The story of Sandy:

Bethany, Sierra and I inherited Sandy in 1998 when she was just a little over a year old.  Her and her sister were just too much puppy for their owners to handle.  They were going to give her up to an animal shelter, so we took her instead. She was very wild at that time, like most Golden puppies.  She would greet everybody that arrived at the house by jumping on them and ruining their clothes, or jumping on their car and scratching the door.  Didn't make a lot of people happy.  As she grew up though, she settled down and became the most loyal and loving dog that I have ever owned.  As her Master, she absolutley put me first in everything that we did together.

Once Sierra and I were hiking in the Laguna Meadows with Sandy, when a cow started chasing after us, thinking that we were too close to her calves.  Sandy did not even hesitate to run at the cow while barking, and chase her away to protect us.  That's my girl!  She did the same thing with coyotes ~ whenever they would get too close, Sandy would chase them off.  She was not a mean dog, just very protective.  She never was in a fight in her entire life (except to defend herself from other rowdy dogs every once in a while).  When we would encounter other dogs while out walking, she would always be very friendly and go right up to them with her tail a wagging and make friends right away.

Sandy and I had more experiences together than any of my other dogs.  She has been to the top of every mountain that I have climbed, and been on every hiking trial that I have ever hiked on.  She was even evacuated with me when the big fires of '03 came through the mountians in San Diego where we lived.  She originally lived with my late dog "Maya", a black lab, and they were the best of buddies.  They both moved to Colorado with me in 2006, driving in the back of my SUV for 2 days without a fuss.  Maya passed away in the Spring of '08, and we went out and got Sandy a new companion, "Samantha", a yellow lab who is still with me today.  Although Sandy was never as fast or playful as Maya or Samantha, she made up for it by always being there for me no matter what.

Sandy had been losing her life force for about 6 months or so, slowing down and hiking with us less and less, until a few months ago when she finally just stopped going on walks with us.  We all knew that she didn't have much time left, but she still tried to play with her toys and chase the ball as long as she could.  She almost died a few times last Winter and Spring when she got real sick.  But as I was nursing her back to health, I would whisper in her ear "Sandy, just make it through one more summer with us, and then we'll be ready to let you go after that".  It was as though she understood me.  She got well and rebounded enough to continue to be part of our lives, even hiking until she just couldn't do it anymore.  A couple of weeks before she passed, I thanked her for her life and love and loyalty, and whispered to her that if she was ready to go, that we were okay with it now, that we would be okay without her.  She passed away just as summer was ending, before the cold of winter set in.  She waited until the morning so that I could comfort her one last time, and so she could look at me and say goodbye.  She was laying down on her bed just outside my bedroom door when she passed.  Both her and Maya are buried in my back yard, where they should be.

Although no one can ever truly replace a loving dog such as Sandy, I have acquired another new dog to keep Samantha company now that Sandy is gone.  His name is "Donovan" and he is a very loving smaller male dog, a "Basenji".  Him and Samantha are only continuing carrying on the legacy that Sandy and Maya created in their lives.

Sandy, I will miss you forever, and will never forget you.  You are and always will be a huge part of my life.  Your love and loyalty will remain unmatched I'm sure.  I love you girl!

(Please click on the thumbnails below to see full size photos of Sandy's life)










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