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Cali - My Most Loyal Friend

by Cam
(Toronto)


I didn’t choose Cali, she chose me. When I spoke she was the only Maltese in her litter to cock her head. It was love at first sight for both of us. Cali enjoyed 6 months as the center of attention until we brought home a sister for her, Lola - a Havanese. Cali followed her around curiously for a couple days until she realized that Lola was here to stay and then decided to adopt Lola as her own.

Cali loved to let Lola chase her around the house and backyard - Lola quickly got a bit bigger and faster but Cali was agile and ran in figure eights to shake Lola off her tail. Cali also took to washing Lola’s face at every opportunity. Cali hated getting wet or dirty but Lola was another story! We used to joke that Cali was half cat!

Cali loved her people more than anything. She took a while to warm up to people but once she bonded with you she was your friend for life. Whenever one of her people arrived home she would wag her little tail off and spin with excitement.

Not only did Cali act like Lola’s mom, but she took care of her humans as well. I called her my “Dog Mom” after my mother passed away, shortly after we brought Cali home. Every night Cali would “tuck me in” by jumping on my chest and licking my face. Every morning I got the same treatment. Of course she abided by the informal dog rule that prevented her from pouncing on me until I moved, demonstrating I was awake. Sometimes she would get impatient and sit on my pillow, thumping the headboard with her wagging tail until I woke up.

Cali enjoyed sniffing along on her walks - she sniffed so much we called her “Pokey” because she was so slow! However, she was never a big fan of her leash so when we asked Cali and Lolaif they wanted Togo for a walk, Lola would come running and Cali would hide under the bed. What Cali liked best was car rides! She would sit on my lap and Lola In the passenger seat and both would stick their noses out the window. Walking’s for suckers, apparently.

Both Cali and Lola had great appetites and were champion beggers! They loved their kibble but we loved spoiling them with wet food every so often. Both were big fans of broccoli and Cali even loved blueberries and raw spinach! Of course meat was their favourite!

Cali never had any serious health issues in her first 12 years, aside from Cushings Disease and liver issues later in life that were kept in check with a low fat diet and a couple medications. During that time, Lola had knee surgery, a severe virus, emergency gall bladder removal surgery and a big malignant tumour removed. About 6 months ago, Cali was referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed her with severe heart failure. He put her on medication which gave her a new lease on life and for a few months she acted like a younger dog again! However, things started to go downhill when she caught pneumonia. We got her through that but several weeks later she had fluid build up quickly in her lungs due to the heart failure and we had to take her to the hospital. They put her on oxygen and gave her diuretics to clear her lungs. We took her home the next day but she was really sick for the next couple of weeks and lost a lot of weight. We got her on antibiotics for what looked like a bladder infection and after 4 days or so she started eating again. She had a couple of good days before she started coughing again. Yesterday her breathing got really laboured and shallow so we took her to our vet. He tried diuretics but they were having no effect. She could hardly breathe so rather than prolong her pain we agreed to stop her suffering. She was so brave - we got tail wags and kisses right up to the end of her 13.5 years.

I am devastated. The pain of loss is unbelievable. However I’m trying to put on a brave face for Lola to minimize the loss for her. Lola has never been alone so we are trying to make arrangements so she doesn’t have to be. We knew Cali’s time was near so we have already begun to apply for rescue dogs at various places. Hopefully we will find a good companion for Lola soon. However I don’t expect that dog to replace Cali. No dog ever could. She was special and I will always miss her but I hope the pain will disappear over time.

We will always love you Cali. I hope we will see each other again some day. In the meantime, I hope meet up with some old friends, dogs and people, and get all the treats and love you deserve.


Cali sounds like a very special little lady. She was clearly very loved and I'm so sorry for your loss ~ Sue

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