Kohaku, my Golden Retriever, was just like her breed's name, the golden light of my life -- gentle, affectionate, and happy.
Those who knew her since she was with me, and saw me spoil her rotten, would be surprised to learn of her history. 8 years ago, someone dumped her, at estimated age of 3, to the public high kill shelter in Japan, and the person from the rescue who went to see her came back crying, because of the horrendous status of her. We don't know who dumped her, but we think she was a breeding stock in a pet mill. Popularity of Golden was receding with the rising fad for smaller dogs at the time, and there were other similar Goldens that were thrown away. Kohaku was starved, extremely dirty, and had broken ribs and skulls that was untreated and healed naturally. She was extremely scared of everything, people, cars, noise, other dogs. The rescue thought she was a lost cause due to severe trauma, but one wonderful woman did not give up, and took upon herself to foster her. Thanks to her she came to my life.
Initially, she was still scared of many things, like men, cars, busy roads, and other dogs. We went under several trainings, and initially there were many challenges. But her inherent nature to please humans and her intelligence helped her overcome these things, and through the quiet life with me, and those who met her often, our pet sitters, house keepers, trainers, as well as my friends and families were very nice and loved her. Kohaku became a happy dog who loves to walk, play with tennis ball, chase birds, and just hang around with me.
Since we came to Seattle, we had more fun with so many parks, trails, lakes, rivers to go. She was happy, I was happy. Seattle is a very dog-friendly place, and many strangers would come up to me and tell me that my pup is so gorgeous. I was bursting with pride at such times, while Kohaku was just happily wagging her tail.
Kohaku's resilience taught me to live in the present, she did not care about the past, or worry about the future. Her happiness was to play with me, snuggle, and have a nice afternoon nap.
She was the only constant in my 7 years and I feel that I lost part of my life. She was a special soul. Right now, I miss her dearly, and always will. When the end comes for me, I hope I see you again, Kohaku. I picture you running over to me with that big smile and wagging tails. I look forward to that day.
Rest in peace, Kohaku