Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Hug for My Dog Kito

I mentioned earlier that I lost my dog back in November of last year. Kito was a 13 year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. I brought him home when he was 10 weeks old. The breeder told me he would be around 85 lbs. Those 85 lbs. lasted about 3 years. Then he was 92 lbs. Then he was 103 lbs. Then 112. At Kito's peak, he weighed a whopping 123 lbs.! That's 50% heavier than I was expecting! But he was tall, lean and very strong. He was my running partner. We'd do 7 miles roundtrip, running uphill to a mountain peak where we'd stop and rest; overlooking a beautiful hillside before continuing down to complete our exercise. And wouldn't you know it? We'd be home for about 30 minutes, Kito would get these bursts of energy and off to the dog park we'd go. That dog had more energy than he knew what to do with. He definitely kept me busy.

As a puppy, Kito was pretty typical. He destroyed several pairs of my shoes, a couple of cell. phones, patio furniture covers and even a door frame. He loved to be with me. He was the best road trip dog I've ever seen. He was crate-trained and cat-trained. He hated motorcycles, lawn mowers and electric scooters. He loved biscuits, begging and queen-sized beds. He was just the right kind of protective.

When the family would return home from a vacation, or Kito was just feeling frisky, he'd tear through the house with excitement like his bum was on fire. The kids would jump on the couch to get clear out of his path and squeal with laughter over every lap. My then 4 year-old daughter would put him on a leash and take him on walks through the house (something that never would have happened when he was younger than 10 years old - way too strong).

Kito could beg and whine like nobody's business. You could argue that those were his worst faults, though they were quite humorous when directed at particular people. My husband was one of them. The two of them would get into these staring matches where my husband usually lost. Kito just wanted to be treated like the rest of the family members. He never understood why he couldn't eat every meal identical to ours.

The day I had to say goodbye to my Kito was one of the hardest days of my life. During the week leading up to it, he gave me many signs that it was time for him to go. Still, I struggled with my decision. I asked my husband over and over again in the vet's office if I was making the right decision. I still have his collar in my bag. There are some things I still just can't completely let go of.
He was my companion, my best friend and my comfort. I miss you, my Kito Dia (Precious Champion.)

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