Monday, September 5, 2011

In Memoriam ~ My Beloved Keno

Before Jada, there was Keno, the family dog. Keno was a handsome rough coat collie who we rescued after another family wanted to get rid of him. We had not had a dog in a long time and my dad always said if we could find a dog that was free and housebroken we could get it. That's when Keno blessed our lives on that November day in 1998.

We didn't know much about Keno, just that he had been bounced around from home to home and that he didn't like the mailman. Still, we took him in with open arms and loving hearts.

Fast forward to 2005, Keno was still with us and he couldn't have been happier! He had a loving family, food in his belly and a best friend, a cat named Angel (BTW, Angel is a boy!). Since we didn't know Keno's actual birthday, we just picked one for him, which was September 3rd. We assumed he was about 4 years old when we got, making his birth year 1994. This exact weekend, 6 years ago, we had just celebrated Keno's 11th birthday on Saturday. Sunday everything was fine but that Monday, September 5, 2005, Labor Day, would change everything.

Without going into the entire long story because it still hurts to tell, we had to put Keno down on this very day, 6 years ago. The vet had found a mass in his bladder which had made him very sick. It was one of the, if not the most, difficult day of my life. That day is still so clear in my head, I think because I was in the room when Keno passed. My mom had told me to never be present when a dog is put down, but I couldn't just let him leave this world all by himself. I needed to tell him until his last breath that we loved him, that I loved him, and that he could be free of pain.

The next few weeks were a blur for me, going through feelings of heartbreak and guilt. I felt as if I had let Keno down and most of all took him for granted. I wish I would have put more effort into being around him and playing with him because you really don't know what you got until it's gone.

Once we had gotten Jada, I realized that Keno had taught me something: He taught me compassion for animals and life in general. Even though I have always been an animal lover, it meant so much more to me now to help animals and also be more appreciative to life. I never witnessed death until Keno and just the fact of knowing what was happening to Keno will always haunt me. I also feel Keno showed me responsibly and how I need to be there for Jada. This is probably why I'm an over-protective pet parent when it comes to Jada's health issues. I hope one day I can hug Keno and thank him for that.

I found solace in the Rainbow Bridge poem, different Pet Loss website and having a picture memorial of Keno in my room. I've also done a balloon release for Keno on his 4 year anniversary. I found it most healing to be creative and did a memorial video of all the pictures and few videos we have of Keno. I posted it below so please turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Keno's Balloon Release ~ This was his 4-Year Anniversary to Rainbow Bridge

4 Balloons, representing 4 years

Here they come Keno :)

For more on Pet Loss and how to cope, please visit the Pet Loss Website. It has wonderful information, candle vigils, and inspirational readings for anyone experiencing the loss of a loved pet. You don't have to go through this alone!

To read the Rainbow Bridge Poem, Click Here.

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven, and bring you back again." - Unknown