This is Kadie.
She was the most amazing Scottish Terrier, in so many ways. I could fill an entire blog talking about her remarkable life, but I’ll just share this one story, and keep the rest close to my heart.
This sunset photo of Kadie at Coronado Beach in San Diego summarizes the most wonderful tale of courage, determination and pure unconditional love. It summarizes her life beautifully.
In May of 2015, at the age of 13, Kadie was diagnosed with liver cancer. After much deliberation with the experts, we decided to give it all we had and opted for surgery.
Kadie had been in my life since she was 8 weeks old. She was always a very spunky dog, with an amazing amount of courage.
Among many other things, she had been a therapy dog and my Scottie Maid of Honor. She was so special to me, so I needed to try everything I could to save her. I believed that we could pull through this one as well.
They removed a 3 pound tumor from her liver. While the road was a bit scary for the first 48 hours, she eventually made a full, and remarkable recovery.
My husband and I decided that Kadie and I needed to celebrate… and celebrate, we did!
5 months after her surgery, we were given a cancer-free diagnosis and the “all clear” to go on a 3,000 mile round trip to see the ocean together for the first time! Our goal (Yes. We made all decisions together!) was to walk along the beach together at sunset.
We planned the roadtrip of a lifetime! We traveled through Vail, Aspen and the Maroon Bells, Grand Junction, Zion National Park, Lake George, Las Vegas, and making our way to our destination of San Diego, California.
This was the moment that Kadie saw the beach for the first time in Coronado.
We had the most amazing time! She was like a puppy again and she ran her heart out in that super soft sand. She sampled seaweed (which she hated) and chased seagulls. She took naps on my beach blanket and enjoyed watching the kids chasing the waves.
She was having the time of her life!
We spent 3 days at Coronado Beach in San Diego. She was treated like a queen all over the entire town, and became very famous at the Hotel Del Coronado and the Cherokee Lodge Bed and Breakfast, where we stayed.
On our way home, we went to the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise, saw a hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque and again, in Taos, New Mexico, and visited the Great Sand Dunes and the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado.
Kadie and my husband and I stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver that Christmas. We listened to Christmas jazz in the lobby and Kadie had fresh baked puppy goodies delivered to the room.
January 2016 brought new goals, and Kadie and I walked (or rode in her special “Senior’s” buggy) in 14 5k races before her 14th birthday!
We gave her the birthday of the century complete with a bagpiper on a snowy Saint Patrick’s day!
It was a year to remember.
Having that amazing final year with Kadie was a remarkable blessing. One I still can’t believe we had together. As I look back on all of these photos, and I remember those 3,000 miles and that amazing year, I smile with extreme gratitude.
Kadie was an amazing gift in my life. Her courageous and joyful spirit taught me so much.
I will always keep my final promise to her: to NEVER stop fighting for a cure for cancer.
More than anything, I am grateful for her life lessons and the gift we shared of time.
In loving honor and memory of my Kadie. (2002-2016)
*Birthday photographs by Jenny Anhold
**Wedding Photograph by Grant Oakes
***Race photograph by Green Events
****Portrait photograph by Allison May