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Cindy's Story
A Tale of Devotion


Cindy and her loving mom, Jean

Cindy with the doctor

The following is a letter from Jean's step-daughter.

Dear Peggy

Do you remember Cindy Poodle Geiger?

She was a black miniature poodle adopted from you by my stepmother, Jean Geiger. You probably remember Jean - she was not a lady you would easily forget. I found some email correspondences between you and Jean, which is how I got your email address.

I hope this email reaches you. I want to give you an update on Cindy. Cindy is actually snoozing right here on the ottoman that I have my feet on right now.

Jean and my father moved back up here to Ohio (with Cindy) after Jean had had enough of the hurricanes in Florida. Cindy never did warm up to my dad. She has always been afraid of him, for some reason.

Anyway, Jean became ill in September 2007. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She went through treatments, but they did nothing except make her terribly ill. So, treatments were stopped around the first of the year 2008. By that time Jean couldn't even walk anymore. She could no longer even take Cindy outside to potty. My husband, Larry, and I decided to take her to our house temporarily, until Jean got stronger. Jean never did. Somehow, she lasted until July 4, 2008. She was in a hospital bed and under the care of Hospice the last 6 months of her life. The one bright spot in her life was whenever we would take Cindy to visit her (as often as we possibly could). Cindy would spend most of the time lying right there in bed with Jean. Jean would stroke Cindy and say, "Cindy is so precious," and she certainly is. Six days before Jean died, I told her Larry and I would always love Cindy and always take care of her. Jean said she knew. Even though Jean was in a coma the last few days, she awoke briefly on July 2, not speaking, but remaining conscious just for a few seconds, long enough to stroke Cindy one last time. Jean loved Cindy very much. The Hospice people said dogs rarely stay in the bed with the dying person at the time of death - they usually leave the bed several hours before the person dies. Cindy stayed right there in bed with Jean until Jean drew her last breath.

During those last 6 months of Jean's life, Cindy became more and more attached to my husband, Larry. Larry is THE MAN as far as Cindy is concerned. Cindy is very, very, very happy with us.

However, we were heartbroken to learn three months ago that Cindy has a malignant tumor (a fibrosarcoma) on her face/jaw. The vet took a biopsy and that's what it is. He said surgery really wasn't an option, and neither was chemotherapy, but we could consider radiation. When he described the side effects, we decided no way would we put our darling girl through that. The vet said sometimes fibrosarcomas just quit growing. That's what we hoped for, of course, but it wasn't to be. It has gotten quite huge, and while Cindy still seems basically comfortable and happy, it is becoming obvious that she probably won't be with us much longer. Larry and I are heartbroken and devastated. I have never had a pet before. I never knew what it was to love a dog. Cindy is so sweet, so affectionate, so cute, so loving, and so wonderful. She has brought so much to our life that I am sure when the time comes, we will adopt another dog. I am trying very hard to not cry for what I am about to lose, but to be happy for what I have had.

So I thank you for the wonderful work you do, and I thank God for the gift of Cindy Poodle Geiger Suttman.


Maria Geiger Suttman

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