RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always wanted a black lab just like we had when I was growing up. I always knew.

It was finally time for me to get my own, so my dad met me at a friend/breeder's. I got out of the truck and saw the litter of nine, and they were all black, except for one white one.
"Isn't he cute dad?" I laughed.
"Sure for a yellow, he's a cute little bugger. Now lets get to testing the litter."
That little white guy looked me straight in the eye. He knew.

We got out the pigeons and tossed him on the ground amid the little black ones. That little white one was in on the fray. Huh.
We put food in a bowl to see who would bump the others. That little white one stood in the middle. Looked me dead in the eye too. Huh.
Everywhere I went, he made eye contact. The others wandered around aimlessly, some playing, tumbling. The little white one stood there looking at me.
I had to go sit down away from everything, because that white one was tugging at me and it was a distraction. How was I going to tell my dad I changed my mind? I didn't know.
I walked around the barn to sit down and think by myself. After a few minutes, I felt I wasn't alone. I looked and the little one was sitting next to me. Staring. He knew.
I told my dad I wanted him and he shrugged and said, "Okay. Whatever you want" with a sigh. I could tell he was disappointed but I looked at my new boy and felt peace.

I took him to an obedience class and the little guy I named "Kai" was wild.
"Heel your dog." Kai heeled....kind of. He pulled me the whole time.
"Sit your dog." Kai sat but looked like he'd explode.
"Praise your dog." Kai came UNGLUED.
"Not so much praise for Kai." I didn't understand the big deal. He looked at me with a sparkle in his eye. Kai knew.

I joined a training group led by Carol Kachelmeyer.
"He's pretty fired up, who's he out of?"
"I dunno, some cracker dog."
"Cracker dog?"
"Ya, Clubmead's Cracker or something."
"DB's Cracker of Clubmead??"
"Ya, I think that's it" I said chasing after Kai who just stole a bird.
"That's a Ritz dog!" Carol said. I shrugged...I didn't know what that meant. Kai knew.

My dad came down for Kai's first hunt test. I sent him for the first bird and the judge said "Wow, he pinned it!" I had no clue what that meant. Kai knew and he did it three more times and passed his first Junior hunter that day. My dad whooped and hollered, "Damn! That boy can mark!" I was so proud of my little Kai-Kai.
All of his training was full of holes because he was my first dog and I was going to do it myself. But it was me learning and Kai teaching.
He was chock full of natural ability, drive, and WISDOM. I stumbled along after him.

Kai won his second qual in Oakdale. 48 dogs, opening triple and I had never trained on a retired gun. It was ok though because, (say it with me!), Kai knew.
Two months later he almost died of Valley Fever. He was on antifungals for 3 years and ran some All Ages, but never had the stamina to fully compete. His mind was sharp as a tack though and at every trial he still went ballistic, the only time he ever broke was on a 300 yard flyer! He did levitate on an honor once though.....

My Gram loved Kai. She used to look right at me and give him food from the table, smiling. Kai followed her everywhere when we stayed with her during the summer. When she stopped dialysis and went home my Kai went with me. I didn't have to say anything when I buried my head in his fur. He actually sat still. Kai knew.

Last January he was diagnosed with a liver shunt and given a short time. Doc said a dog as sick as him should be sad, depressed. Kai was still bouncing off the walls. Kai had a will to live like no other dog Doc has ever seen in his 30+ years of practice. This January Kai started kidney failure too but has rallied again and again. This weekend at the Atlanta trial, he pulled me around on a leash and I tripped no less than five times.

I only ever asked of him to make it definitive. I prayed that God would give me peace when the time came. I was scared. I wanted to make the right decision and I didn't know what to do. We lied together on the floor on blankets and I told him I would never love anyone like I love him. My best friend. My Kai-Boogie. I told him everything I could think of and once again, buried my face in his fur. I didn't have to say anymore.

Kai knew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like the best boy!! He certainly was loved - and he knew it!

I know there is a huge hole in your heart, but it will be healed by the special memories that Kai has blessed you with.

Rest in peace, Kai.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
A truly moving memorial for a best friend. I'm so sorry you lost your Kai. There is nothing on earth like those first heartdogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,636 Posts
Sounds like a great dog! So sorry for your loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,645 Posts
Karen, I am wiping the tears away so I can type. What a beautiful tribute, and it expresses so well what I always thought about you and your dog. Flyers forever Kai!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
So sorry for your loss, what a great BOY!!
Dave Hare
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,117 Posts
Sorry for your loss!

The Homburg's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,335 Posts
A very nice tribute to Kai.

So sorry for your loss...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
What a beautiful tribute. It made me tear up.

I am truly sorry for your loss.

Run free Kai, and well done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
Damn man. I am having a hard time typing here.
Some folks say that the dogs were loan to us to see what kind of people we are.
I believe you pass with flying colors.

Benny
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
I'm sorry Karen.

I'm way glad you had him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
What a wonderful life story of your Kai, I feel like I knew him too. Truly a testament to him picking you.

That you loved him with all your heart.......Kai knew!

RIP dear Kai...may all your birds be 300 yard flyers!

With Sympathy on your loss,

Earlene
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,637 Posts
Finn is kissing away my tears. You painted such a vivid picture of Kai and your life together. My heart breaks for you, but what a life you gave each other. He really was meant to be in your heart always.

GodSpeed Kai

M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,737 Posts
So much love in your words about Kai.

I'm very sorry Karen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,502 Posts
Very nice story. Sorry for your loss. Take care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Karen, So sorry for your loss. Kai was always special (and he knew it, too). He will be missed. Fire sends her condolences to you and her thanks to Kai for catching her the day she decided to go on her adventure!

--Susan
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top