~ Today marks one of the most important and happiest days of my life. Today is the anniversary of adopting my first rescue dog, many years ago. Cassie, the original Stripey Sofa Hound.
Cassie passed away some years ago now, crushing my heart and leaving me wondering how I was going to carry on breathing, but today, I want to remember her with joy. It’s warm and the sun is shining – the only acceptable weather to Cassie – and I think of all the happy times she spent sunbathing.
I remember the moment I saw Cassie for the first time and fell in love. We were walking around the rescue centre and had noted down a few possibilities for our new member of the family, when I realised there was a path down between two rows of kennels. There she was, in all her brindle glory, soaking up the sunshine. We walked her, asked to adopt her, were told she was reserved. I cried. The rescue lady ran to check and came back and told us the reserve had been taken off and she was available. I stopped crying. We reserved her. Back then, the rescue held records on index cards and stapled pieces of paper with reserve details to those cards. I was worried they were going to lose my details and give her to someone else, so I wrote a letter and posted it with a dog treat, just to confirm our commitment to her.
Cassie came home after our home visit. She seemed to settle in immediately, as though we had always been meant to be together. I can remember her trying to steal our dinner that first night. She soon found her place on the sofa, on the bed, in front of the fire. She LOVED to be warm and comfortable. She didn’t like cold or wet. She would do a great pretend wee when the grass was cold and wet at bedtime. That was after I’d managed to get her off the sofa, where she was happily pretending she was asleep and couldn’t hear me.
Cassie was fantastic with dogs, lived so happily with every rescue dog we adopted after her, and she adored people. She loved children, she flirted with the postman (he was rather handsome) and she convinced people who were quite wary of dogs when they arrived that they rather liked being snuggled up to her on the sofa.
My beautiful Cassie soaked up Reiki like a sponge. I’d started on my animal healing journey the year before adopting Cass and we shared Reiki so many times during our years together.
My darling one-eyed girl, my brindle rock, I love and miss you so. You were the best first rescue dog, daughter, sister, best friend I could have asked for. You changed my life. You led the way for all the other rescue dogs who have come into my life since then and will do in the future. After you had left for the Bridge, I wanted to give something back to the rescue who cared for you and let us adopt you, so I went back to volunteering there again, photographing dogs seeking forever homes, something I hope to start again one day. There are always so many Stripey Sofa Hounds in rescue. I wish more people would realise what wonderful snuggly, loving beings they are and welcome them into their hearts and homes.
Cassie, thank you for bringing such love and joy and snoozing into our lives. Thank you for sending me my little brindle pebble. Thank you for everything. We’re going to sit in the sunshine for a while now, in your honour. I love you, always.