If someone had told me when I was younger that I would be caring for dogs in my future and that I would be doing it for many years, I probably would have just ignored you. In my younger years, I was too busy with daily life to be concerned with taking care of dogs. Oh how that changed!
About 15 years ago, I decided I wanted a dog to accompany me, as I was lonely, aging and wanted a friend. Since then, I have been very fortunate to care for 3 dogs. The years have passed by quickly and their lives have touched me in a monumental way; and each has taught me things about myself, making me a better person.
I remember in 2005, meeting Beebers at the Vancouver Humane Society. The dog was an adult, about 6 years in human years and I did not know anything about the dog’s history. The dog seemed calm and gentle. So, I adopted Beebers and I remember the day I sat down in the chair at the humane society with the dog on a leash for the first time, and I told Beebers that I was going to take her out to see the world and go on an adventure! And that I did.
Beebers was gentle, meek and loyal. Beebers was mostly quiet until a squirrel showed up on the scene. In the first week at home Beebers was recovering from an illness contracted at the kennel. After taking Beebers to the vet and bringing life back to Beebers through care, food and water – the dog let me know one day that we had bonded by walking up to me and placing her forehead / pressed against my feet in a moment of quiet. That was the day Beebers realized I was going be caring for her.
Beebers lived to be 13 in human years, so I have to pat myself on the back for that. Beebers was so old that walking became difficult. In Beeber’s final days it became difficult to stand so it was time to put Beebers to sleep. I was very broken-hearted.
And then there is Kaylee. Oh boy, what a handful Kaylee was. I received Kaylee at about 2 months old and Kaylee lived to be 10 years in human years. The thing about Kaylee is that Kaylee was a great swimmer, so much so, I called Kaylee the canine Michael Phelps. Kaylee was always full of energy.
Kaylee was always full of energy and Kaylee’s favorite thing was swimming and finding the nearest water. What was funny about Kaylee is that if I threw something small for fetch, the canine didn’t want it. Kaylee was a size queen. Kaylee wanted big things to be thrown out into the water only. In the following video you can see her with a big piece of a log.
Although there are not any dogs in the following video; the video shows our favorite hangout in Ione, Washington.
Kaylee passed away a couple of years ago and I will never forget the heart-wrenching experience. Kaylee was the first dog I cared for from puppy stage all the way to the end. I was so distraught that I remember roaming the streets, just crying and crying and crying. Kaylee touched my heart in a very significant way. I will always miss Kaylee and think about Kaylee to this day.
After losing Kaylee, I told myself I was not going to have any more dogs in my life. Experiencing the heartache of loosing Kaylee brought me to the conclusion that I did not want to experience that again.
Some locals in our town found out about my experience and felt sad for me. They felt sad because they knew Kaylee and I were very close and everywhere I went, there was Kaylee. It just so happened that a family here in town had a litter of chocolate-colored retrievers. They also found out that I’m a veteran of the military and wanted to help me because of that. They offered and gifted me one of the retrievers. I suddenly became excited about another dog in my life and I always wanted a chocolate-colored retriever. So the next phase of my life was put into motion with a new dog. And here is (name withheld for security reasons).
Living with and caring for these dogs has changed my personality and made me a better person. I’m so glad that I had the strength, courage and discipline to care for these animals. I know my current retriever will one day pass-away in the future and I hope it is a long time away. My current retriever is now 2 1/2 years old and I hope, with proper care, that I can help my dog live to at least 11 years old. In the end, when I am gone from this world, I hope to meet these wonderful creatures at the Rainbow Bridge and be re-united. As for today, I promise to take care of my dog and cherish the moments.
Over-N-Out. – Floyd