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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kailee Girl

For Steve and I, our first "baby" was our Chocolate Lab Kailee. We had just purchased our first house in June of 2002, we were about to get married and we wanted to get a dog.  The problem was I wanted a big dog, and Steve wanted a small dog.  We went back and forth for months.  Neither of us wanting to cave in on our stance, and also neither of us were good at making decisions that required the other to not be completely happy.

A co-worker and I had been in training together in Ohio when his first litter of labs was born. His wife email him pictures as the litter was born, and we spent a good hour stealing looks at the photos and waiting anxiously for the next one to come. I really started pushing for a lab after that trip, but no decisions were made.  Then in late June, I got a call from a co-worker in Iowa. One of the puppies that had been paid for was not picked up.  Only one half of the couple wanted a big dog, and they could not come to an agreement.   He asked if we would like the puppy as a wedding gift.  Well, a free big dog, was better that a little dog that we have to pay for, so we took the beautiful little brown gift!

We picked up Kailee on the 4th of July.  Steve still was a little leery about the size of a lab.  We met with my co-worker and his family at my office.  When we got there they were outside playing with the puppy.  We came prepared with our new collar and leash, said thank you for the beautiful gift and got in the car.  I had Steve in the back seat with the puppy and I drove.  Within 5 minutes and that little Chocolate Labrador was sound asleep in a ball on Steve's lap.  I can still recall the smile on his face when I looked in the rear view mirror.  I knew that smile well, he was in love.

Snuggle Partners

She is a car dog.  She has been on several road trips to Florida, camping trips and out for a day of errands.  She loves to sit at the front door and announce when we have guests.  She will immediately push her head between their legs and demand they scratch her butt.  She is semi-trained.  She will come when you call her if she doesn't see anything better outside and she knows the boundaries of her yard. I know that if she ever strays, it won't be far because she would miss her daddy too much.

We found out last month that our sweet Kailee girl has cancer in her rear leg.  I took her to the vet because she had been limping on it off and on for a few months.  It seemed to have gotten better, but suddenly she was limping and nothing was helping.  Steve and I discussed that cancer was an option the night before. The vet had hinted at it during her last visit, but when it seemingly healed we thought we were safe. We both held her and cried.  My tears were licked away by our girl.  Ella and Josh were with me at the vet. I held it together as I sent them out of the room, I knew by the vet's look it wasn't good news. I made it home, sent the kids out to play, snuggled up with Kailee and let the tears flow.

We told Ella and Josh that Kailee has a "Disease" in her leg that is breaking her bone apart, but we will not tell them it is cancer yet.  We do not want Ella or Josh to relate Kailee's disease to Ella's or anyone's cancer. Mostly because I'm sure they will ask questions that I just don't know how to answer yet.

I am so sick of the word cancer. My daughter, my best friend, my dad, and now my dog? Really? How does anyone take this in, digest it, comprehend it?  How do you wrap your brain around this much suffering when you feel so helpless?  So, I freaked out for a little bit, cried, then sucked it up, put my faith in God and moved forward- because that is all you can do. I know there is a plan that I am not privy to. A reason and an understanding of these events that, at this time, is beyond what I can understand.  They call it faith for a reason.  There isn't anything I can Google that spells out to me why things have happened this way, and I know it's not about me. I may be a small part in how these things play out and how they impact others, but that is it.

I often wonder what God's plan is for me.  How I'm suppose to make an impact on this world and make decisions that honor God, my husband, my family and my friends.  I think you don't understand God's plan until your in it or it has happened.  In other words, hind sight is 20/20. Often I look back and think, I shouldn't have passed up an opportunity to help someone or act differently, but it is not until I look back that I realize what God might have had in store for me, or that me missing that opportunity sets me up perfectly for the one that God really wants me to be present for.  Somehow this all plays a part in his plan and I know one day I will be able to look back and see clearly what eludes me right now.

Our sweet Kailee Girl is hanging in there.  She has good days and bad.  When I get the chance I snuggle up in her dog bed with her and let her lick my face with reckless abandon (this totally grosses me out, but her tail thumping on the ground tells me it is bringing her joy). She gets to eat pretty much anything she wants now, and her strict diet is gone.  The kids made a paw print stepping stone for her and put 'Best Dog Ever" on it. The vet told us she had at most four months, but I know he is not the one that decides that.  Whenever that doorbell rings, she limps over to the door and wags her tail like a 6 month old puppy.  She is so much a part of our family, I still can't imagine what our home will be like without her and honestly, I don't want to.  She will always be our first baby.

This commercial came on the other day and I made Steve wake up and watch it with me.


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