Kaz came to us from a difficult past. He was relocated from home to home five times in his first two years and it showed upon his arrival. He was insecure, wary, quiet and aloof, yet his eyes showed keen interest and hope that maybe things would be different this time.
Although we didn't particularly like his name, we decided to retain it since it was the only thing constant in his life at that point. He needed love, consistency and people he could trust and he worked hard to show his worth. The only real concern we had was how he would get along with our family of animals, including other dogs, cats, horses and fowl. Our concern was unfounded, however, as he was a fast learner and realized that all things that were part of our family were friend not foe. As a result, he quickly captured our hearts and became another very special member of the family.
Kaz turned out to be much more than just another family member, he became our guardian, a great listener and a source of great happiness and devotion. He just wanted to be close to us, especially my wife. I think he clearly understood that she was the one who sold me on bringing him into our home and that made her super special. He loved to come along for feeding time with the horses, occasionally going on the chase but always keeping a safe distance. He also liked to play with our other dogs as well as our assortment of barn cats. Even when he looked ferocious he was very gentle, in fact, when putting a cookie in his mouth he had the softest touch. The words bite or nip were definitely foreign to him.
In the evenings when my wife was at work, he loved to lounge on his thick cushion on the living room floor, barking in response to our outside Great Pyrenees who bellowed as they made their rounds. I knew if it was more than one or two barks, he wanted to go outside and join them in whatever adventure they uncovered. He would lumber along behind them, cautiously learning the process.
And later in the evening, when my wife called to tell me she was on her way home, he would bellow, knowing that his beloved "Mama" was coming home to see her boy. The two of them always had a special bond; it was truly amazing to watch. But he was very loyal to me as well and rejoice at our good fortune in having him in our lives.
Of all the other animals, our little jack rat terrier, Molly, was his favorite. She could talk him into a bit of mischief, but never serious, and the pair were very close. She loved the big guy and will probably pine over him for a few days but, she is one for the living and enjoys life, so she'll bounce back.
You know, most people say that since dogs aren't human and don't have a soul their life ends with their earthly death. But I read an interesting article once by Billy Graham answering the question of whether or not dogs go to heaven. Dr. Graham, in his infinite wisdom, opined that when you take a dog into your home and treat him as part of the family, that wonderful creature becomes a part of you. So by his reasoning, if you are a Christian and that dog becomes part of you he will be around for you when you take that final journey to the hereafter with God above. I believe that is true and count on it. After all, this morning before the veterinarian came to take him out of his pain and agony, I promised him he would see us again. I'm counting on it.
So farewell, faithful friend. We hope you like that special spot where we buried you and we will always remember you every time we walk by with the horses. Rest in peace, you deserve it and we will look forward to seeing you again in a world of no pain and no suffering. What a joy that will be.