Saying Goodbye to 2012–and to Our Canine Companion Kita

Yes, this was going to be my New Year’s Day post. Other obligations interfered with posting for the first two days of 2013–but I think I have also been putting off actually writing about this painful part of 2012.

It’s as if leaving the year behind, which included Kita’s departure the week before Christmas, makes her absence all the more final. Anyone who loves their furry family members and who has had to deal with their deaths, surely understands the heartache associated with this event.

 

One of our favorite pictures of Kita.
One of our favorite pictures of Kita in her younger, healthier days.

 

Our beloved canine companion, Kita.
Our beloved canine companion, Kita, in her final days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who has read some of my blog posts may recall that I have posted about Kita, hubby’s and my 12 1/2- year-old black lab. Her “full” name as a purebred, on her papers, was Nikita Ebony, born on May 6, 2000.

She had a cancerous tumor removed over the summer; she seemed to have overcome that scare, but in early December, her health began deteriorating rapidly. It began with her not eating much of anything for a few days in a row; then she started having problems getting up from a prone position, and needed help from one of us to lift her back end and help her outside.

She was such a good dog, trained all those years to NOT do her business inside, even on stacks of newspaper–we couldn’t convince her it was OK. Instead, obviously with great effort and pain, she required our assistance to get outside. Hubby built a ramp, so Kita wouldn’t have to navigate the stairs.

Last night with Kita.
Me with Kita on our last night with her.

 

Last night with Kita.
Hubby and Kita (and kitties) on our last night with Kita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We kept hoping she would recover, regain some strength – but signs of the inevitable end were too painfully obvious. The happy dog who used to wag her tail all the time and greet hubby at the door when he got home from work – or me, when I returned from shopping trips or errands – was no longer able to do that, although she tried to get up, but couldn’t without help. She could no longer get up on the couch or on our bed to join us; hubby took out the bed frame and box spring so she could at least lie on the mattress with us.

The day she made no effort to get up to greet hubby after work – followed by a 1am outing during which she collapsed in the snow and I struggled to get her back inside, as I wept and didn’t care who heard or saw me – convinced us finally¬† that we had to make that difficult decision to say goodbye to our beloved canine companion.

Hubby made the call to our vet, who had graciously made the offer to come to our house again for Kita’s final day: December 18, 2012. The night before, Kita spent nearly the whole night on our mattress with us – all of our cats joined us at one time or another, as well, obviously sensing the end. They loved our Kita girl, too.

 

The compassion of our vet and vet’s assistant, from Lewiston Veterinary Hospital, was wonderful and comforting on our last day with Kita; they allowed us all the time we needed to prepare, and then to say our final goodbyes. Kita’s “cremains” returned home on December 26th, in a beautiful cedar chest urn. We have set up a “Kita Memorial” in our den.

 

Part of our Kita memorial
Part of our Kita memorial

 

More special memorial items.
More special memorial items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wonderful family who operates Fluke’s Aftercare (named after their beloved deceased canine, Fluke) also included some tufts of Kita’s fur, a pawprint, and this beautifully worded certificate.

 

Fluke's
Fluke’s certificate and compassionate message.

 

Rest in peace, sweet Kita girl. You were a big part of our lives for 12 years. There is a void in our lives now, but we hope to find another sweet canine companion soon. He or she will never replace you, but we believe you would have wanted us to give another dog a home, to love and share as we did with you, and perhaps facilitate the healing process for our broken hearts.

We love you and miss you!

Thank you for your many years of faithful companionship and protection.

I made this memorial pillow –just so hubby and I could hug “her” once in awhile!

(I also have it listed at Etsy as a sample for anyone else who might want to order one

with their own beloved pet’s photo).

 

So how about you readers? Do any of you have some bittersweet memories to share from 2012?

 

14 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to 2012–and to Our Canine Companion Kita

  1. Losing my beloved Horatio (he was a cat) was the most painful thing in my life. He held on for me and then I had to let him go. His ashes sit on my desk in a cherry box that holds his picture. I miss him every day; some days more than others. New love has come into our lives. You are right, it is different. None will ever replace that one, but God gives our hearts room to love another.
    Heather recently posted..Angels in Oncology

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you.

    We lost our beloved rescued Shih Tzu, Tia, right before Halloween. Her tags sit on my desk so that she can always be where she loved to be the most: by mama. Tia’s ashes were sent to an apple orchard so that she can chase the birds, bunnies, and squirrels to her heart’s content, and roll in whatever strikes her fancy.
    ShannonP recently posted..Onwards and Upwards

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing such a close family member is so very hard. (We lost four canine members in 5 years at one time) I hope you are remembering her wags, wiggles and slobbers with greater ease each moment.

  4. your beautiful baby looks so much like my Billy..He is coming up on 12- he has been w me 24/7 since 5 wks old..after my little brother passed. Billy was born on Thanksgiving day.
    he is having trouble walking at times, he’s very large, i don’t know what or how to do things when he’s gone, or has to go..i am now disabled, live alone, am alone, i cry just thinking about life without him..we used to forage woods together, fish, go boating, i buy a car that is comfy for him, he has a chair at holiday tables, he sleeps with me, walks one step behind me since as long as i remember…i love my Billy Bob…

  5. This is a great tribute. I will keep u posted on the song. Your dog must’ve been so special and close. Animals live such short lives and to those of us without kids they are really our kids.

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