When I moved to Maryland because of Devin’s job we both knew I needed a companion so I started the search for a dog. We disagreed on the kind of dog to get because I grew up with Labs and Devin grew up with GSD’s (German sheperds). In the end Devin won and we got the German Sheperd with the big selling point they are excellent protectors. We found our breeder in November of 2003 with a litter due in a week or two. Our Cherokee, was born on November 11, 2003 and I knew immediately his name was going to be Cherokee. It just seemed to fit him once I saw his picture. We weren’t able to pick him up until January of 2004. I remember the day we went to get him I was so excited…we bought him everything we could think he would need. We couldn’t go to get him until after work and it was a bit of a drive to get him but so worth it. We had our choice of two pups when we got there we chose the goofier looking one with one floppy ear and one that stood up the one that others didn’t want. He stole our hearts the minute we saw him. His breeder asked us what we were naming him, I said Cherokee but she thought I said turkey hahahah and she almost didn’t let us take him home. On the way home that night we had him set up in the crate in the back of Devin’s Jeep and he cried and cried. We stopped at a red light and I went to rescue him. He rode the rest of the way home in my lap listening to guns n roses which is the only music that made him stop crying. He was supposed to be a typical GSD however he was a long-haired GSD. They are known for being goofy and gentle both of which perfectly described my Cherokee.
Cherokee was always sick from the day we got him until his last breath. His sickness started off when we took him to be neutered and him nearly dying on the operating table. We spent many days at the vet trying to get him healthy… he had a bad spleen, his stomach had flipped once and a couple other small problems. Despite him being sick we always had fun and he was always there to listen to my problems, lick away my tears and he always knew when to make me laugh. I always said if it wasn’t for Cherokee I don’t think I would have stayed in Maryland. With Cherokee on guard duty I knew I was safe.
When I was pregnant with Brendan, Devin and I were pretty worried about how Cherokee would do with the baby. We knew we had gotten him used to being around kids, our niece and nephews, but that was never on his turf. Cherokee of course was amazing with Brendan and became his personal body guard. I am not exaggerating when I say wherever Brendan was Cherokee was also right there. Over the past 3ish years Cherokee and Brendan became the best of buds and for that I am so grateful. You all now about Brendan being speech delayed but these two communicated in their own way and recently Brendan came up with his own name for Cherokee…he called him Keekee. It came out of no where just one day Brendan said “Hi Keekee!” and that was his new name. He let us and Brendan do just about whatever we wanted to him from dressing him up to Brendan chasing him for hours on end.
Cherokee has been more sick then usual recently. We had hoped he would bounce back like he always did. Unfortunately Cherokee didn’t pull through this time and passed away in his sleep Thursday night into Friday morning April 29, 2011. He had a great life and he isn’t sick anymore. If I say that enough times I might just believe it however I am selfish and want my Cherokee back. The house is to quiet now, it’s eery and I don’t like it. Everytime I look in his spot I cry and everytime I think of him I cry. I am sure with time it will get easier but right now this stinks. It’s hard to explain to a 2.5 year old that Keekee went bye-bye and won’t be coming back and having to say it over and over again when he asked “Where’s Keekee?” We have been staying busy and not in the house because that’s how we as a family are dealing.
The Rainbow Bridge
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.
We are so thankful to everyone who sent condolences after getting the news about Cherokee, thank you!