Cisu is dying. Now she is resting quietly with as much pain medication as she needs.  If she begins to suffer then I will help her go.

Cisu is a dog and I am a human so I cannot tell her the things I want to say.  I can only lay on the floor next to her, hold her head, and tell her she is so very loved. She will remain home with her family until she is ready to leave forever.  We are not ready, but no one asked our opinion.

Once she leaves us, maybe she’ll go to a place where she can understand what I want to say to her, so I’m going to write it down now while I still have her with me as I type. Maybe she can even understand some of it right now.

Cisu, are you listening?

When you were a small puppy, I didn’t think too much of you.  You were independent and not so easy to train; I often said that you had many interests, and I was only one of them.  You weren’t born playing ball and tug, and you sure didn’t look much like the breed standard.   But you were sweet and the whole family loved your affectionate nature.

It took me a long time to realize what an incredible dog you were.  I’m sorry for being slow to understand.  I guess I blamed you for my shortcomings as a trainer.  Really, you always gave me exactly what I trained for, and as as the years went by you went even further; you worked just to make me happy.  So few dogs can do that.  You’re amazing, you know?  I can see in your twitching feet that you’re still dreaming.  Do you dream about our past adventures together?

I regret that I didn’t know you were sick earlier.  If I had known, I would have let you swim every time you asked.  I would have taken you on a new adventure every day.  I would have played ball and tug and trained you as much as you wanted. I would have let you sleep in late every morning, right in the middle of our bed.

I couldn’t believe it when you asked to go swimming; I thought maybe you weren’t so sick after all, and after thinking hard for a few minutes, I decided to let you swim.  Why not; I could stand right there with you and help if you needed me.  I think you enjoyed yourself, at least for a few minutes.  I’m glad you asked.  Let me know if you want to do it again.

I’m not sure when you’ll decide to leave but I see that you’re much weaker today.  I’m not ready but  I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.  Please, just wait until your family can come home and say good bye; they’re driving back right now to be with you.  But after that, you can go when you’re ready.

Are you in pain?  I know you’re a pretty tough girl, but right now it’s better if you let me know because I can take the pain away.  I’ll be right here until the very very end, and you won’t suffer.  I promise you that.

I don’t know what your next life will look like but I know what I’d like it to be.  Let me tell you what I want for you.

You’ll sleep on a big bed with a fluffy comforter, and you’ll have company in that big bed.You’ll sleep in late every morning. I know you’re not much of a morning dog.

Then you’ll get up and eat twice your usual breakfast and no one will ever tell you that you’re getting fat.  Breakfast will be warmed up, and most mornings it will be lamb or pork.  No more fish – ever.  You never thought much of fish.

After breakfast you’ll have a nice nap. Then it’s time for a swim.  You’ll have other dogs to race to the toy, but you’ll always be faster so they can’t take your bumper. The weather will be warm, so after your swim, you can lay out on a lawn chair until you’re dried off.Then it’s time for a mid day snack.  Maybe meatballs with a side of pasta.

Work comes next.  You can do bite work because your arthritis will be gone.  Then off to tracking and no crows will steal the food.  Ever.

Dinner will be whatever your family might be eating.  At the table.  Off a plate.

In the evening you’ll have a long massage, with extra attention for your ears. And at night it’s back to the big bed with your new family, whoever they might be.

From the day you arrive they’ll know that you’re extra special, so you’ll be treated like the amazing dog that you are, right from the start.  I imagine they are so excited that you’re coming!

I wish all these things for you, and I hope that you know you changed the course of my life.  Actually, I think you do know that. But stay here just a little longer.  Because really, I’m just not ready yet.

Cisu, beautiful girl.  Wherever you are, let it be everything that you deserve and a little more.  11/2/2002 – 7/1/2014