Upside down, her favorite way to sleep.
Snowshoeing in the South Hills of Idaho 40 miles from where we lived. We snowshoed almost weekly in the mountains.
Always a gentle soul, and the baby food on Nolan didn't hurt either.
Colton was the one to always go and get her a toy to curl up with. She started as a puppy with a blue dinosaur that she would mouth, but she never chewed it and to this day, we still have it.
Enjoying the sunshine this spring.
Having a photo shoot with dad at the old studio.
Dakota would have been 13 years old today. The grief lies just beneath the surface now, six weeks later. A scab has formed over the wound, but if you bang it just the right way it still bleeds raw. I still check the time when I am running errands. The constant feeling of "I need to get back to let the dog out," is a tough habit to release.
My Dyson Animal Vacuum cleaner is pathetically empty. I used to get a surge of joy in emptying not one but two or three canisters of dog hair. Now I barely get 1. Who would have thought a clean house could be such a disappointment.
It was the Schwan's man who most recently made me cry. He opened the door and then stepped back in the customary way. He peered inside and waited for the flash of gold to come bursting through the door. He then looked at me and said... Dakota? And all I could do was shake my head no. Oh, he said, Ohhhhhh. I'm sorry.
We've been told her ashes are ready. We haven't quite figure out how to bring her home. We just know the curiosity of one young man in our house nearly paralyzes us with inactivity. He would either open the box just to you know, "see," or accidentally spill them, or better yet, bring them to school for show-n-tell. If you're smiling at that one, than you understand Nolan.
Unequivocally, what I miss the most is having a soul in my house that just understood me. When Kota girl was just 10 months old, I started having gallbladder attacks. I eventually had surgery and when I finally got home from the hospital, Dakota would lay and whine on the floor next to the bed. She'd stretch up with her paws on the comforter trying to get up on the King poster bed we had. Then one day she decided to take a flying leap, dig in with her paws and up she went. She walked over to Rick's pillow and snuggled in next to me. She remained at my side until I was well.
After that she was my constant companion through bouts of morning sickness, through migraines and days when I just needed to rest, she knew. Somehow her faithful companionship and loyalty, were medicine to what ailed me. But as quickly as I'd recover, she'd go back to being her feisty, barky, treat-demanding, self, and all was right with the world again.
She taught me so much. About all the usual things that come with dog ownership, and some things you don't anticipate. Like how to open your heart just a bit wider and how to love a bit deeper. And it is the lessons learned about love, the unconditional kind, that lead me to know, she'd want us to know love for a dog again. And I believe in time we will.
Love ya and miss ya girl!