Kip R. Dog – Kip

shepherd mix kipKip didn’t get any titles. Kip didn’t get to do agility or flyball or herding or obedience… Kip was my companion through the most difficult part of my life. Though my codependency, though my addiction to men, through my moves from house to house, Kip was always by my side. My best friend, my companion, and my greatest joy.

Kip loved his crate, it was his dog bed and his safe place. There was no door on his crate, but he slept in it at night, on his comfy blanket, where he snuggled in and was safe. Kip had floppy ears, and I never was sure what he was mixed with. Maybe Keeshond, but I never did figure it out.

I met Kip back in 1987. He lived with an old boyfriend and was about a year old, so he was born sometime in 1986. Kip was a very sweet shepherd mix. When I took him for a walk for the first time he had no idea what a leash was and his butt was out as far as it would go. I didn’t know much about dogs when I had Kip, but I knew they shouldn’t be locked in a dog run all day long.

shepherd mix kipKip was bored. When he has been a puppy they thought he was cute. But when he got older he was banished to the outdoor dog run. Once a day, every day, my old boyfriend would let him out. Kip ran around like a mad dog as fast as he could go, jumping in the canal, and having a great time. I can still remember when he did that like it was yesterday, the picture is clear in my mind.

When it was time to go back into the dog run my old boyfriend would take Kip’s food bowl into the dog run with him, and Kip would follow because he was hungry. Then the boyfriend would close the gate, and climb out, because Kip was smart and didn’t want to stay in there for the next 24 hours. πŸ™

shepherd mix kipWell, long story short, I took the dog and ditched the boyfriend. πŸ™‚ And Kip became my best friend all through my 20s. He lived with me at a friends house, then at my parents house for three years, then at a couple of rentals, then at the first house I bought.

We went camping, and Kip loved to roll in dead things and bring back dear carcasses. He loved the back of my Toyota Pickup and would jump in on his own whenever he was tired (which was not often, he had a lot of energy). He loved people and dogs, and would whine whenever he saw another dog. I took him to obedience classes, which were cheap then, $40 for a 6 week class, but I didn’t go much further with him. I wanted to, but my addictions directed me other places.

shepherd mix kipSometimes I think I could have given Kip a better life, had I been more focused on him rather than men. He was so much more important than any passing man I ever met. He was loyal and true. I wish I would have done more with him, spent more time with him, gave him more attention. He panted all the time, which now I think was because he was stressed, and it became a habit. But that was okay, I still loved him with all my heart.

Kip died at home on April 29, 2000. It was a Saturday. He had been going deaf for about six months, or a year, before he died. He lived to 14 years old, which is a good long life. He went downhill fast, in only a couple of weeks, maybe a month.

shepherd mix kipI remember going to the vet and they told me I needed to realize it was soon time… and I was in denial, thinking no he’s just sick, make him better.

He died outside on the backyard patio. He came through the dog door from the garage (there was also a door into the house, not sure why he was out there), walked toward me, laid down, and left me alone in this world. I did have Lucy and Levi at the time, but he was my rock, my history, my memories, and my life. He took a big chunk of my heart with him when he left, and I cry now as I write this.

I love you Kip, always will, and I will always miss you. I hope you are finding better things to do than waiting at the silly rainbow bridge. I hope you are soaring through a reality I cannot even imagine, doing all you ever wanted to do.

26 thoughts on “Kip R. Dog – Kip”

  1. Kip is running free over the Rainbow Bridge just waiting for you, no doubt. I was reading a blog the other day, it was a religious one, and the author was talking about heaven and hell and why some people won’t go to heaven. I commented that I’m not positive about hell but heaven is anywhere the animals are. You will see Kip again.

  2. I know that your boy Kip is in a better place right now and that he will be with you again someday. I know that I will have to face this in the future but I try to avoid thinking about it. I avoid reading things like this but I did manage to read all about Kip. ItÒ€ℒs strange, but I can read about people dying all day long but I find it very hard to read about dogs dying. I canÒ€ℒt explain it and I guess they just seem so venerable to me. ItÒ€ℒs funny that I would hold them on a higher plane than people. Does anyone else feel that way?


  3. This post moved me to tears. I can really relate to so many of the things you’ve said about Kip being your best friend through all the passing men. That’s how I feel about my Molly and Cruella. Most people can’t seem to understand that those dogs mean more to me than any human on the face of this earth. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.

    This is a beautiful post, and I’ll be linking to it in the next few days for sure. Kip’s story deserves to be shared with lots of other people. He was a beautiful dog, and had a beautiful owner and friend. I’m so glad you got to spend 13 good years with him.

  4. Hi Flo, I do hope I’ll see Kip again… I agree, if there is a heaven it’s where the dogs are.

  5. Hi Larry, I also hold dogs in higher regard than humans, too. They are pure of heart, honest, and the best loyal friends ever. They love us no matter what. They are the perfect companion. And they help us learn and grow every day.

    I don’t like to think about loosing mine, either. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Oh wow, I bet that was really difficult for you to write. But you did it, great for you… wrote a really wonderful tribute and story here. And, BTW, you picked the right one by picking Kip over the guy, nice job!

    I’m really not sure how Mum will handle it when it’s my time to cross the bridge…but whatever happens and when, we are working on having the best life we can together, every day. And I’m sure Kip had the best life with you he could have ever imagined….I’m so glad you took him in and made his life great.

  7. I can relate, and am so glad that you wrote this and keep Kip in your thoughts. I lost my Peanut earlier this year. I wrote his story here. I think about him everyday, and still cry many of them. He helped me through my 20s as I ventured off into the world on my own, and what I wanted most for him was a backyard to play in instead of an apartment. It makes me so sad that he was not able to make it to our new house. πŸ™

  8. Kip sure was a beautiful and sweet dog. Your story had me in tears, but tears of happiness for the good life you provided to Kip and that he provided for you.

    I lost my best buddy, my American Eskimo dog, Gus almost one year ago (August 2, 2006). I miss him every day, but know that he is watching over me and having fun with his friends who’ve also gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

    I have another best buddy, who keeps me company now. He’s a beautiful tri-color Collie named Indy and he’s as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. Losing Gus was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face, but one good thing came from it – finding and rescuing Indy, when we both needed a friend.

  9. Hi Janell, I’m so sorry for your loss of Gus. It is much too hard to loose them. πŸ™ I would love to see some pictures of your new collie, Indy.

  10. It has got to be the most difficult thing in life to loose our precious pets that are our constant loving devoted companions. A year ago last October for me and I will never get over how special she was in my life. Brought me a world I never knew existed and I will be forever grateful to her. I remember you telling me the story of this special dog of yours, they get us through some tough times don’t they? Thanks for sharing….Dianne

  11. Hi Cynthia,
    Its been a really long time. I remember you bringing Kip to my lab at U. Really sad to know that he is no more. I still keep his and Greta’s pictures posted on my homepage at How is Greta’s doing? Were you able to find out if she graduated and found a home to help other. I still remember playing with her, she was so energetic. Well, hope to hear back from you.

    1. Hi Murli! wow It’s been forever, so good to hear from you! I went and looked at your site, very cool that you still have pictures of Greta and Kip up. πŸ™‚ They were such good dogs. I’ll send you an email directly. πŸ™‚

  12. thanks for the awesome post. it’s funny, but i was going through some pictures to toss just this week and found one of my last baby, tiffin. i’ve been kind of down since. they do so much to help us and i can’t imagine what we give them in return that is comparable, but am so thankful they are here on this earth. they are truly guiding angels and i can’t wait for all the puppy kisses if i’m allowed over the rainbow bridge. *sniffle*

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