Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Remembering Bonnie


The last couple days I’ve been thinking about Bonnie, our sheltie-girl who lived with us before Katie. She had an entirely different life with us than Katie has. Not bad different, just different.

Going for a walk.

The only school she went to was puppy school, where she was mostly shy, but very smart. She threw up on the ride over to school most weeks. I’d arrive with a damp, smelly puppy and jeans soaked in puppy vomit. Regularly. When we got to the distance sit/stays she was so scared she slowly turned around until her back was to me as I stood on the other side of the school gym. The instructor said to me, “Well, she certainly hasn’t bonded with you!” Yet, at the end of the class she won 1st place in our mock obedience trial. Because she was a very good girl and had, in fact, bonded with me just fine.

She had lots of health problems. Born with a heart murmur, she had occasional seizures and was on meds for that her entire life. She had a toe amputated, and her tail, too, after it was injured durng a stay at a kennel. Through it all she soldiered on.

Near the end of her life, hanging out on the front porch.

She was lost for four days once, when she was staying with her favorite Grandpa Jack and got out of the house when no one was paying attention. Bruce and I were out of town and Grandpa Jack didn’t tell us she’d run away until we got home. Devestated didn’t begin to describe us and him. Luckily we got her back after signs were put up in the neighborhood and a woman called to say Bonnie had been hanging around in a vacant lot several streets away from Grandpa’s house.

Hanging out in the office with her mom.

She got lost for a little while here at home, too, when she chased a cat into the woods behind our house and I couldn’t find her. Turns out we hadn’t realized she had become deaf, so she didn’t come when we called for her out there in the woods. My husband found her sitting in a clearing waiting for us to come get her.

I called her my sweetie-girl because she was. Except the three times she got skunked. She never needed to be on a leash, we let her out to do her business at night, and sometimes she got involved with the visiting black and white kitties. Oh the smell! I can tell you with certainty that tomato juice does not take away the smell of skunk. It does, however, give you a smelly, wet orange dog.

The driveway was a good spot to survey her kingdom too.

She was a special little girl who died three months shy of her 15th birthday, here at home exactly 15 years ago today. I wrote about her last afternoon with us way back when I began this blog. Today I went back to the blog to find out when she died, because she’s been on my mind.

Imagine my surprise to find today was the anniversary.

She never went camping, never explored a park, didn’t go traveling, never really liked being in a car. What she really liked was being home with her people. I guess she’s been hanging around my heart and my mind these past few days because she wants me to know she’s still here. Of course she is. She never ever wanted to be anywhere else.

Love you forever Bon-bon, my sweetie-girl.

Me and my girl.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

31 thoughts on “Remembering Bonnie

  1. What a life!
    and quite a special one too –
    Now she’s healthy and happy and ‘heary’ –

    Thanks so much for sharing Bonnie’s book of love –

    I’m sure it was hard – yet she guided you to do it –

    Willow and Phyll

    Liked by 1 person

    • No it’s not hard to talk about my Bon-bon now days. Katie has such a huge personality that she overshadows Bonnie, but Bonnie was a slow and steady good girl…so she deserves some space once in awhile too. She and I talk about her watching out for Katie when Katie gets there. Katie being so much more crazy than Bonnie, she might need some guidence.


  2. They are always close by ….keeping a watch over us and just being near


  3. Sweet girl! Each dog has such a different personality, even if the breed is the same. One thing is certain, no matter the personality, we love our fur buddies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a sweetheart. I love the different personalities–makes each one of them so very special.


  5. What a lovely girl! I didn’t know about her before so appreciated this synopsis of her happy life with you. She was a lucky girl — as is Katie.


    • She WAS a lucky girl, and we were so lucky to get her. When she was being sold we went to see her and the other puppies. She was the only girl left, but we had to fly out that week and couldn’t take her and the breeder agreed to keep her for that week for us. I was SURE she’d be gone when we got back, but there she was, waiting for us.


  6. Aww, what a wonderful tribute to your sweet Bonnie and amazing memories. She was beautiful, Dawn. Our pets are always so precious and full of personalities.


  7. I don’t think they need adventures, they just need us to love them and care for them.
    My first bi black Gryffon got sick in the car a lot but he never wanted to be left behind.
    Bonnie looks like she was a special girl.


    • It never occured to us to go on adventures with her. She didn’t go to doggie school beyond the community ed puppy classes. So we didn’t know anything about obedience or rally or agility. In fact the first time I saw agility I was amazed…but by then she was too old. I vowed if I ever got another sheltie we’d try it. And we did. But Katie wasn’t really keen on it so we didn’t pursue that adventure.


  8. My first Golden was Bonnie, too. I think we talked about that. She was also very shy and didn’t like car rides.
    Then there was Joy…. Shiloh…. now, Blue Sky.
    But Blue isn’t the only one with me. I feel them all, in different ways, at different times, and I’m oh so grateful for that. Love energy never dies. 💖. And now, thanks to reading your blog, I’m thinking about Bonnie too. Such sweet memories.


    • The memories ARE sweet, right? Wouldn’t it be something to have them all physically with us at the same time. Though I don’t know that it would actually work…some of them are just too demanding and would get all the attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness. What a life. What a story. My fear of losing a pup –well, there are no words to describe it. The puppy class teacher was a moron–and if you’d been less of a sheltie person, you wouldn’t have carried on to prove him ever so wrong. The kennel experience? I hope it was one of those freak accidents that the owners still lose sleepover. Shelties are a wonderful breed, and they need the right home to bring out their potential –obviously, you and Bruce are the right home. And I am so proud of Katie for walking up and downstairs. When she wants to, of course! And when it is time for her (still off in the future) to cross the rainbow bridge…she will have the honor of meeting Bonnie! ❤


    • I can imagine your fear of losing a pup would be huge…in your business with so many of them coming and going. The puppy teacher had no idea about shelties. And the kennel experience? They never admitted anything happened there. But I took a happy, joyful dog to ‘camp’ and got back a sad and quiet dog, who tore the fur out of her tail when we got home she was in so much pain. We never went back there again, and I’m not sure we ever boarded her again at all. I think when Bonnie and Katie meet Bonnie is going to tell Katie how spoiled she was here! Compared to the ‘hard’ life Bonnie had where she never got to do anything and she had to stay in her kennel in the basement when we weren’t home, and how she ran up and down the stairs all the time…


  10. What wonderful memories you have of your sweet Bonnie! I’ve had three Shelties now, and ALL of them were different. Personality-wise, likes and dislikes-wise, everything. Yet they had similarities, too — all that fur and those feet that forever need cleaning up, or they look like house slippers! Thank you for introducing me to your girl. I can see how special she was, and I’m glad she’ll always have a piece of your heart. What better way to honor the time you shared?!


    • I’ve never really noticed a whole lot of fur…could be I just don’t notice stuff! They (all 3 we have had) had entirely different personalities and that’s so cool. You’d think they’d be more alike, but no, totally different!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. They never leave you. My pointers are all so different. Not one similar to the next. I’m thankful for that, I aimed at getting a carbon copy of my beloved late Cole and I ended up with 4 individual mavericks. Sorry for your sad anniversary, but happy to share in some great memories.


    • Cole was too special to be reproduced. It wasn’t a sad anniversary as I am always happy to have her near me. I had no idea that it would BE the anniversary when I went back to the blog to see the date. I just knew it was in February of 2007.


  12. Your little Bonnie was a very special girl; thank you for sharing your precious memories. Our fur kids are always near, keeping an eye on us from above. Your picture with Bonnie is very similar to the one you recently took with Katie (in the snow). So sweet! 💕🐾


  13. Lovely memory, thanks for giving us a glimpse into her life with you. This reminded me of our pups long gone now. We had 2 cocker spaniel rescues, Max came home 2 years after Sammy came. Sammy LOVED the car, you just had to say the word and he was at the door. Our old car had a bench seat seat and he was there in the middle looking out the window. Max HATED the car, drooling incessantly, with sad puppy eyes the whole time.


  14. You have good memories of Bonnie, pets capture parts of our hearts ! We have known six shelties and each have been good different:)


    • Wow! Six shelties! That’s a whole lot of fuzziness! I’d love to have another dog once Katie leaves me, but I don’t think we will…at least not for now. It wouldn’t have to be a sheltie but I would like one with a personality to do therapy dog stuff. We’ll see. Husband says no more dogs. Of course he said that when Daisy (our first sheltie) died too.


  15. Aww, what a sweet wonderful post of remembrance! What a beautiful girl and I love all your beautiful photos and memories! 💞


  16. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Love Your #Pets – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

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