Goodbye, Ishka: Callie, Golden Retriever Dog, Says Goodbye To Her Best Doggie Friend

Hi! Callie here (short for "Woodlands Callaway Hole-In-One"). I have some really sad news to report and a heartfelt doggie goodbye to say. I met Ishka when I was about ten weeks old. I'm eighteen months old now, so that was about a year and a half ago, and Ishka, also a Golden Retriever, would have been about thirteen years old -- getting up there for a Golden Retriever. Ishka was an old dog, and I was a young one. I learned pretty fast that Ishka didn't want to romp and wrestle with me. When I tried to get her to play, she just looked the other way. Sometimes she walked away. But Ishka and I got to be good friends, once I quit trying to make her tussle with me. I think I cheered her up in her old age, and I know she helped me grow more mature as a puppy. Sometimes, I presented my special "Stinky" (stuffed puppy security object) to Ishka. She never took it, but she acknowledged the gift, and I know she appreciated it. Ishka (short for "uisce beatha," Gaelic for "whiskey" or "water of life.") was one of the heroines of "My Doggie Says... Messages from Jamie," the book that Fred wrote about Jamie. Ishka and Jamie met when they were eight-week-old puppies in 1994. Ishka belonged to Fred & Barbara's daughter, Karen. Ishka and Jamie loved to play together, rolling around on the lawn or into the bushes. And wrestling for hours and hours. They were best friends until Jamie left us in December, 2006. (I was born in January, 2007, so I never met Jamie. I just learned about her communication skills by reading "My Doggie Says...") Here, from "My Doggie Says..." is a picture of Jamie and Ishka wrestling together. Jamie is the lighter dog on the left; Ishka is the darker dog on the right. And here are Jamie and Ishka sitting at the top of the stairs at Lake Arrowhead, their positions reversed. Ishka has had some arthritis problems, so it's been very difficult, almost impossible, for her to walk lately. A few weeks ago, she stayed at my house, while Karen and her fiance, Chris, did some traveling. I think she really enjoyed having me around; some of the old sparkle returned to her eyes. A few times, she even got up and moved (which was very hard for her to do) so she could be close to me. When I was in my training crate, Ishka often sat down right outside it. I really liked helping her feel better. But her health problems caught up with her, and last week she went to doggie heaven, where I know she and Jamie are romping around and enjoying being together again. Goodbye, Ishka. I know Jamie really loved you, and I did, too. Thanks for sharing a small part of your life with me. Love, Callie P.S. Whether you're a person or a doggie, here's a wonderful web site that will help you deal with the loss of a pet: www.petloss.com. Fred especially likes the collection of 100 poems, including several by Rudyard Kipling, that express the feelings of authors who lost their beloved pets. It's at http://www.petloss.com/poems/poems.htm

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