The past week has been one of the tougher ones in recent times. Seems to affirm my thoughts that even bliss has its challenges.
Chief challenge in the past week has been the death of our little dog Cassie. By now my friends are maybe a bit fed up with hearing me speak of her, but god, she was a great dog and didn’t deserve to die at five years old. Cassie was a pet shop puppy, bought after we had scoured the rescue centres for some time and still hadn’t come up with a doggie that we felt we could look after properly. Ignorance has its benefits, because if I knew then what I know now of how and where pet shops obtain their stocks, we’d never have bought her. But we did, and she was not only the joy of both my life and my son’s life, but also my dad’s. When she came to stay with us dad’s kidneys were going into renal failure and the other organs were beginning to shut up shop. And then Cassie came, and he stabilised. They were constant companions and he loved her so much, and she him. He lived for three more years because of her. She saw me through a divorce and time on my own. If I was at home she never left my side. She’d always be there for a cuddle or a play or just to hang out. She saw my new husband come into my life and my new life take form.
Last Saturday she was at the groomers, and she had a seizure. She spent the night in the vet hospital but by Sunday afternoon, after all the tests, it was apparent she’d had a debilitating stroke, probably caused by a brain tumour. She couldn’t stand or walk properly and her head was tilted permanently to the side. Her eyes seemed to be sightless. We took the decision to let her go and we held her as her little body became limp and lifeless. I can’t quite remember my heart being this much broken. We buried her and of course had to keep on going.
In the meantime we’ve had to look to the needs of Scarlett, our other dog, who’s rather confused at not having her playmate around, but also is revelling in the attention she’s getting without another dog in the house.
Grief is a weird thing and just when you think you’re getting over it, it sweeps over you unexpectedly, bringing you back to square one. Anyone who say’s it’s ‘just a dog’ has never had a dog, I think. It is different to the grief you have for a human, if only that the animal has shown you pure untainted love, without any of the complications we get from other humans. The loss, I think, in some ways is greater.
And still, life moves on.
Work is a great therapy. It allows one to put time between yourself and the source of your grief, so I was very pleased to see the days whizzing by this week, packed with busy days and a full ‘to do’ list.
It was my hubby’s birthday yesterday, his 50th, so pretty special. We had breakfast with the Pandas at Adelaide Zoo. Coming from someone who was quite apathetic about the pandas, I have to say it was a tremendous experience. It was a privilege to get so close to these beautiful animals and observe them.
Last night was a terrific trip to see Avenue Q with close friends and then today a lovely afternoon at the in-laws and with family.
One week, and it seems a million years since we said goodbye to little Cassie. I still have the tears, but they’re becoming less. She’s in the garden with our two cats, Crystal and Simba, who passed away. Each night three little solar lights light up on their graves – one for each of the little souls that shone so much light upon our lives.
It’s been a privilege to have time with each of them, and through the ether, the collective unconcious, the human spirit, I am thankful for their lives and for their love.

Published by Maggie

Writer, traveller, observer.

5 thoughts on “Cassie

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I'm not tired of hearing about her, there's no such thing as "just a dog" (I've had five). It's so lovely that your dad lived another three years because of her. Hugs.

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