Keely was born April 13, 2006.
Keely is an Irish dog name for “lovely”. And lovely she was. An old soul, kind, with a spiritual demeanour and incredibly smart.
We met when she was 8 weeks old, and the bond was immediate. I picked her up at dinner time on a Monday evening, and that first night she settled in right away, not even a whimper on the first night.
She was an enjoyable dog to train, she loved to be cheered on and rewarded. Her passion for treats really helped, so a little treat and big Whoohooo! = great job. She would continue with the good behaviour & learning for life.
We completed three levels of Obedience training, followed by Agility which she enjoyed and was good at. Flyball was less rewarding, she didn’t find it particularly challenging. She discovered her favourite training class in her senior years, that was scent work. Starting at 14 years old, she was a natural & loved it so much. I wish we had discovered it a lot sooner.
She never passed a good scent, be it a flower, pee-mail or food dropped by crows or humans. One time she dragged me to the other side of the street, where her nose had targeted a chicken wing, buried in snow. She really was something else, very determined to finish whatever she started, no matter the task.
The first word I recall her acknowledging was “cute”, she would immediately tilt her head recognizing this was a form of adoration and she loved it. Followed by treat, dinner and “want to go in the car?’. The car usually resulted in a real adventure. A new park to sniff, the beach or maybe going to visit other humans. “WOW” was her favourite over the past few years, it got her attention and sparked immediate curiosity.
She travelled more than most humans I know! In Canada we visited Toronto Kelowna, Victoria, Whistler, Calgary, and even attended a wedding in Kananaskis Alberta. In the US there were multiple trips to Florida, Seattle & Portland along with an air trip to LA for US Thanksgiving.
My favourite was our Road Trip to California, probably one of my favourite holidays ever. She was a great travel companion, taking everything in stride. We drove through Oregon with stays in Portland and Eugene as well as stays Palm Springs, Carmel and Mendocino in California.
I shared my whole life with her. She came along to almost everything with me, massages, chiro, hair appointments as well as regular days at the office. We enjoyed happy hour at our local pub’s pet patio, my favourite local brew pub, “Parkside” a.k.a “Barkside”, ice cream at the park amongst numerous other things. She loved going for a bike ride and sitting up front in the basket.
She was up for anything that involved socializing & eating. My girl never passed a shop, restaurant or a neighbor’s home that she knew had treats to be shared. She would peak in the door/window or stop outside to see if anyone would notice her.
Christmas was Keely’s favourite holiday, starting on December 1st when the advent calendar came out. Of course, the annual party at daycare, visiting Santa at Parkside Brewery, as well as the many parties and functions we got to attend together. She spent the weeks leading up to Christmas, regularly investigating the gifts under the tree, on many occasions she was caught climbing on top of them to rest. Gift bags couldn’t be put out until Christmas morning, or they would be opened and removed of tissue.
I was lucky she lived a long healthy life. She was nearly 15 before she got sick for the first time, developing kidney / liver / gallbladder issues. It made for a rough Christmas and start to 2021. She had surgery in the Summer to remove her warts & cysts and recovered well. Unfortunately, soon after she had a ruptured cyst that was infected and bled a lot, which resulted in another surgery. it was after that she started to decline, showing signs of anemia. In the end, she was diagnosed with neurological issues. The vet thought it was time to let her go. Give her dignity and say goodbye.
We had an incredible 15+ years, and I had to be selfless and do right by her, she had already given me so much.
We ended where we started in a funny way. When my girl was a pup, she tucked into my lower back when we went to bed. She would then try get in synch with my breathing. It became a thing for us, and as the years went on, I would pick her up, simply hold her close and take a few deep breathes and we would breathe together. If either of us were feeling stressed or restless, it calmed us both down.
Following our goodbye, when Keely started to rest, it was pointed out that as her breathing calmed, I sighed along with her. I want to believe we were breathing together in that moment. We had a profound bond from start to finish, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
Her legacy will long live on as a sweet, free-spirited girl, with a zest for life and the most heartfelt power of gratitude.
Keely loved to be loved, and she was loved by so many. She inspired many friends to get dogs with the hope they’d grow up to be just like her. And there isn’t one who can measure up, but of course I’m biased 😀
Life without my girl is going to be a huge adjustment. There’s the loss of course, but to be so small, she sure filled the room. She was a character, truly had so much personality. She made strangers smile and people who knew her laugh.
The cushions will never be out of place, her favourite chair won’t lose anymore fluff from nestling in it, there’ll be no more stealing seats, no more pawprints on the clean sheets or floors, and the hardest part of course, no more days with my girl.
She loved life, from all the training classes over the years, to our travels, social events, parades and parties. She had a serious strut when she wore a cute outfit or even a crazy costume.
She always humoured me by trying anything. And she fought so hard for me in the end. She was tired and I owed her the rest.
I gave my all to her, and I know she loved me loads & appreciated the wonderful life we had together.
Forever loved & forever missed my sweet Keelygirl ❤️