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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Always in my heart

I made a meaningful mistake the other day. I wrote that "K and I went through the forest together this morning". In real life, of course, K doesn't run along next to my bike these days. But, in my heart, she's still next to me.

At first, I was mad at myself for not catching my typo (writing "K" instead of "Shyla") because it revealed a piece of me that I usually keep hidden these days. However, your thoughtful and sweet comments made me realize that it was okay to say how I feel.

Indeed, K is still with me all the time. She is on my mind countless times every single day. I see her in the late-blooming flowers.
I see her in the rose hips - which are plump this year - and I think about how much she would love to munch on them. I see her in the feathers that birds drop on the forest floor. I see her in the occasional hummingbird who passes overhead flying south. I see her in the fall-colored leaves - because her birthday is in autumn.
I see her in the mushrooms, because as many of you may remember, she used to eat them and scare me to death.
I see her in the first snow on the mountains because we used to race the autumn snow to sneak in one last alpine hike as her birthday celebration. I saw the first snow on the peaks today, and I instantly thought of K. If you look hard, you can see that last night's snow is on the peak that's enveloped in clouds.

K will never leave me, and I am thankful for that. I don't want her to leave.

At first, I felt like I was shortchanging Shyla because K still holds part of my heart. Now I know differently. I've fallen for Shyla with all my heart, even the part that K is in, if that makes any sense. The typo from the other day also reveals how I've come to love Shyla with a depth that I never thought possible again.
Shyla is so loving and sweet. She's a gift from the heavens who brightens my days, and I know that K would love to hear me laugh and see me smile with Shyla. So, I don't feel any guilt as I revel in each day with Shyla. Shyla has helped me to "See Beautiful" again, after a long time in the fog of sadness.
It's a topsy-turvy world. I think that I've relived some of my grief for K over the past week. The devastation of these floods has pierced my heart more than I first realized. I've been depressed, and that's caused me to let down my guard.

So, I didn't notice the "telling typo" of saying that K and I were together. She is always by my side but no one but me can see her.

For new readers, here is what K looked like. She's also in the banner at the top of the page. She died in July 2012, at age 8, of osteosarcoma. She lived an amazing 8 years as my heart dog.
Thank you for your sensitive and heart-warming comments. And, thank for your support through everything.


  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  2. What a beautiful post! I think many of us reading it understand completely what you are voicing. Many of us have the exact same feelings. Our heart dogs are always there, but they share the spot with a new dog, a different heart dog.

  3. What a beautiful girl, and beautiful post.

  4. Last week I called Hailey "Loki" and my Loki has been gone for 3.5 years . . . like you I accepted that it was a reminder he is and always will be with me, if not in body, in spirit. (Loki was also 8 like K). May you find peace.

  5. Looking forward to Shyla's Fall/Autumn adventures this year.

    xo Cinnamon

  6. We understand a hundred percent too KB- we know you love Shyla- And we also know K "is" part of your life now and forever. We also feel K all the time-- she was in the beautiful clouds we saw today... We talk about K-- and we also talk about R- and Shyla--
    Always let your words come out- and don't be sorry--
    your heart is talking and we know it.
    We send you love tonight, Here is a hug.
    tweedles and moms

  7. K will always be there with you, and with Shyla, her gift to you was bringing Shyla into your life. The last week or so, roads out, flooding, and food shortages, all take their toll. Fond greetings to all, Jean.

  8. Beautiful! Have you read the book A Dogs purpose? I can't think of the author right now, but you need to get it and read it. You will love it.

  9. What a perfect description of our lost ones. Human and animal. They remain part of us and stay with us and that is wonderful. Your said it beautifully.

  10. Taffy's mom here. I really needed this post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Next week will be 2 years since we lost Twix. I also think of her several times EVERY day. I don't know how to explain it but I love Taffy with all my heart but it is different than it was with Twix. I felt like I could get in Twix's brain but I don't feel that way with Taffy. I don't love Taffy any less than I did Twix but the connection isn't the same. Does that make any sense at all? When you said K was your heart dog a light bulb went off. I've not heard that before but that describes it perfectly. K was a beautiful girl. I'm sorry I didn't get to know her but I will be going back and reading the previous posts. I think that is why I've decided to do my weekly flashbacks... so those who didn't know Twix will get the opportunity to see what an amazing dog she was. Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing.

  11. Hi KB, I am betting everyone understands exactly what you are talking about. I had Otis the Scottie for 18 years and he was the Heart Dog for me. I think about him daily (I have lots of mementos around that remind me) and as much as I love Stella, she just is her own dog. We can't help who we carry around in our hearts, and wouldn't even want to.

    We're with you!

    Jo, Stella and Otis

  12. My MOM knows exactly how you feel and understands. On occasions she has called me Pete, her heart dog. Butt I am OK with that. Pete was a heart dog in every sense of the word and I am honored that she thinks of him when she sees me.

  13. You're seeing some snow? None on our peaks yet, though I'm shocked because we have continual moisture and lowering temps. I often think of and sometimes feel I can still "see" my dogs who have passed - especially when I am on a trail that we would frequent. Their spirits still run with me.

  14. I can't tell you how often Otto is called 'Gizmo' around here. They have a very similar presence and energy. It makes me very happy.

    Sending rottie hugs your way.

  15. We pray that you will always say comfortably "K and I" because she is still and always will be a part of who you are. it is not an insult to Shyla, rather a compliment that she has become part of the very special core that you and K created. I talk to Quinn all of the time and share things that he might find wry or amusing. I am certain beyond doubt that he specially selected and sent Taiko to Steve who will, with Q-Man's blessing, become a part of Steve's deepest connections. We know the rawness that must blanket you and your world as a result of nature's fury; know we send you White Dog gentle woos of healing and positiveness as well as our understanding and love.

  16. I don't think it was a typo. K's still with you. I still call both of my cats by my previous cats names. Sometimes it slips out and other times it's intentional. My current pair are so much like my past pair it's uncanny.

    I think it just shows the deep passionate love we have for our best friends and that even though they are gone, they never really die.

  17. Beautiful post!!! I'm sure your Special K is smiling down on you and happy to know you are healing...Shyla indeed is a gift from K and your beloved mountains. Hugs and stay safe.

  18. Don't worry. You're not the only one who makes those slip ups when it comes to names. Seeing K in Shyla is wonderful. It's a form of immortality and continuity and certainty.

  19. I did read that "typo" yesterday but just felt right. I didn't even question it for a second. My husband and I talk about our sweet lab Buster alot, who died in 2008. We always tell Indy that Buster brought him to us to help fill the hole in our hearts. And fill it he does! Little did we know that our hearts would be broken later in life losing our son :( (and some days it feels like it just happened). But we talk about them (both Buster and Jonathan) all the time - it just feels right.

    This post made me cry - and it was a good cry, thinking of you today.


  20. You write so clearly about feelings I can't put into coherent sentences or, to be honest, think about yet. Thank you for being so honest and generous.

  21. I heard a story recently about a young man who was standing before a crowd in a small town, telling everyone that he had the most beautiful heart in the world. As he showed off the beauty of his heart, an old man from the back of the crowd stood and said that HE had the most beautiful heart. Everyone turned to see it, and it was all scarred and misshapen. Some people began to laugh. The old man went on to explain that through out his life, he'd given pieces of his heart to others, and in turn, others had given him pieces of theirs. The pieces didn't always fit perfectly. Sometimes those he gave a piece to didn't give one back and a hole was left. The young man embraced him with tears in his eyes, and then tore out a piece of his perfect heart and offered it to the old man, who gave him a piece of his in return.

    I believe that there's always room for more love in your life, and loving one dog or person or thing doesn't limit your capacity to love someone or something else just as much. That's the beauty of the human heart! :)

  22. A beautiful post for a beautiful friend.

  23. A beautiful post from the heart!

    "Signs" from Heaven are always around us. We just have to open our eyes and our soul to see them.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  24. They will always be in our hearts. Don't hold back your feelings because we all know how special K was to you.
    I think of my Angel Samantha all the time.

  25. They come back to us in times we least expect but need.
    Stella Rose's Momma

  26. We always catch ourselves writing K instead of Shyla in comments. You know she is running right along side you
    Benny & Lily

  27. We caught the typo and totally understood, KB. You have our mom smiling through tears once again ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  28. I also read the typo and it made me smile, as I instantly thought to myself that your heart was showing! It's good to be able to do that, even if it was unintentional. It just shows the depth of your love for both K and Shyla. K will always be a part of you, as will Shyla. You are so lucky to be blessed with these girls!
    Beautiful posts the past few days, in the midst of so much destruction and despair. Praying for all those affected, both human and animal.

  29. They Always be in our heart. Great post!

  30. I've slipped like that myself. To me, it's a sign of remembrance and a reminder that they ARE still here. We've had too many losses at Ao4 Headquarters over the past couple years. I understand where you're coming from.

  31. so many wonderful photos
    that mushroom is wonderful~

  32. This is such a beautiful post. You have PERFECTLY captured the human heart with all the pain, beauty, hope and love that can exist together in it.


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