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It has taken me a couple days to even be able to write about it….. but on Wednesday I had to have my old dog Cheyenne put to sleep.


She had deteriorated so quickly in the last two weeks…..I couldn’t allow her to go on that way any longer.  It was time.


I knew it was time as the vet gave her that last shot into her vein, but knowing that didn’t change the fact I was devistated taking her….I was on my hands and knees with my red swollen, tear covered face pressed against her fur sobbing like a baby a few moments later.




The past 13 years I have been truly blessed in the fact she has graced my life and my children’s lives.  Of anybody who helped me raise my children, it was her….that old dog of mine.  She taught them compassion, protected us when we had to live in undesirable neighborhoods and was my constant companion no matter where I went or what I did. 


She was an ideal dog and will never be able to be replaced.  She had such a strong Mothering instinct we called her “Big Mama.”  She mothered everyone in the house from me, to the kids, to the other dogs, rescue dogs, even the cats.  She loved all of us and constantly was grooming or checking on us.


Every night she spent about an hour grooming her best doggie friend Tonka.  When Tonka first came to me many, many years ago as a rescue she was broken…..mind, body and spirit.  I loved her and cared for her but Cheynne taught her how to love and trust other dogs.  She was her constant companion even when I was unable to be there, she never left her side untill she got better.


Over the years Cheyenne also fostered several litters of puppies and a litter of kittens that lost their mama at 1 week old.  Cheyenne not only loved on them and protected them (no one could come near them except the kids and I) but after we fed them she would stimulate them and then clean them up.  Her cleaning moisture rate had something to be desired because afterward they would end up totally soaked from her giant tongue but none the less the tiny kitties adored her and she would allow them to sleep, climb and pounce all over her till they day they left the house. They day they left, she looked all over for them and cried………she made me cry.


Once we brought home a Momma dog and 9 pups from the shelter to Foster and Cheyenne immediately appointed herself “Foster Mom” to the pups.  As soon as we would get the real momma out of the baby pool that we kept the puppies in, Cheyenne would tiptoe straight into the pool, nudge the puppies around a little, lay down and groom them and love on them.  She even a few days later produced sympathy milk and began nursing them.  She nursed them for weeks and took her roll of Foster Mom very seriously.  (They were the fattest little puppies ever)  I can still vividly remember her herding them outside in the yard when they would venture too far into the grass.


She was a doggie friend to the numerous rescue dogs who have rotated thru our house over the years.  All dogs seemed to love her, she had a way about her that made a nervous, anxious dog somehow calm down and be comfortable.


One of my favorite memories with her was every year at Ward Elementary School she got to come into Ms. Castle’s kindergarten class and meet a room full of excited, wiggly 5 year olds.  I came along with bone shaped cookies for the kids, treats for the kids to give Cheyenne, a “Carl” book to look at with the kids and a Polaroid camera and film.  Often for the children it was their first experience with a dog and she was always her normal loving self.  Passing out lots of kisses, ignoring little feet that accidentally stepped on her and performing on her mark when I asked her to do her tricks.  She stood patiently to take photos and get hugs from all of the kids and the kids with home with a new positive experience with a dog, and a photo of themselves and “Big Mama”.


She was my alarm clock for the last 13 years, nudging me with her nose at about 5:00 –5:30AM every day get me up, slept in the bed with me every night, camped in more places with me than I can remember and I am sure of the fact she would of given her own life to protect my family.


To her I will forever be grateful…she was a wonderful old soul, and I miss her more than I can ever explain.


My heart hurts so bad….My life has forever changed without her.



RIP my friend Cheyenne…… RIP.



Ms Cheyenne


  1. Laura,I am saddened with you over this loss. I know nothing I can say takes the pain and feeling of loss away,but I do believe she will always be with you in spirit.
    When we lost our Cooper I also layed over his head bawling and whispering in his ear as he went to the other side. He has visited me I beilieve. A few times during the night when I was alone sleeping and without a doggie presence I would feel him climb up and lay by me feet as he used to do. When Pete showed up on that interstate ramp out of nowhere I was / am still convinced he led him there to find me. I have now formed a deep connection with this new soul that is at once like Cooper and yet his own dog as well. Now I have Pete,my old friend doesn’t visit,but I know he is still looking out after our family
    Peace be with you and the family..

  2. oh my dearest – my heart is feeling for you! I can’t imagine how it must be right now, but know that others are holding you dear. *hugs*

  3. Laura,
    My deepest sympathies are with you and your kids right now.  This post made me cry and I completely understand your devestation.  I am so, so sorry!

  4. I am so sorry for your lost. She has gone but memories of her will be always there to make you smile, I cannot even imagine how you are hurting but you made my heart melt, so I could imagine you. Think of the good times and share the nice days of her with your kids so they could feel a little better.
    Chao Amiga.

  5. Oh, Laura.  I am so sorry.  So so so so so sorry.  I wish we could keep them forever.  😦

  6. Oh Laura.  I’ve been in similar positions and being there never gets any easier.  But everything else from these puppy-soul-mates’s lives makes that moment of transition so worth it.

  7. Laura, I am so sorry to hear about Cheyenne.  I never know what to say in situations like this, but please know I am thinking of you and your family, and wishing you a peaceful and easier time through this painful loss.  You gave Cheyenne a great, great life – – just as great as she had given to you.  Never forget that.

  8. I’m so sorry Laura.  I know there is absolutely nothing anyone can say to take away your pain, so it’s fruitless for me to try.  I was so touched by that wonderful tribute you wrote.  It is obvious what a huge place Cheyenne had in your heart.  As a fellow animal lover…I simpathize and hope the hurt is eased a bit with all the great memories you have of her.  Take care.

  9. Laura and Family, I’m sending healing heart prayers your way.  I know how much those heart wounds hurt.  I am sorry that you are going through so much pain.  I loved the tribute that you gave for your "big momma" what a very gentle beast indeed!   I’m glad that she found so much love through all the years and all of the fosters with you and your family.   You are going to see that girl for sure on the other end of that Rainbow bridge.  She is for sure taking care of all those others that have gone before her, and making sure everyone is minding their manners, and filling them in on what’s been happening at your home and hearts.   She has given so much to you as you gave so much to her.  May God bless you and your family in this time of emotional pain.   You are a generous soul Laura.  Rest in Peace beautiful Girl!   I’m glad you had the mom you did. 

  10. Laura, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and companion.  All I can think is that she is up in heaven right now taking care of everyone and everything that she can.  What a beautiful angel.

  11. I haven’t been by in a while and when typed the address and saw Cheyenne’s picture at the top I burst into tears–I just knew. It’s so strange–I’ve never met you or your dogs but in reading your blog over the last year or so I feel I’ve gotten to know you all a little bit. Cheyenne reminds me so much of my (now) older border collie Abby so maybe that’s why I attached so much to her specifically of all your dogs but this just breaks my heart. I am so sorry for you and your family and this tremendous loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. A BIG thank you to all of my friends.  Your prayers, words and thoughts have helped me more than you know.  I am still missing that old dog so much.  I know I will for a long time to come.

  13. I’m really, really, really sorry to hear about Cheyenne.  My heart goes out to you guys.  I hope your loving memories of cheyenne will comfort you when you need it most.   I’m glad you and the family were blessed with such a special animal.  Big warm hug for you. 
    Manny sends a special headbutt to his Aunt Laura.

  14. I am so sorry for the loss of Cheyenne – the stories of her nursing with sympathy milk sounded just like my Springer Spaniel Lacey (she has gone on also).  She too nursed the pups of my chihuaha as well as our siamese kitten Smokey.  Lacey kept milk for nearly 2 years – the silly smokey nursed that long and lacey was perfectly content to be surrogate mother!  You’ve probably read it before but here is the legend of the Rainbow Bridge…
    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

  15. Laura,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I had an English Bulldog named Tina who I loved with all my heart and lost several years ago. She only graced my life for 5 years in comparison to the many years you had with Cheyenne and I remember that loss like it was just yesterday. I cried like a baby for a long time and my heart still drops when I see a photo of her but sometimes I smile just thinking of the wacky things she used to do so I hope with all my heart that you get to that place soon where it still hurts but you’re able to smile about it. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

  16. oh I’m so sorry.  I remember when I had to hold my best friend as the vet administered that shot.  He was a black & white cat that thought he was a dog (played catch, did tricks, came when you called – lol).  It’s been 2 years and I still miss him.  We have a new cat now – black and white because that was the one who choose us a the pound. *smile* and he does have some personality to him but he isn’t my Sage .. I know how you must feel and I wish I could send you the warmest, most supportive hug and tell you everything was going to be okay … but you will still miss your friend … She sounds like she was just wonderful! 
    big hugs,

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