For my birthday this year, I've decided to set up a fundraiser in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society. Not only does the WHS do such incredible work in rescuing animals and finding them happy homes, they are also responsible for caring for our family dog, K.C. for a whole year before we met her. I owe them a great deal of gratitude and I thought this was a great chance to show them that.
A couple of months ago, my family lost our dog, K.C. Her death came as a complete surprise - she had just turned 10 and although we knew she was starting to get up there in years, she had always been in very good health. She developed a cough and was brought to the vet, and at first it seemed like nothing serious. After a short while her cough wouldn't go away although she had more energy and seemed to be on the upswing. She was brought back to the vet and this time they did a scan of her lungs and discovered she had advanced stages of lung cancer. The cancer was so advanced that there was no possible treatment, leaving us feel a mixture of shock and profound sadness. She passed away only three days later, surrounded by those who loved her.
Growing up, I never really understood how people would get so attached to their pets. Sure, I loved animals but I didn't understand the extent of the connection that humans and animals could build. I remember the day we picked K.C up from the Winnipeg Humane Society - she was clearly so nervous, shaking in the back seat. My mom and I sat beside her and tried to comfort her, letting her know that everything would be okay. K.C. was tentative at first and took some time getting used to us. Slowly but surely, she realized that she had found her family. It was probably a few weeks before she felt completely comfortable but to tell the truth, she had stolen my heart within days.
K.C. was there during a really significant period in my life - as a confused high school student to a stressed-out undergrad student to a "something-resembling-an-adult". She was always there to comfort me when I was sad, lighten the mood when I was stressed and be a goof when I needed a good laugh. We'd spend hours at the park running and playing, she loved to swim and chase sticks into the lake, and, strangely enough, she'd stay outside basking under the sun until we'd force her to come in. K.C. was brought for a walk or to the park almost every single day - and yet, she did this thing that even after 9 years, she exploded with childish excitement every time we told asked, est-ce que K.C. veut aller au parc!?
Some would say that a dog is your best friend or part of the family, but in a lot of ways I felt like K.C. was my soulmate. She made me believe in happiness, she made me smile every day, she showed me that it's important not to take life too seriously. She had my heart, every part of it.
She was my motivation to start this fundraiser - although we'll never have her back, it brings me joy to think that by supporting the WHS, maybe one day a young girl will meet her K.C. and go on to spend 9 incredible years laughing and playing with her soulmate.