The Dog Days II

Kage Baker did not believe in luck. Everything, she believed, had a purpose. She carried this to some weird lengths, in my opinion; but she said it made her feel better. It wasn’t paranoia (She insisted on that …), it was proof that there was form and structure to the Universe.


Eleven or so years ago, while we were sitting on the lawn of the Ragged Point Inn, contemplating a ruinously delicious lunch and looking at the broad Pacific, a tiny round fox-red puppy ran up to us. It had ears like satellite dishes, no tail, huge griffin-like paws and nothing much in the way of legs. It came up to Kage and grinned at her.

“That’s a Corgi, isn’t it?” she said.

“Yes,” said I, melting into a puddle of squee.

“Kimberly needs one of those,” Kage decided. “We should find her one.”

Kimberly had long desired a Corgi, which Kage knew. And where Kage and I lived, in Central California, there are an amazing lot of Corgis. They seem to spread out from the epicenter of Cambria (surprise!) and can be found everywhere between Big Sur and Pismo Beach. Less than a year later, Kage found an ad in the newspaper she worked for, and I drove Kimberly up to acquire  the amazing Dylan Griffith.

It was love at first sight. She was Mom, he was utterly hers, and he tried to spend his life in her lap.

Today, Dylan died.  He began throwing up yesterday – couldn’t stop, couldn’t eat, couldn’t even keep down water; though he tried heroically. There was no warning or other symptoms, and he was cheerful and happy between puking fits.

But dehydration can be fast when you only weigh 45 pounds. We rushed him to the vet – the vet said he was in renal failure from an unknown but massive bacterial infection in his kidneys; and there was basically nothing that could be done. Too much, too fast, and even if he could be saved, his quality of life afterward would be bad.

No one deserves to die in agony, especially a loving, trusting little person who has shared a life of happiness. Kimberly couldn’t let her good dog endure it with no hope. She took responsibility for sparing him that, making the hardest and most painful decision of any dog lover’s life.

Dylan was snug and safe and pain-free in her arms when he died, wrapped up in a beautiful blue blanket. We petted and talked to him for a long time, and he was quite content while the sedation took him away. I held his paw.

Then we tucked the blanket around his nose, because that was how he liked to sleep, and came home.

There may be no accidents – Kage could have been right, she often was. But there is far too much pain. Nothing since Kage’s death has reminded me of that more than today. Hold tight to every one you love, Dear Readers. You never know when the Universe will take them away, by accident or on purpose.

Sleep tight, Dylan bach. We love you.


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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12 Responses to The Dog Days II

  1. Lynn says:

    Kimberly and Kathleen, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Pets become the house-clowns for those who don’t have children to amuse them and take that same place in their tenders’ hearts.


    • Kate says:

      Kimberly has, of course, a perfectly amusing son – but he and the Corgi thought they were brothers anyway. Dylan was our baby, too, regardless of number of legs, and tonight the elder cat and the parrot are also inquiring (in their way) what the hell we’ve done with him …


  2. Athene says:

    Oh no. I am heartbroken for the loss of such a good and loving soldier, and I send all love to those humans good enough to do the best for their beasties and not for themselves. Ad astra, Dylan, of eternal memory.


  3. buggybite says:

    So sorry. All the best to your entire household.


  4. Tom says:

    It grieves me deeply that Dylan is gone, with that mixed blessing that is a rapid ending. Our Corgi mix, has been much on my spirit of late.
    I wish you all peace and serenity, especially Kimberly who did not fail in her duty of friendship and love at the last.


  5. mizkizzle says:

    So very, very sorry. You and Kimberly did the right thing. Virtual hugs.


  6. Medrith says:

    I’m sorry.


  7. Cynthia Olsen says:

    I’m so sorry for the sudden loss of Dylan. Because they depend on us so, it seems to make it harder when they pass. He was a lucky boy to have such a loving family.


  8. Chris S says:

    He was a darling boy, though we met but once. I am so sorry Kimberly, Kathleen, Michael, and Ray for your loss.


  9. Kara says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that. 😦 I’m sorry you had to make such a hard decision but I’m glad Dylan got a respectful end.


  10. Lisa P says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Sometimes it is the last kind thing you can do for your 4-legged friend. Glad she could be there with him even though it must have been difficult and sad, especially coming unexpectedly.


    • Kate says:

      It’s the cost of the joy that pets bring us. ylan was a boon companion that made all of us smile and laigh every single day – the least we owed him was an easy passing. Also, he was a valiant guard and kept us safe from raccoons and UPS trucks and other monsters. In fact, only this morning, a squirrel tried to get into the house through a vent – Kim had to fight it off with only a spray bottle and 2 vaguely interested cats.


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