Katie is gone
Yesterday we lost our beloved dog Katie to renal failure. She was 12 years old, a yellow lab mix. To say Katie was a dog was to do a great disservice to her. Having been around dogs my whole life I can say she was more human than dog in so many ways. The very best of what we are capable of.
Katie was a rescue from the SPCA. She had such a great and loving personality the shelter kept her for forty some days when their policy was just ten days. Quite an accomplishment for a one and a half year old dog. Our first meeting was love at first sight much to my wife's dismay. Katie had special needs for several years having suffered some abuse. Her previous life were all but a mystery to the workers and us. All we knew is that she had been picked up with another dog, a traveling companion, as strays. She had had a litter at some point in her early life. All else is known only to God.
My wife and I often commented that Katie's motto was "you never know, it could happen.". She was an optimist, happy go lucky in all things. Katie had a heart and soul like no other. We felt our pairing was ordained by God with all the blessings my wife and I could ever hope to have.
This is around the time Katie would start her day, as I write this, 4:30 AM. Paw washing and cleanup quietly on her bed at the foot of hours. Sometime between six thirty and seven each morning she would approach my wife's side of the bed and thump her tail on the side of the bed. Being on the receiving end was like laying on top of a big speaker. We had our own reliable alarm clock that worked without fail until the last month of her life.
Greetings and happiness at the start of each day followed, the pack awake and on the move for another day. After breakfast my wife would take Katie on a long walk, usually a mile in length. We would each say our farewells for the day just before I left for work each day. The greeting we each received upon returning home in the evening was priceless. A big production, full of joy and happenings. Off to the yard for retrieves and playtime. Oh how Katie loved to run. Dogs can smile and she was always smiling when she ran.
Katie had incredible speed. I once called her in on a long recall watching in amazement as she covered one end of the football field to the other in just seconds. She loved to scare me by running past my leg at full speed just brushing the side of my leg only to circle back and drop the ball.
We often retired to the den in the evenings, she in her bed, me in my club chair. Reflecting on the days events we were quite a pair. Just before retiring to bed I would collect my girl, walking her to her bed at the foot of ours. There was always hand licking, pets, and grunts of contentment. Katie grunted whenever she was happy, which was often. She understood the simple joy of a belly full from dinner, a warm and dry place to sleep, the feel of a soft bed, and the peace that comes from loving and being loved unconditionally.
The occasional separation for trips when we could not take her with us were difficult. Because of her background ans needs she always equated being kennelled with being given up. If she had only known that my wife and eye would never ever abandon her.
Age was not kind to Katie as it never is to older dogs. Over the years she slowed down and relaxed into her comfortable routine. Katie always loved running and fetch though the runs became slower and the distance shrank to less than the length of the yard in the final year. Finally we were down to fetches in the runner in the house. Katie only stopped in the final weeks unable to continue. Renal failure is tough on dogs in the final stage. Their energy is sapped. The drive is still there but the loss of weight, energy loss, and cumulative affects of arthritis can't be overcome. None of us will get thru old age without issues. Katie was no exception, but never one to complain either. She accepted everything in stride and was content with the simple joys of life I mentioned earlier.
Katie would have hung in there until the bitter end because she loved us so very much. Because we loved her so much we could not let her. she knew she was sick and accepted the end of her life was nearing. Sensing what we cannot, accepting with grace what is to come. With much sorrow and tears I made the call to the vets office this afternoon. Our vet kindly came to our home. Katie passed peacefully in the comfort of her home, surrounded by those she loved, and those who loved her unconditionally. Favorite toys close at hand on the carpet in the living room where Katie, my wife, and myself spent our final hours together in love, grunts, tail flips, and all the joy anyone can experience from such a love.
It is difficult to understand how great what we have lost in Katie's passing is. My wife and I are shedding many tears, sharing stories with each other of our life with Katie and the bouts of sobbing that come over us uncontrollably as we grieve for our loss. Katie was a dog like no other, our child, our friend, our protector, and the greatest love we have ever known. We would both trade everything, the house guns, all of it to have our girl back and healthy. Like does not work that way and it really puts the important things into perspective.
2000 - August 24, 2012
"Faithful and true, the love between me and you"
A wonderful eulogy to a beautiful friend and companion. Remember all the belly rubs ... and falling asleep with her on the sun-drenched carpet ... and lolling away an afternoon under a tree. She'll always be with you.
And at the end, you were able to tell her you loved her, and to hold her "hand" (paw).
Here's to Katie. Cheers! :bier:
May you find comfort in the memories of good times spent together. Sorry for your loss my friend.
Very sorry for your loss... I think of my pets as part of my family and always will. They give us so much comfort and happiness, and it really is a very sad situation when they pass. My condolences to you and your family.
You are a very good person for loving and animal that much! Our two dogs are like human family members as well and I dread the day that we will loose one of them. You have given Katie a wonderful home and she couldn't have wished for a more loving family to call her own. After all she went through in the first years of her life, you have shown to her that two-leggers are still worth trusting in! I am very sorry for your loss!
Very sorry about Katie. May she find the peace of going on to the next life.
I too have an older dog in her last stages of life so I can understand how you feel but, cherish all the moments you have mentioned in your touching story.
That will truly keep Katie living on.
A beautiful eulogy indeed.
I am so sorry for your loss.
You are both richer for having known each other.
Brother, I have been where you are now, having lost several very special members of our family over the years.
May you find some solace in the following........................
The Rainbow Bridge
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. "
Sorry to hear of your loss ctr.
Sounds like you have a lifetime of memories of Katie, all wrapped up in 12 years.
Sorry for your loss but thank you for the beautiful eulogy. My Katie is the puppers on the right in my avatar.
Damn, must be something wrong with my glasses, everything is blurry.
Sorry for your loss. It's never easy letting go and saying good bye to a beloved family member. The only consolation is knowing she's in a place where she knows no pain. As long as you hold her in your memories, she'll never really be gone.
I am so happy you have the vet you do. Katie will be special memories forever.