08 February 2013


As most everyone knows, even when the death of someone you love is no surprise it doesn't seem to help much when the actual event takes place. This is certainly so with the passing of Lakota. There are just so many memories that pop into ones head. That dog enriched my life beyond measure.

Tuesday I took my first walk in over thirteen years without Koty. I went down along the Tobacco River where we so often walked together. It felt so strange and solitary. Even Timmie, bless his little heart, seems at sea without him.

Yesterday I gathered up all of Lakota's leftover food and took it down to the Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter. What a wonderful bunch they are. I am a very big fan and supporter. For such a tiny place, by that I mean tiny town,  they do extraordinary work.
Whilst I was driving home I was listening to my iPod in the car and the piece "Autumn Leaves" performed by the fabulous pianist Roger Williams. And a great memory flooded my being. Koty came to me in December of 1999. I was living in California. When he was just shy of six months I moved to Durango, Colorado where we also hiked and hiked and hiked. One of my favorite places is Silverton, CO which is not far from Durango. Silverton is like a ghost town that is very much alive. In the Fall the tourists are gone and only diehard locals remain to weather winter at nearly 10,000 ft. It's a great time to be there.

I decided to take us to Silverton for a couple nights. When we set out it was a glorious, sunny Fall day. On the way up I took a detour down a forest service road that ran along the Animas. I opened the sun roof and cranked up "Autumn Leaves" on my CD player. I have always thought that Roger Williams' rendition is the best. With, the music playing golden aspen leaves fluttered down into the car as we traveled down the bumpy road. I was in seventh heaven. I will never forget the feelings of pure joy. I had so many of those with Koty. Share the moment ....

That night we stayed in a rickety little motel because it was the only one that would allow dogs in the room. The heater didn't work very well and it was colder than a well digger's butt. For Koty the temperature could not have been more perfect. He was a true snowdog. The colder the better. I made him get up on the bed and share the warmth. Koty and I shared a lot of warmth over the years.

©Kinsey Barnard

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