On June 15, I lost my best friend of 12 years – my Doberman, Kaila. She was a sprightly 84 and slowly becoming more elderly with her mannerisms. She still jumped at the door to be let in, ate both her food and her sister Daisy’s food and was always eager for a gentle hand to rub her neck, nose and belly. But even with knowing that her age would overcome her excitement for life one day, our family did not predict at all that it would come while we were on vacation.
As soon as I answered the phone with my pet sitter (another Sigma Kappa sister) on the other line, I knew what had happened with her teary voice and gulps of air as she told the unpleasant news. The mother in me tried to console her as this was not to be part of her job; the best friend in me tried to hold back my tears, knowing that I would have to break the news to my ten-year old, with whom Kaila slept with every night. I’ve lost animals before, but never one who I always considered to be my rock and my constant. She became part of the family at twelve weeks old, the runt of her family. She sat on my lap on the way home, a little fifteen-pound black and tan bundle that was all legs. She wore a cone around her neck for a month as a puppy, since she kept knocking out the stints in her ears to keep them straight and upwards. She was my first dog and I welcomed every trial and delight.
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