I rushed to my beautiful girl, my arms encircling her wide chest as I buried my wet face in her soft fawn fur. It just wasn’t fair! My heart broke as I rubbed her ears and reassured her that I loved her and I was so, so sorry.
Since that fateful phone call, time sped past. Snatches of the last week came to me as I found myself sitting on the sand, my friend’s arm around me, tears flowing freely. I had done everything to make her last days amazing for her.
I recalled Kaya’s last visit to her favourite beach, splashing around in the warm blue water as she frolicked with her sister Luna. I remembered her final impromptu picnic in her favourite park with her special doggy friends.
Then came the memories I’d rather forget.
That last ride in the car, her usual excitement marred by her swaying with fatigue as we rounded corners. The pretty pink bandage on her leg for the IV. The way she finally relaxed in my arms as she succumbed to the eternal green dream, her ears filled with whispers of love and devotion.
Later as Kaya’s somewhat puzzled little sister Luna sniffed me with concern, I felt overwhelmed by regret, sorrow and injustice. My tired eyes searched the room and rested with relief upon the canvases of her hanging on the wall and random snapshots adorning the fridge.
With sudden thankfulness, I remembered the thousands of photos that sat on my hard drive of my beloved photographic muse in every possible situation.
Running flat out across the park, ears tucked in for speed and wet tongue flapping with abandon.
Twitching with doggy dreams on the new blue couch she somehow wrangled her way onto.
Engaged in a gentle but growly game of tug-o-war with her tiny baby sister Luna, the very first day they met.
Two years of discovery, joy and endless love I’d shared with this amazing companion as she grew from a cheeky puppy to a tall graceful beauty with a wicked sense of humour. Her life may have been short, but it was full.
To this day, I still spend hours going through Kaya’s photos, reliving the fun times and fondly remembering moments we shared. Her images jog memories of how her fur felt under my hands, how her ears stubbornly folded out sideways and how her amber eyes gazed back into mine, full of love and cheekiness.
Without these pictorial reminders, I would be lost, relying on memories that rapidly fade and shift as time passes.