The night I took her home, she played non-stop with my other dog, Atticus, for four hours (and would have kept going if I hadn't separated them so I could get some sleep). She never left. On Wednesday, Kennedy left this world and I lost an amazing canine companion. She was a little like me in she loved every other dog she ever met, but was very picky with the people she trusted and felt comfortable around. If she trusted you, she was the sweetest, most easy-going, most loving dog you would ever meet.
Honestly, right now I feel like I have this giant empty spot in my heart. Some of you might be reading this thinking I am crazy because I am talking about a dog, but the animals in my life are part of my family. Kennedy was a beautiful dog who was with me through the ups and downs of my life for the past four years. She had been though a lot of change and was a constant, faithful companion. Just thinking about her and writing this hurts. It makes me wish I would have had longer with her. It makes me wish I would have cherished the time we had a bit more. It makes me wish I could have been more prepared.
When I adopted Kennedy, I knew she wasn't going to have the longest life. I knew she was going to have struggles and I knew it was going to be hard. Knowing all of these things doesn't make it any easier at the end. But, as much sadness as I feel now, I would go back and do it all over again. My time with Kennedy has shown me we can't take anything for granted. It has shown me the little things we let bother us because we think they matter, really don't. This all has shown me we are going to hurt, but insulating ourselves from the pain would be even worse. It has shown me we need to be more cognizant of the time we do have.
If I would have not brought Kennedy in to my life, I wouldn't feel this sadness right now. But, I would have never had the great times I had with her. On the day she came back in and laid her head in my lap, I knew this day would come. I didn't realize then how much this would hurt, but I also didn't realize how much I would love her. She stood by me when others didn't. She put up with me when I drank too much. She was there when I finally quit. She loved Leila from the instant Leila came into our lives and our home. She showed me love, when I didn't feel as if I deserved it.
Life is short and precious. We have to stop spending our days doing things we think society wants us to do or what we think we have to do and instead do what we need to do. It's easy to get caught up in the drama that is daily life, but what good does it do? It doesn't help us to cherish what we should be cherishing and living life the way we should. There is always going to be loss. There is always going to be death. We are going to feel sadness and pain at times through life. How we live our life in the other times is what really matters. Make moments that matter.
Kennedy was a great companion and came in to my life when I really needed one. She was a big part of our home (figuratively and literally) and she will be missed more than I can express.