Golden Girl
painting of Cassie Some lessons I learned from Cassie:

Start each new day with a happy little dance to celebrate your many blessings.

When faced with a problem, team up with a friend - there's strength in numbers.

Love should be unconditional, no matter what the circumstances.
Photo of Cassie Cassie's story (as told by her Mom, Martha):

"Cassie found me at the Humane Society. Slightly under five months old, she had been given up by a family who no longer had time for her. Cassie had been teased relentlessly by unsupervised children, and her developing sense of trust in humans had been damaged. Because of her bad habits, such as biting and attacking to protect her food and her precious few toys, the Humane Society was reluctant to offer Cassie for adoption until she'd undergone extensive behavior training. After I explained that I worked for a veterinary hospital and had prior experience rehabilitating dogs with personality disorders, the adoption went through. I immediately went to a local thrift shop and bought more than 50 toys...I was ready to begin teaching Cassie that she would never again have to fight for or protect what was rightfully hers. Gradually she began to trust her new humans and her new environment, and she now willingly shares her food with our family cats.

Cassie has developed orthopedic problems with her hip and knee, and I have nursed her through three very difficult surgeries. I consider it a privilege to be able to pay Cassie back for helping me through my difficult times. Her pain and her medication often affected her appetite, and it was during this time that I developed her special 'Droolers' cookies that I baked from liver and garlic to stimulate her palate and re-spark her appetite. Today, they are still her very favorite treat.

As Cassie approaches senior status, her favorite pastime now is 'going bye-bye' in the car, which makes her feel like she's flying. If we happen to pass a fire truck, it's a banner day for her, because for reasons unknown she adores firemen. She has also formed a strong bond with our veterinarian, Dr. Laura Gould. Despite Cassie's treatments, which are often painful, whenever I mention 'Dr. Laura,' Cass wags her tail and runs to the door to see her.

I shall be forever indebted to Cassie for her loyalty, her companionship and her unconditional love during my struggle with alcoholism. She never gave up on me, loving me through a time when I was not able to love myself. We even attended those early 12 step meetings together. Now, six years later Cassie and I continue to celebrate my sobriety and our new love of life.She will always be my best friend and confidant. Her love will be with me forever, as will the lessons she continues to teach me."


Prints and greeting cards of this painting can be purchased
on my Artwork for Sale page.

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All images © Alison Whalen