Sweet Galentines, thank you for stopping by to meet Cici and Pumpkin. And to read my part 2 post to the Where Bloggers Live edition from last week. Have wanted to write this post for about 6 months. Since Pumpkin came into our lives. Finally taking advantage of Valentine’s week to do so. Seems only fitting to share the story of 2 beloved pets in a week set aside to celebrate LOVE.
Let me begin by introducing or reintroducing you to Cici. You may have seen pictures of her on occasion here, on Facebook or Instagram. She was a member of our family for about 16 years. We found her through an ad in the paper advertising her to be a Siberian husky mix…which we soon discovered she most decidedly was not. But that was the description that caught our eye and led us to her. So I am thankful for that misinformation. Had Cici been described as the poodle mix she really was, I wouldn’t have given the ad any consideration.
When we picked her up, Cici was a bundle of dark brown fur. She didn’t make a peep for days which had me wondering if she was deaf or mute or both. Several days after we brought her home, we made the mistake of putting her on my bed, and then setting her back on the floor a few minutes later. Cici let us know in no uncertain terms that she didn’t appreciate being put back on the floor like a common dog. And from that moment on, she was very vocal about everything.
Cici was funny, and smart, and thought of herself as one of us…a person. She was definitely family. Fit right in with our crazy life and our spicy personalities. Cici loved having her September birthday celebrated in grand style with angel food cake at the dining room table. She beamed when we sang ‘happy birthday to you’ – so much so that we had half-birthday celebrations now and then just so she could experience the joy of being the center of attention more than once a year. Enjoying an un-birthday cake below.
And donning a fresh ‘do, enjoying angel food cake on her 15th birthday.
She thought nothing of standing in the middle of the dining room table. Would climb up there as if it were her personal stage.
She felt the same way about standing on the dishwasher door when it was down. And was quite fond of giving our dirty dishes a personal prewash service.
Cici was very insistent about walking herself when we would take her around the block. She would retrieve her leash from us and carry it in her mouth. Later, when we adopted a second dog, Cici would walk Cheyenne, too. Because we loved these two crazy pups so much, we bought a van and had the center console removed so Cici could lie down between the driver and front passenger’s seats. In the photo below, they have jumped in the van assuming they are going for a ride.
Cici and Her Sisters
This pup loved the girls so much that she would show up at school on occasion. That is when Cici was young enough to jump over the wall. Much to Lauren’s chagrin. Cici was well known among the neighbor kids so when she would appear on the playground for recess or the blacktop for P.E., everyone would run to her, calling her name and playing with her. Lauren would be embarrassed to death. Would ask the coach or playground monitor to let her go to the office to call me at school. Then I would have leave work to pick up Cici and take her back home.
Later we had a pet door installed so that she and later, Chey, could go from the garage out into a small, fenced area in the yard to use the bathroom or enjoy the beautiful El Paso weather. One morning Cici decided to try to escape from the fenced pen. She partially cleared the picket fence, but her collar got caught on a picket and she was hung up in mid-air along the inside of the fence.
My neighbor heard Cici wailing and came to her rescue. Sandra was unable to lift Cease (her nickname) over the fence to free her because the poor dog was so frantic. Instead, she held our dog in her arms and yelled for her husband to call me at work. Twenty minutes later I pulled up in the driveway, jumped out of the car and Cici allowed me to remove her collar and help her to the ground. She was especially glad to see me that day.
Grooming Gone Wrong
We were devastated when our crazy pup died. It was the day after she was groomed by a mobile service that we had used a number of times in the past. The groomer would do all of our pups – by this time a total of 3 dogs – one at a time on one day. Cici hated being groomed but her curly poodley-sheepdog hair would attract all kinds of things – stickers, grass, small cars – and she would get terribly matted. This grooming appointment went very long and late and when Cici was finally clipped, she was not at all acting like herself. By bedtime, it was apparent something was very wrong, but we weren’t sure what. I tried to sleep with her in our guest bedroom downstairs but couldn’t get her to lay down for more than a few minutes at a time. She would stand in the middle of the bed and make this distressful cry.
In the morning, Cici was quieter and seemed a little better. I had to be at work – an in-service day that I couldn’t miss – before our vet clinic opened but planned to return home at lunch to take her to the clinic then. I left her on her bed with a food bowl and water nearby. When I got home at lunch, she had died. I was absolutely heart broken. We think perhaps she had a stroke at some point during the grooming and then maybe another after I left for work that morning. Would things have been different if I had been able to get her to the vet early the day she died? Maybe. But I think her little body was just exhausted. She had lived a very full and active 16 years.
The Rainbow Bridge
I called both of my daughters to let them know their ‘sister’ had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. And then I carried my sweet Cici out to the car. When I got to the vet clinic, they were closed for a training day. I had to get back to work and didn’t know what I was going to do with Cici. It was April – my birthday, in fact, so I couldn’t imagine leaving her in my car until I could get off work and figure out Plan B. Someone from the vet clinic came to the window and saw me crying in the parking lot and opened the door to check on me. Both my daughters and (even I) had worked for the clinic, so the technician recognized me and helped me carry sweet Cici in. We had her cremated, and she rests above my bookshelves in my loft.
Our Virtual Visit with a Medium
In late 2018, Lauren miscarried her second baby, a girl. She was several months pregnant and was heart-broken by the loss. When her doctor gave her the okay to try again a few months later, Lauren was soon pregnant with a little girl, our Camila Jean. But Lauren worried about the spirit of the baby she lost. She wanted to know if the lost baby was being cared for. Desperate for some closure and reassurance, Lauren decided to speak with a medium about the baby. She asked me to be with her for the virtual reading.
Going into it, I had mixed feelings about the reading. In some ways, I was worried about us ‘going there.’ Although, I have had what I would call interactions with the spirits of loved ones who have passed. But I was a little scared what we might hear.
The medium, Kim O’Neill, had lots to say. But for today’s post, I just want to focus on what Cici had to say when she came forward to communicate with us through Kim. According to our reading Cici was “peevish” that I hadn’t adopted another dog for her soul to go into. She wanted to come back to me. Thought of herself as my master and wanted to return to me so I could serve her!! Kim likened Cici to Zsa Zsa Gabor. How perfectly accurate!!
With the situation with my mom being so tenuous, we were not and still are not in a good place to adopt another pet. The kitties are fairly self-sufficient, so we don’t worry too much about leaving them at a moment’s notice. Lauren can run by to check on them and we have used Rover.com to find someone to drop-in and feed them. But a dog would be different. Especially a puppy.
So, we had to make Cici wait a little longer to come back to us.
About a year ago, Lauren began looking into getting a dog. Because much of what the medium prophesized had seemed to come to fruition, Lauren was anxious to bring Cici back ‘home.’ She combed the Internet for a sheep-a-doodle kennel and found one, Prairie Hills. She made arrangements to put a down payment on a puppy-to-be, a mini-sheep-a-doodle, to be born late in the summer and ready to join our family late in the fall.
Once the litter was born, Lauren was able to select the puppy she wanted. She registered the pup for a few weeks of training at Golden Paws Puppy Training Camp once she was 5 weeks old and before she was delivered to us in El Paso. She was head of her class at training camp. And made a great skeleton for Halloween.
Pumpkin arrived shortly before Thanksgiving. Lauren was in pig heaven. And both Lucia and Cami loved their new puppy.
Although I went to meet Pumpkin the day she arrived, Thanksgiving was the first time she visited my house. By that time we could tell how much like Cici Pumpkin is. Pumpkin had already climbed on the kids’ dining room and patio tables and had cleaned the dirty dishes while standing on the dishwasher door.
Here she is eating a marker while Lucia colors at the coffee table beside her.
Just Happy to See You
Cici (and Cheyenne and Piggy) was always so glad to see us, see me. I could take the trash out and she would be overjoyed when I came back in the house. Pumpkin only sees me on average about once a week but her welcome is always warm and enthusiastic. I usually drop to the ground to make it easier for her to say hello.
Is it possible that Cici has returned to us in the body of sweet Pumpkin? I don’t know. I do know that these pups have very similar personalities, look a whole lot alike and have both brought so much joy to our lives. Cici was the best $35 I ever spent. And that includes my sale shoes, too!! The kids paid a whole lot more for Pumpkin but I still think they got a bargain, too.
I look forward to following the antics Pumpkin pulls as she and the girls grow up together.
Have you ever had 2 pets with similar personalities and looks? Do you think it is possible for our pets to return to earth in the body of another animal? Do you think we will be reunited with our pets on the other side? I sure hope we will!!
Hugs and kisses,