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Swan Song to my Hero


Every time I drove up to this house, I could hear that deep huge bark. He was so deep and loud that he would make dishes and even my German railway gun shell casing ring from the vibration. Then his going crazy to see me would set off Nina who was just keeping up with Kais. The day after he died I drove up to the house... silence. Shut the Beetle door..... Nothing. Nina came out whimpering; scared that she was home all alone. She had never spent a day alone in her life. So when I thought my heart could not be any more broken, it broke a little more...

That evening, I took Nina to the Field of Dreams where he loved to play, and threw his beloved tennis ball one last time, a few times. I don't know if anyone saw the man sitting in the grass holding a tennis ball and crying, but I do not care.

Nina and I went for a walk that evening and it was very difficult. We walked the "missing man formation" of only the two of us, when it should have been three.

Everything was the "last time". I scooped up his poops for the last time from the front yard. I emptied his diaper pail for the last time and put the pail in the garage. I hung his collar and leash up for the last time; it will never be worn again; but it will always be ready, beside the door. I go to bed every night clutching his collar, it gives me some comfort, but the pain is deep and will not subside.
A week after Kaiser died, I went to the Vet Clinic to pick him up. I knew it was going to be heartbreaking and it was. As a puppy he had come home with me for the first time in the Beetle, so it was in the Beetle that he would come home for the last time. I put my Baby Boy's remains in his cookie jar and took him to the Field of Dreams one last time to grieve the finality of the most horrible week of my life. I sat on the grass holding him in his cookie jar to say goodbye and try to find some closure and solace that he was finally going home again. I sat and wept for I do not know how long....

Then I put his beloved tennis ball in with him, and a cookie, and a chewie, and some clover from the Field of Dreams that he loved so much, and closed it up. The three things he loved more than anything; the park, his ball, chewies, and cookies. He is home now. And home with me is where he will stay until the end of my days...

Kaiser's last visit to the Field of Dreams
Losing Kais haunts me every moment of every day. I did what I thought was best at the time, I had no idea he was so sick after being so active the day before, and I cannot change what happened. I can't haunt myself with shoulda, coulda, woulda. Too late. I understand that I cannot change what happened and I cannot bring him back. In my darkest hours, when I felt that all was lost and pondering the reason for my existence, Kaiser would provide it; he would trot into the room, plop a ball at my feet and wait, staring at me intently with his head lowered to snatch up the ball. It was like he was telling me that no matter how dark things seemed, there was always time to play.

I can gain comfort that few dogs are as loved or spoiled or played with as much as he was. I gave him a very good life. What he gave me changed me forever, he taught me to live for the moment, to play when you can, and to enjoy life, even if that means an afternoon snooze. I know in my heart that if dogs can love, that little guy loved me.
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. (Theodor Geise)
Terri Pike kindly allowed me to link to an animated "Flash" version of the Rainbow Bridge story. I know the Rainbow Bridge story is meant to bring comfort, but I find it very difficult to watch and break down when I watch it. The Rainbow Bridge story
 

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