Goodbye Sweet Friend

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog. —Sidney Jeanne Seward

 Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. —Agnes Sligh Turnbull

If the first quote is true, and I believe it is, then I am a blessed woman for having in this lifetime alone earned the love of two “old” dogs. Sadly, I know the second quote is true because both of them left me too soon.

Keegan was my heart dog and adopted my Aussie girl, Kailey, and me when he was about one year old. He had known a hard life in his short time on this Earth and I spent the next 11+ years doing my best to show him the best possible dog life. He, in return, gave me every ounce of his heart until his last breath, which came on Monday afternoon, January 9, 2017. Far, far too soon even though he would have turned 13 this year. His adopted sister, Kailey became an angel on December 8, 2016; Keegan stayed with me for 1 year, 1 month and 1 day longer . . . somehow he knew how much I needed him.

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A more loyal and loving companion couldn’t exist; I’m convinced of that. He was a joy to live with and made friends with every person and animal he came in contact with. In fact, on our walks he would insist on saying hello to everyone whether they wanted to say hello to him or not. His dog walker, whom he adored from day 1, said that Keegan brought light into every life he touched. I wholeheartedly agree!

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In his time with Kailey and I, he learned what dog toys were, that veggies make good snacks and that squirrels need to be chased from the yard. He spent plenty of evenings sleeping on the couch and if it was cold, he even had a blanket.  Keegan had arthritis in the last few months and enjoyed going to acupuncture for relief. He loved his vet and they shared a bond that I’ve never seen between a pet and a doctor before. It was a joy to witness.

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Keegan was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, which we successfully beat back until November 2016. Another lump turned up in the same place, but after careful examination it was determined not to be a huge threat. Little did we know that the cancer was doing its dirty work on the inside of his body. In the last days Keegan let me know that he could fight no more. Letting him go was one of the most painful decisions I’ve ever made. I promised him a great life when I adopted him and he kept up his end of the bargain with an endless supply of love.

Keegan was surrounded by the love of family and friends until his last breath. He took a chunk of my heart with him when he journeyed on to be reunited with Kailey. I was blessed to have the support of three special people that day and it has taken the love of all three to help me through this. I am grateful for each of them.

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In the weeks since Keegan passed, I have to come to realize even more what a spectacular dog he was. He had a specific toy for each of his favorite people – one that he brought out to play with only when that person came to visit.  He touched many lives and I will miss him for the rest of mine.

Rest in peace sweet boy and know that you are forever loved and missed!

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