05 February 2013
LAKOTA SUNRISE OCTOBER 1, 1999 - FEBRUARY 4, 2013
As regular readers know, Koty has been battling age and Cushing's disease for nearly two years now. Yesterday he decided he had had enough and headed for the Rainbow Bridge.
Koty came to me on December 1st 1999. He was just eight weeks old. He was the cutest fur ball you have ever seen. In the past thirteen years and four months we have been constant companions. Frick and Frack. Mutt and Jeff. I was Mutt he was Jeff.
Koty was an independent cuss from the get go and ready to go at the drop of a hat. We traveled together in our motorhome for months on end and no one ever had a better traveling companion. In his prime Lakota was as beautiful a Siberian Husky as you will ever see. Wherever we went people wanted to touch him and take his photograph. It was like traveling with a celebrity. Through it all Koty conducted himself with grace an elegance.
Two years ago Koty started losing the hair around his neck. The local vet tested him for thyroid mal- function, but the tests were negative. I started my own diagnostic search and concluded he had Cushing's. That diagnosis was confirmed with the appropriate testing. I'm not a big fan of pharmaceuticals so, with my vets blessing, we went the homeopathic route.
Throughout his life going was all Koty wanted to do. We could have hiked 24/7 and he would still have begged for more. We walked thousands of miles together. Lately, Koty had been slowing down which was not unusual considering the life span of a husky, without Cushing's, is 12 to 15 years.
For most of his life Koty had to be kept under control or he would take off for parts unknown. For the past several months he was allowed to roam. Age dictated he didn't go far.
I have a daily routine wherein I have my lunch, lie down on the couch to read and drop off for twenty to thirty minutes. I am usually rousted by Koty wanting to go for a walk. Even though he had the run of the ranch he wanted me to take him for a walk. Yesterday was no different. Off we went down the forest service road. He seemed to be a little more sluggish than usual and his breathing seemed a bit labored. Normally, he would turn himself around when he had had enough but not this day. He just wanted to keep going. I finally had to say no more we need to go home. About a quarter of a mile from our gate he step off the road into the deep snow and toppled over. He was gone in a matter of minutes. He died doing the thing he loved most in life.
Lakota Braveheart was Koty's father's name and he was his father's son. A braver heart I have never known. Just know Lakota that you will live on in my heart until the day I too topple over in the deep snow.
Koty died the way he lived, with grace and elegance. There will be another dog but there will never be another Lakota Sunrise.
Some of my favorite photos of Lakota