Once upon a time, a dog named Cabri was accepted into a Service Dog program. He was young, energetic, sweet, eager to please and incredibly, incredibly smart. A Berger des Pyrenees (or Pyrenean Shepherd) and former show dog, he had everything a person could ever dream of in a companion. Unfortunately this dream of a dog had his placement fall through. Sometimes a particular dog and a particular family just don’t match – for any number of reasons.
Cabri bounced around a bit, from his initial foster home – with the organizations founder and head trainer, to a foster home with an aspiring trainer, back to his initial foster home, to the woman he was originally to be partnered with, and then back to his initial foster home again. It was around this time that his foster mom (who also happens to be the person authoring this post, TD Yandt) had a baby… and went on hiatus with AASK; Animal Assistants Inc (the Service Dog organization). During this time, her own Service Dog decided she was done working and wanted to settle down as the family nanny dog. This left Cabri’s foster mom in a spot… and while Cabri knew all along what should be done. It took this hu-mom some time to figure it out.
Through a rather odd turn of events, it came to be that Cabri became my Service Dog in Training. He was never intended to be mine, at least as far as I was aware… but I do believe he knew it all along. Tonight hit me with the oddest turn of all. Cabri, my Cabri boy, my snuggle bug, mushy boy, left this world.
I’m still in shock really.
We cuddled this afternoon, him on my lap, Lily-Ann (my 17 month old baby girl) by my side, stroking his delightful coat… nothing was amiss. Nothing out of the ordinary. He was his regular love-bug self. Late in the afternoon he went to nap in his crate. At about quarter after seven (it’s almost 11:00 now) I went to get him out, and he was gone. Died in his sleep. It seems so unreal. I can’t believe he’s no longer by my side. I can’t believe he’s gone. Just like that. That fast. Gone.
I should be getting ready for bed… but I just can’t get over the fact that Cabri is no longer with us. We had so many plans. So many hopes. Cabri really was one of the most incredible dogs I’d ever known. I was SO lucky that he chose me. That through a twist of fate he’d become my partner. And now he’s gone.
It’s just unbelievable to me.
I’m still in shock.
You can see a video we did featuring Cabri during his two month stay with Tammy (the aspiring trainer). I was very much pregnant, in early July of 2007 (Lily-Ann was born on July 20th)… I was teaching the two of them a new behavior and accompanying cue.
I still just can’t believe he’s gone. It doesn’t feel right.