Cindy’s Birthday

This blog is named after my dog Cindy. In honor of her birthday, a post of remembrance…

18 years ago today, a precious little puppy was born. Six weeks later, I met her, and it was love at first sight.

I can still see it in my mind’s eye:  We went to a small shelter and walked into the “puppy room.” There were a number of large wooden bins that kept each litter separate from the others.  Most of the puppies were sleeping or playing, except for one. This adorable little pup was sitting up attentively, looking right at me, as if to say, “Why are you looking around? I am right here, and I am ready to go home.

I knew instantly that she was mine. We named her Cindy, and found out later that my beloved grandmother also had a dog named Cindy.

When Cindy was 2 years old, I had been working three jobs to make ends meet, and she would chew on everything out of boredom. So I got her a cat. Cindy was not thrilled with that, but she stopped chewing on my stuff. Interestingly, AJ’s birthday was only 5 days before Cindy’s, and they died 2 days apart.

Cindy was the alpha dog and she knew it. She was extremely intelligent, and could perform dozens of commands, if there was something in it for her. 🙂 Like most dogs, she loved to run and jump. She used to jump up 5′ and grab leaves right off of the tree. And eat. She would eat pretty much anything, even things that should not be considered food. She was a magnificent dog, but not above helping herself to anything within her reach or even snatching a cookie out of an unsuspecting hand. One day I came home to find an empty paper bread bag on the living room floor – from a loaf that I had left on TOP of the refrigerator! I can only conclude that she and AJ collaborated on that one.

We had so many fun times. And a few not so fun times, such is life. :/ On more than a few occasions I said, “You drive me crazy!” (Usually as I was handing her a treat.)  She quickly learned how to defeat the invisible fence, one time actually jumping over the spot on the lawn where the wire was buried. Cindy was not one for playing with toys. I used to say she wasn’t good at having fun, a trait she might have inherited from her owner. 😉  She was also very vocal, and loved to tell everyone so.

I am so thankful that when Cindy was around 11 years old, I realized that we had more years behind us than in front of us. From that day on, I made it a point to never walk by her without giving her some love. This made her last years so special.

When she was 14, a neighbor’s dog attacked us. It was over in seconds, but that moment completely changed her personality and our relationship. From then on she was timid and quiet, a polar opposite of the vocal alpha dog she had been. Instead of trying to contain her, I found myself trying to encourage her to do more and speak, but she rarely uttered a sound. 😦 This made our last two years together very sweet, as I was able to care for her and love on her as much as I wanted, which was a lot.

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From the archives: Read Cindy’s guest post here.

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Cindy and I had 16 1/2 wonderful years together. She was definitely my bff. She was always willing to test my food, patrol the neighborhood, and warm up the couch. She jumped and barked when I was happy, and she licked my tears when I was not.

It was very difficult to say goodbye to my longtime companion and friend. While I will probably get a new pup at some point, there will never be another Cindy. I am so thankful for the time we had together.

I love you, sweet Baby Girl. ♥

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5 Responses to Cindy’s Birthday

  1. kaschroer says:

    I’m also a dog lover. I still miss my Taffy and my Kizzy.

  2. A wonderful friend, our dogs. WE have a lab that is 12, to fat but so loving, but we too understand his best years are behind him. Thanks for the reminder to love hime every time we pass him. He is pretty spoiled but still.

  3. kimahall says:

    Just love your sweet tender memories of your precious dog, Cindy! We had a retriever named Jake who was as deeply loved for years. I felt your pain when I read about having to say goodbye. Ah, love is so wonderful, and opens our hearts to pain, but life wouldn’t be worth living without that awesome power of love!

    • Michele says:

      Oh, it sounds like Jake had a great life too. Yes, it is easy to get attached to our pets. Thanks for visiting, Kim! 🙂

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