The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not because of any great traditions or specific memories but because its been one of those holidays where I feel ok not doing much and not feeling guilty about it. As a kid the long July days made it hard to wait for fireworks. It seemed as though it would never get dark. I have many fond memories of when our kids were young. There was the annual neighborhood bike parade where the kids would decorate their bikes in red and blue streamers, flags, and whatever else they could come up with. Usually a block party took place later in the day and was followed by volleyball and later fireworks. But more recently, as in the past five years, the 4th has a much more special meaning for me.
Kali arrived from Taiwan on May 24, 2014. She quickly assimilated into our family as in almost instantly. The morning after she arrived I began this Golden Kali blog which at the time had the tag line, “Kali’s New Life in America”. Kali arrived wearing a brown scarf that was put on her at some point before boarding the plane in Taiwan for the trip to America. After greeting her at the airport, taking care of a few formalities, and letting her get her land legs back we headed home to Livermore. But before we did one of the rescue group volunteers took off the brown scarf and replaced it with a scarf that had red, white, and blue stars and strips. It was quite symbolic and a touching gesture that Kali was now an American.
So back to the 4th… Although Kali arrived on a Memorial Day weekend because of this scarf it’s been the 4th of July that marks another year of her life in America. Much of Kali’s life, and mine, has been chronicled in this blog over the past five years. In a 2015 post called Tradition I wrote about how a new tradition began where on the 4th I put that red white and blue scarf on Kali and she wears it for the day. This scarf for Kali and I stands for her journey from Taiwan to America and her her new chance at a good life in a furever home. As important, when I hang the scarf around Kali’s neck, I do it as a tribute to all the rescue groups volunteers in both Taiwan and the US who have done so much good for so many Golden Retrievers like Kali. For them I will always be grateful!
So on this fifth 4th the tradition continues. This morning I took out the scarf and placed it around Kali’s neck and we went for a brief walk. She’s twice as old (ten) as she was when she arrived and the tradition of the scarf becomes more meaningful with each year. She doesn’t want to walk as far, uphill is not her friend, and there are may signs of her slowing and aging. I don’t like to think about it but there will be a 4th of July when Kali is no longer with me. Not physically. But in spirit I know she will never leave my side. And this scarf, her journey, and her time in America will be with her and I forever.
Cheers from The Golden K!