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Jeremy and I adopted Paisley when we were 22 years old. We weren’t married yet and had just moved in together. She was our first real argument as a couple. He didn’t think we were ready for a dog and I did. I won that fight.

 Since we adopted her nearly 15 years ago, she has seen us get married, add a cat sister (Bradford) to our family, have 2 human children, purchase our first (and second) home, and add a dog brother (Crosby). She was there for all of our holidays, many vacations, lots of laughter, and some tears. I could not begin to capture or think of all of the ways she’s been with us and there for us in her long and all too short life.

I grabbed a few photos and a video from the beginning all the way to the end (her first photo when we brought her home on 9/22/09 to her last just before she passed yesterday). They won’t do her justice but my hope is that you can see her in her happier and healthier times. She really was the best girl.

I’ll also share that last night, after you left and after the girls were tucked in, I went outside to water my flowers (paisley and I spent time together planting many of them on Sunday). As I’m reaching to water one of the baskets, a vibrant red cardinal landed near me on the porch railing. I was shocked that it chose to get that close to me so I stopped and looked. It flew off to a tree in the yard after a few seconds. Having heard that cardinals are a sign I looked it up and cardinals can signal many things. A few of which are a sign that change is coming , a sign of an ending, or a sign that you’re being watched over. The last words I said to my darling girl were “no more pain, fly free.” I choose to believe that she sent that little bird to let me know that she’s ok, she’s no longer in pain, and she’s flying free.

I’ll continue to cry and miss her with my whole heart. The grief truly is unbelievable. But- I am so grateful that we were able to be with her until the end and grateful for the kindness and dignity you showed our whole family.


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