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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Angel K and Shyla

My Angel K is always on my mind. I remember this time of year, two years ago, when K was living the last months of her life. I relate each flower that emerges to my vivid memories of K's last springtime. Especially in those final months, she taught me so much about love, about seizing the day, and about unbreakable bonds. I feel like the bond that I've built with Shyla is partly a reflection of the bond that I had with K. K and Shyla are so different yet they both own big pieces of my heart.

I love this photo - it shows that K lived with incredible verve for her whole life, including the last month of her life. Those flowers will be blooming soon, and K will be smiling down on me and Shyla as we play in them.
It wasn't an easy time, after K died, and then when Shyla joined our family. I cried on the first day that Shyla arrived, fundamentally because she wasn't K. However, I rapidly saw that Shyla was a loving, but very scared, little girl who wanted nothing more than to be cherished by our family.
We gently loved her, and in the process, she and I built a bond that I truly believed that I'd never have again after K died. Now, Shyla and I move in sync, enjoying our mornings together with barely a word needed between us.
Shyla is very attuned to me. This morning, we were playing training games, and she was momentarily completely confused about what I wanted her to do. This was how she looked at me. Do you see the "confusion furrow" in her forehead? I apologized and clarified my cue - but the look on Shyla's face shows the kind of rapport we've built.
After our training games, we rode up to Hug Hill, a place that is sacred to me, mainly because I've shared it with so many special dogs. Each had their favorite spot on the hill as we looked out over the Contintental Divide. Shyla isn't in her favorite spot in this photo but she truly looks like a "Daughter of the Mountains" with the snowy mountains behind her.
As I look back over the almost 2 years since K died, I can see what a terribly tough journey it was to try to rekindle my spirit in her physical absence. But, it was worth risking my heart to build the bond I have with Shyla.
But, when I see Pasqueflowers in the springtime, my mind and heart will always be drawn to the last spring with K by my side.


  1. And as many have said, K made sure that Shyla found you. You both needed each other:) Hence that special bond.

  2. very sweet. shyla is an angel on earth. :)

  3. I wish that I could come to remotely want another dog. But all I can think of is that I want Ellie, not another dog. I am so happy that you have Shyla and were more courageous than I can be. Perhaps the time will come for me to welcome another dog. I'm so glad it came for you.

    I'm certain that Shyla has helped you through some medically miserable times. She is such a sweet girl.

  4. Thank you for allowing us on your journey so we have been able to love K and Shyla!

  5. Shyla and you have such an incredible bond.

  6. It's funny, because while you often mention how different K and Shyla were, I often see them as more similar than different. I think of K when you post those springtime flower pictures, too! :)

  7. We agree that K may have guided Shyla to you!

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, heartfelt post.

  8. Spring flowers, that beautiful Pasque, a sign of a new season, your love of K will always be with you, Shyla will know your inner feelings so well now, on the rock, in the snow, on a trail, she is indeed a true mountain girl. Hugs, Jean.

  9. KB, I well remember those last weeks/days of K's life. In fact, I had just lost Reggie at the end of March and it was two years ago next week that we got Hunter. Each loss is so hard but I can't imagine life without a beloved companion sharing mine. Hunter is unlike all the other bigger dogs we've had, but he has a major part of my heart(ok, all of it). I love how we can love again after such heartbreak. Shyla looks like K to me; love that furrow too. I will be home on Sat. but was hoping all the snow would have left us already.

  10. The journey is a continuum and K will always be a part of the trio that is you, Shyla and your Angel. It is been such a blessed honor to travel this path with each of you as you have each added your special color and texture to the tapestry of life.

  11. I have tears in my eyes when I think of K. It doesn't seem possible that it's been two years.

  12. A new dog can NEVER REPLACE a cherished pet....but they can add to your joy. Such lovely memories and so much understanding of Shyla.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  13. The wonderful thing about love is that you don't always know where it will come from and where and when it will hit you. The trick is to open your arms wide and you certainly did that with Shyla, through al that pain!

  14. Beautiful post. Our pups live in our hearts long after we can hold them.

  15. I understand your feelings completely. And I live through the same feelings about my beloved dogs of my past. No matter how long they've been gone from view, they're always right my heart and in my memory. We never forget. Thank you for a wonderful post.

  16. Every time a butterfly comes my way I know it's my Benny boy. Bet him and K are playing
    Lily & Edward

  17. We all think K made a very wise Shyla choice!

  18. My heart dog Dylan has been gone 11 years this summer. When we got Wilson about 6 weeks after Dylan passed, I never expected him to replace Dylan in my heart, and he hasn't. But I love him equally, but just a little bit differently. He's his own dog and I love him for that.

  19. I so totally understand where you're coming from.
    I think K sent Shyla to you.

  20. The flowers are Beautiful!
    K is sitting watching over you every day and is happy about Shyla. Shyla is very good for you and you for her

  21. We totally understand. Shyla is a blessing ♥


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