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August 19, 2009

Today is a rough day in Lilly Town. First of all, my sister meets with her oncologist to get the full diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan now that she’s 10 days out from her mastectomy. She has been up for hours already, steeped in anxiety, so if you can send her a prayer for inner peace, I know she would appreciate it. Secondly, today is Katie’s last day in Lilly’s life. We. Are. Crushed.

We knew that this was the likely outcome … when we decided earlier this year not to adopt Katie into our family after many weeks of experimenting with the idea. (To catch up on that full saga, look at posts from late February and early March.)

We’ve known for a couple of weeks that this day was coming. We got the call last night that someone from Colorado Borzoi Rescue is picking Katie up today, and if all goes well, she’ll be with her new family on the other side of the state by the weekend.

We’ve been told they are retired and that have another borzoi and many grandchildren. We’ve heard they take at least a couple of good walks every day, so we’re confident that Katie will have a happy and loving home. We’re particularly pleased she’ll have a dog housemate because she clearly enjoys the company of canine pals.

When Katie got back from the kennel over the weekend (her current family had been on vacation), we knew we would only have a few more days to love on her and expose Lilly to Katie’s amazing dog-dog wisdom, so she has been at our house a lot these last couple of days — racing around the pastures, being silly (like in yesterday’s video), and sleeping on our sofas with Lilly and Ginko.

Lilly and I are headed to class this morning as a much-needed distraction, but we plan to bring Katie down this afternoon for one last visit. There will be many tears, I’m sure. Still, we will be forever grateful for the lessons Katie taught Lilly (and Ginko for that matter … he was a big bully when they first met, but they became friends too).

I’m still so amused with the time that Katie laid on the sofa, and Lilly brought her toy after toy from the basket. I wish I’d caught that on video. It was the sweetest thing.

Anyway, since I’ve deliberately kept my workload light this month so that I have the time and energy to handle family matters, I spent the better part of Monday making this Katie Tribute Video. It’s 5 minutes, which I know is long, but I could NOT help myself. You’ll see a couple of photos in particular used a few times, simply because they are my favorite ones.

If you want to understand how we knew Katie and Lilly had something special, check out these early videos from spring 2008 when they first met.

So, we say a SAD farewell to an amazing dog. Many, many blessings, Katie Girl. We will always love you, and we will miss having you just two doors down the road.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Katie is a lovely dog, and she is such a good representative of her
    breed.  And, she was an amazing friend to Lilly. We loved having her in
    the neighborhood. It’s such a loss to both of us … now that she is

  2. I am so glad you discovered the wonder that is Borzoi. Their intelligence and extreme sensitivity allow them to create new ways to interact with new dogs. They can learn to adjust to incredibly disparate situations.
    Having participated in agility with 3 generations of Zoi so far I have found it amazing when you open up that window of communication with them. Borzoi love it when they realize that you are listening to them as hard as they are concentrating on you.
    I let my Borzoi “mama” dogs really create the culture for my pack. Of course I have rules but the older females teach each new incoming pack member far more rules and subleties of behavior than I ever could.
    Well sorry that your relationship with Katie had to end but sounds like she found a good new forever home.

  3. I’m so sorry that Katie is leaving. But, it sounds like it probably will be a loving and wonderful home for her where she’ll be loved and cherished. I truly hope so.

    I’m thinking of you and your sister. Such tough times but it sounds like she’s doing all the right things.

  4. Aw man! I, too, thought Katie was going to stick around for longer. I love that picture of Katie and Lilly waiting next to each other, I think they’re outside the door. Lilly looks so darn happy. She is lucky to have had such a nice doggy friend for all of this time.

  5. Oh no! I was so much hoping that Katie would work out in her current home. I’m crushed right along with you – what a beautiful, wonderful dog. I enjoyed the tribute – Katie looks like a cartoon character in some of those pictures – impossibly proportioned! I know that you and Lilly will miss her, but I hope that Katie finds a wonderful home where she can be confident and happy.

  6. What a beautiful dog and a beautiful friendship between Katie & Lilly.

    Perhaps Katie is paving the way for future friends of Lilly. Either way, they have both grown spiritually for knowing each other.

    Kudos to you for making the best decision for all involved, albeit a painful one.

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