Last March I shared with you the passing of my sweet lab and companion Casey. We were best friends for 14 years, and after she passed I really didn’t think I would want another dog again. After all, we still had our funny Finley to keep us company and entertain us with his goofiness. And don’t forget our cats Monty & Moby, brothers-in-arms-and-antics. We have plenty of fur flying around the house thank you very much!
But then Koko happened. My sister’s friend Judi volunteers for an awesome animal rescue and placement service Barks of Love. Most of their animals are rescued from shelters before they are euthanized or rescued from people no longer able to care for them. It is a great organization staffed by caring and committed volunteers. Judi and Barks of Love will do whatever it takes to rescue an animal and place it into a good home. Fortunately for me, she thinks we have one, because when she posted a picture of a foster pup needing a good home, I was done. In my heart she was already mine.
My health was definitely a consideration for all of us when deciding if Koko was a good fit for us. It would not be reasonable or fair for me to adopt a high energy dog that needs excessive exercise. My husband is already the designated dog-walker, so adding one more leash was not an issue for him, but if she needed more walking than he has time for it would be a problem. Dogs are great to help encourage us to walk and be active, but as we all know there are days when it is just not possible. I know I am fortunate to have a husband to compensate for my unpredictable health. And it turns out that Koko is the perfect fit for us after all.
She is smart beyond belief! Mostly house trained when we got her thanks to the great fosters with Barks of Love. Her name was Justice, but we changed it to Koko and she answered to it by the end of her first day here. She is playful but not crazy. In fact she gets most of her energy out on her walks with Rob and in playing with Finley. They have become great friends. I was fortunate with Casey and Finley. They had the knack of matching their energy to mine. If I needed to sleep in, they let me. If I needed quite time and space, they respected it, and somehow, Koko is already doing the same. She really is amazing!
Give her a toy to play with or a bone to chew on and she is in heaven. She puts herself into her crate when she is ready for a nap. She seldom whines, she respects authority, and has already learned several tricks. Did I mention she is amazing?
Rob and I were not blessed to have children of our own. Koko, Finley, Monty and Moby are as close as we will get to raising a family. Casey filled my heart with love for 15 years, and when she was gone I had no place to direct it. Lucky little Koko is the new beneficiary of all that love. She is not replacing Casey. She is honoring Casey. I had a dream the night before we were to meet Koko. I was standing at my front door and Koko was on the other side. As I reached to open the door I looked down and Casey was standing there wagging her tail, excited to meet the newest member of our family. It was all the reassurance I needed that Casey is fine, and that Koko belongs with us.
Welcome to the family little Koko!
Looks like Koko has a wonderful new home and you have a new friend. I can see how you were immediately taken by her! I would be too!
Jan Carmichael says
I love your blog, and only just found it, I’d like to add it to my list of favorites on my blog. Fibromyalgia and the tiger within. I hope that’s ok.
Great dog story, I’m a huge animal lover myself!
Aww, your beautiful dream brought me to tears. We recently had to put our dog Rusty (15) down, and it was such a difficult decision. But his health had been deteriorating and after a bad seizure we didn’t want him to suffer anymore. We still have Domino (14) but we’re not sure about future pets; the loss is so painful. But somehow I don’t believe we’ll feel that way for long. Pets just add so much to our lives 🙂
Angie Stroozas says
What a wonderful post! It brought tears of joy to my eyes. I volunteer with Barks of Love and got the privilege of meeting and spending time with Koko (aka Justice) at an adoption event we had at my church. She is a beautiful dog with an amazing spirit and I can’t tell you how happy I am that she found such a loving family. I do hope I get the chance to meet you in person at on of our future events.
Anna Murphy says
Koko looks and sounds wonderful. And the dream also brought tears to my eyes. I wrote about a lovely cat we lost recently and I’m going to put it in my FB notes if anyone is interested in another pet story.
What a great blog Sis! A great story and happy ending! We all miss Casey so much. I love the story about your dream, it made me cry. Koko is a great addition to your family. She is very blessed to have you and Rob. I am thankful for Barks of Love. Judi donates so much of her time and Zack too. They have BIG hearts…………… I love you Sis!!!
First Angie, thank you for your service with Barks of Love. You guys are awesome! You describe Koko perfectly. Somehow her amazing spirit came through in the photo Judi posted and I knew she was the girl for me. She is actually a present for my 40th birthday. I hope to meet you too someday. Thanks again for all you do.
Thanks Sis! For loving Casey, for introducing me to Judi, for helping me decide I was ready for Koko, for making sure it happened, and for letting my “kids” love you and lick you and make you all hairy! I wonder how many board meetings you have sat through with a stray hair or two on your suit! You’re the best! Love You.
Awesome Blog Dannette you made Ashlee and I both cry. Koko sounds amazing and We are glad that Casey gave you the asurance you needed to let you move on. We love you!
I love how animals are such great companions as well as being good therapy. 🙂 nice to meet a fellow animal lover. 🙂
Ellen J. says
I started reading the KoKo post because I had a dog by the name of KoKo years ago. We spelled it the same as you do ( not too common), so I read on.
KoKo came to me as a stray. I found her outside my apartment. In the early 1990’s, when KoKo was about 11, she died due to a mistake I made. I have had trouble forgiving myself even after many years. I love animals and volunteer with them, a way of saying I’m sorry to KoKo.
When I found your post (I am recently diagnosed with FMS), I had a feeling I was supposed to read it.
As I was reading your post and scrolling down, I began to feel what your new dog was going to look like. Still, I was stunned when I saw the photo of KoKo. This is exactly what my dog looked like, tan dots over the eyes and all, except my KoKo had floppy ears. She was a Doberman/Shepard mix, about 55lbs., sweet as could be.
Just needed to share how your article made me feel more at peace today. Thank you.
Ellen that is so beautiful. So glad you took the time to share your story. I am sorry for your loss and your lingering guilt. Forgive yourself. I am sure she has.