in my fantasies. I felt cheated. For months afterwards - and sometimes even still now - I felt as if it wasn't fair, as though she'd been taken away from me years too early. But I suppose that's a normal reaction to grief.

It's been almost a year. Next month, it will have been a year. It really doesn't feel like a whole 11 months have gone by since she slipped out of this world. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on the couch with her favorite toy in my hand playing tug of war with her while she playfully growled and wagged her tail, hitting it on the coffee table behind her. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting beside her, hand on her cheek, while she slipped away in front of me and I was powerless to do anything about it. But next month, it will be a year. It still hurts, but life goes on. Even though I didn't feel like moving forward in the beginning and sometimes even still feel like giving up now, I know I have to go on. I have too many animals depending on me. Cinnamon taught me with her ever-silent wisdom that some things in life are just too important to ignore. So, I move forward because I know, deep down, that's what's best. I never forgot Cinnamon, I never will, but life does go on.

Christmas was hard without her. I found her stocking in my quest for stockings to use for the rodents and Sweeney. I thought it had been lost in the move, but apparently, I was wrong. I broke down into tears while I held it in my hand and on Christmas day, it looked so lonely, so empty. I suppose I'll hang it up next year, too. And maybe the year after that, as well. Some people might think it morbid, but I see it as a way to remember. And one year, maybe not next year, but one year I'll see it hanging up and I'll smile when I remember her. I know next month will be just as hard as Christmas. The firsts always are the hardest. The first Easter without her was hard, the first Fourth of July without her hiding under the table, the first thunderstorm that didn't involve her pacing the hallway and crying, the first Halloween where she wasn't dressed up in her devil costume, the first Thanksgiving where I wasn't sneaking her table scraps, the first Christmas where her stocking wasn't stuffed, and the first anniversary of her passing. But I know I'll get through the last first and I know I'll get through all the seconds, as well. For Cinnamon taught me so much, and what she taught me about life and death is something I'll hold onto for the rest of my days.

Merry Christmas, Cinnamon. I missed you this year.

Edited by author Fri Dec 30, '11 1:24pm PST

Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
Barked: Fri Dec 30, '11 3:18pm PST 
hug's to you... Turner was my heart and soul dog. It's been 8 months since he left us suddenly - I'm still and I know I will be for a long time, lost without him...
In loving- memory of- Cinnamon ~

A truly good dog- never really- leaves
Barked: Fri Dec 30, '11 5:02pm PST 
Thank you, Turner. hug 's to you, too. It's hard not to feel lost after they leave us. I often find myself feeling that way even now sometimes, myself. It's like they take a piece of our heart and soul with them when they leave, and leave a piece of theirs.


Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Sat Dec 31, '11 10:47am PST 
hughughughug to both of you. It's been nearly 5 years since I lost my Mattie and there are still times I miss her,now though I can look back and smile through the tears and remember fondly the love and joy she brought to my life. She introduced me to Akitas and has given us the desire to do everything we can to help Akitas in need as she would certainly have been one had she not chosen to come home with us even when we weren't so sure,she just knew she was meant to share our home and our lives and I will never regret not getting her back out of the car when she climbed in. hugwishes and Happy New Year!
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Mon Jan 2, '12 2:27am PST 
In loving- memory of- Cinnamon ~

A truly good dog- never really- leaves
Barked: Mon Jan 2, '12 10:55pm PST 
Mika: hug It sounds like Mattie was truly a wonderful dog. It's amazing that she encouraged you to help other dogs, too. May she RIP, too. And happy New Year to you and your family, as well.

And for Misty, thank you for posting. hug
Lil Man IZZ

Cuteness IS My- BIZNESS!
Barked: Tue Jan 3, '12 8:53pm PST 
You & Cinnamon shared a special bond that will warm the heart of all that read your post. When we lose a fur family member, I believe, healing our grief can begin as we recognize the gifts our pet has given us & we celebrate their lives, as you are doing. Isn't it wonderful that Love Never Dies!
In loving- memory of- Cinnamon ~

A truly good dog- never really- leaves
Barked: Fri Jan 6, '12 7:21pm PST 
Thank you, Lil Man. She truly has given me so many gifts. All of which I will hold onto for the rest of my life. You're right, love really doesn't die.
In loving- memory of- Cinnamon ~

A truly good dog- never really- leaves
Barked: Mon Feb 6, '12 9:18pm PST 
Just posting to say that it was a year as of the 29th or the 28th. I'm not totally sure as my memory isn't what it used to be. That one year mark is one of the hardest milestones you have to pass. I really miss her, even now. I put a rose on her grave just as I did last year. She was truly a good dog, and I miss her even today. If not more than I did last year.

Here's a poem I found online that I feel accurately describes my feelings about her now:
I Miss My Dog.
I miss my dear and faithful friend.
We traveled through the years together,
she and I,
each watching the other grow older.
She was the keeper of my heart-
aware of my ups and downs,
responsive to my needs,
affectionate and true.
My life is different now without her.
It's strange to come home
and not hear her familiar bark,
or see that tail wagging furiously
back and forth--so happy just to see me.
I sitexpecting her to run over and nudge me,
or put her head in my lap,
but, she doesn't come.
She is not there.
This place is not the same without her.
Still, I know that I was lucky to have her for so long.
I keep telling myself that.
But, whenever I feel like it,
I'm going to have myself a good cry,
and I won't be shamed by my tears.
It's the least I can do
to mourn such a loyal and devoted friend.

~Genie Graveline

RIP 1996 - 2008 We Miss You- Old Man
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 6:14am PST 
Its nice to be remembered..hug

Rest In Peace Cinnamon....rainbow

Thoughts & Prayers
Rommel & Thor..
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