Katiebird, Katie, passed away two weeks ago at the age of 10 1/2. Although she was diagnosed with liver disease and Lyme disease, it was her heart that failed her. On her last day, she got up and went to work with Kota and me, determined not to stay home. Throughout the day, as her body continued to weaken, she never gave up. As we made our rounds in the truck, she sat next to me, leaning her head on my shoulder to see out the window, while making Kota sit on the floor. By the end of the day, I knew it was her last. I carried her into the house when we got home and sat with her on the couch. All three cats and Kota willingly took turns sitting with her. There was no fighting between any of them that evening. Katiebird passed away peacefully in my arms.
Katie touched the lives of many in her career. She was a wonderful dog and will never be replaced. She was more than a dog, she was family. During our time together, there were few days she wasn’t by my side. Even though Kota is working with me (and learning) everyday now, it will take time for me to stop looking for Katie when I turn around. Wherever she is now, I know she is happy chasing chipmunks and rabbits and swimming in mountain streams.
Editor’s note: Katie was one of a kind. A truly special dog, Katie loved her family, life, and doing her job tracking wildlife and protecting Carrie as she did her job. One of Katie’s last jobs was training Kota. I have to believe that Katie’s passing is a sign that she thinks Kota is ready and worthy of taking over her role. I know that while she may have crossed the rainbow bridge, Katie’s spirit will continue to be at Carrie’s side, protecting her and helping Kota to fine-tune his skills. We are pleased that Kota will jump in as our new Dog with a Job. Welcome Kota – you’ve got some big paws to fill!