Today was the first day back with Julian and we wanted to find a way to share the news about Kirby with him.
Kirby was the first dog Julian interacted with. Kirby taught him to love and respect dogs and to have a furry friend.
Kirby was the first dog he touched, looked at, spoke to and cared about.
Kirby was the first dog he “walked” pushing Kirby in his stroller.
Over time the bond Julian developed with Benny became even stronger but Kirby always had a special place in his heart and mind.
We did not have the opportunity for Julian to see Kirby before he passed away as it was all so sudden.
And we didn’t want to dwell on the fact that Kirby would no longer be with us or explain how he died.
But I made a poster with fun pictures of Kirby and said today we would celebrate how we loved Kirby and the conversation just wove around stories about Kirby. We started speaking of Kirby in the past tense. Very gently over time he will understand his friend will no longer spend time with him.
We quickly moved on to the day’s activity with Benny.
Benny has been extraordinary and really showing his strengths and the tremendous amount of love he has to give. He is learning new things faster than I can teach and becoming Top Dog in our home.
He is sleeping in Kirby’s bed now because he does realize this change in the household is permanent.
While today was bittersweet it was also uplifting. While we can no longer see or touch or hold Kirby, we can still remember him and love him. Just as Julian somehow understands how special Coco was – a dog he never met – he will soon have a place in his memory for Kirby.
And that is the greatest legacy.
To never be forgotten.