Twenty-Six Little Kaylee & Jayne Things

September 30th, 2014 11:00 am by Kelly Garbato

2006-09-30 - PM-Kaylee&JayneMake5-0056 [1024x768]

2006-09-30 - PM-Kaylee&JayneMake5-0044 [1024x768]

Going home! I love Kaylee’s hysterical smile in the top photo,
and her funny little body, all stretched out across the cage, in the bottom one.
Oh, if only there was a way to bottle up feelings!
I’d let this one age like the finest of wines.
——————————

Eight years! It’s been eight years since I met the love of my life (sorry, Shane)…and 497 days and 2 hours since I lost her.

I’m doing okay, mostly. The foster pups help to distract me, and also give me the sense that I’m doing something real, something concrete, something useful that means so much more because I do it in Kaylee’s memory. Sure, it hurts to let some of them go – I can’t deny that I’ve let myself become attached – but it helps to know that there’s always another dog or two around the corner. And each one brings me a little closer to my girl.

I’ve been sitting at the keyboard, staring, trying to think of something meaningful to write; how best to convey just how much this little fifteen-pound marshmallow meant to me. Nothing really tops last year, when the loss was still fresh and acutely painful. I still feel her absence, all these days and months later, but it’s mellowed into a sweeter sense of reminiscence. I’m still not sure which I prefer.

2007-02-04 - Opening X-Mas Presents - 0051 [1024x768]

Christmas 2007. Giving Kaylee a gift from grandma Wendy – made out to Kaylee in her rescue name! (Gracie! It was Gracie! And Jayne was Penelope.
Also, forgive my dopey expression.)
——————————

So here’s what I wrote back in 2013:

Seven years ago today – this very minute, in fact; I double-checked the time stamps on the photos just to be sure! – Shane and I were headed home from Lexington, Missouri, with dogs number four and five in tow. I can still recall (vaguely, but the feeling is there) the sense of excitement the day we brought our girls home – excitement which was only heightened by the one month gap between the day we first met Kaylee and Jayne, and the day we were able to liberate them from the no-kill shelter in which they’d been staying for the previous six months. I took 54 pictures of them – bouncing around their crate in nervous anticipation – just on the ride back. Hundreds of photos those first few days and weeks.

That morning, I snapped a few quick pics of Ralphie, Peedee, and O-Ren playing in the yard. I called the series “three lonely dogs” – a reference, I think, both to the fact that we’d just gotten back from visiting my parents in New York, where the dogs had enjoyed spending time with their new friends Shadow and Copper; but also that their lives would never again be the same after that morning, when our family expanded from one of six to eight. Looking back, I wonder if I knew then how radically my life would change with Kaylee in it? If I knew what great friends we’d become? Probably not. I was just silly happy to have two more dogs to love. I don’t think I had an inkling how hard I’d fall for Kaylee, though.

We weren’t the first ones to take an interest in Kaylee and Jayne. Apparently another woman had met and adopted them – only she couldn’t take them home right away, on account of she was going away on a cruise. She promised Gina, their foster mom, that she’d return for them after her vacation. She never did. So I can only imagine Gina’s skepticism when we told her the same. But that woman’s loss was perhaps the greatest gain of my life. Because of her, Kaylee found her way to me. (And Jayne. Can’t forget Jayne!) For that, I’ll forever be thankful.

2011-09-30 - Smithville Lake - 0008

Walking around Smithville Lake on Kaylee’s thirteenth birthday.
——————————

Sadly – tragically – Kaylee’s not here to celebrate her 15th birthday. She passed away in May, just twelve days after her older brother Ralphie. I haven’t quite recovered. I suspect I never will, not fully. Kaylee meant so, so much to me – more than words can ever convey. It’s difficult to define our relationship – friends, sisters, confidants – but I think the word that comes closest is “daemon.” Kaylee was my daemon – an external manifestation of part of my self. Not a moment goes by that I don’t think of her; she’s with me, always, and her presence is a source of comfort as much as it sometimes hurts. I welcome the pain. I often imagine that the ache in my chest is her: rooting around for tasty, tasty slugs; doing the Kaylee quick step; lawn dancing on my heart. As long as I hurt, she’s there. It’s the not-hurting that I fear.

2011-09-08 - Afternoon Sunshine - 0057

Getting to know Mags and Finnick.
——————————

It’s a little too soon this year, but in the future I think I’ll observe September 30th as a holiday: Kaylee Day, or perhaps The Feast of Kaylee Garbato, Patron Saint of Exploited Motherhood, in the style of the God’s Gardeners. We’ll lay a blanket out in the sun and nap all day; graze on all our favorite foods, licking the plates clean; and at night we’ll go the the drive-in and gorge ourselves on popcorn. I draw the line at bug-eating, though. Peedee and Jayne can eat enough insects for all of us. (Oh, Peedee. Will this year never end?)

And then there’s Jayne. Dear, goofy Jayne who, even after seven years with us, is wary of human attention and affection, even as she craves it. Jayne, who is my link – one of many! – to Kaylee. Jayne, who deserves her own day of celebration too. Jayne, who turns nine years old today. Man, how time flies.

Looking back through old photos, it struck me how much Jayne – well, all of us – has aged, and with me hardly noticing it, too! Whereas I’ve come to see the white circles around her eyes as “normal” – how things have always been and always will be – they’re a newish development: when we first met Jayne, most of her face was hard-to-photograph black.

2006-10-30 - Dogs-n-Cows-0119

2013-08-19 - Jayne - 0003

I’d totally forgotten. Damn.

Last year I started the “little things” tradition with Kaylee and Jayne. Rather than start from scratch, I’ll add to the lists. Both of them because, while Kaylee may be gone, she will never be forgotten.

Happy birthday to my ladies. I love you both so much.

###

Forever and always. Ramen.

 

16 Little Kaylee Things

  • Her silly, happy smile.

    2010-07-09 - Outside with the Dogs - 0039

    2009-09-20 - Kaylee - 0008

    2011-09-08 - Afternoon Sunshine - 0140

  • The Kaylee quick step. (She may look old and slow, but not so much!)

    2007-02-04 - Opening X-Mas Presents - 0143 [1024x768]

    2007-08-19 - Silly Dogs - 0015

    2008-03-12 - Dogs Outside - 0040 [1024x768]

  • That stubby nub of a tail.

    2007-07-17 - Dogs Outside - 0029 [1024x768 film grain]

    2011-04-03 - Kaylee Macro - 0005

    2007-06-25 - Morning Playtime - 0007 [1024x768]

  • Those crazy teefies.

    lol kaylee - mai teef!

    2010-04-11 - Kaylee & O-Ren - 0005

    2007-12-05 - Cpt Kaylee's Booty - 0025 [1024x768]

  • That she insists you look at her the whole time you pet her, otherwise it doesn’t count. (And if you happen to glance at another dog, it’s akin to cheating!)

    2007-02-04 - Harassing the Dogs, PM ed. - 0005 [1024x768]

    2008-05-23 - Flowers & Dogs - 0119

    2007-04-06 - Lazy Dogday Friday - 0012 [1024x768]

  • How she started the trend of licking the humans’ dirty dishes.

    2010-07-03- Kaylee In Wait - 0002

    2008-02-16 - Kaylee & Peedee - 0007

    Thanks to this visionary, all the dogs are now sufficiently spoiled!

  • How she has to lick all the dog bowls at least once (and usually twice or more) before going outside after meals, and again after coming back in.

    2007-11-15 - Lunchtime - 0008

    (Are you detecting a pattern here?)

  • The “It’s almost dinnertime!” dance.

    2006-11-23 - Dogs-n-Popcorn-0007

    (Not it, but close enough!)

  • The way she can spend hours wandering the back yard on summer nights, searching for nomy bugs to eat.

    2012-09-03 - Kaylee's body is a graveyard - 0008
  • How she becomes alternately cuddly and rambunctious while trying to wake me up in the morning.

    2011-06-30 - Kaylee in Bed - 0003
  • Her fear of thunderstorms and fireworks (basically all the loud noises).

    2009-07-04 - Dogs No Like BOOM! - 0002

    2009-07-04 - Dogs No Like BOOM! - 0021

    2009-07-04 - Dogs No Like BOOM! - 0014

    Especially that one July 4th she escaped to the bathroom cabinets.

  • How she insists on hanging out in the bathroom while I shower, even if I don’t have any “treats” (read: cardboard rolls) for her. So much so that I put a dog bed in the master bath, just for her!

    2008-07-28 - Kaylee - 0002
  • Ears as soft as velvet.

    2011-04-02 - Kaylee Macro - 0044

    2007-02-04 - Harassing the Dogs, AM ed. - 0112 [1024x768]2007-02-04 - Harassing the Dogs, AM ed. - 0128>

  • Every day is Mother’s Day.

    2007-08-30 - Peedee's 5th Birthday - 0033
  • Her capacity to be both demanding and thankful at the same time. Whether it was human attention, a dirty bowl, or a piece of tissue, Kaylee never took us for granted.

    2007-02-20 - Kelly & Dogs - 0004

    2013-04-30 - Kaylee's Reads - 0008

    2009-12-05 - Kelly & Kids - 0003

  • Kaylee + Rennie 4ever!

    2010-06-10 - Kaylee & O-Ren - 0005

    2009-04-13 - Lazy Dogs - 0002

    2008-12-05 - Rennie & Kaylee - 0001

  •  

    10 Little Jayne Things

  • Ears that are both floppy and upright, all at once.

    2012-04-17 - Jayne - 0007

    2013-07-18 - Jayne - 0005

  • How she still searches for Ozzy, more than a year three years after his passing.

    2007-09-14 - Our First Place - 0083

    2008-07-14 - Dogs on Ralphie's A-Day - 0027

    2008-10-24- Refinishing the Floors - 0013

  • That she wants to be left alone, but not too alone.

    2007-06-17 - the girls get to visit first! (while mommy makes to-do list) - 0002 [1024x768]

    2012-05-27 - Patio Office - 0014

    Always on the periphery, this one.

  • She’s a stalker, but not a killer.

    2007-08-26 - Dogs Outside - 0007 [1024x768]

    2007-04-12 - Peeping Jayne - 0018 [1024x768]

    2010-06-02 - Playing in the Dirt - 0048

  • Her imperviousness to pain.

    2013-03-18 - Jayne & her new cone - 0007

    2012-06-23 - Jayne 0, Woodchuck 1 - 0004

    Like that one time she provoked a woodchuck into biting her – but she played it so cool that we didn’t discover the wound until hours after the fact.

  • Disney Princess eyes, but with a hint of sadness.

    2010-12-04 - Jayne Pirate - 0005

    2009-10-24 - Jayne - 0006 [Original] [flickr]

    2013-07-18 - Jayne - 0028

  • How she used to pee a little when you picked her up – and that she stopped doing that years ago.

    2009-07-19 - Jayne & Peedee - 0001
  • Book thief!

    2012-05-09 - Naughty Jayne - 0001

    Never leave books unattended around Jayne, or she will transform them into papier mache artwork.

    2012-01-24 - While I Was Out - 0004

    Ditto: tp, manilla envelopes, cardboard tubes, and all the paper things. The recycling bin is her brown heaven.

  • Newly narcoleptic.

    2014-03-22 - Jayne Napping - 0004 [flickr]

    In the past year or so – roughly since she started wetting the bed – Jayne’s naps have begun to resemble mini-comas. Whereas the other dogs run for lunch as soon as they hear the dishes clink, not even loud shouts across the house can reliably summon Jayne if she’s sleeping. Nope, you have to shake her awake, and sometimes that doesn’t even work. A few times Shane and I have been able to lift up her head without waking her. Cute, but super-creepy. I’ve mistaken her for dead on more than one occasion.

  • How she is drawn to large bodies of water like a magnet.

    2007-07-15 - Jayne & Peedee - 0007 [1024x768]

    2007-07-15 - Jayne & Peedee - 0011 [1024x768]

    2007-07-15 - Jayne & Peedee - 0013 [1024x768 2]

    Pools and bathtubs, not so much.

    2006-09-30 - PM-Kaylee&JayneMake5-0284
  • ###

    Previous years: 2013, 2012

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    5 Responses to “Twenty-Six Little Kaylee & Jayne Things”

    1. Carbs & Rec: Champion’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Birthday Biscuits » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

      […] today just so happens to be Kaylee (RIP sweet girl) and Jayne’s gotcha day (eighth!) -slash- de facto birthday (sixteen and ten, respectively), I decided to whip up a batch of birthday […]

    2. Twenty-Six Little Kaylee & Jayne Things » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info | The <spb> Says:

      […] Twenty-Six Little Kaylee & Jayne Things » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info. […]

    3. Julie Says:

      What a beautiful, sweet, and touching post!

    4. Bethnyc Says:

      my heart dog Teddy is a rattie like yours, is 14 and in good health.. I dread that inevitable day so I feel your pain.. what a wonderful home you gave them. I loved looking at your photos.. found you via a search for another Jayne but your post came up among the images.. thank you for sharing.

    5. Susan Says:

      The pain of losing someone who has been a part of you never fades. <3
      This post is beautiful.
      Plus love the Firefly names. :)

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