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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


The Grande Dame

She came into our lives 14 years ago.  I felt the children needed the responsibility of having a dog. So, I took the young crew to the animal shelter in Winnebago County Illinois to "look".  I knew I wanted a big dog; a dog for protection.  We found a perfect dog when they brought out a yellow lab mix with short legs and white socks that had been found roaming the streets.  We walked her outside.  She lay in the grass and my kids climbed all over her.  She was a happy, patient dog.

We came home with Millie after 2 baths from the pet shop.  She was still stinking like a farm animal, but we didn't care.  She was ours.  The kids loved her, and Millie seemed to fit right in.  She was about a year old and chewed our stairs, toys, stuffed animals, pacifiers.  She had a penchant for roaming.  If she slipped past us, out she went.  Many times we searched for the escapee in the pouring rain.  She made me mad.  Why, oh why, couldn't she be happy with just having a loving family and food in her bowl at all times?  Why did she need to take off at every opportunity?

We moved back to Virginia in 2001, and Millie couldn't be happier!  She loved the acreage and the freedom to roam.  I gave up trying to keep her confined to our property.  She had free reign and permission to roam wherever she chose.  Thankfully for her, there were plenty of cows and horses nearby.  The scents drew her to roll around in the forbidden stuff.  Eventually, she became an outside dog: that was her dream in life.  She preferred laying in the cool garage in the heat of the summer, or letting the snow pile up on her as she lay in the grass.

My children grew up with her.  She could not have been a more perfect pet for our family. She brought fear into the lives of the delivery men. Eventually, the UPS man just threw our packages off his truck when Millie would come running.  I can't blame him.  She had a ferocious bark and was not afraid of anything.  She was our great protector.

When we added to the family, she accepted the girls fully.  No questions asked.  She was always faithful.

As she got older, she got better.  I loved greeting her in the morning.  She was always happy with a smile on her face.  Yeah, she put on a little weight as she aged (don't we all?).  But, she was still beautiful to us all.

Nothing could deter her faithfulness.  Not even a rotten puppy named Moxie.

Millie took it all in stride and showed the new dog the ropes.  But, Millie was still the queen of the castle.  No other dog could usurp her!

They really did love each other.

She aged gracefully and holds the title of the "Grande Dame" of the home.  She maintained her dignity through arthritis, failing eyesight, and hearing.

She died September 25th.  Sadly, I didn't see her walk in front of my car.  I can chalk that day up to one of the worst days of my life.  I didn't sleep much that night, and had a "crying hangover" all day long on Thursday.

I never understood how people could be so sad over losing a dog.  Now I understand.  I belong to that "club".  We all knew it would happen one day soon, but just didn't expect it to happen last week or so suddenly.   I sure miss the queen of the castle.  She always made me smile.

13 kind words:


My heart is grieving with you. I pray God will bring you peace and comfort.


Oh dear, sounds like many changes in your life over the past few months. Blessings to you.


Oh Cheri, I am so sorry.


Oh no, I too lost my most loyal companion and the fault was mine. I know what you are going through. I wish I could say that it gets better, but it has been two years and sometimes I just cry. I keep reminding myself of Romans 8:28, and I have faith that even though I don't see it, God has and will use it for good. I pray the same for you.

Anne Krause

Oh Cheri, my heart breaks for you...........we, too, have a big old dog, Buffy, who is almost ten. I know he doesn't have many more years with us, but he is so special to us all. My children used to be absolutely terrified of dogs until we got him as a little pup. I will be in bad shape when he goes. They truly are members of the family. Love to you all..................


I know the pain and sorrow of losing your beloved pet and I'm sorry for your loss. There is nothing like their unconditional love.


I'm sorry. Kenton had a very similar experience with our dog, Sam.


Oh, Cheri, I am so so sorry!! We haven't seen Millie in a long time, but she was a sweet doggie. Yes, losing a pet is hard. We had to put Chelsea to sleep in 2007. She was the dog we had in Roanoke...such a sweetie. I cried buckets, but time does have a way of helping heal the sadness. I'll keep you all in my prayers. (((hugs)))

Wendy in OH

Oh Cheri, you know i feel your pain and loss. It gets better and the memories live on, but they really are our children. Love u.


I am so sorry, Cheri. Tears started to fall as I started to read this post. I had an idea where it was going and was hoping it would prove to be false. I do understand your pain and loss. They are such a part of the family. Thinking and praying for you and the family.


Oh Cheri, I am just so so sorry!!! I know how hard it is to loose a family pet. Praying for your sweet heart!

Cherie Steele

I am so sorry you had to lose your beloved pet in this way. You and the kids will always have the fond memories of Millie.
So sorry.


(((Cheri))) I am so sorry to hear about your beloved Millie, and my heart aches doubly for you.

Praying Isaiah 41:10 for you tonight:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’


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