My Old Dog Is 16, and I'll Be with Him Until the End
Kacy Crain runs Fabulous City Chic, a lifestyle blog about fashion, motherhood, her love for dogs, and life in the big city. She is a proud mommy to Bowery and Soho, who have both taught her patience, loyalty, and unconditional love. Kacy has been blessed to spend the past 16 years with Bowery, and he and Soho have brought so much love any happiness to her life.
At age 18, I moved to New York City. I settled into my new apartment on Bank Street in the heart of the West Village, and had the world ahead of me. The only thing missing was a dog. I had always been an animal lover and grown up with dogs all my life. But this time, I wanted a dog I could call my own, and my mind was made up.
Off I went to the Humane Society with my boyfriend in tow. We walked up and down the aisles of lost, abandoned, and abused dogs. I caught sight of this beautiful little fox out of the corner of my eye. She wasn’t barking, she wasn’t running; she was sitting quietly with her big, beautiful brown eyes screaming for help. I stopped in my tracks, turned and walked toward her cage. She lit up as I moved closer. As the employee opened the cage, she gently walked up to me and lay at my feet. She was mine, and her name was Kabra.
Kabra was a sweet girl who had obviously been abused. We worked through her challenges, and Kabra learned to trust. Shortly after bringing Kabra to her new home, I brought her to visit my parents in nearby New Jersey. I planned on making a trip to our usual vet to have Kabra spayed. But after being at my parents' house no more than two hours, Kabra made an escape. She ran across the street to my friend’s house. I quickly ran after her, but it was too late, she was MATING! I was horrified. How could I raise a pregnant dog? What would I do with all of her puppies?
And so it began, doctor’s visits, pleading with friends and family to take one of the beautiful puppies. I spoiled Kabra and made sure she was happy and content. After what seemed to be mere weeks, Kabra had six darling little puppies, all with black-and-white tuxedos and fresh to the life ahead of them.
I could’t deny myself, I knew I had to have one -- and I knew just which one. He was beautiful, strong, smart, and feisty. He was all black with a white chest and paws, and he was the first to stand and the first to open his eyes. I named him Bowery. Bowery was loyal and quick, but he wasn’t a fan of other dogs, because he thought he was human.
As he turned from puppy to dog, he traveled everywhere with me, despite being 50 pounds. We would go to parks, friend’s houses, and shopping; his absolute favorite was car rides. We grew up together; Bowery a young dog and I a young adult. He was my best friend.
In 2001, I moved to Los Angeles. I thought I could act, and was ready to show the world what I was made of. Bowery and I made our cross-country flight to the City of Angels and were ready to start fresh. He was just as feisty as he had been five years before. He would always make his presence known in our home. If he didn’t like a boyfriend, they would know it right away. If he didn’t like a neighbor -- yep, they would know it. Our usual trips were car rides and park outings, walks in Runyon Canyon, drives down the PCH. It was wonderful, for both of us. Los Angeles was exhilarating, and I had more fun that I should have.
But by the age 27, I was beginning to get the itch the itch to settle down. So Bowery and I picked up and moved to Miami. Once again, we made the cross-country journey, and we were starting fresh. We arrived to sunshine, with both of us older than years past, but still young and spunky.
After four years of living a wonderful life in sunny Miami Beach, it seemed like Bowery was tired. He was now 13 years old, and just beginning to show signs of slowing down. He would walk just a tad bit slower, need a boost getting into the car -– you get the picture. So I adapted. I walked slower, I picked him up, we cut our walks in half. Throughout it all, one thing remained: His loyalty. Bowery would still lie next to me every night, nudging my hand for petting and approval. He would follow me room to room. He would wait for me patiently to return from work, greeting me with kisses.
It is now 2012, and I am so proud to say my Bowery is still here. He just celebrated his 16th birthday this month. He still lies next to me, and knows when I need love. He is the only one left out of all his brothers and sisters, and he is a fighter. He can’t hear well, he can’t see perfect, and he takes a while to get around, but I love him. He is just as beautiful as he was 16 years ago as a puppy. I love him for always being loyal to me. When times were good or when times were bad, Bowery was there. He has shared in so many life milestones, as he has been with me my entire adult life. Marriage, divorce, loss of twins, birth of my daughter, happiness, sadness … everything.
For that, I love him eternally and unconditionally, as he has loved me. I do whatever I can to make his life as easy as possible. I carry him up and down the stairs, make him special meals, pay $300 monthly vet bills, but damn it, he is worth it. I wake in the middle of the night to check on my Bowery, and often fear of the unforeseen future. When that sad day comes, I can guarantee two things … I will be forever heartbroken, but forever grateful. I have been blessed with this beautiful creature that has brought me nothing but love, loyalty, and happiness for, at the very least, 16 years of my life.
I love you, Bowery.
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