June 7, 2013
Kathy & India
“There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”
Today Kathy and I lost a dear friend and near constant companion when our dog India was euthanized as I held her and watched her final few breaths slip away. She had come to the end of a wonderful, almost magical journey and at just over sixteen years of age with her faculties failing, it was finally time. The sadness we feel is almost overwhelming and yet we consider ourselves so fortunate to have shared a home with such a gentle, warm and loving pet.
India was born in January of 1997 in the back room of Owens Gas Station in Key West, her mother died shortly after giving birth and India and her brothers and sister were weaned by a Rottweiler – something that I always contended contributed to her spunky spirit. Truth be told, I did not really want a puppy. My girlfriend at the time, Jody did however and as fate would have it her lease prohibited her from having pets. India was the grand-dog of a dog that Jody had owned previously (Charlie Parker) and she really wanted one from that litter.
Peppy & India
I was living with my friend Michelle and her full grown neurotic Dalmatian Acadia and was able to have a puppy so India moved in and almost immediately captured my heart. When Jody and I amicably split in 2000 and she went away to school, I was fortunate and got to keep India, who by that time had become my best friend and near constant companion.
Peppy & India
She went everywhere with me and enhanced my life in so many ways, she would travel everywhere with me and in those days many, many more establishments welcomed well behaved pets in Key West and she was a frequent fixture at the Conch Farm, Barefoot Bob’s, the Parrot and Schooner Wharf. She would come with me often to work at Reef Relief and even to Reef Relief events.
Key Deer sighting
When I began dating Kathy, they immediately hit it off and even though Kathy was more of a cat person, she quickly took to India. By the time we were married in 2003, India was even a part of our wedding- delivering the wedding rings to us during our beachfront ceremony. India adjusted well when Kathy & I moved in together, experiencing the mystery of living with cats for the first time and with-in a very short time, the cats and her made up one big pack of a family.
JD, Amy, Peppy & India
India lead a pretty charmed life, hanging out with her dog friends over the years, including her brother Peppy who was owned by our friends JD & Amy and other dog friends such as Sparky, Marcel, Miso, Camilla, Marco, Hogan, Mowgli, Marley, Sailor, Daisy, Portia, Norman, Tucker, and many, many more. She was an original member of the Key West Lazy Dog Mob and is one of the dogs featured on the lazy dog mob shirts.
India & Portia
India & Cookie
She was an amazing animal, super smart, with a lazer sharp memory of people and their pets and a wonderful sweet and charming personality that endeared her to almost everyone she met. She was tough as well, unfortunately having to survive two mauling incidents where she was attacked by unruly larger dogs, yet still maintaining her sweet nature and not letting that get her down.
India & Marcel
Posing for Calendar
She has traveled extensively with Kathy and I and even gone off on her own for a summer, staying with Kathy’s father Jim for a summer in 2006 while Kathy & I went on a cross country trip. It has been a truly wonderful and fantastic journey. While our hearts are full of sadness today, we feel so blessed to have had such an amazing pet, friend and companion.
Kathy, India & Jim
Thanks so much to all her many friends, those who watched her while we away, who traded pet-sitting duties with us and who were so kind and loving throughout her life. Thanks to Lisa Bramson and the staff at All Animal Clinic who have taken care of India over the years, including saving her life on a couple of critical occasions and also thanks to Ronit Bergudo of Island Paws who made India’s final moments ones filled with love and respect.