Monday, October 11, 2010

"Shake it Cali"

Cali was adopted from North Central pound in the summer of '97. She was about 3 months old and her eyes were those of an old soul. I happened to be at the pound searching for a lost cat—this was long before I was an "official" rescuer. As I walked through the sadness, and cries from animals hungry for love and affection, I saw her eyes piercing through the cage: her long nose bent down, one ear stood straight up and the other flopped over to the side. I stopped and put my hand through the narrow bars and she leaned her head into my hand with all her force. I looked up and said, "I'll take her." When I got her she was so excited that when she wagged her tail her entire body shook. As we drove home together a Tupac song came on the radio, one of the lyrics rang out, "shake it Cali." So I named her Cali!

Cali was with me through some of the hardest years of my life. We traveled together, loved and lost together, incurred many victories and failures, but we always had each other. She protected me when I moved to NYC; she was there when I was afraid of the dark. Not only did she protect me, but she protected other animals from injury, a common trait among German Shepherds. She loved Kitties, too, and would never let a "new-comer rescued dog", chase or annoy them. She was the leader of the pack in our home.

When I became a rescuer, she was the bait that helped me catch stray dogs that otherwise I could have never gotten off the street. She completely understood what she was doing, and I swear she understood English.

If I cried, she I would try not to! It hurt her to see me sad.

When I lost her to old age, her body had deteriorated, but her soul is stronger than ever. She has no more pain. I believe in all my heart, that Cali knew I was safe, and it was ok for her soul to travel onto her next predestined journey.

I on the other hand must go forward without her in my life, but I will do it stronger, with more determination than ever.....because I know the beauty of life, death and unconditional love that I learned from that cute little puppy from the pound, so long ago.

Shake it, Cali!!! I love you.

Ashley Paige

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