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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dog Mourning

Honestly, how many times have I said or heard someone else say, "It's only a dog." Why do we say it? I think it is to keep ourselves from facing possible shame of being cast as one of those "dog people." Yes, like the crazy old lady that dresses her dogs and buys jewelry for the canine, spends countless hours talking to the dog and no one else, etc. Well, today I stand proud and say our dog, Kalani, was always a part of our family.

No, we didn't put silly clothes on him. Well, except for the Elvis costume he had for a few Halloweens. You know the one that had pant legs that went over his two front legs, so it looked like "shake your pelvis Elvis" was actually walking. Who knows, Elvis could have come back as a Golden Retriever and lived with us. Kalani did always have a taste for bacon and peanut butter. But, I digress.

It has only been three days since Kalani passed away. We were relieved at the fact that we did not have to make the difficult decision to take him in to save him from suffering. He made the decision for us. We all knew it was coming. Wednesday night was spent lying down with him, talking to him, and petting him. I think we all knew it. The kids, me, and the Copper. My girl skipped a class she loves because we were a little late and she made no fuss like she usually might.

But, maybe, it was meant to be so that a few extra hours could be spent with our dog. The dog that she would fall asleep against as a toddler. The dog who would give me the "help me, mom" look when she did fall asleep against him, but would listen when I said, "Don't move, just let her sleep." She spent many hours sleeping cuddled against his furry warmth. And, I think he liked it, too.

And, my oldest, he took it pretty hard. After all, he was the one that found the classified ad for a Golden Retriever for only $175 back in 1997. We told him that it was a mistake and it was probably $475, but added that if he called himself, he could find out. Well, he did and the ad was correct. We drove an hour met up with the woman who owned both of Kalani's parents and we drove home with Kalani and his sister. The owners of his sister live somewhere around here and we got a $25 discount on Kalani for giving his sister a ride to meet her new owners. I will never forget the two little puppies curled up on my son's lap as we drove home with them. If we were real creeps we could've had two Goldens for the bargain basement price of $150! Of course, we aren't and couldn't deprive someone else of that furry goodness. We delivered Kalani's sister to her rightful new owners.

My little guy, he doesn't get it. When I told the kids that Kalani had died. He asked if he could see him "go up." What? He wanted to watch Kalani go up to heaven. I guess there must be a magic elevator or levitation trick in the mind of a 4-year-old that takes deceased four-legged friends to meet their maker. Abracadabra, here you go God. He was a little disappointed that there would be no heaven destination on Thursday's episode of Beam Me Up Lord on the travel channel of his mind.

The next day he asked if I had taken Kalani to the hospital. I told him I had. He asked when I was picking him up and when he would be alive again. Had to tearfully tell him that was not going to happen. Although, part of me also wishes that a wrinkle of Samantha's nose or a nod of Jeannie's head would bring him back.

Being part Irish, I guess it is appropriate for us to be reliving silly stories of Kalani at this time. My Copper and I were talking about his pubescent days. Yes, our little hormonal Kalani was quite hilarious. He had a special place in his heart for an old ALF stuffed animal. Remember ALF? The Alien Life Form, furry creature with the strange corkscrew beehive of a nose. He was sort of the same color as Kalani. Maybe he thought he was a Golden Girl and I'm not talking Bea Arthur. Kalani carried ALF around, took out all his stuffing until all that was left was a floppy scrap of ALF fur. That poor ALF was violated so many times and in so many ways by Kalani .

Oh well, we hope that Kalani is chasing ALF tail in heaven, eating peanut butter and bacon, and playing in the snow that he loved. We miss him terribly, but know that he was ready to go. Rest in peace, Kalani. We love you.

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