Me and The Others

all of us

Photos of Cali

Remember my post yesterday about feeling good? Hummm, not so good today.

Cali 1998 – 2012

Saying Good Bye

In 1998 on a hot early summer evening a puppy was thrown from a car door into the front yard of my parents old house in Clements, CA.  The house windows were open to try to capture the evening breeze. My father  heard the passing car, the door slam, and the sound of a small animal. He went out to discover a pathetic, stinky, mangey puppy. My mother worried that the puppy was doomed if she took her to an animal shelter in such poor condition. She washed the puppy, took her to the Vet and got vitamins, special shampoo and anything else needed to bring her back to good health.

Caliente (hot in spanish) = Cali

I was living in Santa Cruz and working full time at Inprise (aka Borland).  My boyfriend, Jeff had gotten custody of his boys back in December 1997. I’d returned from living for 3 months in England in February 1998.  Jeff, his brother Ryan, Ryan’s girlfriend Donna, and another friend and I were going river rafting so we came up to camp out in my parents enormous backyard on the way. That is when we first met Cali.  She was cute, but still a stinky mess. My Mom said she was much better than she had been. That night we camped in the backyard and Cali kept trying to crawl into our sleeping bags.  As the story goes, Donna was the lucky winner to get the mangy puppy to sleep with.  🙂

Jeff and I had navigated some turbulent times and it looked like we were going to stay together. I had wanted a pet for a long time, but my work and travel schedule just didn’t permit it. Here is thepart where I am sure Jeff will remember the order of events better than I, but it went something like….

Jeff and the boys moved in to my house in Santa Cruz, with me. My parents were going on a long trip (China maybe?) I told them I would like to have Cali, she was a great dog. My parents wanted to travel so they didn’t want a dog at that time in their lives.  So I said I would take care of Cali while they were gone as a kind of trial run, to see if I could handle having my own dog. A live-in boyfriend, two little boys (4 & 6 yrs old) and a dog was a lot to take care of. Apparently my Mom  mentioned to Jeff that I was planning on keeping the dog.  I hadn’t mentioned that part yet, since I didn’t want a big discussion unless I thought I could even handle taking care of the dog.  There was a bit more turbulence in our house.




As you can tell, we kept the dog. She was great!  She helped teach the boys to pick up their toys by chewing up and eating anything they left out on the floor. She cleaned the kitchen floor and any other place crumbs would fall. She would cuddle and play with whom ever wanted to give her attention, but was content to just be in the same room with someone.

Cali liked Easter, Christmas, the mountains, and messy eaters.


Cali didn’t like 4th of July, Halloween, the beach, vacuums and the PG&E man.


Cali was an awesome camping dog.  She was small enough to fit in the tent and worked extra hard on our annual hike around Pinecrest Lake as she would run from the front of the group to the back of the group to make sure everyone was staying together.  As I reflect on this it started with Grandpa and Jeff in front with Grandma and the kids behind. Then as the years progressed, Anton and Jeff took the lead. As of last year the order had reversed, but Cali still ran from front to back, again and again, all around the lake. She’d run by each of us and sniff making sure we were all there.  After camping, she’d sleep for a couple of days. If we were in CA, we’d likely be heading to Pinecrest this week.


At some point we needed a birthday for Cali as I was having trouble remembering how old she was. We decided on St. Patricks Day. She was a  14 1/2.


Cali slept at the foot of our bed. In the morning, Jeff would pull her up close and snuggle her saying, “Fuzzy Doggy”.  Andreas liked to rub her floppy ears. Anton liked it when she’d sit on him in the car and lean into him with her full weight then lift her head up next to his. Eliana recalls when she was mad and made a fort to keep out Mom, Dad and Emeline, but she let Cali in. Cali went to sleep in her fort. Eliana curled up next to Cali and went to sleep also.  Sometime if Emeline had a hard time sleeping, Cali would jump up onto her bed and she could curl around her and go to sleep.  You are perhaps catching a theme here.  Cali was my Nap Dog. When I was pregnant and exhausted, I would lay down to rest and she’d just up on the sofa next to me.  Her warmth was always welcome.


Cali and I would walk Andreas & Anton to and from school everyday when they were little. One day I guess Cali got tired of waiting and the gate was left open on accident, so she took it upon herself to go find the boys. Since we came to school so often another little boy found her wandering around near the boys bathroom and went to back to class to tell Anton his dog was at school. The school called home and I went to get her. It made me think of the Lassie story.

There are many wonderful stories of Cali.  Her fondness for helping the gophers with their tunnels, her muddy feet made me crazy, getting sprayed by a skunk the night before we were hosting Easter at our house, and helping someone who wasn’t feeling well.

In November when we moved to England, Cali went back to live with my Mom and Dad.  They would give us regular updates about how she was getting them out and walking more, making new friends at the park with other “dog” people, and happily going on errands in the car. I can’t thank my parent enough for looking after her for these last 8 months. I know that she was loved and cared for until the very end of her days.

We will miss you Cali


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  1. Fabienne Fensie says:

    Beautiful post.
    I hope the girls are ok…

  2. Carolyn Campbell says:

    What a wonderful tribute to Cali….she was a great dog and she got to spend her life with great people!! xxoo

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