Gotcha!

Today is Koda’s gotcha day. Or maybe it’s mine…. I’m not sure who got who but we’ve got each other now. After two years our (almost) two and half year old Golden Retriever puppy has finally begun growing out of puppyhood and into… well whatever comes next.

Like many other things Holly and I do we decided to rescue Koda on kind of a whim after Holly gave into my obsession with looking at Golden Retriever puppies on Facebook and Instagram. And also my incessant nagging about how we needed another dog. Sitting after dinner or at breakfast or anywhere else when I would see a picture of a puppy and say, “Look a puppy!” Or, “We need a puppy; Kali’s getting old and Koda needs an active playmate”. Or… “Can we please please please please please get another puppy?”. I may have exaggerated the “pleases” but you get the idea. I was begging!

So one night when I showed Holly a picture of a puppy on the facebook page of the rescue group all my girls have come from she says, “Michael if you want another puppy, get one.” Holly and I almost always make big decisions together but in this case I really wanted a pup and Holly was reticent. She must have thought it would be better to have a puppy in her face than my laptop or iPad with pictures of puppies in her face. I called the rescue group organizer and said I was in. The next day I drove to pick up my sweet sweet Koda and the rest, as they say, is history was a lot harder than I had planned.

Koda totally changed the dynamics of the pack. She was, and still is, tenacious, fearless, and had mouth on her that would make your English Mastiff blush! She was four months old when we rescued her. When I brought her home she was intimidated by Kloe and Kali for about 3 minutes. She tried to take charge and they kind of let her. At the time I thought she’d be the alpha by the time she was six months old. Kali was nine at the time and slowing down. Kloe was two and not quite ready to be the mother authority figure. Kloe also has such a gentle demeanor she let Koda walk all over her at first. They eventually worked it out – sometime around last week ūüôā – and Koda has grown into a lovely young lady loving dog full of piss and vinegar. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Happy Gotcha Day Koda, Koda Koda Koda, Kodachrome, Kode-red, Suger Pie Honey Bunches of Oats, Suger Beets. And all of the other goofy names I have for you. You have made me better at being a doggie parent and probably a better human being too. But dogs have a way of doing that to us uprights, don’t they?

Kloe Hates Cats

So Koda pretends to hate cats. Mostly I think because she knows Kloe hates them. When Koda sees one of the feral cats before Kloe does, she’ll sound the alarm with her high bark and then immediately look at Kloe. “Kloe, there’s a cat. See it? See it? C’mon, lets go get it.”

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Why Do I Have Three Dogs?

After Koda joined our pack a couple of years ago someone asked me why I had three dogs. ¬† I said, “because my wife won’t let me have four”. ¬†Boom –¬†Rim shot!¬† I wasn’t the one who thought of that answer. I had seen it somewhere else; maybe on a tee-shirt or a Facebook meme. ¬† But I am pretty sure that if I seriously suggested getting a fourth pup my wife would present me with an ultimatum. ¬†That’s not to say that Holly doesn’t love our three girls as much as I do or that I want another dog. ¬† I’ve also had the question about what it’s like to have more than one dog, or as in my case, three.

Having more than one dog definitely has it’s merits: An obvious one is that they provide companionship and security to each other when Holly and I aren’t around. ¬† More selfishly is how great I feel when my three girls are nearby and laying together fast asleep with parts of each other’s bodies on one another. ¬†Ahhh…peace.

But there are plenty things that could be considered downsides: ¬† Three times the cost of food, vet bills, pet insurance, and toys. ¬† And the exponential affect of poop. Or as I say, poop squared. ¬†I’m convinced that having three dogs yields enough poop for nine dogs!

Getting On The The Same Page

Like with human siblings there are times that my three girls are not barking off the same woof sheet.  Koda is maturing and more often she will acquiesce to the flow of the family, wait her turn, or just give me some space with one of her sisters.  But for much of her first two years she wanted demanded the attention of the entire pack during all waking hours.   She initiated commandeered rough play from her two older sisters РKoda and Kali Рthroughout much of the day. Whether they wanted to play or not.

When Kali joined the pack at five years old it was just her.  Most of my routines revolved around her.   Our walks to the Creek Trail, play time, cuddle time and so on. I have to admit I miss the times that it was just Kali and I.  We established an ever lasting bond that has transcended the passing of time and addition of siblings.   But now at 11 years, Kali has slowed down significantly and mostly sleeps the day away.  Often there are activities when she has to be left behind.  Like morning walks or an excursion beyond The Golden K like a trip to the lake.  That makes me a little sad.

Food Is The common Denominator

Regardless of age, distractions, or personalities there is one activity where The Girls are in lock step. ¬†Meal time! ¬†When breakfast and dinner preparation begin they work in harmony to get under my feet supervise and root me on. ¬†As I lift the filled bowls from the counter they move as a single unit to the designated feeding area. ¬†Their moves are so aligned and focused you’d think that Bob Fosse had choreographed it! ¬†Once bowls are on the ground they sit without prompting, collectively look adoringly in my eyes stare impatiently while waiting for the release to their bowls. ¬†Teamwork at it’s finest!

And then there were three

My Girls have distinct personalities and priorities. ¬†They were never as evident as one day shortly after Koda joined the pack as a four month old puppy. ¬† For potty training and other reasons we used gates to make sure Koda stayed in the kitchen and could not wonder too far out of our site. ¬† One afternoon The Girls were all in the kitchen as I was busy going in and out for various reasons. ¬†To get out of and back into the kitchen I would need to step over one of the gates. ¬†As went to step over the gate my shoe got stuck at the top and I fell taking the gate down with me. ¬†My knee landed hard on the gate and I laid there sightly crumbled on the ground. ¬† Here is where the The Girl’s priorities were on full display.

It all happened quickly.  As I laid on the ground in a bit of pain The Girls all rushed to my side.  But for different reasons.

Koda was first and in a flash threw her body on mine.  Her tail was wagging fast, her tongue was out, and she was very excited to see me on the floor.   Surely this was play time!  Kloe is very sensitive and intuitive.  She knew immediately that I was in pain and came to my side to comfort me.  As I lay there trying to fight Koda off,  Kloe sat by my side leaning into my body with a concerned look on her face.  And then there was Kali; last to arrive but no less passionate (about her priority).   Most dogs Рespecially Goldens Рare food motivated.  If there are levels of food motivation from one to 10 Kali would be at least 500.  These days she struggles to get up from a down position because of her bad hips.   Often times I have to help her up.  But if there is food involved Kali springs up like Tigger of Winnie The Pooh fame and is first in line.

So on this day as I lay there on the ground with the full weight of Kloe’s 75 pounds leaning into me and Koda’s paws and tongue in my face, here comes Kali. ¬† And what does Kali do? ¬†She sticks sticks her snout into my pocket because she knows that there are usually treats there.

So why do I have three dogs? ¬†Because my wife says I can’t have four!

Time

When Kali first joined established our pack six years ago as a rescue from Tawain she was estimated to be five-years old. ¬†We didn’t have the pleasure of seeing her grow up from puppy-hood. We didn’t get to see her as that roly-poly ball of fur tripping over her own feet or bouncing off a ledge that was too tall to scale. ¬† There are no memories of her at that gawky teen-ager stage. ¬†We met Kali as an adult. ¬†A mature dog who already had a lifetime of stories to tell if she only could.

Kloe and Koda came to us as puppies; Kloe at nine weeks and Koda at 4 months. ¬† We have the memories (and plethora of pictures) of them going through various stages of puppy. ¬† Golden Retrievers are slow to mature and they maintain much of that playful puppy personality until around three years old. ¬†Many keep their puppish traits into old age. ¬†Kloe, now four and a half, has been a full fledged adult for well over a year. ¬†Koda at just over two is starting to outgrow some of her puppy-ness but she has a way to go… ¬†I do hope that they are true to their breed and always have some of those goofy playful traits that are so endearing.

A day, four months, a minute, six years. ¬†Just time, right? ¬†And what do dogs know about time?… ¬†I used to think that time is man-made and under our control. ¬†And I suppose the manner that we measure time is of our own doing. ¬†But really time is something we can’t control. ¬†Whether it’s measured with man-made tools like clocks and calendars. ¬† Or with nature like the cycles of the moons, colors of the seasons, or the rings of a giant sequoia tree (when measured with man-made tools) that can be over 2,500 years old. ¬†The passing of time is inevitable, the effects of that passing of time is undeniable and reflected in our bodies. ¬†And also in the bodies of our dogs.

We estimate Kali to be 11. ¬†But we really don’t know anything about her life before she was rescued in Taiwan and sent to us in the U.S. ¬† Maybe she is only eight and seems older due to a very hard life as a stray in Taiwan. ¬†Or perhaps she is 14 which would be well above average life-span for her breed.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter because what does Kali know about time anyway. ¬† She only knows “now”.

“Now” is getting harder for Kali. ¬†Time has caught up with her mind. ¬†Sometime she looks confused. ¬†Time has caught up with her senses. ¬† She has foggy eyes and is hard of hearing. ¬†Time has caught up with her legs that are no longer very steady and especially wobbly on smooth surfaces. ¬† She has always had a passionate appetite and is always ready for a meal or a snack. ¬†That’s a reassuring sign.

Kali mostly sleeps now, ¬†and is doing just that by my side as I write this post. ¬†It’s typical for a senior dog to snooze away the majority of the day. ¬†I feel that Kali has earned the right to do that. ¬† There are occasional flashes of energy. ¬†Like when she gallops (in-spite of her bad legs) across the driveway to my office in the morning. ¬†When I see that¬†goofy looking trot it fills ¬†I laugh out loud. ¬†It fills¬†my heart with joy when I see some of the puppy traits she once had. ¬†She is especially spry at meal time when she dances like Snoopy from Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts”.

So yeah, TIME.

“Lost time is never found again” ¬†– Benjamin Franklin

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend”¬†‚Äď Theophrastus¬†

“Time waits for no one” ‚Äď Folklore

However time is measured – with clocks, the phases of the moon, or a lazy summer day – I hope to have much more of it with Kali by my side.

“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given us”.¬†– J.R.R. Tolkien

KALI:  YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Golden Kali – 2020

“Nala” before America

 

Kloeville

There a place that Kloe goes that we call Kloeville. ¬† Actually it is not really a place but a state of mind. ¬†Or a moment in time. ¬†It might even be considered a spiritual or out of body experience. ¬†Kloe won’t say so these are my assumptions from observing her when she’s in Kloeville; her special place.

She lays on her back, ¬†back legs spread, front legs limp with paws dangling. ¬†Sometimes there’s a ball in her mouth and sometimes her lips are just curled up in a smile. ¬† Her eyes don’t fixate on anyone thing but they are open and alert looking mostly up. ¬†Her body is relaxed and it seems that her spirit is too.

Kloe is gentle soul with a gentle demeanor. ¬† I am convinced that her body, at almost 80 pounds – and larger than average for a female of her breed – is so big in order to house her giant heart of gold. ¬†And her large head is to hold all the wisdom she could share if she could speak. ¬†Instead her actions do the talking for her…

Often as I go about my day I’ll walk into a room, or when I’m sitting in a chair or at the kitchen table I’ll look over and see Kloe in Kloeville. ¬†And it makes me happy. ¬†It also makes me a little envious that my own version of Kloeville is not as defined and refined as hers. ¬† Even if it was I’m not sure I could go to it achieve it as often or as easily as Kloe does.

I think there is a lot I can learn from Kloe!

KLOEVILLE!

 

 

 

Golden Light In My Life

Six years in the context of an average human lifespan is not very long. ¬† ¬†Six years to a dog is quite a long time especially when that dog’s life span is 12 or 13 years on average. ¬†Six years for Kali and I is both a flash and an eternity.

A flash in that it seems like just the other day I was sitting in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport waiting for my precious cargo to be unloaded. ¬†Waiting with two months of accumulated anticipation since first seeing Kali’s picture on the Facebook page called “Rescued Love From Taiwan”. ¬† This group coordinates with True Love Rescue¬†to bring mostly Golden Retrievers from Taiwan to loving families in Northern California. ¬†This was where Kali came from. ¬†I’ve documented that story of Kali’s journey from Taiwan to America any times. ¬†Newer followers of Golden Kali can read about it here: ¬†Meet Kali.

It also feels like an eternity because of the countless experiences Kali and I have had together during the past six years. ¬†For much of this time Kali ¬†was rarely far from my side. ¬†As I write this post she lies sleeping at my feet; a very familiar spot and one that is so natural to both of us. ¬†We estimated Kali’s age to be five years when she joined our pack. ¬†Now a full fledged senior at 11 her hip dysplasia slows her down quite a bit. ¬†Her cataracts impair her vision. ¬†She’s developed either acute selective hearing or just plain hearing loss. ¬†I believe it is the latter. ¬† Still, Kali’s ¬†love and devotion remain ever present and stronger than ever. ¬†I try every day to live up to that example she sets for me!

Each year Memorial Weekend marks Kali’s Gotcha Day.

So here on the Sunday of the 2020 Memorial Day holiday I sit reflecting on that same weekend in 2014 when we welcomed Kali into our family and into our home in Livermore, CA.   Kali adjusted to her new life almost immediately.  The bond between us was instant.  For two years we carried out an almost daily routine of morning walks, meals, playtime in the afternoon, and cuddles in the evening.

In 2016 we added a new nine-week old puppy to the pack and named her Kloe. ¬†Kali welcomed her with open paws and became a great big sister and teacher. ¬† Within two weeks we moved¬†to the Sierra Nevada Foothill town of Tuolumne, CA. ¬†Kali took it all in stride welcoming her new surroundings and new baby sister. ¬†“But wait Kali – there’s more…”

In 2018 we adopted Koda, a four month old rescue. ¬†Koda was,¬†and is,¬†a bundle of energy and moxie! ¬†This time around Kali is not as actively involved with the younger pup. ¬†She stays above the fray and leaves the heavy lifting to her younger sister Kloe all the while remaining near by and willing to offer advice (woof!) and criticism (“Zzzz”) when necessary.

So on this 2020 Memorial weekend, as we remain mostly sheltered in place,  I am feeling blessed that my Golden Kali remains in my life and by my side.

Happy Gotcha Day Kali.  You will forever be the Golden light in my life and at The Golden K.

 

Routines

Our morning routine at The Golden K typically kicks off with me opening my eyes to a morning sun and calmly rising from bed¬†Koda sitting at the side of my bed insisting that we start our day; as in RIGHT NOW. ¬† That’s usually around 6:15. ¬†She is less insistent passionate as she has grown older but none the less very determined to get my attention and start our day. ¬†¬†But I can’t put it all on Koda .

Kali has usually been awake since 5:30. ¬†She stands up in a dark bedroom and stares in my direction. ¬† When she realizes I am not awake she’ll walk into the bathroom to get water. ¬†Tap tap tap her nails go clicking across the tile as she subconsciously hopes her activity will get my attention. ¬†When it does not she returns to the bedroom and shakes her head flapping her ears and rattling her collar to see if that will get my attention. ¬† When it doesn’t she reluctantly lies back down with a thud and deep sigh. ¬† She’s resigned to leaving the task of waking me to her younger and more determined sister.

Then there is Kloe. ¬†Kloe is our ¬†teenager-like girl who would be content to sleep and lounge in bed until lunchtime. ¬† When Koda and Kali finally do get my attention and I get up I have to “encourage” Kloe to join us but sticking my foot under butt until she finally gets up and follows us out of the bedroom.

And so our day begins.

Turn the coffee pot on that Holly has prepared the evening before. ¬† Administer CBD oil to Kali and Kloe who both have varying degrees of hip dysplasia. ¬†Send the three girls outside to do their “business”. ¬†Kali returns immediately: squat, pee, let me back in please so we can get on with food! ¬† But the red girls take more time exercising their olfactory surveying the property “see” what critters may have come through over night. ¬† Eventually they return and breakfast, consisting of chicken and rice kibble and egg whites, is served. ¬†Kali is content to lie down and return to sleep; after all she’s been awake since 5:30. ¬†Kloe and Koda restlessly wait for me to finish coffee and breakfast. ¬†How dare I take so long to do so! ¬† They know walks are to follow.

By now it’s about 8:00 and we take our 30 minute walk sometimes 1:1; me with Koda and later Holly with Kloe. ¬†More recently it’s been me with both girls using the leash coupler which they’ve adapted to fairly well. ¬†After walks the red girls are on their own to spend the morning asking to come in the house. ¬†And then asking to go out. ¬†And then asking to come in. ¬†Meanwhile, Kali has been sleeping and is content to do so until Holly or I go into the kitchen to make lunch. ¬†Because when there is someone in the kitchen there is always a chance for food.

This morning after walks was different. ¬†The red girls were content staying ¬†outside rather than following me into the house as they usually do. ¬†They seemed to appreciate the mild weather and calmness in the air showing an unusual (and welcome) independence. ¬†Fighting the urge to get on with my day and “get something done” around the house I joined the red girls outside. ¬†I brought along a cup of tea and my computer to write this post. ¬†Much to my surprise and pleasure Kali joined us and instead of lying down to sleep she began exploring and foraging with her sisters.

Although the three girls are always together they are not always “together”. ¬† Kali and Kloe tend to do their thing (rough-housing, exploring, digging, barking at critters) and Kali tends to do hers (sleep). ¬†The contrast is obvious and understandable. ¬†Kloe is in her prime at four years old. ¬†Koda is emerging from puppyhood at almost two years. ¬†Kali’s At 11 years old it’s obvious why Kali’s post breakfast day is much different than that of the Kloe and Koda’s.

So this morning we had nowhere to go and all morning to get there.   But what made that trip so special was my Golden Kali was along for the ride.

 

Stay!

Most dogs know the word stay; especially when accompanied by an open hand in front of their face.  Some people, well not so much.

It’s a trying time for our global community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. ¬† The stay at home orders continue to grow state by state and, in varying degrees, Americans are heeding the advice and direction from our leaders and scientists. ¬†Privileged Americans that we are with all our civil liberties sometimes have a hard time being told what to do or when to do it. ¬†We are reluctant or even unwilling to adjust out routines for the better good of the world community. ¬† But “stay” is a very important word right now for all of us to hear, and adhere to. ¬†It’s our best chance to slow the spread of this virus.

Having said that I know that many two legged pack members cannot stay. ¬†Many are healthcare professionals treating the infected and helping them to get healthy. ¬†Many are working to keep stores open so those of us who are not sick have the basic supplies we need to stay healthy. ¬†And that list goes on for those who cannot stay. ¬†But for those of you that can, please….STAY! ¬† Don’t make me put my hand in front of your face…. ūüôā

Meanwhile, life goes on without many changes for my girls. ¬†The biggest disruption for Kali, Kloe, and Koda is the wet weather we’ve had the past two weeks. ¬†It’s ¬†kept them mostly sheltering in place in the house instead of outside in the sun. ¬†Kali actually prefers to be in the house even when the weather is warm and dry. ¬†Her 11 year old bones are much more comfortable when she is asleep in front of the pellet stove or in a sun drenched area of the kitchen. ¬† She is a black belt at “down stay”.

I’m pretty sure the girls are enjoying the enhanced family time. ¬†But I wonder if there will come a point where they wish we would go just away for a while so that they could sleep in peace. ¬†The humans in this pack have been very good at stay but not so good at down-stay or sit-stay. ¬† We tend to move around a lot during the day. ¬†We’re constantly working, cleaning, and milling around. ¬† It’s not until evening that we allow ourselves to settle down and relax. ¬† I think the girls are exhausted by the end of the day from watching so much activity during what is usually their alone time.

We should also take some cues from our girls during this (hopefully) unique period of time and just settle. ¬†Those of us who remain healthy should first and foremost count our blessings. But then maybe find some sun and take a nap. ¬†Or take a long chew on a good book. ¬†Or maybe use our noses to guide us around the yard and sniff out something we have not noticed before. ¬†Because with continued adherence to stay, ¬†good science, and good leadership it won’t be long before us humans are back in full blown fetch mode.

From all of us at The Golden K we wish all of our Golden Kali followers and their families good health and good luck riding out this difficult time.

Stay! and take care,

Kali, Kloe, Koda, Michael and Holly.

Shelter In Place

Sheltering In Place Experts

Falling In Love With Koda

I’ve always taken for granted that I love all my girls desperately and without reservation. ¬† ¬† ¬† So I caught myself by surprise recently when I was looking at Koda and realized that I had fallen in love with her. ¬† Not at that moment, or even on that day. ¬† But over the months I had fallen head over heals in love with the youngest of my three girls.

That’s not to say that I don’t love my other girls with equal passion. ¬† I do. ¬†But I realize now that the dynamics of adding a third dog placed more demands on the pack than I had anticipated. ¬†Like children to some degree adding numbers to your family has an exponential effect. ¬† One dog is like having one dog. ¬†Two is like four and three is like nine. ¬† Or at least that’s how it feels at times. ¬†My love is bottomless so it’s not really a problem. They put more in my tank than take out…

Koda, now 21 months, joined our pack at four months old. ¬†From the moment I brought her home it was clear that she was going to be a force to be reckoned with¬†a handful. ¬†She had tenacity both physically and vocally. ¬†In play with her big sister Kloe – who outweighed her by almost 60 pounds at the time – Koda never backed down even when Kloe tried to tell her enough was enough. ¬† When I told her I didn’t like something she was doing she would slink her body around puffing up her cheeks and letting out a stream of profanities vocalizations that sounds like “A rooo rooo rooo!” ¬†If I were to ¬†translate those sounds into words they would have to be written something like, “#@%&#*!!”.

Koda’s tenacity and determination was evident from day one. ¬† The Golden K sits on five acres and the girls have designated fenced areas for their safety. ¬†Koda quickly found that she could slip through the bars of a wrought iron gate that leads out of one of those fenced areas. ¬† In some ways it was endearing because the only reason she wanted to escape was to be me with who at the time was doing some work in another part of the property. ¬† I put chicken wire on the fence the next day to keep her from slipping through the bars. ¬†No problem for Koda – she scaled the fence, again in an effort to follow me to where I was going. ¬†There were several iterations of this as I experimented with various methods to keep her inside the safety zone. ¬†With each escape she would come trotting up to me smiling as if to say, “I found you. I’m here. ¬†I figured out how to scale the fence”, or “I missed you and I was able to slip under the bottom of the railing” and so on.

Koda was destructive at times chewing on furniture and finding her way to clothes, shoes, and other personal items. ¬† Some of that’s on me of course but still Koda seemed to set new household records for finding her way to trouble. ¬† The drip lines in the garden? ¬†No matter how deep I buried them Koda found them. ¬†Sprinkler heads? No problem. Apparently she knows how to twist them off the risers and with her jaw. ¬† Last summer was dry and brown in the garden to say the least!

Koda Koda Koda! ¬† The typical third child who believes the rules don’t apply to them. ¬†But over the months this tenacious pup has fallen into line (mostly). ¬† ¬†Through maturity and a lot of time and training on our part Koda has tempered her “enthusiasm” and is learning to respect the pack. ¬†She and I recently completed intermediate obedience training with our local AKC group. ¬†I was so happy and proud to see how eager she has become to learn and please me as her handler and as her dad.

Throughout much of last year Kloe was injured or recovering from her bi-lateral TPLO surgery. ¬†During much of that time Koda was challenging the status quo and finding new ways to test our patience. ¬†Much of our energy went into “managing” Koda and nursing Kloe back to health. ¬†Plus Kali is getting on in years (almost 11) and sometimes needs special attention and help. ¬†Distraction was definitely a theme for 2019!

I now realize that throughout these past and sometimes tumultuous 17 months I was falling in love with Koda. ¬†Maybe it was the aforementioned distractions. ¬† Maybe I simply took it for granted. ¬†Certainly I didn’t expect this deepening of love to be a journey. ¬†¬†I don’t believe Koda will ever lose the tenacity she displayed from the moment she arrived home. ¬† Nor do I want her to. I believe it will serve her well over the years even if at times it is a challenge for me. ¬†In many ways it has helped me to be a better pup-parent.

As it turns out falling in love doesn’t happen over night. ¬† It really is a journey and I’m ¬†blessed to have Koda as my guide.

Koda then and now

 

 

Grateful This Christmas Eve

A Christmas Eve walk with Kloe this morning put this particular holiday season in perspective for me.  It was a brisk forty five degrees as we headed out at about 8:30 am.   The morning was calm with no wind, the tall pine trees at the Golden K were still, the sky was grey but dry, and the neighborhood was quiet.

As Kloe and I headed out I was grateful that we had nowhere in particular to go and all day to get there. ¬†Quite a difference from the days when my children were small and there were so many tasks to complete in time for the “big day”. ¬†All those tasks parents like us were fortunate to be able to undertake to make that big day special for our children. ¬†They were great times that I will cherish forever. ¬†But I have to admit this morning as we headed out to walk I was grateful that those days were in the past and Kloe and I were in the present.

This has been quite a year for my special girl Kloe. ¬† It was April when she was diagnosed with a torn CCL. ¬† For over seven months we nursed her back to health. ¬†In that time she tore the other CCL, ¬†had double CCL surgery (bi-lateral TPLO), and then convalesced back to so far what seems to be a full recovery. ¬†During that period much of our life was consumed with caring for (and worrying about!) Kloe. ¬†Her injuries had a major impact on our lives as well as her two sisters who often took a back seat to Kloe’s needs; especially puppy Koda who just wanted to play with big-sissie but could not because Kloe was at zero activity level.

So as we walked in the crisp air I reflected on how grateful I am for Kloe’s recovery. ¬†Grateful for having the flexibility and resources to dedicate much of our time over the past months to ensure the best chance for her recovery. ¬†Grateful that she is now pain free, can run and jump without restrictions, ¬†can wrestle with puppy Kloe and just be a dog again. ¬†But mostly I am grateful that Kloe came into our lives as a nine week old pup three and half years ago and changed our lives for the better and for ever.

Kloe and I stopped along the seasonal creek to take a quick photo and memorialize this special walk.

Christmas Eve morning 2019

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