Hope

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As I have mentioned previously, in April this year, my sweet little pom mix, Koko died of old age. We had her for 12 years and she was 14 years old, almost. It’s one of the worst things that ever happened to me and one of the worst kinds of pain I ever felt and my heart will always be broken.
She had the sweetest little face, so innocent and angelic.   She was one of the most calmest, mild tempered dogs I have ever known. She was part pomeranian and part papapalya (sp?) and since I was never familiar with either one of those breeds, I never knew, and always wondered which one she more closely resembled.

Dogs don’t generally live to be much older than fourteen years old. And shortly before Koko’s death, she began to change. She was still the happy, sweet little girl she has always been but she began to be very slow and did not jump up to greet me as much, her breathing was different but she wasn’t sick or suffering. I knew deep inside it wouldn’t be much longer before we wouldn’t have our sweet girl with us anymore.   It was/is heartbreaking.

One day, a few days before Koko died, I was in Center City, Philadelphia with my family and I saw a lady walking two very small dogs who look exactly like Koko. Their faces are identical to hers except theirs are white while hers was tan. They look so innocent, sweet, angelic…so calm and peaceful like Koko always looked and always was.

I found these two babies to be beautiful but I felt my heart break some more knowing that soon, I would never see that face again except for in pictures. 

A few days later Koko died. I was devastated, to say the least. Many days and nights I jumped up in a panic with my heart nearly pumping out of my chest thinking, how can this be, how can she really be gone, how can I go on without my baby? I was angry for months, not at anyone or anything specifically, just furious off and on month after month. There are even a few days I wanted to die, the pain, the loss, the grief, the sorrow, was so overwhelming.

Shortly after Koko died, I was in a daze, I wasn’t myself, I functioned like a zombie, I went to a check cashing place with my mom. I saw a sign hanging up about purebred pomeranian puppies for sale by a family who had a litter of them.

I couldn’t believe it. I never seen signs advertising pom poms before, mostly pit bulls and Shepherds, never poms.

I knew I wanted one of those puppies but we already had three and my dad doesn’t care for having more than a couple animals so my mom and me thought he wouldn’t go for it.

I also did not want it to seem as if I was trying to replace Koko. No one can ever replace her. But someone can come along and help heal the pain of her loss.

I copied the number and when my dad came home, he very surprisingly agreed to let us look into it. I called the lady who made the sign. I rarely call people I don’t know for any reason. I’m very shy until getting to know someone. But I called. There was one little boy left who still needed his furever home.

So we went to the family’s house and there he was in a pac n play, standing up wagging his little tail, four months old. I fell in love.

He has Koko’s face. Sweet. Angelic. Calm. Innocent. The face I thought I would never see again. Never kiss again.

We brought him home and I love him more than words can say.

He looks exactly like Koko but he is nothing like her. He is wild, energetic, into everything, he begs and steals, he wakes me up. He chews everything he gets his little paws on. He ruined so many pairs of my shoes, including three pairs of stilettos, he playfully ripped my nose ring out that I had for nearly 10 years and it now closed up mostly, he pulls on my nose with his teeth in a silly, playful way…

And I couldn’t be happier with my boy.

I would give up all my material possessions for him.

He sleeps with me at night. Curled up around my neck, next to me, in my hair, in my arms, he loves to snuggle, he can’t give enough kisses.

He is so little but his heart is bursting with love.
He doesn’t replace Koko. No one ever will. My heart will always ache for Koko. My grief will always remain. But I love Emmy, my new baby, just as much.

My grief escalates now and then, it gets better and worse but will never go. And I don’t want it to go. I can still be happy with grief.

I carry Koko in my heart always & forever.

We cannot always choose what happens to us but we can learn how to effectively react to things and keep on going and going until things get better.

My message is one of hope. When Koko was on the verge of death and after her death, I was hopeless, sometimes to the point of despair. I never imagined something good would later come my way. But I was wrong.   There’s always hope even if we can’t currently feel it. Things can turn out better than we could have ever imagined.

Keep going, keep living….
Wake up & live all over again….
You can be stronger than you think.
You never know who you are inspiring. 
Who is falling in love with your smile.
Who is touched by your kindness.
Who wants to kiss away your tears.
Whose life is greatly impacted by yours.

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
– Anonymous

“What do we live for, if it is not
to make life less difficult for each other?”
– George Eliot

“There are no hopeless situations;
there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.”
– Clare Boothe Luce 

“Today I choose the higher road –
the path of charity, acceptance,
love, selflessness, kindness.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Every tomorrow has two handles.
We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety
or the handle of faith.”
– Henry Ward Beecher

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My sweet Koko.

Xoxo Kim

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2 thoughts on “Hope

  1. I must have been 13 or 14 when, for reasons I no longer recall, our family’s membership increased by one. My eldest sister, Nancy, who had by then been living on her own for five or six years, was unable to continue caring for her beloved miniature poodle, Dondi. And so, the little guy came to live with The Cates’s.
    As is not uncommon, the new arrival swiftly forged an attachment to one of us in particular: my younger sister, Mary. The two were inseparable; she was ‘the baby’, and Dondi must have seemed to her like the little brother she’d never otherwise have.
    I’ve rarely seen a living bond of such depth as the one between those two.
    Details of those days more nearly resemble clutter in a closet than a narrative flow, and I don’t have a clear idea of how long Dondi’s spirited force was with us from his arrival till the day he died. But I remember his passing and the devastation to my sister’s world. And I suppose that may have been my first experience – even if at second hand – of the possibilities of visceral union between people and our non-human cousins.
    But life did not cease. And today, my “little” sister is the doting, loving mother of three children (two of them, remarkable, accomplished grown women; one a young man still considering his paths); she still loves, and shares her home with canine kith and kin. So, though she grieved exceedingly, she healed superbly.
    Kim, as I read this beautiful tribute to your treasured Koko, I was able to draw upon what I recall from those days so long ago, as well as upon the pain I have felt – and continue to feel – due to losing the nearest and dearest to me.
    I am beginning to eagerly anticipate these drams of inspiration you deliver, Kimberly. And your above entry illustrates the reason.

    • James,

      Thank You so, so much for sharing this amazing story with me!! I truly appreciate all of your comments. You are so empathetic & understanding. I’m so happy for your sister that she got to experience that beautiful bond with her dog and so happy her dog was blessed with such love. <3. Congratulations to your sister for all of her success and I'm so happy she was able to heal so well and move forward. I love how she can open her heart to love humans and animals. Your message gives me so much hope. Thank You so much!

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