Tribute to the Best Dog Ever


Emmy girl 

There have only been two times in my nearly 50 year old life that I can remember uncontrollable crying. The can’t contain it, can’t stop it once it starts, can’t breathe kind of crying. The guttural, overwhelming sadness kind.

This — was the third. I’m not a crier. So when the tears come from the deep, dark, depths, it’s very unsettling.

I had been cramming this cry down for 312 days. Holding my breath. Knowing it was coming. Thinking I could outsmart it, outmaneuver it, outwill it.

April 12, 2015 was her diagnosis day. I heard the words – kidney cancer. The options? None of them good. No chemo or radiation option. Major surgery to remove the kidney would maybe, if there was a miracle, buy her a year but most of that would be spent recovering from such a brutal surgery. For an 11 year old Golden Retriever, it was hardly a viable choice. So Emmy and I had a talk. And we agreed .. go for as many good days as possible. When she didn’t want to ride in the car anymore, that would be my sign. I trusted her to tell me. She trusted me to help her go when it was time. It was our pact.


For 312 days, she (we) fought that demon like hell.  Just when I’d think she was declining, she’d rally. We changed from kibble to a homemade diet and an incredible supplement invented by our good friend, Nancy Seymour. Emmy had all but given up and she came back to life!

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

We learned what foods fought inflammation and we cooked for her. As she lost weight, we’d try some other food combination. Constantly making adjustments to keep her quality of life. There were days we cooked three meals for breakfast to find one she wanted.

Second Mommy Cindy Sink deserves a ton of admiration and appreciation for her excellent care! TeamEmmy was relentless. Taylor, Curry, MaryAnne, James, Grandma, Aunt Laurie. All of our family who loved her so dearly.

If you’re reading this, you’re also part of TeamEmmy — cheering her on Facebook, shouting your encouragement from near and far, heeping her with compliments. She loved you. She loved everybody (well humans, not necessarily dogs.)

When she climbed out of that sleeping pile of puppies and into Taylor’s lap 13 years ago, we all won the lottery. She chose us.


And we adored her every day of her life. She was the happiest dog. The Walmart Greeter of dogs. Took us forever to train people coming to the house how to not be bowled over by her enthusiastic greetings that included flopping onto her back, whipping you with her tail and knocking down the less sturdy.

Emmy finally got everybody trained though and her greetings became the absolute best. She was patient. Smart as a whip. A pleaser who worked until she mastered the trick.

She went everywhere with her boy, Taylor. She especially loved golf cart riding around her Timberlake neighborhood. Snuggling with him. Being at the pool. Playing ball. And riding in his truck. Such a playful companion.

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She had a stunning life. A gorgeous dog who melted hearts everywhere she went. A nearly human soul who was a demand for your attention. An expressionist. A fashionista. A gentle spirit full of delight for life. And that SMILE!

She loved unwrapping Christmas presents, but only when she was told it was okay!

As our family went through hard changes, Emmy was the constant. She was always there with a hug, a nudge, a cuddle and a kiss.

She was a generous girl who, after 11 years as an only dog, welcomed in a homeless pit bull who desperately needed a pack.


She helped teach Lola her tricks.

To our delight, she was the maid of honor in our wedding this past August. Walking down the aisle with Lola and our good friend Mary Lou.



Shelly and Cindy’s Wedding 08.27.16

And the car rides. Oh the wonderful times we had driving around town and road trips.


Emmy outlived every single prediction. She beat cancer 3 times. The vet called her the WonderDog. After 13 years, 2 months and 9 days, she looked at me and she told me she was ready. She had done all she could. We had done all we could. We had a deal. I promised we would let her go when it was time.


Farewell, Emmygirl. Until we meet again. You were the greatest dog ever. Know we’re okay and we’ll be waiting for your spirit visit. We trust you’ll know when the time is right.

You always did.


9 thoughts on “Tribute to the Best Dog Ever

  1. From your heart… to Emmys. Truth is, she felt it long before you write it. In literary excellence, you expressed what many feel and some hope to enjoy one day.
    It brings total meaning to the profound ( and edited) work: it is better to have loved… and lost (her ), than never to have loved at all. You,…we…. are better people because of Emmy girl touching our lives. I EAGERLY await her return.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a loving tribute to Miss Emmy. The love you shared will always remain and only be added to as more love comes your way. My experience or rather my sister’s was that in time it seemed consequent dogs were of the same spirit. Reincarnate if you choose to believe such. In any case it’s like the love experienced just couldn’t wait to be again and again. May Emma’s spirit and you experience such a reunion when the time is right. Be gentle with yourself as you heal from the physical loss of your furry companion
    Many hugs my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hesitated to click on this, Shelly, because I knew it would be a beautiful and fitting tribute to Emmy. And it is. My hesitancy came because I haven’t been able to write about the loss of my baby last Friday. I’d made the same pact with my little man, Ace. We set little time goals, especially after I discovered he had a nasal tumor back in December. Like the decision you made, I couldn’t put a cat who was 19 years and 7 months old through something that would maybe prolong his life for six months. He had gone deaf and also blind a few years ago, but managed that fine. I’d sing into his fur saying his name, how much I loved him and how beautiful he was and the fur on the tips of his ears would stick up proudly.

    The decision was made for me when I woke to find him having convulsions. He could only lay in one position without pain. I couldn’t even hold him. Not a life. Still one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make. I’d always said since he had wandered up my walkway running right to my feet he was my little man (and part dog – actually my reincarnated dog Friday). He actually swallowed a nickel when he was a little over a year old. The vet who removed it said they didn’t know how he had done it and usually only dogs swallowed change.

    He’d been there for me through so much. I’d cried into his fur during tough times, he survived the tornado that hit my house in 2011, would fetch and return these little, soft rainbow balls (only those) and made me as happy as Emmy made you during the 19 years and 10 months he was with me. I hope I can write as eloquently as you have Emmy very soon. He deserves it.

    Thank you for sharing Emmy with us! Thank you for giving me some perspective on the healing process from your personal story. I’ve grieved before, but the pain hasn’t cut this deep in a while. Let us know when you see Emmy’s spirit again. I’m going to get a friend for my Phoebe cat soon, and you can bet I’ll be looking for my Ace’s spirit when I am choosing. I know Emmy and Ace are living it up without pain in eternal sunshine. My love to you and your family as you continue to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sorry for your loss. Amazing pictures. You and your family truly loved her. She looks so happy on those pictures. I lost my pit bull miss after 13 years and 3 months to cancer. I was devastated and I kept asking myself why do dogs live such a short life? I then remember reading or hearing someone said, “Dogs live short lives because if they lived as long as humans do, we would not be able to cope with such a loss.” Whoever that was, was right. The best to you and your family. Thanks for rescuing that cute pit bull.


  5. Wow, Shelly… captured it so vividly, felt like I was there too. You have that gift…to share your heart, your love, your passion with such eloquence. She was as lucky to have you and Cindy as you were to have her. I’m so inspired, thank you for sharing your journey!


  6. This made me cry. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m a friend of Nancy Seymour and admirer of her work too. She kept me updated, and while I never met Emmy personally, I feel as if I knew her. I would be bawling my eyes out just like you. I love my dogs so much and I just can’t even imagine the hole they will leave in my heart when that dreadful day comes. Rest In Peace sweet Emmy.


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