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Katey’s Eleventh Birthday


Hello everyone. I want to thank all of you for the support in these last few critical months.

We have a corporate sponsor that has agreed to finance our operational fees, and to Brian at BJC Branding, you have our heart felt appreciation. You are what Cajuns call ‘Good People”.  In a world full of cold digital promises, he is a man of integrity and community, and we could not more fully thank and endorse him as our corporate sponsor in the coming months.

Next?

Happy Birthday to our inspiration and mascot, Kathrine Anne O’Connor.

Eleven years is no small feat for a dog of her breed, much less a dog with Chronic Lupus. The years have flown by too quickly to contemplate, too far into her Autumn as it is for me to accept, and yet….. She still remains my Hero and my Best Friend.

From the early days, when She and I were young and a bit stupid, to the elder years.. a time we were both predicted to not live until, we have remained true.

We still find the meaning of life too sweet, when reflected in each others eyes to give up. If no one has ever been chosen by a dog to be their human, it’s not easy to comprehend.

It was in her third year, that we embarked on the grand adventure. To see all the world REALLY had to offer, in the face of illnesses that we both were told we would likely never survive more than a few months.

In the dead of winter,our dash to Boston was conceived.

The reason that all this came into being, would begin the day I packed everything I valued in my jeep on a wet rainy day in New Orleans, and left it all behind, for something more. Both of us would find help and healthcare in New England, but not before many lessons were learned by us both on who to trust and why. as well as how to be trust worthy and why.

The first time she got out of the Jeep in snow was in Delaware, and she climbed a snow bank to pee. Learning for the first time something that girl dogs who live in the snow understand… when you squat, make sure you don’t do it in a cold bank of ice. She blasted out of that snow like a jack rabbit, looked at her rear end, looked back at me, and quietly walked back to the jeep with a very annoyed gait, head held in high contempt of our new reality.

Now she always takes one look over her shoulder before she settles on the right spot to lower her bum …  a trait she has taught me well. HA!

As the second day of the trip I began to think they were right in saying I would not make the trip and to not attempt it. To drive, so physically devastated, to a place that had highs at the time in the 20’s if it got sunny enough. My body was covered with bleeding  cracks and lesions.  When I slept at the hotel, she sat awake over me. The smell of blood in the air probably too sharp for her to get rest. Perhaps she sensed my pain. I will never truly know. I drove by day and she slept, and by night she stood guard over me.

Later when I began treatments that made me delirious for weeks, I am told she did the same thing, even at times trying to bite anyone that came near me, when I was unconscious or asleep. Someone I lived with in the early days would come in on occasion to check my pulse, ( as in to make sure I still had one), and Katey would leap from the end of the bed, cautiously watching whatever was happening. She left my side only to eat and relieve herself. After a weeks that no one believed I would live through, one day I woke up, and the gambit was to be a success. For now, it would seem, against all odds, with my one true companion by my side, I had risen once more from the ashes, a habit I am now fond of making in life. …lol.

Today, I write, with her in the chair beside me, to wish my faithful companion many many returns of the Birthday.  As the inspiration for the Charity, Katey’s Keep, as well as a documentary film currently being produced, I KNOW that she has no comprehension that any of that matters.

And in THAT lies the beauty of what she is. Inspiration without expectation.

Stubborn that I am, she still has much work to do on a daily basis, and she does it through pain of every step, and WITH dignity of love freely given. When her diagnosis of Lupus came one day, and I learned that dogs with Lupus generally did not live long and suffered greatly, I became terrified yet determined.

Yet the days when I had lost hope and belief in humanity were upon me, and wanted little to do with it, I knew every day I had to wake up to watch over her as she had done for me when I was sick. She became my inspiration for life. To give her what she gave me. The protection of a relentless watchful eye.

Although I could not see a future for myself, I,  like her, refused to see a future when my best friend still had needs that only I could give, unanswered.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes it is in big ways, when the dedication of one animal to her Human, inspires people I would never dreamed of ever knowing or meeting, to create a charity in her name.

Some days it is in the small ways. when we look out of the window together and I see her joy watching a squirrel tumble through the pear tree out back. I remember that life is spent in the minutes and days between doing “the BIG Stuff”.  To sit and live in the eternal moment and have that eternal moment be joy in the beauty of the world just outside the window.

Together we have crossed the nation six times for various reasons, to celebrate life as we share it through each others eyes and to learn what it means to be responsible both to a bond shared between humans and dogs for tens of thousands of years, and to two living creatures who accept  each other unconditionally, and are dedicated to caring for each other each in our own unique ways.

For Katey and I? The hard part is over. We neither fear nor focus on the end. We exist together in the NOW.

Our ages and our illnesses still persist, but that is what life is really about, anyway. To see that nothing will ever be permanent and to take the joy of the instant, and find strength in it to continue when you think you cannot.

Happy Birthday to Katey, and to Katey’s Keep, and to all those that are like her, and to the human beings they protect and stand by, we gladly share our joy.

Interview: Dale and his Pack


I understand You’ve adopted two dogs from a rescue site.. why did you choose to rescue instead of purchase a new pet?

Dale:  Well I chose to rescue because there are so many animals that are in need of help. Lets get the ones out there in the streets into loving homes. 

Gus and Ellie are your adopted companion pets. Gus was definitely a stray, and after being around him, its clear he was a runaway or abandoned, and that he has certain behaviors that he learned from other people. Can you tell us a little bit about that? the challenges AND the rewards?

Dale:  Yes, they are companions and I’m grateful for them. I rely on them as they do me. When Gus was found he had heart worms and had to be put on medicine.

How was he found? 

Dale:  He actually walked up to the other dogs at the peoples house who fostered him….  He walked up so he could say hi to the other dogs.  They got him better because of the other dogs they had as well.

Any thing about his behavior that was unusual?

Dale:  His behaviors are pretty much normal as any other dogs behaviors. If you raise your hand too fast he flinches. If I light a cigarette with a match and I’m not near him, he flinches.

Crossing your legs is hard to do around him because he will  push against your foot and move around …. so he can be scratched. Other dogs?  he loves them in open environments, but walking leashed on the street the same time other people are walking their dogs… he is difficult.

And  Cats ?

Dale: Well sometimes he’s good around them but not always. To answer your earlier question, I guess I would say the challenge keeps me on my toes. Thats the rewarding part… keeps my mind on the task and alert.

I know that he was your second rescue adoption and that Ellie, in fact, was your first. So while you adopted Gus as an adult, You first adopted Ellie as a puppy a year before. What Challenges did Ellie, as a puppy, bring to you as a pet owner.

Dale: The challenges Ellie brought where very small, She was the piddle queen haha. When you came in from being out and would let her out of her cage she was so excited that she just let go…. and little pee spots would be around you as she was jumping and making happy noises.

It was funny actually.

The more difficult part was EVERYTHING made her excited.

So if we were in bed  and played with her sometimes she just would let some drops out.

The house training was easy, though.  We crated her for a while and now she’s house broken.

At first she had some seperation issues but now she seems to be doing better with Gus around.  She needs lessons in manners and a few other things but she’s a great dog

LOL… she has more energy than a nuclear reactor. She’s definitely and active girl!  You have been open with people in your life about the fact that you have an anxiety disorder, that has been an obstacle in your life at times. How has adopting Gus and Ellie helped you with that?

DaleThey make me have to deal with it.

They know when something is wrong and they do their best to try and comfort me. I do my best to let them help me relax and they do. 

People love them and they love people so I end up interacting  with other bipeds myself, which in the long run is better for me. 

Well in closing I want to thank you for volunteering for Katey’s Keep, advising on urban outreach and rescue outreach. I will give you the last word. Can you give us the name of the rescue site that you got your pups from, so that others can know they are a caring quality rescue organisation?

Dale: Sure. Here’s the address of their facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cold-Nose-Coalition/176349659048575

Have a story YOU want to share?  E-Mail us at kateyskeep@gmail.com and we can talk!

Katey’s Keep on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook


find at any of these locations….

kateyskeep.com  where you currently are

https://www.facebook.com/KateysKeep

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEw5UiNO_IMdW5Orbj17ZKg/featured

https://twitter.com/#!/KateysKeep

See you there !

 

 

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Eyes In the Dark