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My Precious Cassidy
by Sherry Rentz
My Precious Cassidy came to me on a cold January day in 2010. I'd seen her at several places around my middle-sized town with a man (maybe in his 30's). The man had a sign which read "I need a job." This day was different though. My Cassidy was alone, on the side of a busy road at the restaurant I'd planned to eat at that afternoon. Needless to say, I didn't sit down to eat. I attempted to call this dog, hoping she wouldn't run into the busy road. She looked at me, and seemed a bit nervous at first. I'd parked my car in the lot away from the road, so I opened the passenger door of the car. She came around and jumped in the front seat! I was so glad!
It was a Friday and since I had other rescue dogs, and cats I took her straight to my vet. I asked them to keep her over the weekend, and check her out. That way I could try to make a decision on what to do, since I really didn't need another pet. When I returned on Monday, the vet told me he thought her to be an older dog, maybe even ten. He also told me she had heartworms. At that point, I decided she was going to be mine. I wanted to be sure she got the heartworm treatment, and I wanted to be sure she was in an extra safe environment being that she was older.
I didn't even know she was an Aussie at the time because I wasn't real familiar with the breed. I quickly found out she was an Aussie and begun to research the breed. In the meantime, she came through the heartworm treatment just fine. She became my constant companion. I was amazed at how smart and so sweet she was. I decided to name her "Cassidy Destina." Cassidy seemed to just fit her, she was the red/white color combination Destina is Spanish for "destiny," and I just knew it was her and my destiny to be at that restaurant at the same time that day.
I figure someone must have came along and offered the man a ride, but wouldn't let him take the dog. I would NEVER leave an animal, as long as I'd had a crumb to eat the animal would too. His irresponsibility and loss was my gain though. I started taking Cassidy with me on some short trips, she was so wonderful. You could tell she'd traveled before. She seemed to have some balance problems at times, and after my vet referred her to a vet neurologist, we found out she had a form of vestibular syndrome. It affects the inner ear where balance is controlled. We dealt with it fine since she was an indoor dog anyway.
We had three wonderful years together, I only wish it could have been longer. Last November I think it was, she developed a cough. The cough didn't seem to be getting any better, so the vet suggested he do a radiogram last December. He saw cancer in her chest. He didn't know how long she had, but told me to be aware of her breathing. In January of this year (2013) her breathing became labored. I had to make that terrible decision that a pet owner NEVER wants to have to make because you don't want them to suffer... I had to let her go, to let her go to sleep because I loved her so. She took a part of me with her. She could have been thirteen or older, we had no way of knowing for sure. We had three wonderful years together, and it hurts me so to not have her with me.
I knew after having an Aussie I never wanted to be without one ever again. I am such a strong supporter of pet adoption, I did as I've done before when I'd lost a pet… I started searching for another Australian Shepherd needing a loving home. What better way to honor and remember the pet lost, but to adopt another needing a loving forever home. I applied to several Aussie Rescues, but also decided to look on Petfinder.com where I'd found two other dogs and a cat. As I was looking at pictures of available Aussies in my tri-state area, the face of one just caught my attention immediately. I'd wanted the red/white color which was Cassidy's coloring. This dog was different color-wise she was a red merle Aussie. It was the expression out of her eyes though, it reminded me so much of Cassidy.
She was in a shelter's foster home in Alabama, I am in Georgia. I contacted the foster Mother and arranged to go see her. The foster Mother told me the shelter wanted to get her to a Aussie Rescue soon. I traveled to AL, saw this dog and fell in love with her. I adopted her, and brought her to Georgia to become a Georgia Peach!! She had been an owner surrender, and was about 4 yrs. old. She'd been called "Lady," so she became my "Lady Cassidy." We call her "Lady Cass" most of the time, and she too is such a sweet, smart girl.
She is not Cassidy of course, I couldn't expect her to be, that wouldn't be fair to her. She has however helped to fill the emptiness I had inside of me. I'll never forget Cassidy, she was such a special part of my life. She'll be forever in my heart. Lady Cass has quickly found her own special place in my heart right next to my precious memories of sweet Cassidy. I am uploading a picture of my Sweet Cassidy. As a plaque I have on her grave says, "Go run free now, play with the angels." I will see her again in Heaven, where she is well again now.
Sherry Rentz in Georgia