Our 9-month-old puppy died today from a degenerative brain disease. Last Saturday, knowing the end was near, I collaborated with Portland Florist, Francoise Weeks to create this peaceful, woodland scene. Some of our best memories with Kolohe were hiking through the woods. I don’t know what puppy heaven looks like, but I hope it feels like this woodland daydream.
I created this photo series to personally cope with the devastating loss of having to say goodbye to our beloved Kolohe too soon. I share it to comfort those who also have to say goodbye to their four-legged best friend. It’s never enough time.
Below you will find a letter to our sweet pup.
You were born the same week Michael and I were married. We’d been looking forward to your arrival for what seemed like forever. Here are a few things I never told you.
I was nervous about getting a husky, because I knew how much exercise you needed and wondered if I could live up to the task.
You turned me into a runner and it became the best bonding experience. I planned my week around the days I could take you to the dog park. Seeing you wrestle and chase all your doggie friends became the highlight of my week.
I was nervous when we found out you’d be a wooly-coated husky, because I’d be vacuuming behind your every step.
It quickly became my favorite thing about you. Hugging you is like hugging a cloud. You are the softest pillow. Thank you for soaking up all of my tears with all of your incredible fluff.
I was nervous getting a dog at what seemed like the second we got married. I wondered if we should settle into this new season of life, just the two of us, first.
Now, I cannot imagine our beginning without you. We’ve grown closer as a couple in our mutual adoration for our sweet pup. You light up our lives and we can’t imagine life without you in it.
I was nervous you’d be one of those rascally, escape artist, typical stubborn huskies.
Well, you were. The husky that dug up the pond and then escaped to the neighbor’s house, is the same husky that caused our vet to ask if our husky was broken because he was such an obedient dog.
I was nervous to love you so deeply and have to face the heart-wrenching fate of saying goodbye someday.
That someday came too soon. I’m still in complete disbelief that we have to say goodbye to our 9 month old puppy. I’ve watched you age 15 years in two weeks.
I would clean up after your messes for 15 years if that was all that was wrong. (Thank heavens for hardwood floors.) I would hand-feed you boiled chicken to jump start your appetite for 15 years if that was all that was wrong. I would be your seeing-eye human to navigate your blindness for 15 years if that was all that was wrong.
I would take care of you after your seizures for 15 years if that was all that was wrong. I would hold your water dish up while you drink so you don’t aspirate for 15 years if that was all that was wrong. I would be your ears when you go completely deaf for 15 years if that was all that was wrong.
I would pick up your back legs when you’re too weak to climb the steps for 15 years if that was all that was wrong.
You’ve dealt with all of this and a degenerative brain disease that quickly took you from us.
I wish I could take away all your pain and also keep you here with us. Whether it meant you would live 9 months or 9 years, I would do it all again, just as long as you lived with us.
I wish you could meet our future babies and lick their chubby cheeks. I wish you could have seen your first Christmas, your first snow fall, your first birthday.
We love you so much Kolohe, Bubba, Pupper Nutter, Derp. We are so lucky to call you ours. RIP 3.19.17 – 12.19.17.