Happy Adoption Tail: Kaia

I knew from the first moment I saw her that she was my girl. Five months old, eager for love and attention, but still nervous and submissively peeing when you reached out a hand due to whatever horrible situation she was in before she arrived. I was 20, had recently dropped out of college, and needed a friend to figure out life with.

After adoption, we walked the fields across from my old dorm and I thought of all that lay ahead. If I were to get married, or have kids, she’d probably live to see it all. If that all happened, I wondered who they’d be, and marveled at how Kaia would become their girl too. Indeed it did, and indeed she did. 

She moved cross-country with us multiple times, wore angel wings at our wedding reception, and gently sniffed and nuzzled each of my babies as we returned from the hospital. She was there eagerly cleaning up every bit of their spilled food, going on every camping trip, celebrating all our birthdays (and my eventual college graduation!), and is in literally every picture and memory. She went from studio apartments in the big city to suburban family homes on acreage… from Seattle to Denver to upstate New York. We went from two fresh-faced, single girls starting our lives together, to a geriatric welcome wagon and a middle-aged mom torn apart by the thought of losing her ‘first-born.’

The story began with a rambunctious puppy who would turn plastic coat hangers and high heels into innumerable tiny mangled pieces, and evolved into a labor of love, pushing our sweet-natured old lady on a retro-fitted moving dolly when she could no longer walk.

She was the best dog my husband didn’t know he wanted, the most patient and adoring big sister to my two-legged kids, and my treasured comrade through life’s uncertainties. It seems only yesterday that Kaia and I were musing on all the things our futures might hold, and chasing goo-covered littles around the house, but today my littles are taller than me, and the rainbow bridge has stood between Kaia and the rest of us for nearly 3 years.

The whole beautiful story has played out now, over 14 years of treasured moments together, chased by three years of a persistent sense of absence and inexhaustible well of tears. Although it’s been over 17 years since adoption day, and we currently live on the other side of the country, we all remain deeply indebted to Seattle Humane for enabling Kaia to be a part of our family.


2 thoughts on “Happy Adoption Tail: Kaia

  1. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.
    We lost our beloved shelter mutt to old age after 14 + years. She was there from the time our (now grown) kids were little, brought SO MUCH joy, and was often the only one who could soothe tears when human words failed. Such wonderful creatures.

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