I just learned from my ex’s brother that Kaylee, the dog that I shared while I was together with my ex, Elly, had to be euthanized about a month ago. I still vividly remember the first time I ever met Kaylee. Before Elly and I were dating, I went to pick her up from her house so she could help me with some back up vocals on a song and was greeted with Kaylee’s boundless, puppy-like love and enthusiasm, which I would learn over time was one of her signature traits. After Elly and I started dating, since I was a freelancer and therefore home a lot more than Elly, Kaylee and I really bonded. I can still see her signature butt waggle whenever one or both of us would get home. Whenever I would walk Kaylee past the Starbucks by our place, she would always pull toward it, thinking that Elly would be coming out of the door since she often stopped there when all 3 of us walked together.
I’ll never forget what an amazingly good girl she was as Elly and I held her while she had her anal gland expressed. Nor shall I forget the foulest stench my nostrils have ever encountered that filled that room. She was such a calm trooper. Then there was the time I walked her to Walgreens, tied her up outside, and then took a different route home after shopping. I then suddenly realized that I had forgotten she was with me and I had left her at Walgreens. I jumped in the car and sped the one block back to retrieve her, feeling like the worst doggy daddy ever.
When Elly and I broke up and she started traveling for work, Kaylee went to live with Elly’s parents in NM, which was actually a really great life for her. She had a lot of room, another dog around who she loved, and humans who were also around a lot and would go for long walks. She was the only pet I ever really had. I wrote a more detailed account of my history with Kaylee here.
It’s strange. I think I somehow kind of knew. I’d thought of Kaylee a lot recently and had thoughts about the life span of dogs. I had even written in a private blog on July 3 (somewhere around the time she was, completely unknown to me, nearing the end) that I wondered if I would even find out when she died “some day”. Even stranger, just yesterday I had thought about messaging Elly’s brother to ask about Kaylee, and then today I got a totally random message from him asking about some film industry stuff (he and I are not generally in touch so a message from him was very surprising).
After hearing this news, I went back to where I used to live with her and took a late night walk around the the neighborhood and the park where I would always walk her, remembering her beside me. I walked past the pet store where we would get her food and where I bought her a toy that I gave her the last time I saw her before she left. Appropriately, this was on the door of the store.
While it’s not surprising, I find it a bit peculiar and interesting how much it has affected me. I hadn’t seen Kaylee since she left about 3 years ago and I was likely never going to see her again so practically, this doesn’t really have any effect on my life, and yet obviously, it has a great effect on my heart and soul. Life is strange. I don’t think I have the emotional constitution to have pets. To deal with the fact that in all likelihood you will outlive them. You’ll fall in love and then all too soon, you will have to say goodbye.
Here’s a silly song I wrote about her many years ago.
I also included her bark at the very end of my song, “See.” I’m glad she’s immortalized in my music.
Godspeed, Kaylee. I’m sure I will take many walks in your honor in the days to come, re-tracing steps I took with you so many times in the past. As I’ve said to so many others in times like these, the law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. So I know your energy is still in the universe in some form. That’s SCIENCE. You’re a good girl, Kaylee. Tear up those squeaky snakes, wherever you are. I’ll always remember your butt waggle, your (sometimes overly) enthusiastic love, and your siren song. As much as I’d love to be able to tell you to “Stay,” I’ll let you off your leash to run in the greatest, biggest park in all the universe.
I love you. You’re the best girl.