It’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to Star, my companion and best friend since 2004.

Our journey started on a late summer night in September of 2004 when her original owners left her in the overnight box at the Dumb Friends League.  Her leg had a gash from an injury and they couldn’t afford to fix it so they left her in the ‘give away’ box.  She was tiny then; about 13lbs, and was a fairly funny looking mix of a Papillion and a cattle dog.  Her little black face looked strange on her bigger, mottled red body.

I’d never had a smaller dog and wasn’t sure about this strange, timid, puppy.  But my daughter knew we were a perfect match and encouraged me to take her home.  One night together was all it took.  She was devoted to being near my side and was happy to tuck in behind my legs at night while we slept.

Star was the perfect walking dog and loved to scout out the neighborhood looking for squirrels.  Daily walks became our thing for the next almost fourteen years.

Star had one toy, a stuffed squirrel she treated like her baby.  In the end, her baby squirrel went with her and continues to be with her.

While the grieving process continues, I am most thankful for the fact that in the end, she was in my arms, sleeping soundly and entered her next journey in a loving, peaceful way.  Words can’t express how grateful I am to Alexis, Mandi, and the team at Caring Pathways who have shown me so much kindness, compassion, and patience.

Star, thank you for bringing happiness and joy into my life.  Thank you for the times when I was sick and you stayed close to me and willingly gave up your walk to take naps together instead.  I am convinced that animals far surpass human’s abilities to love unconditionally and I am forever blessed that you chose me.