September 16, 2013

Don't Rest, My Sweet Girl. Run.

Dear Friends,

On Thursday, our precious Kiva passed away. She was 15 years old.

She was happy, alert, active...then, in a very short period of time, she told us she was ready. Calmly and without fear. She died at home, in her favorite spot, as we held her in our arms, together with a wonderful veterinarian who helped her to pass very gently, peacefully, and in great comfort.

She was adored beyond measure, her entire life, from her very first day to her last.

Kiva was diagnosed with cancer at age six. After her surgery, while I worried, she just soared ahead and healed, always her joyful self. During those months, she taught me the most important lesson of my lifetime: to live in the moment. She was a brilliant teacher and her student was a bit slow to catch on, but I learned to truly enjoy each day. Dogs are so much smarter than we are.

She made a full recovery. Hiking the Colorado mountains, swimming in glacial lakes and the Atlantic ocean, road tripping with us to 21 states across the country — she was our constant companion. Of the three of us on long car trips, she was always the best behaved!

Her spirit shines through the puppies she helped us raise for service dog organizations. She had the most gentle way of leading us with love, integrity, and grace.

Just like the pets in your own homes, Kiva was surrounded by love as she grew old. Her happiness inspired me to join The Grey Muzzle Organization. Grey Muzzle is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides grants to shelters and rescues nationwide to help homeless senior dogs. Grey Muzzle supports programs such as medical care, adoption, orthopedic bedding, and hospice. I encourage you to take a moment to learn about Grey Muzzle, and consider volunteering or making a donation to help homeless old dogs live their final years, months, weeks, or even days in places of love, security, and peace.

I wish you, and each of your precious paws, all the best.