Our Sweet Kaylen

December 6, 2009

We lost our sweet, beautiful Kaylen today. It was such a shock. One minute she’s seemingly happy and healthy and the next, I’m rushing her to the Vet. It just isn’t fair, but no one is ever ready for this kind of loss. I certainly wasn’t. And it just breaks my heart even more to know that Brihten and Sage are wondering where she is. My saving grace is that my husband came home last night (from tending to his Dad all week) and we were able to hold and set our girl free together. That meant as much to us as it hopefully did to Kaylen.

We’re experiencing the expected range of emotions. Anger, guilt, denial and depression – Tom and I have given each other permission to feel what we need to and in our own time. It wasn’t even two weeks ago that I was telling everyone what a gift our animals are. And that’s what I try to remember when the anger emotion takes hold.

Kaylen didn’t stay with us nearly as long as we would have liked, but she was so very devoted and we’re thankful that she found us. It seems backwards, but losing Kaylen reinforces everything that I’m grateful for. I suppose reflection is also one of the steps of grieving.

I’m grateful that my Mom was strong enough to endure the treatment that put her cancer into remission. I’m grateful that Tom’s Dad seems to be doing better after his mini-stroke. I’m grateful for my family and friends. I’m grateful for the best friend I call my husband. His health and mine. Our home, our jobs and the life we lead. It all means so much to me. And, I’m grateful that I can still come home to two dogs and two horses that make me smile with how happy they always are to see me. But there will always be that hole that any loved one leaves. We will miss you our pretty little Kaylen – our “Special K.” Thank you for sharing all that made you unique, your valuable life lessons and your unconditional love. You were truly a gift.

Related story: https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/dogs-day-trip/

25 Responses to “Our Sweet Kaylen”

  1. Dear Pam and 2 and 4 leggd family
    how old was this girl ? so very sorry
    it is always..too soon isn’t it? we love them so.
    she reminds me of my little Duster,mini aussie, 13.5 now..has a heart condition from an infection a few years ago..i ..will be reminded again,to cherish every day.
    Kaylen was so very fortunate to have such love..and the animals deal so much better than we do..the here..the gone..the moment is most important..great teachers..sigh
    my deepest sympathy…with Love,Mary Ann

  2. Billie Says:

    Pam and Tom,

    I am so sorry for your loss.


  3. Roni Says:

    I’m so sorry, Pam. She was just beautiful and you can tell from her pictures how happy she was. Do you know what happened?

  4. Gerri Kier Says:

    Pam and Tom I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Kaylen today. I am sure the memories you have of her are as beautiful as the photos you have taken of her.

  5. TJ Says:

    Oh, Pam. 😦 I am so, so sorry. I enjoyed your post about your little outing a little while ago with the dogs, and this, on the heels of that happy, wonderful time, must come as a terrible shock. I can’t imagine your grief. I’m glad I had the chance to meet her, and Sage and Brihten. She was a beautiful, bright girl; now she’s a beautiful, bright spirit who’ll live in your hearts.

  6. Gayle Says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your beautiful girl Kaylen. You can add her to the bridge list at www petloss dot com. It helps to know so many people feel as you do. There is a candle ceremony every Monday night for those that have gone and those that need prayers.

  7. Margaret Says:

    Hi Pam:
    I am so sorry for your loss. Time won’t heal everything–it will give you persceptive and allow you to talk about Kaylen without the pain you feel today. You will find another buddy–or one will find you. It won’t be the same. It never is. But the next animal will help to fill that big hole in your heart.

  8. Elyse Says:

    Hi Pam & Tom,
    My sincere and heartfelt thanks and condolences – thank you for loving your girl so and sharing your loss. I lost my beautiful girls, two rescued standard poodles, this year. Their incredible presences changed me. The loss of Sienna was the greatest grief I have ever known. Probably because her presence in my life was one of the sweetest I had ever known. And Miss Lily, what a noodle! They were two of God’s finest gifts to me. Sienna was only 7 1/2, got lymphoma. Lily was 10 and two months later succombed to an acute issue. What a privilege to be loved by them. Thank you for the pictures of Kaylen.
    I hope I see you at the Board meeting Monday.
    Much love & empathy,

  9. Susan Says:

    What a sweetie! Thanks for sharing her pictures.

    I’m sorry to hear of her passing. She was very lucky to have you and Tom as “her humans.” I can tell from her pictures that she had a very happy life with you both. Now you have a sweet angel above watching over you 🙂


    Dear Pam & family,

    So sorry to hear about your sweet girl. Animals really do enrich our lives and it is such a horrible feeling when they leave. I recently lost my favorite dog & thought I could never get over it. I see now that my other dogs & my horse also have a purpose for my life and fill other voids.

    I will say some prayers for all of you..animals & Mom & Dad..may your sadness be brief. Makes me sad to think about all you are going through. Just know you make ALOT of peoples’ lives more meaninful by what you capture in your photos.

  11. jan eaker Says:

    Pam, I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. Dogs are just amazing; the gifts they bring to our lives are unbelieveable.
    Know that your sweet Kaylen is waiting for you at the Bridge. The certainty that we will be reunited with all of the animals that have shared our lives has brought me much comfort through the years.
    Take care,

  12. Cindy Says:

    Pam and and Family,

    What a beautiful girl. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure she found comfort in being surrounded by the ones she loved.

    My deepest sympathy,


    The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.

    Ben Hur Lampman

  13. Sandy Elmore Says:

    Pam and Tom,

    So sorry for your loss. I know like me, your 4 legs are very much a part of your family. I know how hard it is to say goodbye. Sending you, Tom, Britten and Sage love and hugs.


  14. Pam and Tom, Kaylen’s spirit is with you now and always. Mar

  15. Kathy Says:

    Pam and Tom,
    My heart goes out to you. I know how much you care about your animals as I do mine. We just lost our Dinny. She was 9 and bouncy and loving and happy to the last. It has been fun seeing and enjoying your pictures of your dogs and your horses. I feel that I know them and hurt for the loss of Kaylen with you.

  16. Lynn Bauer Says:

    Dear Pam –
    Though we’ve not yet met, we feel somehow that we already have through TJ and our collective love of the wild ones. Please know how very sorry we are to hear of the loss of your beautiful girl. Having you and Tom with her for her final journey was a very special gift, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. Remember – her love for you guys was/is unending and she’ll be at the bridge waiting for you.

    So glad to hear your Mom and Tom’s Dad are doing better! Take care of each other. Our thoughts are with you…

    Lynn and Kathy

  17. Deby Zimmerman Says:

    Those of us who are lucky enough to have the gift of and animal in our lives are forever touched by their love, energy and moments of life changing experiences with them (happy and sad, good and bad)and the pain of their leaving us behind eases but never leaves. You gave this beautiful little girl a life many will never come close to experiencing, and she will be waiting for you, along with any other animals you shared this life with, and all will greet you with the same love they had while here, only probably alot more enthustically because they have to wait for YOU! 😉 Prayers for you, Pam and your husband Tom will be said, to help ease this time of saddness and pain. May you pass through this time of sorrow and be able to remember and share Kaylen’s life with others. No one who loves animals, is EVER alone….there are way too many of US who also have been there, and will do all we can to help your pain ease by as well. God bless you all. Deby

  18. I’m so sorry to read about Kaylen. May your heart heal as you grieve and be comforted by the wonderful times you shared together.

  19. Pat Walch Says:

    Pam and Tom – I am so sorry……….I hope all the memories of the fun you had with Kaylen will help you through this. It is very hard to lose one of our furry kids!

  20. Anne Says:

    Pam and Tom,
    What a tragedy! They are never with us long enough, are they? And you have the special gift of having great photographs to help with the remembrance of her. She looks really happy – anyone who says dogs can’t smile has never had one. It sounds as if her passing went quickly, and that is a blessing (for her). Praying for your peace.

  21. pnickoles Says:

    I wish I could answer each of you individually – please know that each and every message brought tears as well as healing. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful, caring words.

    For the folks that wanted to know, to the best of our knowledge, Kaylen was 11 and a half years old. She was a rescue. (All our dogs are rescues). She may have been older, we just don’t know. Apparently she had a mass (most likely cancer) on her spleen that burst and she was bleeding internally (fine one minute, sick the next is what the Vet explained). Surgery was an option, but with a bleak prognosis, if she survived it. We just couldn’t let our girl suffer so we loved on her while she slipped away peacefully. It was all so sudden. Our hearts are broken, but we know we did the right thing. I hope that Kaylen enjoyed life with us. We were her 3rd home and we were determined to be her last. She was a quirky, sweet little girl who wanted nothing more than to be anywhere I was. She was my shadow and I miss her. Her barking and her funny little Husky “Woo Woo” could drive you crazy, but now the house is so quiet. Both Tom and l feel such a loss as do the other dogs. It’s so hard to say good-bye to a member of the family…

  22. Shelly Beyer Says:

    Sorry to hear about your friend she was a beatiful animal and a huge part of your life give all the others a kiss for me

  23. OH Pam, I am so sorry to hear of your loss!! She was beautiful!!! I thank you for sharing her pictures with us…

  24. Rene Says:

    Pam and Tom,

    Just saw this posting this morning. So sad to lose such a wonderful family member. I know you’ll cherish the joy she brought to your household, but first you (and your animal family) have to grieve for her loss. We’re keeping you in our thoughts.

    Rene and Craig

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