Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ode to our favorite Freakshow (as we affectionately called him)

Kasey Von Drake
10/30/03 - 10/25/09

Dear Kasey,
When I first held you as a few weeks old pup, you wrapped your paws around my arm and looked me square in the eye. I knew at that moment, you were the right dog for my boy.

Christmas morning, after trying to keep you quiet for hours in a basket in our room, we finally gave up, woke all the boys and you were presented to Tuffy. I'll never forget the look on his face as the realization set in that YOU belonged to him. Its etched in my mind forever.

We watched you over the next year grow to an absurdly large golden retriever. Your sheer mass scared people who didn't know you. You were often referred to as a horse. Yes, you were THAT big. You didn't know it though. You always saw yourself as a lap dog. Which is great except for visitors who aren't expecting it.

You could put you head right on the kitchen table, and don't even start me about when you would stand on your back paws and check out anything on the cupboards. We learned quickly to keep food safely stored out of reach.

Whenever it snowed, you were in pure heaven. You would run and quickly just lay and roll around in it. Thank goodness your fur was water resistant, and you dried off quickly. You loved the snow. You loved playing in the snow with Kodi, Jordan or anyone of the two-legged variety.

The mere mentioning of W.A.L.K (yes we would have to spell it) would send you into a tizzy of excitement. You were born to run. Run free, smelling everything, greeting everyone. You only tolerated the leash.

You perfected the art of escape. More fence boards were broken than I can count. You just wanted out to play. Twice we bailed you out of doggy jail. Twice you went to elementary school, and twice you went as far as the Junior high. You just wanted to play. The kids were there, you wanted in on the fun.

We have kind neighbors who, when you escaped, would grab you, take you to their homes(inside even), call us or if they could, just open the front door and put you back home. Speaking of doors, you learned how to open the doors with your mouth, we had to make sure the deadbolt was latched.

You needed to see outside at all times. The table in the living room? It used to be a nice wood table, but it soon became your means to the large window and the view outside. Hours you spent parked on that table just watching the world go by. You were a fixture for the neighbors as they drove by. If you could, you would have waved. You were regularly perched there when we would pull into the driveway which then prompted me to sing....."How much is that doggy in the window....."

You loved everyone. You had no biases of any kind. You saw everyone as the same. Someone to play with, pet you, love you, and be your friend. We could learn alot from your example of open acceptance.

That might have been why you were often submissive, even to the point of timid and scared. Thunder? Beeping noises? Any usual sound? You made your way to the bathtub. We would laugh at how easily you were scared, but as you grew older it only became worse. Days with fireworks were pure hell for you. We spent a lot of time soothing you.

We watched as Kodi early in your life, carefully taught you the art of playing growly. It amused us to no end. The two of you were quite a pair rolling on the ground, growling and mouthing at each other. You brought youth to her old age and gave her so much happiness in her last days.

When we lost Kodi, you were desolate. Your pal was gone. You were lonely. When Jordan joined the family, you got your spark back. You then carefully passed on the art of playing growly. You accepted her, loved her and taught her the joy of stealing bread.

I will never forget when I would come home from work, find an empty bread sack, hotdog bun bag or even the remnants of a hamburger bun bag. All I had to do was look at you and ask if you did it. You immediately hung your head, and walked to the back door to be put out. You just couldn't help yourself when it came to bread.

Remember that time you ate a whole pan of brownies? We had just baked a batch and they were cooling on the stove. The home teachers came over with a batch so we put that up out of reach on the counter, not thinking about the ones on the stove. By the time the HT's left, you had completely eaten the entire pan that was cooling on the stove. That earned you the nickname of iron stomach. You ate all kinds of weird crap and rarely got sick from it.

Your fur was so soft. While we kept you shaved most of the time to reduce the shedding, you stil were soft. Your ears, your neck and you chin and face were favorite spots to caress, pet and rub. It wasn't all for you, you know. Petting you was soothing to us as well. Many a time, I would see someone (Tuffy) just mindlessly caressing your ears just to feel good.

You were the ultimate pack animal. You loved, nay, CRAVED being with the family. You liked everyone home and in their places. You were truly, a part of the family. You loved going places, being with us and being a part of our activities. You sat through many a ball game, you tolerated a lot of "rides" from Sissy, you even stepped up and mothered those darling puppies a year ago.

This summer was the best cabin trip ever. You just had those tumors diagnosed, we weren't sure what lied ahead and was hoping that if this was your last time there, it would be your best. It was. Words cannot even describe your happiness there.

This last week has been hard. We noticed you weren't yourself. Then we saw you stopped eating. A trip to the vet and several tests later, didn't give us a lot of options. It was hard to see you this way. Barely moving. Not eating, not drinking. Seeking solitary time. We watched our fun-loving, eager to play friend become a shell. We knew your suffering needed to end, and we did what we thought was best.

It's nice to think of you now. I believe you were met by Kodi and are now playing growly with her again. You are chasing birds, chickens and ducks, and FINALLY running as free as you wish. There are no big windows, no fences, no leashes to be in your way. There are streams to splash in, lakes to swim, and an endless supply of trees to sniff. You are happy.

You were a beloved member of our family. You are missed already. There is a void that can't be filled, but we'll get through it. Thus is the circle of life. Some say, "I'll never have a dog, for this very reason. They die and it's too hard."

Yes it's hard, but if we chose to skip out on the adventure of Kasey, we would have missed 6 years of fun, aggravation, laughter, frustration, pure joy and lessons learned that come with a pet who provides unconditional love.

My boy Tuffy? He's a better person because of the lessons learned from his dog. And for that, dear Freakshow Kasey, I thank you.


Alpha Female.

PS. (Dont forget that Marley and Me could have been written about you. That makes you a star in my book and you can click here for more funny Kasey stories)


GRAMEE said...

I am so sorry for your loss.
this is so hard for me to read and not cry...but i read. so i cried.

I will never forget when out first family dog died the sobs of my husband.

they become so much a part of the family.
we have lost several since that first one he loved so never got easier.

DeNae said...

I am SO sorry, Melissa! Gosh, he even looks like my dog, and they're practically the same age. Such a sweet tribute. Goldens are the BEST DOGS!!

You did what you had to do, and I have no doubt that animals have a place in the Celestial Kingdom. (Read Revelation - they're EVERYWHERE in that book!)

Megan and Devin said...

Oh Melissa....Debbie texted me this morning and told me you guys had to put Kasey down. I'm so sorry!! There is truly no better friend/family member than a dog. I hope you guys are doing okay.

tammy said...

You know I just went through this with our lab and can understand what you're going through. I'm so sorry. It's just not fair that our pets have such short lives.

Vanessa said...

Even though they are big pains in the butt some time, we love them and miss them. I'm so sorry.

Kristina P. said...

Oh, I am so sad! I love dogs, and he sounded just perfect. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.

Terri Ferran said...

We are so sad to hear about Kasey. You have a great perspective and that was a wonderful tribute!

We love you!
The Ferran Clan

AS Amber said...

Awww rats! That's a bummer! I have two dogs and if either of them died I would be positively INCONSOLABLE!!!!

And when that five minutes was up I'd be fine.

Cherie said...

I am so sorry. Dogs really are like a member of the family. So hard :D

Heather said...

Like everyone else, I am so so sorry. I lost a dog that was a member of my family when I was in 8th grade, I was DEPRESSED for days. Now we have 2 new members of the family (dogs) and I literally tear up when I think about how old they're getting and how sad I'll be when they pass. I am so sorry you have to go through this, but you seem to have a beautiful attitude about it, which I suppose is the only thing you can do. I'm thinking of you.

CountessLaurie said...

I am sooooo sorry for your loss.

Pedaling said...

oh, so sad.
they are such sweet dogs.
i believe we will see them again...
sorry. :(

Martha H. said...

I thought Kasey was great. Sure, he'd bark like mad when I came over, but only because I was standing outside and he was staring at me from the window and couldn't get to me to be pet.

What a sad loss for your family. I know he will be truly missed.

Erin said...

Oh, this is a hard time for your family! (I had a yellow lab who died of tumors and I cried for weeks.) What a great dog!

kado! said...

ok...why are you making me cry! that is just too sad....and i'm not even a dog person. I can tell he was one L♥ved dog!

he's up in heaven rolling in snow today!

Plain Jame said...

I love dog's so much. My dog is like my firstborn! How sad, I'm sorry you're missing your pal right now. What a beautiful dog, too. Really.

glittersmama said...

I'm sorry about your sweet puppy. Thanks for sharing your story.

Loralee and the gang... said...

So sorry for your loss! I am not gonna take my old dog Bailey and my new kitty Ninja for granted ever again! So sad...

tiburon said...

What a nice tribute to the freakshow. Sorry Kasey is gone. :(