Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goodbye Kareem, Our Loyal Canine Friend!

As I write this post, Kerri and Judy have taken Kareem to the vet. Kareem has been Kerri's dog since she was 19 years old. She just turned 34.

I still remember the day that she brought him home--a bundle of white fur. I was not thrilled to have this chow puppy. She didn't ask if she could get him, she just brought him home. Kerri had dealt with a lot during that time. She lost a former boyfriend to suicide and had a couple of other traumatic things happen to her, so I didn't say much.

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Kareem. He was so protective and any time I was alone for the night in the house, I never worried. I could have left all of the doors unlocked because Kareem would have protected me without a doubt. Kareem was definitely our protector.

Chows have a reputation that at times they can be mean. Kareem was never mean. He just was loyal--maybe to a fault. There were a couple of times when he bit someone over the years and spent time in doggie "jail." It was always when I think he was trying to protect us.

The last few years as he has gotten elderly, he started to exhibit signs just like a person does as they age. His eyes grew cataracts, he didn't always hear the doorbell or when someone came in, and he sometimes just stood and looked at the wall and stared. The doctor said that he had "doggie dementia." Sometimes he would go outside and then look in through the back doors and see us. He would wag his was almost like "hey, I know you guys in there!"

The past few weeks have been tough on Kareem. He tried to bite Patrick one time when he was surprised by him. Last Friday when Kerri tried to get him downstairs, he tried to bite her. I believe it was just a reaction from not being able to see or hear well. That is when Kerri made the final decision to call the vet. I know how difficult that phone call is to make.

Yesterday, as he was walking across the living room, he staggered and then had a hard time getting his balance.

So today Kerri got the leash and he was so excited. She took him in my car as it would be too hard for him to have gotten in her truck. She took a picture of him with his head out of the window as they drove to the vet's office. Kareem loved the wind on his face in the car!! Judy met her there and I stayed home with Cameron.

Dogs become family members and are so important in our lives. Kareem has been a part of our lives for the past 15 years. We will miss him, but know that he lived a great life and gave us unconditional love. I will miss him and I am not sure that I will ever feel as safe as I did knowing Kareem was there to protect me no matter what. He was our protector and brought joy to our lives in so many ways.

I found this wonderful poem and think it says it all... so to Kerri and Kareem with much love.........

If it should be....
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,

and pain should keep me from my sleep,

then you must do what must be done,

for we know this last battle can't be won.
You will be sad, I understand,

but don't let grief then stay your hand,

for this day, more than the rest,

your love and friendship must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,

what is to come can hold no fears.

Would you want me to suffer?
when the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend,

only stay with me until the end,

and hold me firm and speak to me,

until my eyes no longer see.
It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail it's last has waved,

from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve,
it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two these years,

Don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author unknown

5 remarks:

Kerri said...

damnit, my eyes are leaking....this was the hardest thing to read. I thought I was pretty okay with it, but actually reading it made it hit home. Thanks for doing this post. It is a good thing (as Martha says).


He was a GREAT dog, and is truly missed. But, I know he's in a better place chasing UPS trucks and CATCHING them!!!!

Cheela said...


I know how hard this was. After your remark about the UPS trucks (those of you who knew Kareem will appreciate this), I changed the font color to BROWN in Kareem's honor!!!

Email me if you want to know this story!!!

velvet brick said...

A beautiful post for a dog most worthy of it all. I miss him.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Kerri and Sheila. Losing a beloved pet is so very hard and my heart goes out to all of you. Kareem was one of the prettiest dogs I think I have ever seen. My youngest daughter, Julie, is struggling with the care of an old dog also and like Kareen so loved. Yasha Dog has been with Julie about as long as Kareen was with you all. I shall keep this beautiful poem for her in a special place for I feel she too will be making that difficult ride in her car very soon and the tears will flow. The poem says it all, though and must bring such comfort to all dog owners. Take care, Kerri and know I am thinking of you.

Susie of Arabia said...

To Kerri and Cheela -
So sorry to read about your loss. Kareem sounds like he was just the best. The poem was really beautiful. Thinking of you both.