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Goodbye, Cayma Girl

We sadly said goodbye to our sweet Cayma Girl last night. She died very peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family telling her, "Good Girl" and "Goodbye Caymie, I love you", on her favorite cozy blanket in front of the fireplace. I'm forever grateful for my friend and neighbor, veterinarian Jenne Daws, who was able to come on a moment's notice to our home to help her beautifully pass on to a place with endless amount of snow, rivers, hiking trails, treats, and family members to love.

Cayma would have been ten in December. It was in January of 2009, when we found her, needing a home. And we so badly needed a baby to love. She joined our family during a time when I was longing for a child and she listened carefully to my fears and worries, while licking my tears on a daily basis. She sat beside me when we administered IVF injections. She laid on the couch with me while I prayed for our IVF embryo to stick. She was the first to know, sitting faithfully beside me in the bathroom, when I found out I was pregnant with Bethany. She jumped up and down and barked joyously when I shouted out, "NO WAY!!" as the second pink line appeared on the test.

When Bethany came, she quietly crawled into her bassinet one day while I was nursing and curled up to sleep. She figured that the bassinet was getting a lot of attention, so maybe she should go hang out there. From then on, she loved babies, all of the babies that came, especially when she realized they tasted delicious and would gladly feed her treats multiple times a day. We walked and hiked miles together all around Boulder, CO when Bethany was tucked safely into her little Ergo Carrier. Everyone admired her, giving her pets and telling me how beautiful she was- Cayma that is, not Bethany.

When the twins were born Cayma was with me through all of the crazy days, long nights, feedings, screaming, crying, in and day out she was there. She became very protective in those days, possibly believing that the twins were her babies, or that I was unfit to handle all three girls and she needed to step in.

She was the only one home with me the morning we lost Beau.

Cayma was with me through the hardest, happiest, most transformative years of my life. She never spoke a word of English to me. Not one word. But she listened more fiercely than anyone. So many times she laid with me, licked my tears, snuggled up close....barked with joy, ran around in circles, and jumped off the ground when we were excited or celebrating. She saw ME, the raw, most real me, every single day and she loved me anyway. She was fiercely loyal. A few times when the twins were small, I accidentally left her outside. She would curl up on the front porch, waiting patiently for me to come find her. She would never, ever have run away from us.

Her greatest days in life were being with us outside doing something, anything. Snow days, hikes, runs, swims....she smiled from ear to ear. She absolutely loved human food, especially popcorn, toast, baby formula, and anything left out on baby highchair trays. She was most content when we were all still, safe, not moving around...then she could finally relax and not worry that she needed to be protecting us.

She was a bit of a social misfit with other dogs. I have a scar on my knee from a bad encounter with one that she felt might hurt me. She would have done anything to protect us from other dogs. Her only dog friend in the world, was her best buddy, Penny- my in-law's little white Havanese. The two of them were quite a pair and had many fun times together.

But she loved people, especially anyone who would take her to do something outside, or give her a treat or a headpat/back scratch. The only person she absolutely did not like was the UPS man, or anyone who had the gall to walk onto our porch and ring the doorbell. She also hated any animals on TV that might jump out and hurt us.

She was the first and only dog I've ever had. She came to me at a time when I needed her and stayed to bear witness to the most emotional years of my life. My heart is broken and we grieve mightily. Bethany asked over and over, "How will we live without Cayma?" Bethany has never lived a day without her. But today we do and we go on, no strangers to grief. Accepting that instead of curled up on top of my foot right now, she is instead curled up inside my heart.

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