Gone But Not Forgotte

My best friend and me.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

On January 1, 2011 a wonderful Australian Shepherd was born. Little did I know how much she would change my life and bring so much joy to me. She unfortunately had a rough start in life. She was plagued with crystals in her urine that caused immense pain and at a year old she would have hip dysplasia surgery.

After surgery.

She was comfortable on the couch so this would be her hospital bed. I slept on the floor beside her until she was able to get on and off the couch by herself. She would try to chew her stitches and I refused to force her to wear the cursed collar so I improvised.

She adapted well to the shorts.

I was a farrier and Kate became my ride dog. We were together everyday and became quite inseparable. She loved going with me and took her job at riding shotgun very seriously.

Kate riding shotgun.
Kate with me on the job.

Kate was very well behaved and loved to take walks.

I think she is trying to tell me something.

I have never owned a dog as loving as Kate. She had to constantly be by my side and if she wasn’t she kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t slip off without her.

My constant companion.
In the Christmas spirit.

I have had several dogs over the course of 60 plus years but none of them touched me like Kate did. I was her human. She was a great listener and after a rough day she always managed to make me smile and lift my spirits.

Then the fateful day of a vet visit, x-rays showed her lungs were filled with tumors and there was no cure. I was devastated and my whole world came falling down around me. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. She was my everything and more. I know there are those of you rolling your eyes and saying she is just a dog and to you I say you have never recognized nor appreciated the unconditional love of a dog. She was family. She filled me with joy and happiness.

Kate the puppy.
Her last day riding shotgun.

On Friday morning (Jan 24, 2020) I had to go into town. That morning she clung to me more than usual. When I opened the door she almost knocked me down to get to the truck. She was going with me come hell or high water. I had to help her into the truck and when we returned I had to help her out.

I had an appointment on Tuesday to have her euthanized to end her suffering. Little did I know but I think Kate did, that that would be her last ride and our last day together. We spent that day together and I cooked her a porterhouse steak for dinner. It was a good day.

She awoke me in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jan 25 gasping for air. What happened then was down right ugly and heartbreaking. She fought hard and I felt so helpless. At 1:26 a.m. her fight was over. I had lost my best friend. At least her suffering was over.

Kate on her last day with me. RIP

Many won’t understand the devastation of losing a dog because they have not really understood the unconditional love they possess. The loss of Kate left a huge hole in my heart. I still come home looking for her to greet me. I am pretty much a loner by choice and I very rarely get lonely and when I do it is because of the void she left in my life. I will never forget her and the joy she brought me.

Meddlin’ Kate Jan 1, 2011 – Jan 25, 2020

16 thoughts on “Gone But Not Forgotte

  1. What an absolutely WONDERFUL tribute to honor her memory. ❤️ I know to well how your heart aches and I absolutely love her through all your photos you have shared. She is beautiful too! I too had that connection with my most favorite best friend in the whole wide world many moons ago with a Shepard mix that stole my heart. May you find a tiny piece of comfort in sharing your story and sending virtual hugs to your aching heart. I’m hoping you can still feel a smile now and again in remembering her as she will always be in your heart. Take care, Diana

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      • Ah, that deer. She is still following me around the yard. She is getting skinnier and has a limp from a bad hind leg (Tough to see) with our knee deep snow and below zero temps. She is able to chew on some bush tops and I am thinning out some thick saplings (those buds are packed deer nutrition) areas in the woods which has attracted about 10 deer. She took a liking to a couple of my grand daughters when they visited. The old doe loves banana peelings so you can guess what the grand kids O-D-ed on. I admit, It’s hard to watch in nature to where we are all headed. We have something in common and she is a good listener.

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  2. 😥💔 (thru tears) What a beautiful tribute..❤. You’ve been on my mind these couple days, so much more than usual; this must’ve been in the universe. My heart aches for you and your loss, Cowboy. There is No such thing as “just a dog”. Kate would never fit inside a box defining her that way. I know that unbreakable bond you shared. I had it with Doogie (4/29/11-11/4/19) and thought my pain so deep I’d surely die. But I didn’t. You didn’t either. I have no doubt you have days where tears come still, too (your secret is safe). I do hope you honor Kate and her devotion to you by sharing your life with another 4-legged family member. I know it takes time, but from me, I can tell you that Angel truly is helping me heal, by building a bond of her own. I can tell you, she seeks being w me, is happiest by me, with me, definitely in sight at least (do they Ever stop following one into the bathroom?🤗) . Here for you always…😘💖🐕🐎🐾

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