Is there anything better in this life than the love of a dog? If there is, I can’t think of it. They love you so fully and unconditionally. They love you more than they love themselves.
I am lucky enough to be the mom of five adorable rescues and each one holds a very special place in my heart.
This post, however, is about just one of my little ones- Kiley. Kiley is eleven years old and she is a German Shepherd (though when out and about I have made up breed names when people ask, or I shout ‘RESCUE! Rescue is her breed!’ Because I am that person, no apologies.)
My Kiley girl is sick. She has Degenerative Myelopathy for which there is no pain and no cure. But today I will not focus on her illness, I will focus on her life.
Kiley is a wonder girl. She loves water and smiling and chasing balls in the yard. She would play all day, every day if she could. I am 100% sure she thinks she is still a puppy. She loves climbing on our bed to sleep and taking up all of the room. She is brave and kind and has stubs for teeth because she just can’t stop chewing on sticks and rocks (when I asked the vet if I should make her stop he sighed and said, ‘It is just in miss Kiley’s nature, no use in trying to stop her.’)
Kiley is a lover. When we adopted our new kitty Meredith, Kiley was the first one to say hi.She stared at the nervous kitty, inching closer, begging for cuddles. Meredith finally snuggled up to Kiley on the couch and it was the first time Meredith looked like she knew she was home.
Kiley is a healer. She saved my life after I lost my dad. Kiley was my reason to get up, to get out of bed, to care for someone else and myself.
Kiley is the reason I changed my life, the reason I slowed down. One day, about a year ago, I was buzzing around cleaning and organizing all of my stuff and she asked me to go outside. Usually I would let her know she had just been out and that I had to clean.
Instead I stopped.
I dropped all of my things and stuff and we both ran outside, into the sun and the wind. We played for three more hours. Kiley already knew what life was about. Not stuff and things and shopping. Life was for playing. Playing and eating and sleeping and smiling.
Kiley will have anywhere from 6-9 months left to run, and play, and eat, and sleep. And I will be here with her each moment. I will not be distracted by things or obligations. I will be right here, remembering what’s most important.
To celebrate my Kiley girl Katie Schmid of The Pinwheel Collective took our portrait. Kiley will forever be in my heart and in these photos.
“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed at how much she had time for.” Unknown
Bonnie Rae xx
All photos by The Pinwheel Collective