So today has been a hard day for me. I buried my first baby, my first true friend and a truly loved family member. I still see her. That rusty brown fur that had turned almost white. Her floppy ears she always had perked up, even in her later years. I fight back the tears just thinking of her and how much she meant to me.
I remember getting Katie, AKA "KK". I walked into what was the Pet Pagoda and there she was. She and her brother were just there playing. We took both of them out and played with them a little and then they were put back up. I wanted this little Miniature Dachshund so bad.
I went home and cried about it and my parents, always wanting to make me happy, said they would take me back to get Katie. My dad and I got into the car and drove back to Valdosta. I was handed Katie again and she kissed and loved on me. It was the start of over a decade of memories.
I don't know if many of you know about Dachshunds but they are not what you call the easiest breed. They are a little opinionated but it worked well with me. We understood each other and even though somedays we got on each others nerves, we wouldn't trade each other for anything. At that time, we would sleep in late and stay up all night, always together.
I can remember one time getting ready for work and I couldn't find Katie, which was not uncommon because she was an escape artist. You could call her for hours and she would be standing near you hiding. Oh yeah, she was something else. I had to go to work, so my brother came by and looked every where for Katie. He couldn't find her and I was crushed, I thought she was gone.
I came home from work that day defeated. I again looked everywhere for Katie and couldn't find her. I sat down and started to do the normal things you do when you get home from work and then I heard a little bark. It stopped, and then there it was again. Following the sound, it lead me into my bedroom at the time and to my dresser. I opened my dresser and there she was, wagging her tail. In the morning rush to get ready, Katie had got into my dresser and fell asleep. I closed my dresser drawer and there she stayed all day long. Sometimes I wonder how we survived my 20s.
I wasn't much into teach her tricks and how to behave. I would hold a treat up and command her, "Look beautiful". When she would wag her tail I would say, "Good girl". Yes, she was a little spoiled. She did do one thing, and I don't really remember how it came about. When I would sing the Scooby Doo theme song, she would howl. IDK but she just would do it every time.
She was my fashionista with her wardrobe of clothing and her dog stroller. She had a permanent seat in my vehicle with a booster seat so she could see outside. She went on all vacations because that is what you do with your kids. She went to the doctor and shopping. She was not just a dog, she was part of the family.
In 2009, I got married and welcomed my son, Kaleb. Of course, I made a dress for Katie to wear in the wedding and she walked down the isle with the Maid of Honor. I just knew that she was going to be horrible with Kaleb. See, she was the baby and now there was another baby that was going to take my time. Kaleb was going to take a lot of my time, because he was special needs and need more attention then an average child would. But to my surprise, she would lay on his pillow as to protect him. That's where she laid during the days, watching over him. Its like she knew, he needed to we watched over. When Kaleb died in 2012, she was my rock. She stayed by my side, she knew. We worked through it together because not only was I hurting, she was hurting too.
Time started passing us by so fast. Bella, my daughter, was born and more dogs were in the house, life continued to move on. I noticed Katie started to lose her sight first, then her hearing. Her joints would hurt some days, I am guessing from her old neck injury (she decided to face off with what we believe to be a fox-we truly had a wild ride). She stopped howling to Scooby Doo and Katie spent most of her days sleeping in her bed, with a heater. She is the only one who understood you can be cold when its 80 degrees.
Katie was getting older and there was nothing I could do about it. I knew I would have to one day say goodbye to her and it hurt. Katie was my friend, my secret teller and my partner in crime. Last night, Katie wanted to go outside, which was weird because she had lost the control of her bladder a few years ago. But I let her outside to do what she wanted. This morning, I found her and as much as I knew it was coming, I still lost it. I don't think you can prepare for the loss. You think you can but then every memory you ever had comes flowing back. I just lost a big part of my life.
I of course will be fine, this too will pass and I will have all the memories. Of course, plenty of pictures to remember her. I find comfort in knowing she is with Kaleb running with him, something both of them couldn't do when they were here on Earth. Both can see now and have no pain and Katie can hear. They are in a much better place but it still, they are not with me.
Life will continue with Oliver (the puppy I got a few weeks ago). Ironic I know, but in my mind, I think I knew it was coming. Oliver has big shoes to fill. Bella and him are already connected at the hip and the cycle begins again. Bella is too young to remember Katie. She might remember her name when she sees pictures but she won't truly remember her. But I will, I'll always remember her. She was with me coming out of my teens, swept through my 20s and into my late 30s. We had a journey together for sure.
If you are not a dog person or know Katie and my relationship you probably won't understand this post. But remember this, life is precious, whether it is a pet or a human. We are not promised tomorrow guys. Live for today, be the best possible you and be true to who you are. That is what makes you so special.