Apr 18, 2017

Kota: the big heart with the booming bark

by Terri Wagner

As many of you may know I did not have the opportunity to have children. So my dogs are my children. And yes I do love them that much. It helps ease the pain of not having children. Each one that passes over the rainbow bridge carries a piece of my heart. Later today Kota will pass over that bridge straight into the arms of my father.

I just want to share how this decision and the conference talk Kari mentioned has eased my pain. This past summer, dad and I noticed our then 12-year-old Labrador Retriever, Kota, was having walking issues. We took her to the vet who assured us her lungs and heart were clear and strong, but her arthritis was getting worse. We changed the regime she's been on for a couple of years to help ease some of that pain. It helped. So much so she passed her 13th birthday and stayed around during my dad's decline. Now it is her turn. The arthritis is winning, and her daily walks only cover 20 feet or less depending on a good day or a bad day. I tried to ignore it, butt the Spirit gently told me to let her go.

I called the vet as soon as I heard those words so I couldn't back down, but they couldn't schedule her until today. I thought great 3 days to spoil her rotten. And I have. But what I didn't expect was an onslaught of conflicting feelings. It's not that bad. She's having a good day. She can handle a few more months. I need her.

In the past, I always had my dad to talk it over with and make a decision. This time it is all up to me. Over the course of a few days, I have prayed so hard to be firm and follow that first prompting. It has been both horrible and wonderful. Every time I wavered, someone would step forward and say something to me that was sweet confirmation. I cannot tell you how grateful I have been for those confirmations or how many times I have tortured myself with second guesses.

As for Kota, she came to us because of a divorce situation with strong hints there had been abuse. I only know she opened her heart to every creature animal or human that has come into our home. She would comfort crying babies and even let the toy Yorkie literally run in and out of her open mouth when he was a very small pup. She also has a booming bark. No noise ever escaped her. And I always felt safe. She sounded like she would tear you from limb to limb, but I saw her walk away from confrontation again and again. My house will be very silent without her in it. But I am so very grateful for the prompting and the confirmations. And the testimony I have of where she's going and who will be there to greet her.


  1. Oh Terri, my heart aches for you (btw...I commented from my phone last week, but it must be lost in space...). What would we do without that comfort reassurance!? You've had so much to deal with these many months. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. hugs~

    1. Don't know what happened with the phone but thank you. I still miss her. Last night we had some kind of weirdo event at the empty house across the street from me. Daisy slept through it all. Kota would have been barking and alerting. I miss her.


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