One of the hazards of a close friendship is that you spend so much time with someone elses dogs that you love them. Almost as much as your own. That in itself is not the hazard. The problem lies in the heartache.
A great dog died today. A dog who lived and loved with every ounce of his heart. A dog who had enthusiasm in spades. A never give up attitude. And most of all a dog that you couldn't help to love.
I've been trying to come to terms with his death all day. It was not unexpected. But was sooner than they had thought. I am glad that he is not suffering. And he has probably stolen all the dog toys wherever he is now so we know that he is happy.
Death and grief are strange things. Each person deals with them differently. Kaleb is not the first dog that I've loved that has died- and yet the grief pulls at my heart so hard that it hurts.
I remember the day I met him. An itty bitty baby. They brought him to my work so I could see him. I remember the daily walks. The training. I used I help lay articles and tracks when he was training for search. He was always SO proud of his found treasures. And would do Anything to earn his kong.
I remember when the switch from search to sports happened. When we had to tie our training bags to posts and zipper them shut so he wouldn't steal toys and or the whole bag. I remember trying to catch the bugger when he'd run off with something valuable. What a brat he was. He once launched at me on a walk from five feet away. Almost knocked me on my ass. I was too shocked to do anything about it. Lol. He was totally oblivious.
For all the hard work and sweat and tears that Sarah put into the dog you'd have thought he would be the best behaved of them all. Not so much. He marched to the beat of his own drum and even as a senior did things on his own terms. Because he was such a hard dog to train I was so incredibly proud of them whenever they did something great. A new title. A clean run. A solid recall. No success was too small because man was he a tough nut as a young dog...
You can learn a lot from a dog like K. Passion, determination, confidence and friendship to name a few. Kaleb did everything with gusto. Nothing was too big or too scary. He never met a stranger he didn't immediately love. Valuable lessons I'd say.
Kaleb leaves behind a large fan club. Everyone knew him. Most loved him. How could you not love a dog with a perma-grin on his face. For all his obnoxiousness he was truly wonderful.
I will miss him so much. Even the things that were annoying- like his slobber, heavy breathing, morning grumpy-old-man, the ever wagging tail (against your shins!), oh the barking too and so much more. What a dog he was!!! It's the last of an era- almost. Wicca is the only of "the originals" left.
Sometimes Life has a way of smacking you in the head. This morning I wrote the final piece to a newsletter and in it I wrote that I am going to try harder to live in the moment- in the now and not the tomorrow. Stop looking ahead to the next "thing" and really focus on what is in front of you. It was a day late. Shoulda' Coulda' Woulda' I suppose. But I really regret not making that last visit happen. I am so sad that I didn't get to tell him what a good boy he was. One last kiss. The sadness is overwhelming. And he wasn't even my dog.
I don't even know what else to say really. How can you sum up 11 years of awesome in one blog post.
Ugh. Dogs. Why do we love them so? Why is it so unfair? That a creature with a soul and heart purer than our own have such a shorter life.
Rest in Peace K. You will be so missed.