Hi, everybody, it's me, Tucker. Today, January 12th, is a sad day for us, because it's the third anniversary of the day that our brother, Dakotah, got his wings and flew to heaven. It was time for him to go because he was sixteen years old (actually 15 years and 364 days) and even though his spirit was strong, his body was just too used up to continue on anymore. Dakotah was the best big brother in the world. He looked after me, and also Olivia and Tanner, and always made sure we were taken care of. So we loved him a lot and we still really miss him. Mom does, too, even more than we do. And since she knew Dakotah (we called him Kody) for almost sixteen years and I only knew him for five, I think it might be a good idea if I let her finish telling you about him.
Hi, everyone. As Tucker said ... it's a sad day. Dakotah was a Malamute/Chow mix who was the first dog I ever had as an adult. I was twenty-one years old when we met. He was eight weeks old. It was love at first sight .. at least for me. Our relationship spanned fifteen years, some of them the most pivotal of my life, and not a single day of it was boring. Although unfailingly gentle and sweet (I trusted him implicitly with any being smaller and weaker than himself, including, once, a baby common marmoset I was raising who weighed about four ounces and whose face was about the size of a quarter), he was a handful in terms of his energy level and athleticism. I had to work to keep up with him. He also had a pathological fear of thunderstorms, and jumped out of a second story window not once but twice during a particularly bad storm. Both times he was completely unharmed, and both times he met me in the driveway, soaking wet, but smiling his sweet smile, and leaping and wriggling in celebration of my return. The stories I could tell about him could easily fill a book, and recently I've been jotting down notes, just so that, as time passes, I don't forget them. It's hard to believe it's now been three years since I've seen his beautiful face or have been able to reach out and touch his fine head. Time does heal, of course, but while the searing grief of his initial passing has faded, the ache remains. I suppose this is normal. After all, he was a huge part of my life for close to two decades, so it's hardly surprising that the reality of his loss still hurts.
Tomorrow won't be easy either - as it would have been his birthday were he still with us (though by no means did I ever expect that he would reach the nineteen year mark), but though I might be morose for a few days, it won't be long before I'll, if not forget, certainly push the reality of the loss to the back of my consciousness. Yet I know that next year on this date, I'll feel much the same as I do today: sad, a bit lonely, and missing the sight of my boy's sweet face, the sound of his soulful howl, and the lustrous feel of his beautiful red coat under my caressing fingertips. There will always be a part of me that will miss Kody, I think, but that's ok. To my mind, it's just testament to the great love I had, and still have, for him, and proof of the close bond we shared for so many years. I choose to believe that one day we'll meet again somewhere beyond this earthly plane. Until then, rest peacefully, my sweet boy. You were the gift of a lifetime for which I'll always be grateful, and I hope your heaven is full of endless beaches where you can run forever without growing tired, and where there are never any thunderstorms. I hope, too, that you always knew how very much I loved you, and always will.
|This is Dakotah at about a year old, at Bathtub Beach. Before the age of off leash dog parks, this was one of the only places I could let him run free off leash, and he loved it.|
|And this is him (with Tucker) at fifteen years old, at his last Christmas, less than a month before he left us. He still looked so beautiful, and with the same gentle, loving eyes I'd fallen in love with when he was an eight week old puppy.|