Kya, 2005 - 2011
Yesterday our sweet girl Kya, my brother's gorgeous Golden Retriever, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. To say we are all heartbroken would be a huge understatement. She was way too young to go, way to young to be sick, just plain way too young. Life can be ridiculously, indescribably unfair at times. And I don't understand why. And it sucks, plain and simple.
I got the call from my brother at 11:45AM yesterday morning. I was sitting at work when my cell phone rang. It is not unusual for me to talk to my brother or husband or parents during the day so I didn't think anything of seeing his number pop up on the screen. Never, ever, ever when I woke up yesterday morning did I think the day would end as it did.
Kya had a growth in her abdomen. She has had it for several months an unfortunately it was in an area where surgery could have actually made things worse. We knew in our minds this could shorten her life....our hearts are having a hard time accepting that it shortened it this much. My brother got a call from his ex-wife that she had to take Kya to the vet yesterday morning. She was lethargic, not wanting to eat, and her belly was rigid. Long story short, the mass had grown and burst, causing internal bleeding. Our sweet girl was suffering and the most humane thing to do was to let her go, let her go to the Rainbow Bridge where she could be happy and whole and well, and she could run and play to her gentle heart's content.
I immediately left work to be with my brother and to see Kya one last time. I will forever treasure the four hours we had with her yesterday on a beautiful sunny afternoon. I will always remember how, finally, after six years, she let me snap as many pictures as I wanted. I have very few pictures of Kya because she was always such a wiggle worm! She was just too excited to sit still for a photo.
I know why she sat still yesterday, though....and I would give anything to have it go back to the way it was, to me chasing her around with my camera, pleading with her to let me get just one good picture, and when I would think she was stopping to let me snap a picture, she would look at me with her big bright eyes, wag her tail...and run away!
I know the quality of these pics are not the best. I had to use my phone and my hand was shaking. I am just so grateful to have them...and that I was able to preserve the last tender moments between my brother and Kya.
My nephew was only a year old when they got Kya. He is seven now, and it kills me that he has had to experience the loss of his beloved dog already. I am so proud of him, though. He is such a loving, smart kid. Even through his sadness he knew he didn't want Kya to have pain or to be sick. He knew he was spending her last hours with her. He was so strong and brave.
It is a fact that I am easily the most overly-emotional member of our family. When it was time for my brother and his ex to put Kya in the car to go back to the vet I couldn't handle it. I was prepared to go with them if my brother needed me or my nephew decided to go. In the end, he wanted to stay home, so together we waited.
Though Kya was clearly not feeling well and she had pain, her tail never stopped wagging yesterday, she never stopped giving us all kisses, and she continued to show the love she always has. It was so hard to look in to her soulful eyes knowing that once they took her for her last car ride she wasn't coming home with them. The tears are still quietly rolling down my cheeks as I type this.
Our parents are away on vacation right now. When they come back we will resume our weekly family dinners over there...and my Bailey is going to be looking everywhere for his cousin. Whenever one dog is at my parent's house and the other isn't, each of them constantly look around for the other.
I know when we make the decision to bring a dog in to our lives, we are never going to have unlimited years with them. Their time with us is always far too short, even if they live to "old age." Still, the joy and happiness and unconditional love they give is priceless. Still, we should have had more time with Kya. It was just way too soon. The time we did have with her was amazing and joyful and wonderful. And I know that we couldn't selfishly hold on. My head knows that....my heart is taking much longer to catch on.
Rest well, sweet girl. We love you. We miss you. Till one day we meet again at the bridge...