dog_face“Religion is the smile on a dog…I’m not aware of too many things, I know what I know if you know what I mean.” — “What I Am” by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

Cassie was my Bichon/Poodle mix when I was in high school. She spent much of her later years at home salving my mother’s empty nest syndrome while I was away at college. She lived a long life by a dog’s standard, passing at age 14, but the void she left all those years ago still affects me to this day.

Cassie was the best. She was special: extra sweet, gentle, and so loving that she never left your hand alone without a nudge for more attention. And Cassie’s smile! Well, there was none better. She smiled with her mouth, eyes, and entire body. Posing for pictures was her forté, as she enjoyed that moment of fame with the click of the camera more than any other dog I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

Another habit she had was to wiggle her silky soft self onto your lap and immediately roll over. Belly rubs were what Cassie seemed to live for, those and, of course, wanting to melt into your lap where she’d lay like a draped rug for hours if you’d let her. It was pure heaven for TV watching, as Cassie provided hearty warmth from a thick coat of fur, as well as being a ball of cuddled up living love.

We acquired Cassie from a family in town that was moving and could no longer keep her. Although I know she must have felt homesick for her previous family, after a few minutes in our home you would never have known it. She took to us immediately, seemingly without looking back. Cassie adjusted without any common effects of being in new surroundings. In fact, she ran to our front door upon arriving at our home that first day.

Cassie was a smiling treasure, a bundle of furry friendliness. She had a grin as wide as her spirit. We used to call her “The Beautiful Cassandra,” and she lived up to the majesty. She had a dreamy look when she was content. Her time spent with our family was precious, and I continue to miss so many things about her.

But most of all, she will forever live in my heart as my smiling girl. Her essence is hard to describe, because as the song goes, “I’m not aware of too many things, I know what I know if you know what I mean, do ya?”

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