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Kaleigh December 25, 1999 – June 8, 2013
Today we lost our beloved Kaleigh our Anatolian Shepherd who came to us as a young rescue dog and endeared herself to everyone she met.
Kaleigh was 14 years young and just as gorgeous today with all her grey, and tumors and health problems as she was when she came to us. You never noticed Kaleighs imperfections for her eyes and her personality and beauty far outweighed any visual flaws she may have had.
Our lovely girl went home to the Rainbow Bridge today. We held her close and even though those deaf ears couldn’t hear our voices anymore her eyes and her heart felt our touch and our kisses. Kaleigh was happy to see our beloved veterinarian, Sandy today. Even though we put such a burden on her to put our dear girl out of pain, Sandy has graciously helped us through many difficult times with many of our beloved animals from turkeys & chickens to horses and cattle and many of our rescues and of course all our family dogs.
Kaleigh will never feel pain again, her bone on bone joints will never creak or give out again, her incontinence will never plague her again, and she will once again hear all her surroundings and especially the voice of God who welcomed her with open arms. The tumors are no more, her breathing will no longer be an effort for her- for she is now whole again and playing in open meadows with all our previous pets who have gone before her. I am sure she is howling for all to hear. Kaleigh never barked when she had something to say it was always with a howl, as if the wolf descendants in her had all come through in her voice.
Kaleigh relished being silent at night until you were in deep thought as you plugged away doing chores and when you least expected it all of a sudden this long, low eerie howl would spring from within her. It would raise the hair on the back of your neck and almost make your bowls let go in fear. All the while Kaleigh’s bright eyes would laugh as she watched you jump and then mumble unpleasantries upon realization it wasn’t a werewolf at all it was just sweet lovable KK.
Kaleigh touched many, she was a therapy dog who visited the sick and elderly at hospitals and nursing homes happily bringing joy and cheer to those who accepted it. She visited schools and prisons to help educate those on responsibility, morals and compassion. She was also a disaster relief dog who when disaster struck was there to lend a helping hand/paw to those in need. A goodwill ambassador for our humane society as she visited folks to educate those of the plight of abused and abandoned dogs and cats in our frequently calloused and disposable society but again changing people one at a time by winning them over with her warm eyes and wonderful personality.
She was our “bull in a china shop” always in fast gear where ever she went and not seeing or maybe not wanting to see what was in her path to be knocked over. Mark & I missed our calling of being professional catchers as we followed along grabbing lamps, vases, chairs you name it from meeting their demise. All the while Kaleigh looking back over her shoulder as if to say “ah you caught it let’s see if you can get this one!” The stories I could tell of her endeavors. Although when in hospitals, nursing homes or schools she was the total opposite an extremely careful and gentle wooly bear with one of the biggest hearts on earth. Kaleigh had many friends.
As we arrived home after releasing our beautiful girls spirit from her wretched and ailing body, our dogs at home greeted us with sadness. Daisy our Great Dane laid her big ole head against me and almost knocked me over with tears streaming down her face, JaKay our Jack Russell out of no where put her head to the sky and howled for a long time. Little Gracie our Lhaso/Pom jumped in Kaleigh’s bed and just laid there silent and trembling for awhile before coming to us and not wanting to leave our side. All mourning in their own way and all feeling a great loss. They were always stealing Kaleighs bed not that she minded but willing to share it, now they pass her bed and briefly glance at it not one wanting to invade it since KK is gone. As if her bed is now a sacred place not meant to be touched.
It’s hard to see our animal friends grieve more so than seeing people sometimes, for humans can convey their grief through words. The actions of animals also convey to you but it is harder to know how to comfort other than a long pat, a hug, a kiss.
I will miss my long walks through the fields with KK although since December she has had a hard time going for those walks. She asked everyday but was lucky if she could withstand 50 yards but always gave it her best she was always ready and willing in heart and mind but her ole body played horrible tricks on her.
Although she is missed terribly she will always be remembered – for a true friend leaves paw prints in your heart. We can say without a doubt our hearts are covered with paw prints!
Rest in peace lovely girl I’ll soon see you and all our wonderful animals in those grassy meadows and we’ll cross that bridge together.
You will always be cherished in our hearts and minds.
A lovely video tribute to “Pets Heaven – Saying Goodbye” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcQvYh_3Atw