Dear Kylie,

I can’t believe it’s been eight months since I’ve seen your pretty face, with your big, beautiful, bulgy eyes that glaze over when we would share a popcicle, and your big wet nose, and oh those ears. I miss you soooo much. I miss you intensely, overwhelmingly, I miss you every day. I miss you in the morning when I would hear your paws thundering down the hall and then you would pounce on me to demand breakfast. I miss you every night, when I would scoop you off the couch and carry you to bed. I miss you all day, when I drive around running errands and wish you were barking your head off in your booster seat at people in the other cars, making them laugh. You always made people laugh. I miss you in the evening when you would drive me crazy going outside and back in, and out and in, in and out, until you got a cookie or until I went out in the backyard with you to chase our shadows on the back fence. I miss your smile, your sense of humor, your attitude, your presence, even your stinky feet.

Kylie you were the best thing in our lives, you still are. You were my kid, my friend, my everything, and I don’t understand why the stupid sun still comes up everyday. I shouldn’t complain I suppose, because you love the sun. You love snow too, it was like somebody had given you a new toy everytime you went outside and found the ground covered. I loved playing in the snow with you. I don’t know what I’ll do when it snows without you.

I’m sorry that sometimes I was a mean mom who scolded you, or grounded you from your window seat, or took away your allowance when you disobeyed. But I always knew, even more so now, that you were such a good girl. Thank you for being so good.

Thank you for being so crazy! You made our lives exciting! We loved seeing the world through your eyes, you kept us young.

I know I didn’t often tell you how awesome you are – your aunt was always telling you, and as your mom I had to becareful you didn’t become too much of a show off! But I hope you know that I think you are the most awesome dog/person/soul/creature/everything on the planet and I adore you!

I hope you always knew how much you were loved and still are, and I hope you never really wanted for anything. We couldn’t afford to give you everything we wish we could have, but lets face it you got pretty spoiled! And yes, of course you deserved it. I know you wanted to go more places, and I wish there had been more time, more opportunities, though it never would have been enough.

People tell us that we will be with you again and I hope so much that they are right. There is nothing in the world that we want more. By the way, if you know something about that and could let us know, we would really appreciate it!

People also tell us that you wouldn’t want us to be sad all the time. We know that’s true but we also know you wouldn’t want us to do¬†fun stuff without you, so really we don’t do the things anymore that you most liked to do. And whatever we do, we always think of you and in that way you are always still with us and always will be.

I hope you understand why Isabella lives here now. I know you wouldn’t want her here, but she really needed someone to take care of her, and I really needed someone to take care of. And you should know that she never messes with your stuff, and I think she’s taking good care of your backyard, trying to keep those cats and evil squirrels out. I know you know that I could never replace you and would never try, the house was just too lonely without you.

Kylie, I’m sorry we had to let you go, we never wanted to, ever. We always just wanted what was best for you. That’s why we tried so hard and sometimes made you do things you didn’t enjoy, like go swimming or have accupuncture. I hope you know that it was only because we loved you so much and wanted you to stay healthy and strong. So we would have done anything, if there was anything that anybody could do, but there was just no time, there was no choice. We couldn’t let you suffer just to keep you with us.

Please know, my beautiful, wonderful girl, that being your mom was the happiest part of my life and the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I will always love you, and I will always miss you.

Forever,
your mom

Snapshots

As hard as it was for us in the beginning to believe that Kylie was still a puppy, she was very determined to convince us. She was very destructive!

gator

Kylie destroyed everything! Her favorites were electrical cords, she chewed through phone cords, fan cords, extension cords, and more cords. We tried putting tobasco sauce on the cords, that just made her more determined; we tried that bitter apple stuff which merely inconvenienced her but she would not be deterred. She threw up at some point (go figure) and there were bits of copper wire in the mix (sorry, that’s gross). Once we were even sitting in the living room, watching television in the evening when we heard a ZAP, a YELP, and the lights went out simultaneously. She had chewed through a lamp cord while it was plugged in and even that didn’t convince her to find a new hobby!

She also seemed to fancy unmentionables when she was looking for something to tear up – bras and boxer shorts, etc. Yeah… no idea what that was about.

Kylie got into the trash all the time, she knocked the christmas tree over that first year several times. It got to the point that when we were driving home we would start getting stressed out wondering.. what did Kylie destroy today.

Our solution was a little unique – we set up a Kylie rescue fund. Each week her three roomates would put money into Kylie’s piggy bank so that when she broke something the money to replace it came out of her savings. It worked out pretty well.. when she would destroy stuff, she had to pay to replace it out of her allowance!

When Kylie grew out of chewing things up finally, we kept putting the money in the piggy bank weekly and started calling it her allowance. Interestingly, even though Kylie would chew up almost anything, including paper and magazines, she would never destroy cash. And if you happen to miss a weekend payment, she would be sure to let you know!

piggybank

Over the years she got the occasional raise and since she wasn’t having to pay to replace things, she built up a savings and eventually we opened an interest bearing bank account for her where she typically had a couple thousand dollars. Then Kylie was able to use her own money to buy christmas presents for family and friends and occasionally make a donation to an animal rescue.

I don’t know how we came up with it, but most every dog parent we’ve told about it has said it was a great idea and they wanted to try it. I guess we should have written a book about puppy parenting – we could have called it “what not to do.”