KatieOn August 11, 2013, my life changed. On that day, my soul mate dog, my "heart" dog, my nearly-constant companion of 12 years physically left me. I didn't speak much of it publicly … it was just too painful. Even now, ten months later I struggle to write this. But I cannot let her first birthday since her passing go by without paying tribute.

I've had many dogs over my half century on this earth. A couple were lost in tragic accidents. Some died too young from medical/health issues. Most lived out long, happy and healthy lives. Their passing was sad, for sure, but honored as a part of a long life well lived. I have loved them all and I am grateful for the time shared with each of them.

I've talked with dog friends and they understand … .no matter how many you have, there's always one special one that becomes a part of you. For me, that special one is Katie. She had many names: Kate, Kate-Kate, Katelyn, The Great Kate (in homage to her namesake, Katharine Hepburn), Noodle, Noodle Soup.

Miss Maggie May

June 7 marks her 13th birthday. At 12 years and a little over 2 months, she lost a 22-month battle with Cushings. I won't go into all the details of that battle. Suffice it to say we all fought it valiantly with her. We consulted with many specialists from traditional to holistic and even some hocus pocus (as I fondly call non-traditional methods). We covered all the bases. But no matter how many professionals we saw nor how much money we threw at it, Cushings still took my beautiful girl. And with her, part of my heart and soul.

From the moment we met when she was 5 months old, Kate and I were soul mates. I have written about some of our adventures over the years here on this site. She was the perfect travel companion … .and travel we did. We (Dachshund Delights) go to a lot events as a vendor. I always would take 2-3 dogs with me … .but Kate was always one of them. From as far eastward as New Jersey to as far westward as Washington, and many places in between … by van, car, or plane, Kate went with me. Friends and frequent customers always knew if they saw me, they would see Kate, too.

I could write pages about our life together … but as mentioned at the beginning of this story, this much was hard enough on me. So I will move on to the next part … introducing Miss Maggie May.

No dog can ever replace one so loved as Kate. But the sad reality of our world is too many homeless pets … not enough homes. After a few months of life without Kate, I felt the best way to honor her was by giving a home to a dachshund in need.

Meet Miss Maggie: a Georgia peach of a girl adopted from Dachshund a Rescue of North America. A long haired black and tan beauty, Maggie is 8 years old going on 2. She is a perfect example of showing that not all rescues are broken in some way. She is darn near a perfect dog. Playful, social, loving, (mostly) housebroken. I could not have asked for better and I thank the wonderful folks at DRNA for her. She has brought joy to an aching heart.

I know Maggie is not Kate … and cannot replace Kate. That's not her job. Her job is being Maggie … and she does her job perfectly.

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