Many of you with pets think of them as your children. That is how we thought of Cameron, our sweet Golden girl.
She was bought on a whim...I had adopted a puppy from the Atlanta Humane Society. They told me she was a cocker spaniel/beagle mix. Sadie most certainly was not either of those dogs. She is, however, a pretty sweet girl.
Sadie ended up not liking my apartment too much and I'd leave her with my parents while I went to work as a teacher. Long story short, Sadie adopted my parents and there she remains.
So I still wanted a dog and found an ad in the newspaper. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I went up to just *look* at these puppies.
No one ever just looks at a golden retriever puppy. They have some magical power that causes you to lose all control of your checkbook.
I left that day having put a deposit down on a little female puppy with a purple ribbon.
One month later, when she was about 6 weeks old, my husband (again, he was my boyfriend at the time, so how great is it that he went to pick up the puppy??) picked up Cam from the breeder to bring her home.
He brought her to my classroom--boy was she cute!
From there it is a whirlwind.
My parents thought I was crazy buying such a large dog. Then they met her and they fell in love with her too. They loved her so much they let me drop her off each morning on my way to school so she wouldn't have to be alone all day. Spoiled little thing.
She helped us raise all 3 of our children.
I honestly think that when we brought home our little guy, number 3, that she was thinking to herself, "What is this?? I've already gone through two of these things. Now I'm having to start all over again? Ok. I give up. Whatever."
She was a champ. She'd lay there and let our little kiddos crawl all over her. She'd play with her toys and let them take the toy right out of her mouth. She was the best. I can't say it enough.
Cam barked a lot, too. She'd startle some visitors to our house, but really we think she was asking for love and once you petted her head, she was yours for the long haul.
We joked that if someone ever broke into our house, she'd point out all the good stuff and would probably help the criminals haul the goods out. She was a giver.
She lived to the ripe old age of 14. That is amazingly old for a large breed dog. We were lucky to have her and we miss her terribly.
I know we'll have another dog someday, but I don't think we'll have another golden. Hard to compete when the bar was set so high.
Thanksgiving is coming up and we're all thankful we had the chance to introduce our kids to such a great dog. She helped teach them how to care for an animal and that dogs are valued members of a family. We're thankful for Teresa, our groomer, who always made sure Cameron had the best bows or bandannas. We're thankful for our vet office. Over the years Cam saw each of the vets in the practice. The vet techs loved her and the front desk staff knew her by name. They are the best and they were caring and sweet and just as sad as we were on her final day.
So, again, if you have a pet, hug them for us.