9/13/2006 - If we had known how difficult it would be to say goodbye, would we have ever let you into our hearts? Oh yes. The memories say it all. You have brought more joy into our lives than we could have imagined.|
I can remember riding home that first day. It was Christmas Eve 1993, Wayne was driving and I sat with you in the back seat of our Jeep Wrangler. We didn't have a proper crate yet and you wanted to climb out of the box that we used to bring you home so I sat next to you to keep you safe. You were such a little ball of fluff, a soft cuddly teddy bear, only weighting a mere 8 lbs. Your were our Christmas present to each other that year and I think we stopped buying presents for one another after that year because no present could ever top that one in 1993. In the first few days that you spent with us, we struggled to choose a name for our new companion. One day it came clear to us as you stood on your hind legs and waved your paws in the air as if performing a traditional Japanese "Kata".
From the very first day that we took you to the play group at All Dogs Gym, you showed that you wanted to play with the "big dogs" as you quickly wore out all the others in your age group and we were asked not to bring you to the "puppy" class next time. Obedience classes started at about 14 weeks. I can't say that you were the most attentive student but you managed to graduate Level I, Level 2, Level 3, and even Beginner I Agility Class offered by Gail Fisher's Canine Behavior School. When Daddy started working during the day shift, we decided that it was time to enroll you in Day Care because we just didn't feel right leaving you alone for ten hours a day especially in the early years. When you grew up you only needed to go to school one day a week, but you always knew when it was Wednesday and would tell me to hurry up and get ready so you wouldn't be late.
You certainly did love winter and were in your glory when the ground was covered with snow. That first year we took you with us snow shoeing. Your little legs made it difficult to navigate so you simply climbed onto the tails of our shoes and hitched a ride. You were so smart even then.
We introduced you to hiking in the summer of 1994. Zealand trail was one of our favorite easy hikes but you would sleep for a full day afterwards. As you matured, we ventured onto more challenging hikes and over the years...Mount Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Eisenhower, Flume, Galehead, Hale, Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty, Madison, Pierce, Moosilauke.
At some point you developed a fear of loud noises. Thunderstorms, gunshots from the local firearms range, and fireworks would cause you to run to my side and paw me so that I would get the noise to stop. Sometimes I'd be sleeping right through the noise and you'd have to be pretty persistent in order to get me to wake up. For some reason you seemed to be calmed when I moved to the couch and slept with you on the floor beside me. I would always dread the thought of sleepless nights when thunderstorms were expected or during the weeks surrounding the 4th of July and now I would welcome them if you could be here again as you were before these recent months of declining health.
I hope that you know how much we struggled with the decision to send you on the journey to heaven, but in the end you left with your dignity intact. You were a great lady to the very end. I will never, ever, ever forget those last gentle kisses that you so lovingly gave to me. Daddy is soooo sad that he couldn't be with you at the very end, but you know how much he loved you. So many friends will be sorry that they didn't get the chance to say goodbye. Leah and Janice know how much you loved them too.
11/10/2006 - Happy Birthday, Kata. Daddy and I miss you so much. Nothing is quite the same without you here. Sometimes I still see you looking up at me expectantly waiting to go for a R-I-D-E or running in the back yard and rolling around on one of your toys or burying your head in the leaves. I expect that it will be even harder when the snow arrives. You always loved snow. I hope you get to play in the snow at Rainbows Bridge.
08/28/2007 - Nearly one year has passed since you left us for Rainbow's Bridge. It seems that you've made many new friends, felines included. Daddy "talks" with Caleb's Dad and Dusty's Mommy on a regular basis. It makes us very proud that they always say such nice things about you. Daddy and I wish that we could be hiking with you and your new pals. One day we will hike with you again.
9/11/2007 - Tis the first anniversary of the day you left us for Rainbows Bridge. It was a beautiful sunny day. You and I went for one last walk in the woods together. We visited the big rock that you used to climb upon with Daddy, but there was no climbing that day.... Today is not sunny. The rain is tapping on the window as I write this message and I think you must know that we are still sad without you. Daddy is more visibly emotional but I too quietly grieve at the loss of you. I miss that sweet disposition and the look that told us of your devotion. Your "calling cards" arrived last week and Daddy has been proudly handing them out to all who knew you and many who never had the pleasure. The card displays the hiking pose that now graces your Rainbow's Bridge page. The reverse side has your name and the dates that you spent here on Earth along with an excerpt from a poem by Edwin Arnold ("Farewell") and the web address for Rainbow's Bridge so that others may know more about this beautiful place. You would be pleased. We think of you every day. We'll love you.....forever.
9/11/2008 - Another year has passed since you had to leave us. While we think of you each and every day, the sad memory of this particular day is fading and the many wonderful memories of the time we had together as a "family" remain clearly as if it were only yesterday. Your spirit is with us always and helps us to remember those happy times together.
9/11/2009 - Oh, Kata. Daddy woke up crying this morning while holding you. When I was fully awake I realized that you weren't even here and that made me cry even more, just as I am now while writing this. Where did these three years go? I still miss you so much, maybe more as the years go by, not less as it's supposed to be. Happy Anniversary at the Bridge, Kata. Love, Daddy.
9/11/2009 - Daddy's words now make me cry as I read them. You were the bond that kept our little family together. You brought joy to each day and since you've been gone nothing is the same. Daddy and I have parted but our love for you is still as strong as the day we brought you home. I miss stroking your soft furry coat and scratching you behind the ears and hiking with you in the mountains. While driving home from camp the other day, I passed a number of turkeys on the road and thought of you in those end days when you struggled to crawl after them. That memory reminded me that you are in a better place now and no longer suffering as you were then. Love, Momma
12/24/2009 - As you romp and play at Rainbow's Bridge, I'm remembering that you first came home with "us" sixteen years ago today. You've been at the bridge now for more than three years, but I'll never forget you and all the good times that we shared with you. Enjoy this Christmas apart from us but with so many new friends. Love, Momma
9/11/2010 - Kata, just wanted you to know that you are remembered lovingly as you celebrate another anniversary at Rainbow Bridge. You are always, and forever, in our minds. You will never, ever be forgotten. Love, Daddy
9/11/2010 - What Daddy says is so true, our time together was so precious and the years will never take away those memories. My love for you will never die. Love, Momma
9/11/2011 - Five long years have passed since you left for Rainbow's Bridge. I think of you often and miss how you used to greet us when we returned home at the end of each work day. Love, Momma
9/11/2011 - Kata, this is a doubly sad day. We remember this as the day that you had to leave. We also remember the thousands of people who had their lives cut short. We think of them and we think of you. Play well at Rainbow's Bridge, Kata. Love, Daddy.
9/11/2012 - Kata, I write this with tears in my eyes, again. I can't believe that it has been six years. It seems like you were just here. I still grieve. I still cry. Play well at the Bridge. Love, Daddy.
9/11/2012 - In anticipation of this day, I took a solo hike on one of "our" favorite trails. I'm sure you remember Zealand trail very well. Memories of our times on that trail flooded my brain. Do you remember the boardwalk that you used to jump off into the sometimes muddy bog? It's been replaced by an elevated bridge so the beaver can build more dams without impeding hiker passage. As I walked the extra miles to Thoreau Falls, I remembered that day you took off after the moose and Daddy found himself between you and that moose when he rushed to retrieve you. I miss you but thoughts of you make me smile for you brought so much joy. Just last week, a friend of mine had to send her "Sophie", a sweet Wheaten Terrier, to Rainbow's Bridge. She has been a sick girl for a very long time. Please watch out for her. Hugs(okay , okay, I know you don't like hugs)& kisses for you. Love, Momma.
11/16/2012 - Kata, Daddy forgot your birthday on Nov. 10th. I'm so sorry. Happy Birthday Kata. Play well at the bridge. Love, Daddy
9/11/2013 - Kata, Another year gone by without you. I have become friends with a couple of pugs down the street. You would like them. They are as playful as you. Happy Anniversary at the Bridge, Kata. Play well. Love, Daddy.
9/16/2013 - Sorry I was unable to write to you on your anniversary but my thoughts were with you as I watched the fire sky lantern climb up to the heavens on that very day. Love, Momma.
11/10/2013 - Another birthday for you at the Bridge. Play well, Kata. You are always remembered. With Love, Daddy.
9/11/2014 - Another anniversary for you at the bridge, Kata. Another sad anniversary for America. You are thought of always. Play well, Kata. (Why won't my tears go away?) Love, Daddy.
9/11/2015 - Kata, I think of you constantly. You will always be remembered. You are in my thoughts, and my tears. This anniversary of your going to the Bridge is not getting easier for me than the others. Play well at the Bridge. Love, Daddy.
11/11/2015 - Kata, I'm sorry that I missed your birthday yesterday. I thought it was today and now find the date. You were probably busy welcoming new fur babies to the bridge. Keep an eye out for Bailey, a rat terrier. His mom is Cheryl from church. He had to leave her two years ago and she misses him. Play well at the bridge, Kata. I'll always Love you and miss you. Daddy.
9/11/2016 - Well Kata, another year has gone by with you being at The Bridge for a decade now. It doesn't get any easier for me. I thought that your memory would fade but it only grows stronger. Kata, Doreen who lives down the street from me just had to send her baby to the Bridge. He is a cute little Pug and his name is Mojo. Please take him under your wing and show him around. Watch over him please as I know you always take care of the little ones. Thanks, Kata. Have fun playing with Mojo and the others. I'll always Love you. I miss you so much. Daddy.
7/19/2017 - Kata, My brother Bruce just sent his fur baby, Charlie, to the Bridge. Kata, please look out for Charlie as you do all the other little ones. This one is extra special as Charlie is family. Thanks, Kata. Love, Daddy.
9/11/2017 - Kata, it is one more year at the Bridge for you and my sadness never leaves me. Thank you for welcoming all the fur babies that were sent your way. Keep playing and having fun until we meet again. Miss you and Love you. Daddy.
9/11/2018 - Another year for you at the bridge, Kata. I know that you are watching out for Zoe, Charlie, Mojo, and Mr. Bojangles. Pease continue taking care of the little ones at the Bridge the way you did here. You are missed and will be loved now and forever. Daddy. <><
11/10/2018 - Kata, Happy Birthday to you at the Bridge. Wow, you are getting older but staying younger. I miss you forever. Love, Daddy. <><
11/10/2019 - Happy Birthday at Rainbow Bridge. Kata, you will never be forgotten. I have a new girl. Her name is Winry and is a black Lab mix. She is seven years old and came with my new wife, Kristy. You would like them both. Be well, baby. Love, Daddy. <><