January 21, 2008

Love ... Named Kayla

We were reminded again last week
about the tough part of loving our animals.

It was only a short time ago that we noticed
things were not right with Kayla.
From the water intake and sleeping
I thought she might have diabetes.
However, the news from the vet was
that she had a
tumor on the spleen
and had days to live.
Unbelievable to us!
The exact diagnosis was Hemangiosarcoma.
Surgery was not an option.
We were sent home to enjoy her final days
until she slept away from us.


Only a week ago we were in bliss
thinking all our animals were in such good health.

Kayla died about 1:15 last Saturday afternoon.
She had a wonderful morning that day
making her rounds checking on all the animals.
She was her usual happy self following us around
with her beautiful smile and her tail wagging.
We truly believed there must have been a mistake.
This girl was going to make it.
But it was not to be.
Kayla came in the house, collapsed on her favorite rug
in front of the fireplace ... and went to sleep.
We were with her.

If it is possible to think there is a perfect ending,
I suppose this would be it.


Now, we are left with tears and heavy hearts.
The price we pay to love them.

I'd like to share a little of our life with Kayla.
She loved the Animal Channel, even the scary stuff.

She loved music, especially the songs her dad sang to her,
like "Girl of My Dreams" or "Daddy's Little Girl".

She loved everyone ~ animals and people, alike.
She was always a hit at Home Depot where everyone
spoke to her by name and greeted her with pats.
She was Miss Popularity at the Equestrian Center
where she patiently waited under the
"No Dogs Allowed" sign.

She was a California beach girl
and had many miles on her odometer.
Wherever dad went ... Kayla was right there.
She was a daddy's girl.

Kayla was a gift.
This is the last photo taken of Kayla.
It is a treasure, as was she.

She was the sweetest dog in the world.
A beautiful golden retriever with soulful eyes,
a gentle spirit and the gift of love.

I would like to share with you
a few moments with Kayla.

Please click here.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved Kayla. We recently lost our golden retriever, Wilma, just before Christmas.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to Kayla. The pure love & devotion she had for her dad shows in her eyes in almost every picture.

    I cried through your whole story...knowing where it was going and also because you made Kayla so real with your sensitive writing and beautiful pictures.

    Randy Newman was a perfect choice for the video.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. Losing Kayla must be so difficult. I lost my companion Barney almost two years ago, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss my sweet pooch. What a lovely memorial. Thank you for sharing your memories. There is nothing in this world like the companionship of a loyal and loving dog. May she rest in peace.

    (Thank you for linking to Jane Austen's World. Your blog is terrific.)

  4. How awful for you. I am so sorry. Lovely video, although I was too emotional to get through it! I'll try again tomorrow.

    Hey, I tagged you in a blog game. You'll have to look at my blog to get it, but I totally understand if you don't want to do it.

    I'll be thinking of you. Hope you find peace soon.

  5. My tears are flowing now...I just knew where this story was leading and my heart aches so for you. I had come to love Kayla through her pictures here and your stories. She was a treasure.
    The video was a precious gift for all of us to see. I know you are hurting now and I wish I could make it all better. Yes, this pain is part of life when you love an animal. Grace recently said that she just had no idea why God did not have our animals live as long as people...I had to smile as it was something I used to ask my parents when I was her age. Some say that they will never get another dog/cat/horse...because the pain is too great but it is the LOVE that is so great. How could we have lived without experiencing this most precious unconditional love? Those memories are with you forever and that love will always be a part of you. Two of my friends lost beloved pets this week....one a Black Lab and the other a dear cat. Both were elderly pets and had lived a wonderful life but it is still so hard.
    I always tell Kipper that it was he who healed my heart when our cat Hannah died. He did too! I am sure your other babies feel the pain too. Animals just sense our pain and they too will miss Kayla's sweet face.

    I know I am rambling here but I just wanted you to know how sad I am for your loss. I will go to sleep tonight thinking about her...and you. I send warm hugs to you and to your husband. I know his heart was broken too.

    Many hugs...


  6. I was just thinking about the fact that you recently lost your kitty...Fuzz. They were great friends weren't they? Now they can be together and play in good health with young,happy hearts...I like to think of them this way. It makes it w=easier for me when I have lost a beloved pet.

    We will see them all again I do have that faith.


  7. What a lovely tribute to Kayla.

    I too was in tears whilst reading about her, its so hard when we lose a much loved pet.

    I know what your going through, I lost my Golden Retriever Samson to liver cancer, although its been 10 years now since he passed, the momories I have of him and the good times we shared remain.

    Love to you all x

  8. I am so sorry to learn about Kayla. We are heading down the same road with our 13 year old angel dog, Pepper, and it's so hard. Kayla was a treasure and I know that her spirit will stay with you and your husband forever. She knew how much you both loved her, and she obviously loved you right back.

  9. owww.. I feel so sorry for you loosing such friend...
    I send you some positive thoughts from over here...
    the tribute to Kayla is so touchy...

  10. Aaw no. I am really sorry about Kayla. The video had me in tears! "You've Got A Friend In Me" by Randy Newman was a fantastic choice of song. The photos are beautiful and show how happy she was. Two of our dogs, Shelly and Tara are old now and poor Tara has been having fits for the past couple of years. I hope our dogs have a nice, peaceful end to their lives as Kayla did.
    Thank you for posting Kayla's story. I appreciate it must have been very difficult for you.
    Best wishes to the you and the family, from Meg and the cats xxx

  11. Kayla was a very special girl. Her love for her Mom and Dad shines through in her eyes and her smile. Kayla’s pictures tell the tale of a special dog of great spirit, who had much happiness in her life. I hope that by remembering all the good times with Kayla it will help you through this very sad time. It seems if we have to lose our friends, Kayla was blessed in her own way, she went to sleep in her home with her family that loved her close by. My condolences to you and your husband, losing our friends is never easy.


    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle;easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan....

    --- Irving Townsend ---
    "The Once Again Prince"

  12. Sitting here with tears running down my face!!
    A great tribute to a great friend...thank you!
    Bob R.

  13. Meg from the kittens mother told me of your loss, just wanted to drop by and tell you how sorry I was to hear this sad news,I watch the clip with tears streaming,it is so painful to have to go through this and as Meg says, we will have to cope with this with 2 of our dogs in the near future, I just hope they go as peacefully as Kayla,thinking of you all and sending our love and hugs,from Kathyann,Ceri,Meghan and Bethany

  14. Oh Marvel what a beautiful tribute! So glad I read it and watched your very touching production at home so I could wail like a baby. What a lucky girl that she got to spend most of her life with you and Kirk.

    Lots of love to you two and all the animals fortunate enough to be with you today.


  15. What a beautiful dog Kayla was. I sympathize with you and being a dog lover myself I know just how you feel.

  16. What a beautiful tribute to your Kayla!

  17. Marvel - I know this is a difficult time for you. Callie tagged me for a Meme - so on a light note, I'm inviting you to play - if you're up to it. Please go to my blog for the rules. If you don't want to do it, no worries - we all understand - You're a great blog buddy and I've been thinking about you a lot this week-end.

  18. My heart understands that empty spot that you feel. I am deeply sorry for your loss and imagine that even though you both must be very very sad~Daddy has lost his little adoring girl...the photo at Christmas was so dear of them at the piano.
    Kayla will never spiritually leave you both or the Farm.I believe that.

    Your blog helped me just as i was finding my way out of a bottomless depression last Fall.Your wonderful way with words and humor~the animals and adventures @Strawberry Lane made me laugh for the first time in 8 months.
    Thank You so much. We all loved Kayla and will continue to do so.
    I hope when you feel better, you will still write after some time.
    As for myself~i am almost at 75% back to myself and feeling good!
    God Bless.Tina

  19. Thanks for visiting my blog and for comments there.

    Dogs. This broke my heart. I hate to read things like this because I know what the end is and how it bothers me but then I read on because I have not found anyone who had a dog who didn't get the same love and affection that we got from the dogs we have owned in our lifetime.

    Kayla was a real beauty. I enjoyed looking at her pictures and I know how you feel. We lost our Autumn Eve last September 11, 2006. And we still miss her. We had to have her put to sleep. That was very hard to do and on us.

    I would love to have a dog again but my wife of 52 years says we don't want to go through the separation ending again. So we dog set for our one daughter and that helps.

    The Rainbow Bridge poem in some way seemed to help me and maybe it will you if you have not seen it. Here it is...

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong
    again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent.

    His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...

  20. Oh, I am so,so sorry. What a beautiful and lovely dog. It's a high price we pay indeed, but our lives are so much richer for being with them. My thoughts are with you.

    Kim x

  21. To All My Wonderful Friends,

    It is impossible to thank you enough for all your comforting words over the loss of Kayla.

    I felt a special understanding from your stories of when you have lost a treasured friend.

    It is a wonderful world we live in where we can join in both our times of happiness and sadness ... no matter where we are on the map.

    Each one of you touched my heart.

    Thanks so much,

  22. Tina,
    Please send me another link to your site. I couldn't find you.

  23. I just found your site through a comment you left on Susie Q's. site. I was so saddened to read about your beautiful Kayla...what a loving tribute in honor of her. I loved her face...it was if the white around her beautiful dark eyes and the white on her nose was in the shape of a heart...had you ever noticed that? I feel the same way about my Maggie a yellow lab...she is our heart,too...I will think of you and pray your heart mends...but I know you will never forget. What a sweet, sweet beauty she was.


  24. My heart goes out to you as you face this incredible loss of a wonderful companion and friend! You are in my thoughts.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  25. Thanks for the kind comment on my blog. I'm so sorry you lost Kayla. She sounds like she was a wonderful dog. But she had a beautiful life with you. In our married life we have had to put three dogs to sleep, but they lived to be 14, 14 1/2 and 16 1/2 respectively so I think they had good lives. Plus our dear Dusty cat lived to be 18 1/2.

    Now we have a Golden, Penny, who is 5, and very naughty Gracie, a German Shorthair, who is 1 1/2. We will always have dogs.



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