Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


A great dog

My baby is almost 11 and a half and today is having several of her teeth pulled. When she gets home from the doggie dentist she will be just a little bit older and a little less able to chew her food.

Today J and I looked at Cassidy as she was leaving for the vet and we both realized that we have precious little time left with her. She's in her senior years now. Slower, sleepier, hungrier (!)

She snores now. She sleeps in a patch of sun all day. At night it's getting harder and harder to wake her up for her before bed bathroom break.

But when we look at her she's still our baby.

I hope she is still here to enjoy our human baby when he/she arrives.

This is Cassidy's story.

In J's last year of college he talked a lot about wanting a dog. His grandpa had owned a beautiful English Springer Spaniel and in the last months of his life this little dog gave him comfort and love whenever he could be snuck into the hospital room.
I am a dog lover. It didn't take me long to capitalize on J's interest and find some puppies for sale ads in the local paper. (Yep - way before Craigslist!)

We called a breeder who told me over the phone that she had just one puppy left. That we could come and interview with her and she'd let us meet this puppy.

It was a perfect Minnesota evening as we drove up to Chaska. We had some unmemorable interaction with the breeder and her male and female dogs and then. THEN...we walked out back and saw her. Cassidy was across the yard and when she heard us come out she came running, ears flapping, tail wagging, doggie smiling, and threw herself in our arms.

It did take some work to convince the breeder that we would be responsible dog parents. But the next day we were back to pick her up.

Cassidy has gone everywhere with us. She's lived in J's bachelor pad apartments-allowed to snuggle on any and all furniture. She's moved across the country with us curled on a pillow between the front seats in 2 different moving vans. She has helped us to make friends in dog parks large and small and she gave me courage to get out on my own after we got married and moved to our first new city. Cassidy brought me Julia, one of my favorite people. And Ella, one of our favorite dog friends.

Cassidy has good naturedly flown to Alaska. And Texas. And Washington, DC.

She has run up waterfalls and down mountain trails and through cherry blossoms along the tidal basin. She has jogged alongside our inline skates and pulled me when I was tired. She has swam in lakes, rivers, and streams across the country. Cassidy has licked our toes until we laughed and kissed away many tears.

12 week old Cassidy jumped in a huge lake and tried to join (in her mind save) J windboarding.

Cassidy once fished a puppy out of a deep stream.

Cassidy once met President Obama before he was President.

In her less than illustrius moments Cassidy has eaten all manor of dangerous substances. A mouse/rat from the alley in DC. A squeaky hotdog that was as long as one of her legs when she was 3 months old. A cassette tape of my ESL students' final exams. A full basket of chocolate easter eggs. That girl loves to eat!

In more recent years Cassidy has lived through two major health emergencies. She has survived for us. She never complains, she is endlessly loving, and always up for time together. Even though she is slow on the hikes these days we always take her along. She loves the view from the car ride.

I can't believe that tonight I'll be feeding Cassidy soft dog food. She's an old girl now. We don't have to worry about food on the counters because she can't jump anymore. She can't jump into the back of the car. We have to keep her on a leash when she swims because she can't fight a river current these days.

But she's still my girl and has been the child I needed through many human childless moments. She holds within herself all of the best memories of our years together as a family.



  1. This post made me cry. It's beautiful, Amanda. We have three dogs-two of whom have been through my entire adulthood with me. They're older now, too and this post reminds me of all the sadness I feel when I see them age and all the happiness I feel when I think about everything we've been through. Thank you for this. :)

  2. sniff sniff, I love Cassidy. Give her a little scratch behind the ears from us!

  3. In a couple of days she won't even miss the teeth. Cassidy is a trooper!

  4. Hey there friend :)

    I'm so excited about your adoption. I'm praying for you all!


  5. Cassidy was the first dog Pablo met closely...and he laughed when she licked his toes.

  6. Oh how I miss Cassidy!! She is such a great dog. Give her a big hug from me. I miss you too! Love ya! Praying for you and J in your journey.

  7. Thanks for the reminder. It has become harder to appreciate our pups since Dawit arrived, but they've been with us from the beginning.

  8. I miss Cassidy so much! she was the BEST dog I've ever dog-sat for. I remember way back when we had a stream of hot days in DC and it wasn't untill around 10pm that it was remotly cool enough to take the girls for a walk. We walked to the Capital building and Cass decided to swim in the fountain. I let her (and Penny). She was such a trooper. I had to carry her home she was so tuckered out. I miss our snuggles on the couch and in the bed. Give her some extra loving from her best girl in Virginia.


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.