Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good-Bye Kelsey

Photo courtesy of Andy taken in our backyard
with his then new camera, December 2006.

Kelsey Abigail Lubitz
November 17, 1996 - August 1, 2008

Joey wanted to name her Percy (after the pug dog in Pocahontas, Sammy wanted to name her Abigail--don't ask me where that came from, and I wanted Kelsey, so we compromised--leaving the pug Percy out altogether).

It took me two days to get the courage to write this post. I won't belabor the point of how miserable it is to lose a pet because I know most everyone has had the experience. So, I will celebrate the life of a really special dog. We had almost 12 great years with Kelsey and that is, apparently, about all we could have hoped for. She was a puppy to the end... Thursday night she jumped all over Joey's friends, begged for food, happily went on a walk and slept by our side. Friday, she was gone from cancer--the curse that takes most Goldens. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Kelsey...

We brought Kelsey home shortly after we moved into our house on Parkhill Drive. As everyone knows, the house was a real fixer... not a bad thing for a rambunctious little Golden Retriever puppy. The boys were actually scared of this little 9 week old, 10 pound ball of fluff. She would chase them around and they would scream and then jump on our bed. She would go all about the house and collect little treasures and then settle with them in our bedroom, which was already a huge disaster, so she felt right at home.
At one point her coat was so thick and fluffy, like a little lamb.
Tied to a rhododendron out front watching
the boys play.

Kelsey's "teen" years were mostly spent outside as she was a very unruly dog. Here she is sporting a crimped hair-do on one of the many rainy Portland spring days. As you can see, her little stool is still out there with her, but she can no longer fit under it. When we let her in the house, she would dart into the kitchen and plant her front paws on the counter and just make her way around the kitchen counter eating everything in sight. She would then chase the kids around and grab their clothes in her mouth. This was when she wasn't chewing up their toys, or the furniture. We tried many training solutions, but the only thing that worked was sending her to Tracy "the crazy rototilling guy" for three months.

She came home a mostly changed dog.

Here she is enjoying taking something away from Riley.
Riley stayed with us for a week when he was a puppy and although Kelsey barely tolerated him, she definitely enjoyed dominating him.
Kelsey is enjoying a nap on the sofa, of course, under one
of Grammy's quilts.... just like everyone else, Kelsey loved Grammy's quilts.
The boys made a bed for Kelsey in their room, complete
with lots of Beanie Baby friends... she looks kinda miserable actually
And, finally, majestic Kelsey almost always sporting
a trendy bandana... her final bandana (a lovely purple & hibiscus print)
rests here next to me at my desk, where her spirit will always be!


Andy said...

I love that shot of her sprawled under that desk or table with the Golden Retriever book laid out in front of her.

She was definitely a special dog. It was hard not to feel appreciated in her presence. She'll be missed!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kari,
I remember the day you brought Kelsey home. I remember before you brought her home, how you all would go and visit her. Lots of good memories. Most of all how your boys and your little girl grew up together. She was such a big presence. Although she is gone she'll always bring a smile to your face forever.
Love, Dana

Blackberry Bratt said...

That was a very sweet post. I look forward to our life experiences with Mei Mei...I had to laugh when I read about her tean years and was glad to hear she wasn't a "perfect" dog. I don't think they exist...but I told you about the book, "Marley and Me", and if you enjoy a bit of humor about dogs and the special place they fill in the lives of their owners, then you might enjoy reading it.

Love Jenn