Our family lost a best friend and a hero today.
KeyKey, the rescued Shepherd/Sheltie mix who saved two lives back in August, 2006, died from injuries sustained in an accident.
I’d never been “a dog person,” until I met my daughter Kelly’s dog, KeyKey, a smart, funny, protective critter who found a second home at my feet, under my desk, on my new sofa, and…well, you get the idea. He wound his way into my heart — a sneak attack of sorts.
One August morning, he woke me from sound sleep, staying by my side as I roused my son-in-law and we three escaped our burning home. This silly wonderful rescued dog had two human rescues to his credit.
He was really my daughter’s dog, hers and her childrens’. But I’ve always kept a stash of doggie treats and saved chewy Easter ham bones for him in anticipation of his visits. I assumed, as most people with beloved pets do, that he’d be around for quite a few more years.
Like many dogs, he loved “rides,” racing from side to side across the back seat of the car, head sticking out the partially opened window, ears flapping in the wind. Back and forth. Back and forth. Had to make sure both sides of the car were moving at the same time. He was trained to voice commands, with only an occasional squirrel distracting him. KeyKey was a people dog, not liking to be left out of anything. If he had to be left home alone, you could count on him poking his nose through curtains as soon as the car pulled in the driveway, barking his joy at the return of humans. Sometimes KeyKey didn’t know he was really a dog.
KeyKey was a source of comfort to all of us in difficult and trying times, especially after the fire, and when we’d lost other members of our family. He would cuddle up with us, perk his ears up, look at us with his crazy “doggie smile” and somehow our world would be sweeter, bearable.
He loved snow. Loved to race in it, chase snowballs, frolic. At least he got to enjoy that with “his people” today.
Suddenly, turning on a moment in time, we find ourselves with a gaping hole in our lives that can never be filled. We mourn, for now, but eventually we will smile over the many joys this wonderful dog shared with us.
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Author’s Note: Our thanks to the staff at Animal Care Group in Sango and to CO Publisher Bill Larson for their compassionate response to our loss.