The Forever Cali Project
Specialized support groups for parents of senior, special-need or chronically ill dogs, including bereavement support for those grieving from loss.
It’s not often that we get called to be still and listen to our heart. That’s exactly what happened to me shortly after I said goodbye to Cali, my almost 17-year-old Cairn Terrier. Now she’s guiding me to share our journey with others to support and empower, to console and to heal.
Cali entered into my life as the cutest puppy imaginable. But only two weeks later, we discovered she had a rare genetic disease and didn’t know if she would survive the year. What started as one of the most terrifying years of my life ended up bringing Cali and me closer than I could have ever envisioned. I committed then and there to take the best care of her possible. In return, she gave me unconditional love every day. I got the better end of the deal.
The last years with Cali were bittersweet. She had many health issues that required extensive caregiving. As much as I loved her and wanted her to live forever, it was overwhelming. My days were filled with intense worry and time-consuming special care routines. Thank goodness I had an empathetic veterinarian who helped me through the dark days and especially when it was time to let Cali go. I used to call Cali my “heart outside my body.” I’ll miss her always, but knowing that she is forever in my heart gives me great comfort.
And it’s my heart (and Cali’s) that has led me to create a safe place for those who are feeling overwhelmed by the illness, aging or loss of a beloved canine companion. A place where others understand the special kind of love that these 4-legged, tail-wagging wonders awaken in us. A place where you can enhance your caregiving coping skills. A place to share tips, stories and encouragement. A place to safely grieve and heal.
Cali is guiding me on this journey and I hope you will join in The Forever Cali Project.