Name: Cali

Date of Passing: 01/03/2024

Message to Cali: Cali, As I write this, you are laying by the front door to our home keeping watch over your herd as you have since the day we brought you home - May 25, 2012, our little Basil. When we first met, I thought you were the cutest of your litter. Quiet, tri colored, sweet. You were shy but so excited that you peed at my feet - a habit that would take some time to kick as you were always very excited about meeting new people.

I'm thinking of all the life events you've witnessed and how you were always there, waiting by the door, for us to come home, or to go on a walk, or to make sure that the mailman knew who was boss. You were adopted to a home with two young twenty-somethings who didn't know where life would take them. One had purchased our home- a condo in Chicago's South Loop- and the other had just graduated from law school having assured himself that he could adopt a dog because studying for the bar would give plenty of time for housebreaking and training. You were with me every day when I studied. You came to Indiana Beach to lay in the dirt as a young puppy while I read outlines under the trees. It was quiet, you were happy. I will miss those days laying in the warm grass by Soldier Field, kicking a ball in the snow-filled parking lot next door, coming home to find what toys you'd destroyed or whether you'd eaten more of the baseboard.

When we moved to Logan Square, you were with us. As we tried to become landlords, we were afforded a small yard of our own. Although you picked up bad habits from the neighboring dogs, you loved to lay in the grass, belly up, scratching your back and enjoying the sun's rays. You walked with us down the aisle of our wedding and welcomed home our first boy, baby Desmond, and then our second, little Arlo, playing witness to our happiest days as a young family and always greeting new people with excitement and a request for butt scratches. I will miss the walks on Logan Blvd, chasing you around the dog park, and zooming around our small yard without a care for a single extra inch of space.

And now in your final days with us, we sit in our new home - our forever house - where finally have the biggest yard you could dream of, and so many different dark corners for you to hide on rainy days. Little Arlo learned your name only recently and has so much fun petting "Lali" - I hope you feel his love even in these waning moments. I hope you know you are forever a part of our story and that we loved you as much as we could.

We never gave you a fence and we never got to play fetch in our forever yard and for that I'm so sorry. I hope you know that we tried, as fast as we could, we tried to give you all of the space to herd your sheep, to keep watch over your flock as we grew and made new friends. I feel lost - left but to watch while the grass grows, knowing what should have been, looking to warm summer days laying with our bellies up and wishing you would be here to enjoy every day.

You've been my unconditional best friend and are so loved. I hope you find peace and all the butt scratches and belly rubs you could ever want. I'm thinking of planting some flowers in the side yard for you...the fragrant kind that were your favorite on long, smelly walks. The kind that we can tend to as our herd grows, lying on our backs and feeling the warmth of the sun's rays, trying to feel the same warmth we felt when we brought you home- May 25, 2012..our Basil, our beloved Cali.