When I lost my dog Kynan to cancer a few years ago, I just wasn’t ready to replace him so easily. The kennel stood empty and I’d cry when I saw his water bowl and leash. The kids were keen on getting another dog but I could not bear to replace my baby so quickly. You see, I’ve always been very scared of dogs because when I was about 19 I was bitten really badly and I didn’t just have physical scars; I got emotional scars as well – I was very scared of dogs.
Kynan came into my life at a very difficult time and I gave him all my love. He’d follow me everywhere and would sit with me in the kitchen as I cooked or had my cup of tea while reading the newspapers. He was very cute as a little puppy and as you might know, all long coat German Shepherd Dogs are seriously beautiful.
A few months later my brother called me and asked me if I would take on some of his dogs as they were moving to a place that didn’t allow pets. Seeing that he was really close to them, I agreed though with a heavy heart because I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing another dog in Kynan’s kennel. He came with two Japanese Spitz and a Russell terrier and ceremoniously left them at my place with their books, licenses and other personal effects. Honestly speaking it took me time to open up to them. It was like having unwanted stepchildren. Sounds harsh but it’s me being honest.
Eventually we reached a happy middle-ground and we were all getting along just fine except for Speedy the Russell terrier. He would bark, growl and attack the other two dogs and on one occasion got into such a terrible fight that Tosky needed stitches on the head. I asked the vet why Speedy was like that and was told there was nothing wrong. He was little and just marking his territory with the other dogs but I was disturbed at his skills of tearing apart Tosky’s head. He’d taken to barking and growling at the kids and they were starting to get frightened of him. My fears surfaced all over again so when my friend Mutheu came home for a girlie lunch and asked if she could have him, I impulsively said yes.
She mentioned to me her sister’s huge ranch/farm that she lived on in Naivasha and I thought perhaps the open spaces will do the little bugger some good, and it did! Despite a heart problem Speedy settled in well with his new family and I’d get reports from Mutheu that he was doing really well.
When Mutheu called on Tuesday I assumed it was to give me an update on Speedy and his shenanigans but she told me, while choking away sobs, that Speedy was no more as he had been dragged away by a leopard. I was in shock! No way! Apparently the leopard had snuck into the ranch and while the other dogs responded to a call to keep away, Speedy being Speedy must have chased or provoked the leopard and was dragged away.
Losing a dog is like losing a family member. Whether you got on with that family member or not that’s beside the point. It really is losing someone who is part and parcel of our life. I’m sad Speedy is no more because the farm was a perfect place for him to be free. I like to think he died a hero saving everybody from a leopard attack.
I just want to thank Mutheu and her lovely family for giving Speedy a wonderful home and loving him like family too. I’m too choked up with emotion to say anything else.