A co-worker said to me yesterday that she didn't understand how Cissy was not just another dog for us because there have been and are so many. Trying to explain to a non-animal lover that she was wrong and that I considered Cissy one of "my girls" and a canine sister was impossible to articulate. But it didn't matter, Cissy knew that. Cissy knew that she held a unique position in or household because the rules didn't really apply to her. She also had to know that she was the only dog that never had an "assigned" place to eat. Her bowl was always brought to wherever she happened to be at mealtimes.
Cissy was fiercely independent and opinionated and I let her decide the pace of her life and do what she wanted. She was happy with that arrangement. She had let us know early on that she didn't want to be let out into the fenced yard. Cissy instead preferred to wander around outside the fence. She always walked the same little route, and when she was ready to come back inside, she let us know.
Cissy also didn't like to be brushed or be fussed over, so I just did what she would tolerate. It almost seems like neglect, but she always seemed happy and content, which made me feel okay that her nails didn't get trimmed as much as they should have.
Despite that independent nature, the last few weeks, there seemed to be a frailty to Cissy as her pace started to slow and she needed our help on the steps and getting to her feet a little more. In those slower and quiet moments with Cissy, even though I tried to ignore it, the whisper that her time was coming to an end came to my mind and heart more than once. She also began her days earlier and she would come to the bedside and start barking at me and hurry off after I acknowledged her.
Cissy really was really a vocal dog and from wherever she was in the house she'd let me know that she knew I was home or that she was ready for her dinner. Of course I'd always say something back to her and let her know I'd heard her. My favorite had to be the times when Cissy would stand at the office door, or wherever we happened to be, take a look around, bark once or twice, and then totter back to her spot and lay down.
I'd always thought of Cissy's life as being two totally different volumes because I didn't know anything about her life before she came to us from a Virginia shelter. At the time we thought Cissy was around 12 years old. But looking back at it, I guess she had to be around 8. Whatever her age, Cissy was truly a shell of a dog when we met and initially there was a lot of uncertainty about what was ahead for her.
|~Cissy, 3-23-13 -- The day we met~|
During the second volume of her life with us, there are so many of the best memories wrapped up into the 6 years we shared together. The video below made just after she came to us, and so many other things are what I don't want to forget about this beautiful girl who I said goodbye to today.
God speed to you Cissy ... Cissy Miss... girly-girl.... My pretty girl .... Big girl.... You will be greatly missed and remembered. Our house seems lonelier and quieter without you. And a candle is lit to help you find your way back to the one who created you. I know there will be quite a welcome for you there, and I so look forward to the day when I'll see you again.
Finally some of you may remember that I've started giving a color to our dogs that pass to create our own rainbow. I thought I had one for Cissy. But as I wrote this post and thought about it, for whatever reason, it just seemed all wrong. I am sure that in the days to come and as I grieve over her loss, I know one will come.