Yesterday marked three years passing since my dog Khiva passed away. Today, while reading through my Google Reader, I came across this. I think you guys should all check it out. Its cute; its quirky. It made me tear up…just a little.

Speaking of Miss Khiva though, I wanted to put an excerpt of one of my very first blog posts ever. I think it was actually the second post I’ve ever written.

there was once a dog named khiva who loved tug toys, jumping in the snow, burying her dog bones, american cheese and her family, among many other things. khiva was born to her siberian husky parents – silver king and molly mae – on june 5, 1996. (seriously…that’s a perk of owning a pure bred. i know who her biological parents are and the date she was born.) khiva was our first and only family dog.

i remember once when i was younger khiva got out of her collar in the park. that dog loved to run. when i ran after her, she ran quicker and quicker. oh how happy she was to be running free. thankfully, i got her back just fine, and with a smile on her face. khiva not only loved to run, but she also loved to slide. and slide we did. what a sight she must have been. a husky, paws down, claws scratching, slipping all the way down the long yellow slide. then back up, and down, and up, until she tired of the sliding. khiva also used to hug. she’d put her head on your shoulder if you were close to her, or if you were lucky (and helped her with this towards the end) she would put her two front paws around your neck. i have never had a better hug in my life.

i miss her snout. maybe that sounds strange, but i used to kiss it alot. she had a great nose for a dog. khiva’s beautiful eyes always looked like they were lined in dark kohl eye liner, and her mouth – a permanent smile. if you gave her a treat she liked, you could almost guarantee she would bury it in the backyard. she would try to cover her tracks, which she did well, but she always seemed to forget how brown her nose would be from pushing the dirt with her nose. sometimes, in the winter, while shoveling snow from the sidewalk, when my shovel was full i would throw the pile of snow up in the air, and khiva would bound into the air to meet the snow. khiva loved the snow.

sometimes i hear khiva running down the stairs. is she? no. usually it is fenway- her nametag clinking against her collar. sometimes roger, or usually something random like wind chimes or someone’s keys. it took me a while to realize khiva wouldn’t be in the backyard when i looked upon returning home. i never even knew this was a habit of mine… until after she was dead.
she used to sleep at the foot of my bed and stay there until i actually woke up and got out of bed. those who know me know how much i enjoy sleeping late, especially during my college days. in regards to those days, khiva used to get sick every time i went back to school. i’m not gloating about this. it broke my heart. i didn’t want for her to get sick. she was just a sensitive dog. when khiva got sick, she got sick. my mom worked so hard to keep her healthy. all the benadril, the mashed up beef and rice concoction, water with ice cubes, no water at all… whatever worked, she tried it. and it made her better. almost every time.

even though khiva was occasionally sick and sensitive, i wasn’t prepared to see how sick she got before we put her to sleep. even more than that, i can’t believe how quickly it all happened.
what i have the toughest time understanding is how such a kind, graceful animal lives a life of only 11 1/2 years. can you ever be prepared to lose someone who helps make you a better person? how long is enough time to have with someone you love when you know they are going to die? she knew she was dying. she was strong like that, still trying to comfort us even though she was in so much pain herself.

khiva was a very happy dog. she lived a very full life. she had more than her her fill of favorite treats: kraft american cheese, asparagus, coffee, pigs ears, licorice, etc. my mom literally used to purchase fresh asparagus from the grocery store for khiva and my father. how many dogs do you know who gets expensive, fresh asparagus just because it was one of her favorite foods? that dog was probably loved more than any other dog who’s paws have touched this earth. and through it all, she was content. she didn’t ask for too much of us, just enjoyed what came her way.

i aim to be as grateful as she was in her life. i aim to live by her lesson.