Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good Bye Kaleb

I sat at my desk gazing at the vast expanse of freshly fallen snow. I could see little clouds of smoke from nearby chimneys as they swirled up and into the cold morning air. Warming my hands on my coffee mug, I contemplated my day ahead when the phone rang.

“Something is wrong with Kaleb. He didn’t eat, his eyes are almost closed. Can you help me? He’s my favorite dog.” Anxious and unable to think, I googled “favorite dog sick,” as my brother searched for a vet who could see him immediately. After typing strings of terms which yielded no other answer, we hung up, my brother off to the vet with his favorite dog and me left to hope that all would be okay.

Two hours later I received the call, “The vet said he has a bug. He has lots of medicine.” I breathed for what seemed the first time since the morning call. Longing to hang on to hope, we hung up again but there was an unexplainable unrest.

The day wore on and near the end of what surely must have been the longest February 12th on record, the phone again rang. “We’re headed back to the vet.” I hung my head in silent prayer and instructed my brother to call when he knew something.

Two hours later my stomach clenched when the phone rang. I heard my nephew’s choking sobs and then my brother’s quiet declaration, “He didn’t make it.” “No, what, he didn’t make it?” I heard the voice of a father trying to be calm for his son in the midst of his own heart breaking, “He went into a coma. We tried to call him back but he wouldn’t come. He fought hard. His tail was still wagging.”

And so it was that dear sweet Kaleb with the giant head, wagged into eternity. He was my brother’s favorite dog.



Joanna said...

Oh Karen, it's so hard to let go of animals isn't it, and yet those of who love them couldn't bear to live without them.

Thinking of you, your brother and his son


Words For Hire said...

@Joanna - You are so right Joanna. Today there is this empty space in my heart. None of us slept very well last night. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

Peggie Arvidson said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry for your brother and his family. Our pets really are such beautiful gifts. It's hard to get through the days without them. I'm sending lots of love to you all. And to Kaleb where he's romping again!

Words For Hire said...

@Peggie, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. It's amazing the connection we share with our pets. We all miss dear Kaleb so much but I love the thought of him romping around with glee. Thank you!

Leza said...

Oh, how sad! My condolances to you all! How old was Kaleb?

I recently blogged about our 14 year old Charlie's passing on the anniversary of his death, October 23rd. I did it for family and friends who loved him--he was such a *super* dog!

May your fond memories comfort you all!

Words For Hire said...

@Leza, thank you so much for your kind words. He was only two and had a tumor that burst. He was happy one day and gone the next. Leza, what is the URL to your blog?

I'm sorry for your loss too! Animals are such a special part of our families.

Leza said...

Hi, Karen!

He was so young! That makes it *so* much harder! Yes, they are a *very* important part of our lives and families.

The word "burst" is triggering this memory:

Another one of my dogs named Shep had what the vet described as an anurism like thing burst in his stomach. My Mom said he was fine one minute, running around outside and then *telling* her he was ready for dinner in a way only a Sheltie and German Shepherd mix can. ;-)

As she was putting food out for Shep, she noticed he was walking really funny and wasn't his usual perky self, even at 11 years old. (Another Sheltie trait!)

When my Dad came home from work, he joined my Mom and pet and talked to Shep as he lay there dying. The vet later told them there would have been very little he could have done to save his life.

I was pregnant with my first child, at the time, and had left Shep with my parents when I moved out of state. It also happened on my hubby's and my anniversary. My Mom was terrified to tell me of the news, and called several of my friends a few days later, asking how she should break the to me!

Oh, my blog is @:
The post on Charlie is here:

sexy said...