Kohana Bear, by Amanda S.

Kohana was always a special dog, and looking back on our time together, it feels like she was meant to be ours. I have always felt that she was sent to me and reflecting on our journey together I can see why.

We called her Hana for short, and when she came to us, we instantly fell in love. Hana was with me throughout my entire adult life. From me getting married, having children, and everything in between. There were many times when Hana was there for me, and I felt understood by her. She brought so much peace into our home, and she was by my side as we experienced life together.

Just before her 13th birthday, we discovered Hana had a heart murmur, which led us to finding out about her cancer. She was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma on her heart, and when the veterinarian who found the cancer told me about it, he started crying too. We cried together, and it was honestly the day I knew that soon I would be losing my girl. I did everything I could to learn about this cancer and to reach out for support from our veterinarian. We tried herbal supplements and those seemed to help, and Kohana lived an additional seven months beyond that point.

The night that we lost Kohana it was traumatic, and because it was during Covid we were unable to be with her when she was euthanized. We said goodbye in our vehicle, and she looked at me in a way that almost looked like she was telling me that it was okay, that I could let go.

Losing Kohana was the beginning of my journey to discovering more about myself. On July 24, 2023, it will have been two years since she died. Now I am always finding new ways to honor her memory. I am lucky enough to be a therapist, and to be able to help others navigate through grief and loss. I also completed the Pet Loss Specialist course from APLB, which was truly incredible.

Kohana has left a mark on me that has changed me forever, and I will never forget her. I miss her and love her beyond measure and am so grateful to share our story.

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