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.

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

  1. I just made a small donation to Susie’s Senior Dogs in gratitude for the joy Cher’s presence brought to you and then you shared on the blog. Good things come in small packages. Thank you, Cher.

  2. So sorry for your loss. We got our first dog just last year and they sure do become part of your family. I am glad she had such a good life with you. She was lucky to have you. I am sure you will miss her lots. You are all in my thoughts.

  3. That’s a beautiful story. You gave little Cher a wonderful life. I’m so sorry for the ache you’ll be feeling in your heart

  4. Holding you in my heart today. XO
    Here is a quote I especially like . . . for you today . . .
    “God turns clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs in Dog Heaven, and when they are tired from running and barking and eating ham-sandwich biscuits, the dogs find a cloud bed for sleeping. God watches over each one of them. And there are no bad dreams.” — Cynthia Rylant

  5. 🤗🤗🤗to all of you.😘 to Jellybean . Our Fur babies do enrich our lives in such a wonderful way.. I understand completely as I have walked in your shoes.I am so happy😇 Cher and you found you to way to each other 💖 and had a great time together. She got to see her Dad run 26.2 miles!!!I love your story🤗

  6. oh dana, I am heartbroken for you!! ive been there 5 times in my life and each time feels like the first. I always had to rescue another fur baby because they just add so much to your life. they love as much as you do or more. much love to you and the family and jellybean. celebrating memories are the things that bring us through these times and are forever etched in our hearts.

  7. I am so saddened by this news. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  8. I’ve made a donation to Susie in Cher’s name. She may have been a small girl but she was loved across oceans. They are such a part of our families and lives. I do hope you’re ok. She had a marvellous life with you and you maintained her dignity at end.

  9. You truly were the best family Cher could possibly have!! I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m sending much love to you, your husband, and Jellybean.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful person you are to adopt a senior.

  11. I’m so very sorry to hear. It sounds like she had a wonderful life with you.

  12. You gave her the best life, and she was loved (and she knew it!). Thank you for sharing Cher with us. It’s never long enough, with dogs, and especially your first dog. I will miss her. RIP.

  13. I am so thankful that Cher had a loving family that knew when the time came, only her comfort mattered. I am sure she loved you all more than you could know. Dogs are like that. Thinking of you all today.

  14. how lovely that she was wrapped in love until the very end. I had a senior Jack Russel/Dachshund who had the same enlarged heart and pulmonary issues as Cher. I couldn’t even carry him at the end because of the pressure on his chest. Henry was my all time love and because of that I had to make the decision to ease his pain and suffering. In a way, we know that they are grateful to us for that ease, because they love and trust us so much. Many prayers for healing in your heart and for Jellybean.

  15. With tears in my eyes I’m sending you lots of love and hugs! You were definitely a good mama to her!

  16. It’s hard to lose a member of your family, Dana. I’m holding you deep in my heart.

  17. So sorry to hear of Cher’s passing. I am in tears. You, your husband and Jellybean are in my thoughts today. I hope you can find peace.

  18. So sorry for your loss. You and Cher have brought me joy and smiles. Thanks for sharing all the love.

  19. I’m so sorry for your loss of Cher. I too have lost much loved pets. The pain becomes less sharp but the ache always remains. Thankfully so do the memories of the joy you gave each other. I’m sure you gave Cher her best joy, I know you gave her the best wardrobe! Prayers for your comfort.

  20. Bless you and your hubby and Jellybean. You gave back to Cher what she so generously gave to you. She will be with you forever. Thanks for sharing her story with your blog friends.

  21. Sending much love your way. You put into words so well what it means to rescue an animal. And a senior one at that. The hardest part of rescuing a senior dog is that you know that the time to say goodbye will come much too soon. But, oh the love that they have to share is boundless. And I love the part of a “paw tattooed” on your heart. I know that feeling well. PS – extra hugs to Jelly. My older guy has been through 3 elder rescues and I know he hast felt each loss as keenly as we have.

  22. I am so sorry for your loss. What a lucky girl to have such a loving family. Thank you for sharing her with us. 💔😘

  23. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. It is such a hard thing to go thru. You and Kendall provided such a warm, wonderful home. xoxoxo

  24. So sorry for your loss, Dana. Considering your care and if possible, I’d like to come back as your rescue dog 🐶

  25. Thank you for giving her a second life. I often say “Why can’t pets live as long as people?” I read a simple answer. They do not need to hang around as long as people because they already know all the life lessons. Unconditional love, joy in the simple things, don’t hold grudges, gratitude and just being who they are. We can learn from them. XOXO

  26. Dana, I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your and Kendall’s loss of sweet Cher. I just made a donation in her name to SSD. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention the reason for the donation. Not to worry, though, I wrote an email to them about Cher, your blog and her sad loss. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time. Give a hug to Jellybean for me…

  27. My deepest sympathy for your loss of dear Cher. I have read your blog for a while and often wanted to say something supportive about your awesome posts–but this one really speaks to me. It’s so hard to lose a beloved animal. The best comfort is to know that you gave her the best possible life, and that she never had to know what it would have been like to lose you. Sending hugs and love.

  28. I wanted to say that your statement that Cher changed your life really resonated with me. My late doggo, Katie Rocket, changed my life – made me a dog person and I think a better person. I’m so glad we have our life-changing friends, even though it hurts so much when we lose them. May Cher’s memory be a blessing to you and your family.

    We are brokenhearted with you. Sending you love and hugs.

  29. So sorry to hear your news. I think Cher lived up to her name and was “dear” not just to you and your family but to your extended family of readers. I will make a donation in her name.

  30. So sorry for your loss! I hope that knowing that you gave her a few great years and that she was so loved thanks to you will bring you comfort. She was precious and will be remembered.

  31. I cried when I read today’s post. Cher and Jellybean brought joy into my life this year at times when I desperately needed it. Cher’s attitude made me laugh. She seems to “put up” with sweater fittings. Memories of her will sustain you, thank you for sharing her with us.

  32. You are truly special – you have such a big heart! What a wonderful life you gave her! She certainly knew she was loved. May her memory be a blessing!

  33. So sorry to read about Cher, you guys are in my thoughts! At least now she is not suffering and I’m sure she’s in Doggy Heaven looking down on you guys, thankful and truly grateful for the wonderful time she had in your home.

  34. You gave her a great life, loved her and she knew that.

    It is so hard to say goodbye to our furry children……..

  35. I’m so sorry, Dana. I wonder if Cher knew how many thousands of people worried about her and knew this day would come all too soon. She certainly made the best-dressed list in her last years. Hugs to you all.

  36. I am still crying from reading your post. I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. Cher was very blessed to be in your family and to have you love her so much.

  37. I’m so sorry, Dana. I have cats and every time I lose one of them my heart breaks a little more. It’s tough to lose a beloved pet and my heart goes out to you, Kendell, and Jellybean. I just made a donation to Susie’s Senior Dogs in Cher’s name. Thanks for giving us a way to support you all.

  38. I too am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute. Four-legged family members can bring so much joy and love into our lives. I know you all will miss her very much.

  39. Dana- Your love for Cher was immense – I share that kind of love with my dogs. I have been lucky to have had several Westies live into their senior years – currently have a 14 & 15 year old. I am sorry for your loss and love the Senior Dog charity idea. What a lovely tribute to a sweet girl. Thank you for all you do and share with our community.

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