In Memory of Cassie

We will always remember you, our life and our love

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Rayne with Cassie (left) and Claudina.

It’s taken such a long time to say anything about you. It’s so painful that you are no longer with us. I have missed you so much that I haven’t been able to say anything about you until now. But it’s on a late night like this when I remember you most. You brushing against my leg, encouraging me to rub your back. I’d stroke your soft white coat then you’d lie cuddled at my feet. You were the best dog I’ve known and will always remember you.

But even though it pains me to talk about you now I want to remember all the happy times I spent with you and the unconditional love you always gave. I remember how you would run down the stairs out into the courtyard when you knew you were going for a walk. Before I opened the gate you’d bark excitedly so the whole neighbourhood could hear you were going for a walk. You’d rush out onto the lawn on the pavement across the road and leave your message on the grass.

When there were smaller dogs walking with their owners you would get all excited and sniff them up. You’d be curious about the birds landing on the grass and the people who walked by. Halfway on the walk before we turned around and headed for home I would pat you on the head and tell you what a good, smart and beautiful dog you were. In those moments of being together I never believed you would ever be gone.

Cassie travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Cassie travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Cassie I want to remember you during the times before you became sick with blood cancer. I can remember fetching you from your home in Benoni and seeing your father, a huge Standard Poodle who was a champion show dog. You, the runt of the litter, stood only 18 inches (46 cm) high, not the standard size of 21 inches (53 cm). You were shy and insecure but your friend and companion Claudina, a Standard Poodle with a black coat, helped you stand up for yourself.

You enjoyed going for long walks on Sunday afternoons in summer and winter. You played with Misty, a Yorkie, endlessly until she got tired and crawled under the fence and scurried home.

I’m so glad that growing up and living in Johannesburg you eventually made it to the sea and were able to walk on Fish Hoek beach and Long Beach at Kommetjie. You travelled without complaint or agitation on the 1,500 km journey down to Cape Town, lying still in the car and sleeping. You were always so well behaved. I remember how you were scared of the sea water but you enjoyed walking in the sand along the beach and especially the other dogs.

I’ll never forget all the love you gave and what a precious little being you always were. It was terribly sad to watch you waste away as your white blood cells ate away the red. You kept on with your loving, kind indomitable spirit but your little body finally succumbed to death.

Cassie with Rayne at the Worcester Shell Ultra City.

Cassie with Rayne at the Worcester Shell Ultra City.

I remember the night when I heard that you had died. I cried remembering how much you had meant to me; how much you had meant to all of us, especially Rayne who you loved in a special way and slept with every night.

Tonight I can only think of the terrible loss of you no longer with us. But in time I hope to recall those delightful memories of you. I will put them down on these pages so that we will never forget how so special you were, our beautiful, loving and kind Cassie.

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