In memory of my dear friend

I think I learned to love dogs from Nanny and Marion Alexander, our neighbour lady years ago.
Both of them had wonderful dogs in their lives over the years and I admired their dog relationships, especially their loyalty.
“Karma” was my second dog since I became an adult and living on my own. She was from a field trial family and I think many people thought I likely was going to have one busy puppy on my hands.
As it turned out, Karma was a very calm, perfect puppy.
For the first few weeks, I couldn’t help but carry her around and cuddle her; and I’ve heard that people who spotted me carrying her thought the little dog would never walk on her own.
Her first mishap was at Christmas time in the barn, when she thought she would share some dairy ration with Nanny’s dog (Cassie). But Cassie didn’t feel the need to share; she bit Karma and punctured a gland.
I was worried about her first calving season, but my little black lab was very content waiting on a bale of straw while the chores were done.
Her next trauma was after being spayed—she jumped in the cab of the truck and ripped out here stitches.
Since my six-month-old friend already was plenty overweight, it was a difficult job to re-stitch her and she needed to be on complete bed rest. As such, I slept on the floor with her since she was used to jumping on the bed to sleep with me (something I wasn’t allowed to have was a dog sleeping on the bed when I still lived at home).
It wasn’t long after that I ended up with a nasty sore back and found myself sleeping on the floor. Karma never left my side and at times her cuddling in close really hurt my back!
We also spent a few years sleeping on a futon couch—no wonder I have such a bad back today (a horrible futon mattress and 120-pound black lab).
We attended two obedience classes and became part of an agility club. Karma also would ride in my truck for hours on end. And when I had to replace my old truck, she wasn’t impressed with the bucket seats as she couldn’t sit close to me at all.
Even though I have an extended cab, Karma never believed in riding in the back seat. In fact, you would find Karma in the front with a passenger (even me) in the back seat.
Many times the kids I happened to be dragging around would ask me if “next time they could ride in the front and Karma in the back?” That never happened.
As well, she had a special place on the couch and even if company was over, she made sure they moved over. It also wasn’t a good place to sit if you were wearing white!
Clayton and her became pretty close, and he adjusted well to having a spoiled house dog ruling the roost. He tried to boss her around a few times and he always laughed about her way of pouting or turning her head and completely ignoring him.
Damien, meanwhile, built Karma a nice step as she aged and had trouble getting into the truck (she did find this embarrassing, though).
Karma loved my mom and dad, and was very quick to head to the truck when asked “Wanna go see grandma and grandpa?”
As Maddie would say, “why does Karma get so ‘cited’ to go there?” Well, when I was away, that is where she stayed (and even managed to sleep on their bed a few times!)
That also was the place that she ran to when the electric fence attacked her, or I was spending too much time with any of my other animals.
She became a pretty good cattle dog, yet wouldn’t work if it was too hot or raining. At the beginning of calving season, she would make every trip to the barn but usually only a short time into it, she would pretend she didn’t hear me getting up and kept sleeping.
She loved McDonald’s cheeseburgers and was disappointed when going through Customs that they didn’t send along a nice little brown paper bag.
I got up in the morning to take her for a walk before work, and I went straight home after work because she was waiting. She was never mad if I was few minutes late or if I was only home for a few minutes and had to go out again.
Unconditional love like no other.
She enjoyed photo shoots and Satsuma Bubble Bath. She also learned to love Maddie and Marlee because this meant food—and lots of it. The girls appreciated Karma because she was a quick finger cleaner when sitting at the table (and I didn’t teach either the girls or Karma this).
She ate many packages of “Pup-a-roni” and loved Christmas just like a kid. She enjoyed sticking her nose in gift bags to find the ones that were for her.
For 13 years she was my best friend and reason I had to vacuum almost every day. I knew it was time to say good-bye, but I will miss her company, her dedication, and here loyalty.
Bye for now, Karma (Oct. 27, 1998-Nov. 15, 2011).

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