A Promise Made, A Promise Kept: Saying Goodbye to Cher

Goodbyes are hard, especially when it’s someone you love so much. Early Monday morning, Kendell and I had to make the tough choice to let Cher go before she suffered any more pain. We were going through a cycle of her lungs filling up with fluid and with the enlarged heart it was almost like it was suffocating her. After a solid 6-week stretch and a great day together on Sunday, Sunday night she started to rapidly deteriorate. Funny enough, we had a follow-up appointment scheduled at the vet for 10:30am, but at 3am I knew she wouldn’t last that long. So we put Jellybean in the car, bundled Cher up in her favorite blanket and I held my sweet girl for a ride I knew would probably be our last. When she died, she was wrapped in her favorite blanket, being held by her favorite guy with me and Jellybean giving her kisses as she passed. She knew she was loved until the very end.

Five and a half years ago, the day before Thanksgiving I was meeting Cher’s foster to pick her up. I’d never had a dog before and was terrified and by the looks of Cher when I put her in the car, she was terrified too. I talked to her to try to calm her nerves and mine on the ride home. I promised her that from this day forward I was her family and whatever happened before didn’t matter because she was with me now. We would celebrate birthdays and gotcha days, we’d go for long walks and I’d figure out her favorite treats and we would eat them all. I promised her I’d always come back for her and she never had to worry about being abandoned and that I hoped at the end of her days with me she’d have forgotten about the days before she found me. I kept my promises.

I can’t express in words how much I love Cher, but I feel like her paw print is tattooed on my heart. She changed my life and made me see the world in a completely different way and for that I’m so grateful. She loved us with all her heart until her little heart couldn’t go any longer and I loved every minute of the time we spent together.

So many people have asked if they can do anything for me/us and if you’re so inclined, I’d ask you to donate to Susie’s Senior Dogs in Cher’s name, it’s a great organization that supports the adoption of senior dogs like Cher. Any dollar will help. She was 9 when we adopted her and lived to just a month shy of her 15th birthday. And in case you’re wondering, I still plan on celebrating her birthdays even when she’s gone.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support, love and concern for our sweet girl. It has helped to lift me up in a time like this knowing that by sharing her with you I got to spread the love and joy I got from having Cher in my life.

82 Replies to “A Promise Made, A Promise Kept: Saying Goodbye to Cher”

  1. So sorry for your loss! But please take comfort in the fact that your little girl loved you and you gave her a wonderful life! I truly believe that we will see our beloved pets again.

    1. Dear Dana & Family,

      I’m deeply sorry for your loss. We just lost 1 of our 2 rescue cats & it leaves a hole in your heart. May your happy memories comfort you during this difficult time.


  2. I am so sorry to read this, Dana. It brings back my own, similar experience with a beloved senior cat, and I my heart hurts to think how you and your husband are feeling. But what a great thing you did – you gave Cher a wonderful life full of comfort and love. Thank you for sharing her with us

  3. Dana, I’m so sorry for your loss of Cher. 😢 I always loved seeing pics of your fur babies in their sweaters.

  4. So sorry for your loss. Cher was so lucky to have found you.

    1. Good byes are hard and i am sorry for your loss.

  5. Blessings to you and Kendell. It is such a responsibility to have these little lives in our hands. You loved her every minute she was with you and it sounds like you let her go at just the right time. Take comfort in that, and in the wonderful memories you have of her.

    1. I enjoyed seeing Cher in her awesome sweaters and just chillin. She knew she was loved and adored to the end.

  6. I will miss Cher. She was a lovely little creature, and I’m so glad you all found each other.

  7. Dana – I am so sorry for your loss! You had the joy of giving her many happy years and she gave that love back to you all. I know how hard it is to lose a loved pet. Hugs to you all!

  8. I’m so sorry about your sweet Cher. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to our constant companions. I love the image of her paw print tattooed on your heart. Thank you for sharing her with us. Hugs to you.

  9. So sorry for your loss. It is ours as well, since I know I’ve loved reading about Cher, seeing her pictures, and watching the love you had for her and shared with us. Thank you for your open hearted sharing through this blog.

  10. So sorry for your loss. Cher knew she was so loved by her “sister”, Jellybean, and your family. She will live on, in your hearts, forever.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost the first dog I had as an adult over two years ago, and I still miss him so much. Thank you for giving Cher such a sweet life.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss Dana! I would look forward to your posts about Cher. Just know how happy you made her. I will ask my furry babies to send prayers.

  13. So sad, but Cher was a lucky pup indeed, to have found such pure love with you and your husband. And how many dogs get such fabulous sweaters to model, too?

    I am sure your heart is broken, but as you said, her little paw is there inside, and will always be there with you.

  14. I sit here in tears. Although I didn’t know Cher in person, I felt like I got to know her through you and I am so deeply sorry for your families loss. I’ve felt that heartbreak many times with my own fur babies and I know that she will forever live on in your heart, your blog, your pictures, and your mind. Rest in peace, Cher! You were loved and promises were always kept.

  15. I recently lost one of my cats, also adopted at a senior age, who spent 9 years at our home. Many hugs from a fellow second chance giver. Un abrazo!

  16. Cher was so lucky to be loved by you all. How lovely that you were with her when she crossed the rainbow bridge. Even under the best of circumstances, this is such a painful process, and my heart goes out to you.

  17. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Cher. She was such a cutie pie! Hugs to you, Dana and to Kendell and of course, Jellybean too.

  18. On Wednesday when I saw the title of the post I knew reading it would have to wait until I could cry undisturbed. Have been kind of dreading it since you let us know of Cher’s illness. Thank you for sharing the event. I know it must have been hard to do.

  19. Oh Dana and Kendell, I’m so sorry to hear about Cher. I don’t know you, have never met you, but we pet lovers know the special heart-ripping pain of losing a furred friend. I’ve just donated $50 to Susie’s Senior Dogs in Cher’s honor, and for all the Chers out there waiting to find their forever homes.

  20. Totally different species, but my 13-year-old son’s pet parakeet passed away recently— the aptly-named Buddy who spent his life hanging out on Brendan’s shoulder and keeping him company— and I grew up with sweet dogs whom I adored and still miss, so this hits home. I’m so sorry. Hang in there.

  21. This is so beautiful. And so many people have heard the message about adopting senior dogs from you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’ll admit I cried when I read your insta post, and this one too.

  22. I’m really sorry to hear about Cher, but glad you were able to be with her to the end. She knew she was loved and cherished.

  23. So sweet, Cher was a very happy girl and you enhanced her life!

  24. Hello, Dana. This post is so precious. It made me cry and it was cathartic. There is SO MUCH LOVE in this post! We have a dog we adopted in 2007. We don’t know how old Wrigley was when we adopted him, but he’s an old man now. I still call him my puppy and he is healthy, but moving slower, loves his walks, hates loud noises. Also my father passed away earlier this month, so reading this kinda helped move some emotion through me. God bless Cher, that she is free of pain and suffering–but I bet she wishes she could’ve taken just one sweater with her! Thank you for sharing her with us. You have such a lovely smile and outlook on life and knitting!

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