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Date of Death:
We had to say goodbye to our little girl, Poppy, Sunday.
In addition to being a world class snuggler, ball chaser extraordinaire, expert swimmer in the waters of the Chesapeake (and the Adirondacks, the pool, the fountain or pretty much anywhere she could get wet), and holder of a fifth degree black belt in martial tail-wagging, she is also responsible for the happiness of hundreds as the world's greatest foster mommy.
Poppy came to us as Gwynn, one of a pair of tiny pups in frail health rescued from a terrible situation in Baltimore. As they regained their health and began to meet potential adopters, it became clear to us the we would never find a family patient enough for her unique personality. Besides, she loved her big brother Nick so. Popcorn became our first foster failure and, because of her avid dislike of other dogs, the end of our fostering career. Or so we thought.
Having to step up in an emergency puppy fostering situation, we thought we'd just have to keep Poppy separated for the short time we'd have the babies and that would be it. Rather than her usual angst from the presence of other dogs, she was fascinated and excited about the strange scents in the house. We decided to let her get a look at who and what was going on and it became immediately apparent that she was convinced that she had just had a litter of puppies and that she had to take care of them right away. So began her career as "Aunt Poppy".
For the next ten plus years, she would welcome every litter of fosters with open jaws; cleaning and preening them, playing gently and teaching them appropriate behavior, overseeing potty training, settling disputes and making sure everyone got their fair share of love and attention. She also recognized the motherly care that medical fosters needed and accepted them as her charges, even when they we well outside the age she would normally tolerate. In that span of time she was responsible for the proper upbringing of well over a hundred puppies (MAGSR & others) and the resulting happiness they have brought to their hundreds of family members.
She was so full of joy, I guess some of it just kind of leaked out.
Poppy we miss you more than words could ever describe. Our hearts are filled with sweet, crazy, hysterical memories of life with you. You will be in our hearts forever, tail wagging, thump-thump-thump against our heart strings.
Thank you for being my best friend and protector. You were selfless in caring for and protecting all your little foster charges. You were daddy’s biggest fan, bursting with excitement whenever he came near, tail wagging wildly, barking and yelping in joy. You kept me company day in and day out, always there to awaken me in the morning, shouting "Seize the Day" as you licked my face and dug at the blankets ‘til they fell off the bed.
We’ll miss you so much Poppy, and will hold you in our hearts always. We are lucky you chose us. Being Poppy's special person has been an honor.
To Poppy! Na Zdorovie. Sláinte!
Dogs die. But dogs live, too. Right up until they die, they live. They live brave, beautiful lives. They protect their families. And love us. And make our lives brighter. And they don’t waste time being afraid of tomorrow. (D. Gemeinhart)