Sunday, February 19, 2012

Memories Of That Special One

Today in northern Minnesota, the sun is shining and it’s hard to believe it’s just a little past the middle of February! It’s supposed to be COLD here, not nice to enough to sit out on the deck in sweats with no jacket. But I’m glad it’s nice. I’m glad I had a chance to sit in the sun and reflect on this special day.

For all you animal lovers out there, today is my beautiful yellow lab’s birthday. And you know exactly what I’m talking about if you’re fortunate enough to have had that one special dog in your life time, one that you just can’t forget. I’m sad thinking about her, yet grateful for all the years she graced us with her human-like antics. You know, I’m thinking I’ve written about her before but she was just that great of a dog that she deserves a second go around.

You see, we had to make the decision for Ms. Kaydee to say goodbye to us four years ago. She was twelve and I know if it wouldn’t have been for cancer, we most likely would have had her around for another three or four years. As terrible as this sounds, I remember waking up every morning for six months before her death and actually hoping I’d find her passed and at peace. I did not want to have to make that life/death call in regard to another living spirit, one that I loved so much.

What a clown she was! Not a day ever passed that she didn’t make me laugh. My kids grew up with Kaydee and their fondest memories are times spent with that dog. We have a big yard out here in the country and summer days were spent playing baseball or swimming. My two sons would take the positions of pitcher and catcher and my daughter would be at bat. And there out at the end of the yard would sit Kaydee, playing outfielder. Oh, she knew her position well and took it seriously! The ball would get smacked to the outfield and she’d be there to retrieve and run it back to the pitcher. Dropping it, she’d race back out and assume her position! Not a bird or squirrel could gain her attention. Not when there was a serious baseball game in progress.

We laugh now how swimming as a group was a bit of a problem. That dog loved the water but hated if someone was splashing around. To her it meant one of the kids, or my husband or I, were in danger of drowning. Someone always had to sit and hold her collar or risk actually being drowned when she hit the water at a hundred miles an hour, swam out, grabbed your arm and dragged you back to shore. Kaydee was NOT happy until everyone was safely lined up in the sand and a headcount was taken.

Kaydee was an avid hunter like my husband. They spent a lot of time walking fields, in search of pheasant and grouse. What a great partner she was for him. When she was five and in her hunting prime, she tore all the ligaments in her knee. So we put out the bucks for her to have surgery and she then became my live-in couch potato, a new career that suited her well! Well couch potato or office manager. I still miss having her lay at my feet when I’m working in my office.

So, that fateful time that all dog lovers fear, finally came. I knew I had to make the decision. She was having a difficult time breathing. She fell down the steps three separate times in a week. It was a struggle for her to get up on her own. Being 105 pounds, she wasn’t easy to lift. I guess having to make that horrible decision is a form of absolute love, however. I didn’t want her hurting anymore. I didn’t want her looking with longing out the window…

So I’m sitting here in my office, not quite alone, because she’s still here with me in my heart. My memories are happy ones. Thanks, Kaydee. And Happy Birthday. I miss you!


Lynn LaFleur said...

What a beautiful tribute, Ruby. I'm sure Kaydee is playing baseball in doggie heaven with all the other puppies and having a really good time. She was a lucky dog to be so loved.


Tara Nina said...

Ruby, I feel your pain. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful young lady Kaydee. I can see your kids playing baseball with the world's greatest outfielder :)
Thanks for sharing this with another dog lover.