I have had many wonderful pets over the years. With the recent death of my beloved Papillion, Cassie in 2013, I have enjoyed the last of my pets. I thought back to the first pet I had as an adult. He was a wonderful Beagle. We named him Cicero, as he was quite the orator. He was a very cute doggy.
Later, I adopted two cats, one of whom was hit by a car within two weeks. The 2nd one, a Russian blue, we named Daniel, lived to be 20 years old. Then we found Panda, a black and white cat, made famous by my painting of him. He lived to be 14 years old.
I then expanded my menagerie to include goats, ducks, geese, rabbits, and a pony. We also had two English shepherds, one Great Pyrenees, and one Chihuahua, who had two puppies. Our brood increased again when the English Shepherds had puppies. So we ended up with several dogs, three cats, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats and even a pony.
We had a great time with all the live stock, dogs and cats. I was also milking the goat twice a day. The kids were in 4H and showing the rabbits and the goats. So, I thought I should raise Guide Dogs for the Blind. It is a great organization and I wanted to help, by raising puppies for them. They gave us a wonderful female yellow lab, named Doreen. She was a very sweet dog, with a gentle temperament, and became a great mother. Guide Dogs went on to breed her four times before she was retired, and became our forever doggy, living to be 12 years old. We also acquired a golden retriever named Buffy when Doreen was six years old. Buffy and Doreen became good friends. After Doreen died, Buffy was our only pet, for the next five years. When she died, at age 12, I adopted my little Nicky, a rascally white, very funny Devon Rex. He lived to be 11.
Then I found my most favorite and beloved little Papillion. Cassie. Cassie was a huge part of our lives for 16 years. She was a total member of our family, and did everything with us. When we traveled by air, she flew in the cabin with us, in her own carrier that fit under the seat. She stayed in hotels, and walked the streets of many cities, enjoying the parks with us.
Cassie was a great hiker, and hiked many trails with us in Idaho, and Colorado. She was able to hike at altitude for seven or more miles. She was only limited by how far her humans could go. She loved hiking, and would start to excitedly whine when she recognized we were going on the trail. When we would stop for lunch, Cassie had her lunch also. Having Cassie hike with us improved our hiking experience; she provided the entertainment.
But Cassie developed pulmonary hypertension at age 15. She did pretty well for ten months or so, but she finally began having seizures. This only went on for 24 hours, before it became obvious that it was time to euthanize her. So I had to say good by to the sweetest, smartest and best dog I ever had. We had her cremated, and buried her ashes off the trail at Horsetooth falls hiking trail. Now when we hike that trail, I look off the trail by the tree where she is buried, and I call out, “ Hi Cassie!”
Looking back at it now, I have had a good time enjoying all our beloved pets, over the past 50 years. I loved them all, and was lucky to have had each of them for a long time. Now, I am enjoying my memories of them.