and took her home at eight weeks old in a cat carrier.
As a puppy, she liked to eat toes,
Now, I can't say she's had the same level of training as Ruby, but she's had her share!
Right from a pup, she was very clever with such a sense of humor. She is totally attuned to us and utterly perfect for us. It's funny; someone once told me that when you dream of your perfect dog, you need to be realistic and adjust your expectations. I have to laugh because this black and tan dog so vastly exceeded any expectations we ever could have had.
When Kiva was six years old, she got cancer. To say we were devastated is an understatement. We found a compassionate vet who was familiar with her type of cancer and we asked him what we could expect. We were given a good one-year chance for survival, a not-so-good two-year chance, and he could not even discuss a three-year chance.
She had her surgery and for the first month or so, I wanted nothing but to care for her. As she healed I began to worry about recurrence. For the two years following her surgery, she recovered while I waited for the other shoe to drop.
There are so many lessons to learn from dogs if you just let them teach you.
On her eighth birthday, I finally accepted what she had been trying to show me for the past two years. She was enjoying her life while I was agonizing with worry over when it would end. She taught me the most important lesson I will learn in my lifetime: Live in the moment.
Of course, it's a much easier thing to say than do and as a world-class worrier, it took me two years (and 30 years prior to that) to understand. But she showed me. She showed me.
From her eighth birthday on, I stopped worrying about how many days, or months, or years we had left together and just enjoyed every single second. And while we lived in the moment, we received the remarkable gift of a whole second lifetime with her.
Happy twelfth birthday my precious girl. Your patience, grace, and spirit constantly inspire me. Together we share all our silly secrets, we tackle our troubles, and you have brought me more laughter and happiness than I ever could have dreamed.