I never have posted on Emma’s blog, but today I simply have to. Yesterday, June 17th, ten days before her fourteenth birthday, my dear sweet Katie lost the battle with her body. My heart is broken, and I don’t know what to do, but writing a letter to her seemed like the right thing to do, and what better place to do that than on Emma’s blog. Emma wrote her own post on what would have been Katie’s fourteenth birthday, but being Katie’s mom, I needed to start today.
My dearest Katie,
As I write this, my heart is broken, and tears are streaming down my face. I’m so glad I managed to get this last selfie of us yesterday before my eyes filled with tears. I wore pink because pink was your color. I knew your health was failing but I thought you had a few weeks left of your fight. The fact that in just two days time you went from walking to not being able to move at all was a shock to both of us I think. I didn’t want to make “that decision” for you, but you were suffering and I would never want that for you! I always called you my Engelchen (little angel), and you were truly an angel for me. I spent 1/4 of my life with you which is a long time, but not nearly long enough.
Katie, you were my first puppy. I was so in the dark when I brought you home. I had no idea what a Kuvasz was, and honestly, I never wanted a white dog, but I wanted you. That first night at home I was reading the instructions in your puppy kit, wondering what to do with a puppy. It was a Saturday night, and in Germany stores are closed on Sundays, so the only supplies I had was what you came with. I had no idea how our life would turn out. I finally had a puppy and I had so many things I wanted to do with you. Compared to many dogs, you did really have a full life, but there are still so many things I wish I could have done with you.
You were such an adorable little fluff ball! You were only ten weeks old the first time we went to the North Sea. Remember on the way home I slammed your paw in the hatch of the SUV. You screamed so, I cried thinking I had ruined my baby, but it turned out to just be a bruise. You forgave me, and I still feel bad about the whole incident.
Trine was such a good mentor for you those first fourteen months. You loved her. She thought you were the biggest pest on the planet, but the two of you stuck together. I do believe her politeness and patience did rub off on you. You know those photos of Trine around the house? Well, all the photos of you will stay where they are forever as well. I will never forget you and will think of you every day.
I had a party for you when you turned one. I baked some cookies which you loved and I made you a dorky party hat which you wore without complaining. How young you look in that photo! At that age, you were such a challenge, always making me cry by running away and playing you can’t catch me. I would give anything to play that with you again today! You were a real devil but your sweetness ironed out all the trouble you caused. It made me laugh the past months when you would think you could still run from me. You would give it a try but realize after a couple steps it wasn’t happening. Some habits just never went away!
Remember moving to the North Sea and how many times you took off on me? Remember when we tried agility and the instructor asked us not to come back after the second class because you were too wild and disruptive. At the time those things were not funny, but they make me laugh now. You always did what you wanted to do, not what I wanted you to do which made it unbelievable to see you become totally dependent on me your last days. I know you hated it. I would hate it too being someone who likes to do everything herself.
We loved winter together. I would walk with you in any cold, snowy weather and it never bothered you. Being a very independent girl, snuggling and hugging was not your thing, so when it happened, it was all more special. I loved your independence as it reminded me of myself. We made an awesome pair, always challenging each other with our own strong wills.
The one thing I wish most I could have done one more time with you was to go to Ordinger Strand. That beach was your favorite place in the world, but once we left Germany, I knew we would never go back. Remember riding in the Beetle convertible with your Doggles? I wonder how many hundreds of photos you are in as the people were always wanting a picture of you in that car. You always had so many friends in Germany, and you scared me to death the day you jumped out of the moving car to see your friend. Thankfully I was going slow, and your seat belt held you off the pavement. You were a crazy girl in your younger years!
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful big sister to Emma. You were an only dog for three years after we lost Trine, and a sibling was something I thought you wanted. I was so sad when you went into depression at the sight of Emma. Thankfully, we got you out of it, and the two of you became inseparable. I loved watching you protect her from other dogs, and show her how to do things dogs do. You put up with all her puppy antics, her bossy nature, and we all moved across the Atlantic together. You were amazing!
Once you matured, you became such a classy, lady dog. You were beautiful! Do you realize how often people stopped to tell me how gorgeous my dog was when we were out walking. Sometimes cars even stopped to ask about you. You had a beautiful form, gait, and such pristine white fur, not to mention those gorgeous Bernstein (amber) eyes of yours!
Walking was our thing and I so enjoyed all the walks we took as well as discovering new trails and places. You were an awesome running partner as well. I will never be able to thank you enough for doing marathon training with me. I could never have finished in 3:37 my first time out without having trained with you! I know you didn’t like running much, but you were so good at it! It made me smile how you would always hide when I would come downstairs in my running clothes! I loved our two hour adventure walks on the weekends, and it made me so sad when you couldn’t do them anymore.
Thank you for being such a sweet big sister to little Bailie. You were eleven years old, but still were willing to play with her, teach her tug a war, and how to be a nice girl. I’m only sorry you didn’t have more time to spend with her as she really loved you.
Katie, my big girl, my woolly Baerchen, there is far too much to say. I cannot possibly sum up our lives together in one letter, but it is a start. You may be gone, but you will be in my heart forever! You were by my side for so many difficult times in life, and you knew I was always there for you. Thank you so much for posing one last time with your sisters on Wednesday. You never liked the camera, but you let me photograph you. I have so many photos of you, but I still feel I don’t have enough. I love you so much and miss you so much. I still can’t believe you are really gone. Run free, and we will be together again! Did I mention how much I love you? Love, Mom