My First Baby: A Tribute to My Beloved Dog While She’s Still With Us by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
My beloved dog Cheyenne, aka “Good Girl” (a nickname coined by my son when he was a toddler), is 12 years old now. I know her days are numbered. I often see friends writing tributes to their furry family members when they pass, and I’m sure I’ll do the same when her day comes. But I’ve decided to write one now, too, while she’s still with us. Maybe it’s more of a love letter than anything.
You were my first baby. In many ways you made me a mom. You’re a bit of a mama bear yourself, fiercely protecting your family. I’ll forever be grateful to you for loving and protecting my boys, for your gentleness, playfulness and sweetness. They’ve never known life without you and I can’t bear the thought of the day that they’ll have to.
It has been a joy and a gift to watch you grow and to love you through all the stages of your life. And while you may have slowed down over the years, in many ways you really haven’t changed at all. You’re still excited to see us when we come home and sad to see us leave. You still bark when people approach our yard and you still do the same gross stuff you did when you were a puppy.
Most importantly, you are still a loyal friend and a huge part of our family. You have loved us unconditionally, never asking for anything and giving us all of your love and affection. You always want to be near us, to the point of blocking doorways and entrances, and laying down in front of the stove when we’re trying to cook. But what more could anyone ask, really, than to be loved like that?
When the time comes for us to say goodbye, I want you to know that you have fulfilled your purpose, a thousand times over. You have been such a “good girl.” Thank you for choosing us.