Goodbye Miss Cheesy

With heavy hearts, we wished our beautiful redhead the best of comfort last night as we let her go. Goodbye Miss Cheesy. We will miss you.

Cheoah:  December 22 2005 — March 12 2020
Cheoah: December 22 2005 — March 12 2020

Coming off a trail hiking many years ago, we met a Lakota woman. She was enamored with the dogs and insisted on meeting them. After chatting for a while, she said we would soon be adding a new Siberian Husky named Cheoah, the Cherokee word for Spirit.

The patented Cheoah Snow Slide

Shortly after, we received a phone call from a volunteer at Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation. A Siberian Husky was abandoned when her owner’s house was foreclosed. They left her tied to a tree in the backyard. They needed a place for her to stay and since we were experienced with Siberian Huskies, would we take her in? We fostered her…and she stayed for more than a decade…the sixth member of the original six.

This inside Cheesewhiz could sleep if the camera would stop clicking.
Napping in the sunshine

We made the decision to name her Cheoah to fulfill the prophecy. We thought the gesture was fitting, especially since we lived on the edge of the reservation for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Unfortunately, we didn’t think to confirm the translation, finding out only too late that Cheoah does not mean Spirit. It is the Cherokee word for Otter.

Dive! Dive!
Who would name a dog Otter?

Fortunately, the name fit. Cheoah is the only member of The Herd to love water. She adored it. Ocean. River. Lake. Swimming pool. It didn’t matter, she would fearlessly go straight in, much to the amusement of those around her.

Why sleep normally?

Water wasn’t her only love. She loved snow (sliding her head like a plow to maximize snow enjoyment), digging (the massive basement under our picnic table was her engineering), hiking, running, picking on her brothers, snuggling, sleeping in sunshine, and camping. And mischief. Oh, my, the mischief. She had the ability to create chaos, seduce her brothers into joining, and then stand innocently nearby while she watched them get into trouble.

What muddy snouts?
The innocent look almost always worked…almost.

When the Hu-Granddad was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a particularly heinous disease, Cheoah revealed an unknown skill—the power of therapy dog for seniors with dementia. She had a regular route among the residents of the facility, many of whom looked forward to her visits with glee and others who looked forward to meeting her for the first time each and every week. It didn’t matter to the Cheese—she greeted them all with an extraordinary kindness and patience.

Dear Hu-Dad - Please re-read that advice you just gave about a Siberian being trustworthy until they are not.
An angelic face

We will never forget one resident who would roll her wheelchair to her room door and wait on the Cheese’s arrival. Each week they would converse, Cheese in her quiet ways and the woman in her murmurs that never arose above a whisper. Their conversation was strictly between them—no one else understood.

A young Miss Cheesy working the nursing home

Unfortunately, age and arthritis caught up with our redhead of mischief. Dogs give us joy every minute of their lives and ask only that we help them in the end when they need it most. With lots of hugs and kisses, we let her go gently to sleep.

Those beautiful eyes

We will miss those beautiful eyes, that insistent woo, and her sheer look of innocence as she tricked her brothers into mischief…again. We expect somewhere Rusty, Qannik, and Kodiak are falling for it as we speak.

Nope, not a morning Cheesewhiz.
Cheoah the Cheesewhiz

Please forgive us as we take a break for a few days. We will be back after a little healing time, a slightly smaller and quieter pack, but still full of laughs and fun.


  1. Lucy on May 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    I have been off of FB for a few months and just read about Ms Cheoah has gone to the rainbow bridge. I’m so sorry and sad, but I’m sure Cheoah is having all the playful fun times with her sisters and brothers now. RIP.

  2. Beth on March 20, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    I’m a little behind in my reading so just found out the news. I enjoy your blog very much and have come to adopt your pack so I too have tears in my eyes at the news, but also a smile on my face knowing that the beautiful girl has no pain. Thank you for sharing the pack with us both the ups and the down. Here’s to better days!

  3. JoCindy on March 18, 2020 at 12:32 pm


  4. Annika on March 15, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Goodbye miss Cheoah! Will miss you terribly in the posts. But now you’re pain free and able to run as fast as you want by the Bridge!

  5. Bea on March 15, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Good night sweet girl. We will miss you.

  6. Maureen Smith on March 15, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Boy Oh Boy, it hurts so badly when a special loved one is gone away from us. Cheoah is in the most comforting place there is. I am sure she would be at peace knowing all of those who hold her dear, felt that comfort and peace also. Thinking of all the Herd and HU-mans.

  7. May & Shyuki on March 14, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Whoo Whoooooo! Heavy hearts all around as we say goodbye to Miss Cheezy. Thank you for giving her a wonderful home surrounded by love, both two legged and four legged. Missy Cheezy wil be terribly missed. Many hugs to all. RIP

  8. Kathy Harris on March 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    I am so sorry, and extend my deepest condolences to you and the family.

  9. The Ao4 on March 14, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Sending hugs from all of us. We’re so sorry about Cheoah.
    Cam, Mags, and our bipeds

  10. Patty Markiewicz on March 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Thinking of you and the Herd.

    So sorry to hear about Cheoah.

    She was such a beautiful spirit.

  11. Millie & Walter on March 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    We’re so sorry to hear about Miss Cheoah. She sure was a beauty and full of mischief. Our paws are crossed for all of the herd both canine and human.

  12. Da K Krew on March 14, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Wee is so veri sorri fur your loss. Wee wills havs a moon howls in her honor tonites
    Run Free Cheoah

    Uji, Angel Izzy, Missi-Bean, Ziggy, Hiro & Momma Tea

  13. Lyn Assenzio on March 14, 2020 at 12:27 am

    So Very Sorry For Your Loss, Sending You Soft Woos, And She Will Be Missed Dearly????????

  14. Terry+Rory on March 13, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    I have been dreading this sad day:(
    Beautiful Cheoah has always been my favorite of the herd! She could be twins with my Rory(Aurora).
    She had a very wonderful life and brought so much joy to our world.
    Now she has moved on to her new place and she watches for her most loved hu-dad and the rest of her family. Thank you for sharing her with so many of us… she will always be in our hearts,too. ♥️♥️

  15. Kentucky PartiEye Girls on March 13, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    We are so terribly sorry. I think we felt this post was imminent and have been dreading it. Only those of us lucky enough to love and be loved by a dog can ever understand the depth of that love. Or the myriad of emotions that having to make the decision to let them go evokes. I must admit that in the years we have followed the herd I have been fond of each of your kids, but somehow Cheesewiz has always been special. I looked forward to seeing that beautiful face and hearing about her antics. The spirit of a Siberian Husky is a wonderful thing which makes each one a unique treasure. You are so lucky…all those great pictures and memories ensure that Cheesewiz will be with you everyday. You and the boys are in our thoughts and hearts. Thank you for sharing her. Sleep well sweetheart…we will miss you.

  16. Edith Chase on March 13, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  17. Lilián on March 13, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    It’s difficult to think today’s morning our beloved Cheoah wasn’t with hers brothers. There are many memories that come to the memory, all his antics, its S-RV phase, the visits to your father, the time she escaped when the postman came, even when she jumped into the pool of the new house. It is extremely difficult not to cry. Cheoah is part of the hearts of many, and thank you very much for sharing your adventures with us. All of us who knew her, will need time to heal our hearts, but wherever she is, she is sure to watch with her innocent face and knows that we will see her again. Thanks Cheoah for all the joy you gave us !!.

  18. Jen Schmitt on March 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Ah, DK… having been a follower of your blog since 2010, it always breaks my heart to see your beautiful babies move on from this world. We’re strangers, separated by bits and bytes, but the dogs feel like a part of our stranger lives across the world.

    She was a very beautiful, funny and adorable dog. I’m thankful I have been able to keep up with your family as it evolves over the years.

    Much love and light to you and your pack.

  19. tammy j on March 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I am late here today. so you may not even see this.
    but I’m in tears. she was simply special. Little Otter.
    thank you for the post and the pictures. it must have been hard.
    bless you. xoxo

  20. Cheryl Seybert on March 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful Miss Cheoah with all of us. I am so very very sorry for your loss always the hardest part of loving animals. You have some wonderful memories of her and will always have those. Frap free with your brothers & sisters Cheoah! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. ????????

  21. Big Gus on March 13, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you Hu-dad for the wonderful life you gave to that gem

  22. Kiersten on March 13, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    So sad for you all, but so happy she had such a great life with the herd. The original herd are all reunited. Have fun gang. Kisses and hugs to your healing hearts.

    Kiersten, Rita and Arko

  23. nicole tester on March 13, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Breaks my heart.

  24. Rebecca on March 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Wiping away tears… I am so sorry for your loss… Even when you know it’s best, it is so hard to make that final decision. Much sympathy to you all…

  25. Cindy H on March 13, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    So very sorry. My red & white Gypsy is 13 and I’ve always enjoyed reading about Cheoah and have thought much about how they both where getting older. While your pack is now smaller I’m not too convinced that they will be that quiet. Godspeed Cheoah.

    • Laura on March 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      I am so very sorry. Cheoah was a wonderful girl. We all will miss her!

  26. S Deaver on March 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Still crying in sympathy for your loss. You each chose each other, and gave greatly to each other. I love how you bring out your pack’s characters through your words and pictures. We’ll think of y’all as we walk our red girl. Soft woos and hugs for each of you.

  27. Sharon Sammons on March 13, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    My tears started, too, when I read the blog headline. I am so sorry for the loss of your companion Miss Cheesy. I have a great love for the redheads, my Tess (AKA Princess Ginger Snap) is one. RIP Miss Cheesy.

  28. Becky Slacl on March 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. All of us will miss her.

  29. Jeanee on March 13, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Join the pack in heaven, Lady Cheese. You have touched my heart & were such a source of comfort to me. How I loved seeing your beautiful fluff.
    Thank you, Hu-dad for sharing her with us. I send heart-felt sympathy to you & your family.
    She will be greatly missed.

  30. Annie on March 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Rest in peace Cheoah ???? Run free over the Rainbow Bridge. My Cheyenne made her journey 4/1/2006 – 12/16/2019 My condolences to your Family ????????

  31. Lori & Izzy Bear on March 13, 2020 at 10:42 am

    My heart deeply aches today… sweet sleep Miss Cheoah. You made me smile everyday I saw you. My tears are real and my heartfelt sorrow to your pack, both 2 and 4 footed, is profound.

  32. chris on March 13, 2020 at 10:31 am

    So so sorry for your loss. The only thing that comforts is that the pain is gone when they cross the bridge because they leave the biggest pawprints on the hearts of those that love them. Your dogs are lucky that they have such loving humans and so many other humans that love from them afar.

  33. The Oceanside Animals on March 13, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Lulu: “We are very sorry to hear that miss Cheoah had to go away.”
    Charlee: “Run free North of the Rainbow Bridge, Cheoah!”
    Chaplin: “Maybe you can pick up our sister Trixie and take her along for a while. Dennis used tell us that Trixie always said she missed the snow.”
    Lulu: “I am sending lots of fluffy tail wags to you and your pack.”
    Charlee: “And we Hipsters send purrs!”

  34. Juno's mom on March 13, 2020 at 10:25 am

    We will all miss the girl with the sky and earth in her eyes and sunrise and sunset on her fur.

  35. Jane on March 13, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. She will be greatly missed.

  36. Sylv on March 13, 2020 at 9:43 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  37. Pat and Rebel on March 13, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Soft woos from my redhead. I am so sad for your loss. Thank you for sharing sweet Cheoah with us. Your readers come to love your wonderful herd and we also mourn the passing of these specials dogs. She was so blessed to have joined you and you gave her a great life and peaceful passing. She is running free and healthily again.

  38. Debbie and Ruby on March 13, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Ruby and I are sending lots of hugs to the entire Herd. You gave her a wonderful life in the mountains and by the sea. Run free pretty girl.

  39. Amarok & Co on March 13, 2020 at 8:57 am

    So very sad and sending hugs and woos to the Thundering Herd. Thank you so much for giving us the chance to love her too.

  40. Billie Borron on March 13, 2020 at 8:51 am

    So sad, but I’m sure she is feeling better and causing mischief with her friends. She will be missed dearly. Hugs and husky woos to the Thundering Herd. Thank you for sharing the herd with all of us????????

  41. Lisa Jopling on March 13, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I’ve been reading your stories for a long time and saw this today! So sad. My heart goes out to you and family. She was gorgeous and had the best eyes! Thanks for sharing her journey! You will be in my prayers and thoughts sending strength to get through this difficult time. You gave her a wonderful life and she hit her jackpot when you adopted her!!!

    • Zoe on March 13, 2020 at 9:11 am

      I am so very sorry for your loss. She is an extraordinary dog, beside her uncommon beauty the intelligence, and laughter you could see in her eyes. She did not rule with the iron will of your Evil Queen, but she is a Queen, have no doubt, she ruled her pack and her brothers. The fact she insisted on her daily walks until the very end of her time was a testimony to her character.. and make no doubt she was a character. I have followed you since before frankinsofa and her presence has always been one of pure joy. I know now why you found this house at this time .. your greatest gift to your Queen, her final days near the water, in the sun, with all of you. You have my deepest sympathy

      Sabo the German Shepherd Attorney at Paw
      Delola the German Shepherd attorney Stephen Paw
      Athena the English Mastiff paralegal
      Max the Tibetan Mastiff Attorney in Training
      And their human servant

  42. Pam and our rescue Huskies Max and Maya on March 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

    The tears n started just reading the blog title. All of our hearts are broken due to your loss. You provided her with a wonderful home to call her own along with cause mischief within. Our thoughts and prayers for all at Chez Herd by the Marsh.

  43. The Painter Pack on March 13, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Oh we are so very sorry for your loss…it is never easy and never seems fair that they leave us so soon. It is not enough time. Run free beautiful girl.

  44. KJ Pierson on March 13, 2020 at 8:28 am

    With the slowing down, I feared it coming, but it still doesn’t help. They are the best and the cruelest gift given to us. Enjoy your rest Cheesy.

  45. HokiePack on March 13, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Soft woos from the Hokie Pack for safe passage over the rainbow bridge. So sorry she was a beauty. Thanks for giving her a wonderful life!

  46. KB on March 13, 2020 at 8:19 am

    I am so very sorry. I loved her from afar. You gave her a wonderful life.

  47. Sue P on March 13, 2020 at 7:57 am

    I’ll miss you and your antics sweet girl! Love and prayers for you and your pack.

  48. Random Felines on March 13, 2020 at 7:55 am

    We are so sorry….we loved reading about her.

  49. Jean Burkhardt on March 13, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Hu-Dad I cry along with you. The Thundering Herd has become almost like family to me. The joy of your posts have always made my day. Goodbye Miss Cheoah-Cheesy Girl. You will be forever loved and missed. I know you have earned your silver harness just north of Rainbow Bridge where you will run free with no more arthritis to slow you down.Our family and Bradley and Sadie woo their heart felt prayers.

  50. Vincent Porrazzo on March 13, 2020 at 7:38 am

    So sad, she was a lovely girl. May she Rest In Peace.
    Vince, Silky and Nacho

  51. Mochi and Mommy on March 13, 2020 at 7:29 am

    We are so sorry for your loss. We will miss little Miss Cheesy. ????

  52. Craig E Gibson on March 13, 2020 at 7:27 am

    So sorry to hear

  53. Kate on March 13, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Rest in peaceful mischief, sweet Cheoah! I hope there is plenty of snow for you to slide on and picnic table basements to dig at the Rainbow Bridge. Sending love and strength to The Herd and their humans ❤️

  54. Daphne on March 13, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Very very sorry for your loss.
    Sending love and soft woos xo ????????

  55. Deborah Rolman on March 13, 2020 at 6:46 am

    This breaks my heart! She was such a sweetheart and a beauty. I had forgotten all the trouble she used to cause her brothers. (That’s what sisters are supposed to do, especially redheads.) RIP, dear Cheoah. You are now able to run with your former Herd members. Hugs to the remaining herd and the humans.

  56. Jim Frykman on March 13, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Good bye Miss Cheoah you will be missed.

  57. Kimberly Parker on March 13, 2020 at 5:46 am

    I will miss this beautiful redhead! Hugs to the Herd from Camp Run Amok.

    • Carolyn Rogers on March 13, 2020 at 8:19 am

      Much love to all.

  58. Don Davis on March 13, 2020 at 5:08 am

    Thinking of all the beautiful moments with Miss Cheoah you have shared…. Y’all gave her such a wonderful life.

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