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Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
Tiffany Castleberry of Cheyenne, Wyo., would do anything for her English Mastiff, Missy (short for Mischievous). Missy has been with Castleberry through good times, tough times and long periods of time away from each other. “I spoil my baby horribly," Castleberry admits, "but she deserves it.”
A support officer in the Air Force, Castleberry has been sent to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan over the last few years. Her assignments ranged from four to eight months. While she was away, she knew Missy was in good hands with Castleberry’s father. The only problem was that he lived in Texas — not exactly a quick and easy drive. But, Castleberry says, she wouldn’t leave Missy with anyone else. So, each time she was sent overseas, she’d make the two-day drive to drop off Missy in Texas before she left.
“While I was gone I’d miss her horribly. But Dad would put her on speaker phone, and we’d talk,” she says with a laugh.
At 170 pounds, Missy takes up a lot of room in the bed. “I realized I needed more room in my queen-size bed for Missy, so I bought a new bedroom suite — with a king-size bed!” Missy has her own pillow and, Castleberry says, “If she is cold, I cover her with a blanket.”
Missy, who’s 7, has recently developed arthritis. “She does not run for anything!” Castleberry says. “We go on walks, but we don’t go far. We go to the end of the street, and Missy lays down for a bit,” she says. “I wait for her, and then we finish the walk.” There have been times the two have been caught in a downpour or hailstorm. Since Missy never rushes, they eventually make their way home, sopping wet.
But when Missy’s ready to play, so is Castleberry. “She likes to play soccer!” Castleberry says. “So we play for five to 10 minutes at a time.” Once Missy’s ready to call it a day, the two go back inside and lounge.
Even Castleberry’s lunch hour is dedicated to Missy. Each day during the week, Castleberry drives home at lunch to check on her. “I come home, give her a snack and let her out,” she says. “I don’t mind.”
Castleberry doesn’t consider centering her life on Missy unusual or a sacrifice. “She is without a doubt my baby girl, and I love her just like a child.”
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at email@example.com to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.
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