Kolby: 04/14/09 to 01/06/20
On January 6, 2020, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Kolby. We were in such shock, unprepared for the sudden onset, direction, and speed of his illness, that for more than a few weeks, I have been unable to write about it.
How to say goodbye to this lovely, wonderful being who has never left our sides for almost 11 years? How to describe this boundless spirit poured into an energetic, noble, patient body that accepted with grace every physical challenge he encountered, as well as the treatment needed to keep the delicate balance for over 10 years. EPI, bloat, staph infections, eyelid tumors... all of these conditions, and more, were met with Kolby’s amazing resilience until the shocking appearance of advanced cancer, which had been lurking beneath our ability to see, proved to be too much for his body to handle. With quiet nobility, he made his transition, our arms and love around him, our hearts filled with gratitude for every moment we spent with him.
We miss everything about him.
We miss the way he filled each day with joy and laughter, energy and light.
We miss that he loved balls more than food, that he would chase them more than 100 times a setting and never tire, that he would run at breakneck speed and do a 10 foot carpet slide, stopping right before he crashed into the back door. We miss that WE would be exhausted and he would show no sign of fatigue.
We miss that we could hide a ball anywhere and he would find it, that if we didn’t hide it he would bring it to us and set it in front of us and look at us until we got the message.
We miss how much he loved our grandkids and would follow their commands even if they were impossible. We miss the way he’d stretch out in the middle of them and let them give him belly rubs.
We so miss seeing his ears at the front door, then seeing them disappear as he ran to the garage door to welcome us home.
We miss playing “Hide it” and “One-Two-Three.” He and Joe both cheated at “One-Two-Three” and Kolby knew it.
We miss that he could open all our doors.
We miss his sense of humor, how he would put the ball in front of us and then look sideways at us before he tried to grab it back.
We miss the way he sat in front of the sunroom windows, watching all the birds, but mostly waiting for the squirrel.
We miss his sighs when it was time to settle for the night. We miss his nose in the morning.
We miss him sharing his bone with us.
We miss that when we said, “Let’s dance,” he would twirl.
We miss that when we asked for kisses, he would almost knock us over knowing play was next.
We miss him bringing in the mail and newspaper, and then wanting us to chase him for them.
We miss the way he opened his mouth to take his meds.
We miss the way he jumped in the car to go to the vet’s, but didn’t want to have his nails cut, the way he sat on the scale and waited for us to clap and cheer. We miss his curiosity in the exam room where he would open drawers and put his nose inside.
We miss our walks together.
We miss his love for snow, how he leaped and jumped about in it, how he once pulled me right out of my boots then pulled me across snow drifts in my socks, while my boots sat empty.
We miss the way he didn’t kill Daphne (our resident, pregnant duck) when she came to the door for food and he went crashing through the screen to play with her, nearly giving her an early delivery and me total apoplexy.
We miss the words we had to spell because he understood their meanings….then had to abbreviate because he understood their spelling.
We miss the way he lay beside our bed with just his head under it the way he did when he was a puppy. We miss his breathing.
We know that the emptiness we feel will become the space that allows the light to shine through. Kolby has been a lovely, wonderful being, a treasured gift who brought so much joy into our lives and shared light with everyone he met. We are grateful for every moment we shared with him.
We are especially grateful to Olesia and all the wonderful people at EPI4dogs who have generously shared their knowledge, their time, their love and support so that we could guide Kolby through the successful management of EPI.
Epi4Dogs Foundation Inc.’s mission is the advancement of science and education relating to EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), yielding useful insights and positive outcomes in better managing EPI in dogs and cats. Our goals are to support and/or collaborate with veterinary EPI research and researchers, and to promote EPI awareness by educating the general public, pet owners, pet organizations, rescue and shelter organizations, veterinary schools and veterinarians.
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