Friday, July 9, 2021

A Childhood Dream Come True, "Pawprints Left By You"



 Once there was a little girl  who was obsessed with the TV Show "Lassie." Her parents bought a stuffed Lassie that she carried with her everywhere,  she was about 2 yrs old. There was a time, when her stuffed Lassie needed a bath,  her parents took her from her and the little one went into a frenzy typical of a child who lost her favorite toy. Her father went out to try and get a replacement while Lassie was being washed, couldn't find one, and brought home "Rin Tin Tin". (For those who are too young to know, that was a German Shepherd also on TV). When "Rin Tin Tin" was presented to the little girl she promptly flung it out of her crib. It wasn't Lassie. From that moment on, her parents knew that there needed to not be one, but TWO back-up "Lassies."


At five, the little girl was delighted that a family moved in across the street who had a dog that looked just like Lassie! (He actually was a Shetland Sheepdog, who to the little girl, WAS LASSIE!!). The little girl would play with the children across the street, mostly to play with their dog, who was named "Dandy." It was then, that her obsession with having a dog that looked just like Lassie and Dandy began.

That dream wasn't fulfilled until 14 years ago. The girl's bonus daughter, called to tell her that an 8 month old Sheltie  named "Tanner", was available. He ended up  joining the family which consisted of the girl,  her husband and their cat, "Cody."

The girl decided that "Tanner" wasn't an appropriate name, so the  girl searched for the perfect name. She had always liked the name "Dakota", she searched the meaning, and discovered that it meant "Trusted Friend" in American Indian. That name was perfect, and "Tanner" became "Dakota."


For 13 years the girl was blessed to have Dakota in her life and her family loved him dearly.

He wasn't like many Shelties, he was on the shy side, kind of "cat-like". He didn't readily accept anyone into his world, but once he did, he loved them with all of his heart.

He didn't like taking walks, not until the last year of his life. During his last year Dakota only wanted to take walks, it was as if he was trying to make up for all of the times that the girl wanted him to take a walk and he wouldn't.

He was fiercely loyal and devoted to his people. He had a way of always knowing when the girl was upset and would shower her with licks and love.





He adored his Dad who adored him back.

 He adored his kitty brother. He passed 9 days after Cody. (While Dakota had cancer on his heart and we knew his time was limited, we are certain Cody's passing expedited Dakota leaving us. The photo below was taken less than a month before they were both gone.)



He never minded being at the Vet. "Dr.Smiley" used to describe him as being "stoic." He took everything at the Vet in stride.


Speaking of "smiles", Dakota ALWAYS had time for a smile!


He loved popcorn, his beloved red, white and blue ball (a Dollar Store find that he cherished, while more expensive dog toys would sit unused). He loved Greenies, and knew that at 6pm every day he would get one.


He was one of 6 blogging dogs who were Brand Ambassadors for Rachael Ray Nutrish for four years. (He actually began  eating Nutrish approximately 3 years before ever representing their brand)



Dakota was the first dog the girl ever had. He fulfilled her childhood dream. 

Dakota had the most gentle spirit, he was sensitive, loving and sweet dog. He was Quirky. Fun. Silly. A thief. A barker. A watchdog. "A TRUSTED FRIEND."


Dakota passed a year ago today at approximately 6:30pm. He was surrounded by love. "Dr.Smiley and his assistant, Jessica, came to our home to help him cross the bridge. He fought leaving with everything he had, he even got up and moved away, he didn't want to leave. He didn't want to leave the people he loved. He wanted to stay. He knew how badly we needed him. He KNEW his "girl" was heartbroken.  That "girl" you all know is me.......I held him on my lap, cried into his fur, pet him gently and thanked him. I thanked him for all of the love, laughs, barks, licks and love that he blessed our lives with for 13 years. With all he gave to us, we could say "thank you" forever and it wouldn't be enough.

Minutes after Dakota passed a yellow butterfly appeared on our balcony, I spotted it  flying by the patio door right in the room where he passed. I knew it was HIM. He had to peek in one last time before he went and joined Cody.


To our precious Dakota, there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of you or mention you with love. Daddy and I still love you with all of our hearts and miss you. You will never, ever be forgotten. Thank you for 13 wonderful years......we were blessed to share our lives with you. Love Always, Mom and Dad.





49 comments:

  1. even when we smile with tears in our eyes now , the main thing is the smiles came back with a new friend.... we enjoyed this post so much... and we nodded a lot about the dreams what sometimes need a longer while to come true...

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  2. Hugs and purrs on this remembrance day.
    And you've done the best thing ever; you filled your home with new love; Angel Dakota and Cody would want you to keep loving.

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  3. This is a beautiful tribute. I'm crying all over again, as are so many Dakota fans.

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  4. I'm bawling my eyes out reading this, Caren. Many hugs to you, with purrs from Derry, as you mark this sad anniversary. ♥

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  5. Reading this with tears in my eyes…
    Hugs,
    Maggie

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  6. Such sweet memories of your sweet Dakota. We send warm hugs to you and your husband on this sad anniversary.

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  7. So much love and such a beautiful tribute to sweet Dakota. The happy memories made our hearts smile. Hugs dear friend.

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  8. Oh goodness. The butterfly. The same type of thing happened when our Angel Little Bit went to the bridge. We were visited by a butterfly. Oh my goodness.

    I know how much you loved your boys. Big healing hugs on this day. ♥

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    1. I soooo believe in "signs" and Little Bit was letting you know that she/he was there too xoxoxo

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  9. Beautiful memories of your beloved Dakota and Cody. Sending love and HUGS and PURRS from Alfie and Angel-Milo. Xxx

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  10. What a special boy Dakota was. Sending you big hugs!

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  11. caren; although we didn't have the privilege of truly knowing Dakota as we did Cody; this tribute post for him, is one of the best.. good boy... dog posts I've ever read ♥♥♥
    hugs to you and lenny today ♥♥♥

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  12. Such a beautiful memory...such a loss...such remembrance so wonderfully written..I've found that over the years, the hurt never goes away, but neither do the cherished memories...

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  13. What a beautiful story of your love for each other. You have me in tears again! It doesn't seem possible that a whole year has passed. Hugs and love to you and Lenny.

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  14. It is so hard to let them go but we do it because of how much we love them. You'll always remember him, sometimes it will make your heart hurt, sometimes it will bring you smiles and laughter.

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  15. What a special dog Dakota was! He was lucky to have you…and you him. He left some big pawprints on your heart, that’s for sure. Purrs, hugs and love to you as you remember your sweet boy on this sad anniversary.

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  16. Sending you love and hugs as you remember your sweet boy. XO

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  17. So many purrs to you on this sad anniversary.

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  18. What a beautiful post, filled with love. Can't help crying again, Caren. Dakota was such a wonderful doggie and we're sure he's smiling again from heaven✨Soft Pawkisses for you and Lenny as you remember your special Angel boy🐾😽💞

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  19. Oh, how I read through this with tears in my eyes...and II almost lost it when your mentioned the butterfly...
    A sweet tribute on the anniversary of Dakota becoming an Angel.

    I am glad that you, Cody and Lenny made so many wonderful memories with Dakota to treasure forever.

    ((( ♥ )))

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  20. Believe me I know how hard it is to let something go when it's such a huge part of your life and your heart. They leave permanent pawprints - ones that one day when it's our turn, we can follow and find them waiting for us at the end of the rainbow. Sending you hugs.

    Love, Pam

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  21. We can't hold back the tears...
    Hugs and purrs to you on Dakota's yarzeit.

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  22. He was a wonderful boy for you and he loved you with all his heart. One day you will be together again, although your heart will ache for him until that time.

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  23. We loved him too, through you.

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  24. Such a sweet, loving tribute, Caren. With tears streaming down my face, I am sending you loads of loving comfort, particularly today. xxoo ❤︎

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  25. Awww, what beautiful photos and memories of your Dakota, Caren. Tears. Sending hugs and love.

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  26. the time has gone by so fast. We miss seeing those two guys playing together.

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  27. Such wonderful memories of Dakota. I always loved seeing photos of him because he reminded me of my standard Collie that I grew up with.

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  28. Crying as I read this, Caren. Sending you so much love and gentle purrs as you miss your Dakota. What a special boy he was.

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  29. Oh Caren, I'm sending you and Lenny my biggest, warmest purrs and hugs right now, and once dad finishes sniffling he'll send y'all some love too. What a sweet, sad, loving, memorable tribute to your beautiful Angel Dakota. Dad says especially after re-reading some of his old Orbit stuff for our anniversary post and now reading this his leaky eyes must be a sign he's getting older. Or something. This was beautiful indeed.

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  30. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend. Hugs.

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  31. This is such a beautiful tribute.

    Sending love and purrs as you remember your sweet precious boy

    Athena and Marie xx

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  32. Such a beautiful tribute to your special Dakota. I feel like I know him even better now.

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  33. So sorry for the loss of your two furbabies. It's doubly hard that you lost both so close together. The love and companionship they give us is priceless.

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  34. What an incredibly beautiful tribute to your darling Dakota. I was obsessed with Lassie as a little girl too and wanted a collie desperately.

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  35. What a lovely post for your beautiful Dakota. Many hugs to you.

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  36. What a beautiful tribute to your special boy. It made me cry again, thinking of all you went through in such a short period of time last year. I'm so glad you have Roary and Levi to bring joy into your life again while your heart heals.

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  37. What a beautiful and so heartfelt tribute to Dakota--loved learning more about him and his lovely personality! So lucky for the time you all shared!

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  38. the time has gone by so fast. We miss seeing those two guys playing together.

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  39. Dakota will never be forgotten. Sending hugs to you as you remember your special boy.

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  40. A very sweet and sad post Caren. We never forget the ones we've loved and lost.

    My brother and SIL brought their daughter a Sheltie Collie when she was little, what a smart, loyal dog she was. She was dogless for years after it passed but in 2009 got a Cavalier King Charles which has been another wonderful companion dog: smart, loyal.

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  41. Thank you so much for this touching tribute to Dakota--and for introducing me to his wonderful personality! We were so lucky to spend time with you all!

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  42. What a beautiful post about Dakota, Caren. He will always be with you!

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  43. We sure are glad we caught up with Dakota's post. Goodness he was such a great fellow and the family still miss him and Cody a LOT. I report they are doing just fine and say hello
    Angel Timmy and Family

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