When Hubbell had his surgery on May 1st, I told Alain I wouldn't leave him again. I knew his time was short and I wasn't going to miss a single day. It was hard staying put for three months and it meant missing out on some important events. For me, there was no other option and I'm glad I didn't miss one moment of Hubbell's last three months. The only bad thing? I couldn't come visit our Kenzie.
Alain and I adopted Kenzie when she was four months old, in April of 2000. We walked into a PetSmart, I saw her gorgeous face peeking out of a crate and I turned to Alain and said, "I'm not leaving this store without this dog." She was our first baby and I feel sure she was meant to be mine. Spoiled rotten. I think she literally has a hundred nicknames. Pumpkin muffin, puffin, Snoop, Love Puff,.....and it goes on. But the one that sticks, the one that I use all the time is Kenzie Snooter. That one stuck. It's just who she is!
When she was two years old, she suddenly got very sick. There was a period of several months when I took her to the vet every single day to measure her blood levels. She was really not well. For some reason, her immune system was attacking itself. Noone, not even her vet, expected her to live to see age three.
Eventually, I think a year or two later, she was diagnosed with atypical Addison's Disease. Once we knew what we were battling, it was quite easy to treat her with medication. However, she's always been rather sickly and we've jumped through hula hoops, bent over backwards, spent a fortune and somehow, sometimes through sheer luck, sometimes I'm sure only with our endless love for her, kept her alive.
She will turn 14 in December.
For those who don't know the history of why she doesn't live with us anymore, Kenzie bit Sophie in November of 2010. It was an awful time in our lives and I was traumatized. I never blogged about it specifically because I didn't really know what to say and I was so ashamed. I was afraid of the judgment of others. Although I know there's nothing anyone could have said to make me feel worse than I already did. It took MONTHS to get over it even a little bit. I still feel guilty and will always feel that I let both of my girls down. I thought I could watch them both 24 hours a day and that was naive. Lucky for all of us, my parents allowed Kenzie to come live with them. They said yes before I could even get the words out to ask. And I do believe they've come to love her as much as I do! (Want proof? I took all of these pictures tonight.....this is their couch and that new bed is one that they purchased for her. She's a lucky girl!)
As an aside, we adopted Hubbell during Kenzie's second year. I told Alain I wouldn't survive the loss of Kenzie unless I had another dog to keep me going. Can you imagine? In all those years, I couldn't envision that I would ever lose him first. Still, you don't know how much I leaned on him when Kenzie moved out. We became TIGHT, Hubbell and I. He helped to heal my heart and, in that respect, he did help me survive the loss of my furry girl.
(In the irony of life, I also found out I was pregnant with Clara the VERY NEXT MORNING after the biting incident. And that was a humongous surprise.....one that certainly helped to keep me going at the time!)
My parents have done an amazing job taking care of sweet Kenzie. I say sweet but she's so rotten. I used to always tell her that she's a dog only her mother can love! She's as smart as a whip, totally dominant, commanding of attention and so, so darling. Everyone always adored Hubbell and would gush over how wonderful he was (and he was totally deserving of all of it ~ a very special soul, as you know). But only one friend ever told me, "You know I love Hubbell but I have a special place in my heart for Kenzie!". When you think you're going to lose a puppy so young, before she even gets a chance at life, you develop a special and strong bond.
Kenzie is also now completely deaf. Hubbell was blind and Kenzie is deaf. I've learned from both of my dogs some serious perseverance and how to overcome handicaps and still enjoy and love life.
Once Hubbell passed away, I immediately made plans to come and visit Kenzie. It's certainly comforting to be around her although it's hard not having Hubbs around too. Those two were a pair for so long.
When the girls and I arrived in Lynchburg on Sunday, Kenzie was sprightful, playful and happy. I am so grateful for that. It's been wonderful spending some time with my furry girl!
I love you, my Kenzie Snooter!