Sissy Mama

As Kali grew older I began referring to her, in relationship to her two sisters Kloe and Koda, as Sissy Mama. None of my girls were blood related but they were and are sisters (sissies) no less. So we would always refer to them as sissies. “Koda, where is your sissy”. Or, “Kloe, go get your sissies for dinner”. Yes we well I speak to them as though they are my kids. Because they are!

But Kali was much older and she became the Sissy Mama.

Six years shouldn’t seem so long ago. But if I think in “dog years” it is quite some time. Like six years ago when we brought Kloe home as a nine-week old puppy. That was a long time ago. Looking at her now, as she sleeps by my feet (filling in the empty space Kali left under my feet when she crossed the bridge), it’s hard to think that Kloe was ever a wee pup of 16 pounds. Green, fearless, and ripe for schooling by an older dog. Enter Kali.

Since Kali has been gone I find myself looking at pictures of her from over the years. Like today when I came across some pictures and videos of the first day we brought Kloe home. After the initial few minutes, when Kali made it very clear that Kloe was not welcome in her house, she quickly warmed up to Kloe and was every bit the surrogate mama we hoped she would be.

I had forgotten how inseparable Kali and Kloe were when Kloe was a pup. Mostly because at only weeks and months old Kloe adored Kali and followed her everywhere she went. There were so many tender moments sleeping side by side or on top of one another. And there were periods of play when Kali exhibited great patience with her new little sissy and also delivered lessons when needed.

In retrospect I now realize that Kali became the Sissy Mama the moment we brought Kloe through the front door in Livermore at 9 weeks old on May 7, 2016.

Sissy Mama In Action

Sissy Mama Gallery


Oh gosh, the sweetness meter just broke! How adorably precious that video depicted your Sissy Mama. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Kloe absolutely adored her ‘mama.’ Thanks for sharing such beautiful scenes. Happy Monday.

Good morning M! You are correctamundo, Kloe did adore Kali from the moment they met until the moment Kali passed. I had not seen that video in years. It was so great to see and remember how active and agile my old lady Sissy Mama was back in the day. Happy Monday right back atcha!

Oh. My. doG! The video and photos bring back so many memories of my Callie and her Shadow. (Shadow’s AKC name was “Callie’s Shadow”). So I thank you for sharing your memories.

My first two Golden Girls were only six months apart in age; but Callie was the first born in her litter and took on the mother’s helper role almost immediately. She – according to her breeder – was mediating squabbles among her siblings from the moment her eyes opened. She would have been a great mother herself if we’d given her the chance. Instead, we gave her a little sister to mother. And she enjoyed the role up to her last morning on earth. And Shadow thrived on Callie’s love and attention. Callie used to sleep outside the gated kitchen doorway to keep Shadow company at night. It was so sweet to watch until Shadow had gained the roaming privileges that her older sister had already earned. Hard to believe that was 17 years ago! Now I have only photos, but the love between them and me will never die. Their love for each other and for me remains etched on my memory and in my heart. I will miss them until the day we meet again.

Michael, I love reading your stories of your Kali. They warm my heart so much. They are so tender that I can’t help but shed a few tears for the loss of our girls’ physical presence in our lives. I can’t help but think Callie would have mothered Bogie and Zen if she were still here. She mothered Ducky to the extent that Ducky allowed. While Ducky was more independent than Shadow, she did learn some valuable lessons from Callie over her first three years with us. Just as I’m sure both Kloe and Koda learned from Kali. Here’s to our girls! 🥂

I’m glad that my loving memories of my Kali invoke the same for you about your Callie. What a blessing to have a six month old with those maternal and nurturing instincts! We had hoped when we brought Koda into the pack that Kloe would have been at least a teacher of not surrogate mommy. But at two years old, in addition to her demeanor, Kloe let Koda run all over her. Now as an older dog at six she has taken on a quiet leadership role, especially with Kali gone. And has been a good companion and teacher for Koda. Koda definitely looks to,Kloe for her cues. As always Sue, thank you for your kind words and for all the positive reinforcement you’ve provided over the years! Have a great week!

Shortly after our Callie passed, our vet – who I loved dearly at the time – said that the strained relationship between Shadow and Ducky would likely begin to change for the better, and it did. Without the source of coveted attention to spark jealousy between them, they actually started getting along quite well. And Ducky started trying to provide the nurturing that Callie had taught her. By the time Shadow’s health had begun to decline, Ducky was sticking to her like glue, protecting her and sharing things with her that she hadn’t in the past. For that change in Ducky, I will always credit and thank Callie. 💝 Have a great evening.

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