Kiwi was a trickster: Pet Tribute

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Kiwi Beckwith

Golden Retriever mix

Passed away on March 24, 1995

Kiwi was my only true pet. A golden retriever mix, her lineage was unclear. She was quite a handful as a puppy. Upon meeting her, many people would ask, “What kind of dog is she?” My husband, Tom, liked to explain that she was a “brownish obnoxious.”

We did everything with Kiwi. We went on long hikes together through rain, snowstorms, or blistering heat. We had picnics together. We went camping together, but only once. Kiwi wouldn’t sleep outside the tent, whining outside until we let her in to sleep with us. We enjoyed roaring fires together, outside in parks, as well in our home. One wintry day after Kiwi and Tom walked for hours in the snow, he decided to build a fire just for her. It was clear she felt very special to be so pampered.

As Kiwi matured, our earlier hard work on discipline and training had paid off. She returned our love in equal measure and in a sense became as the child we would never have. Eventually, Kiwi began to slow down. Her hips ached and the walks became shorter. Tom understanding her pain, would often massage her hips and we would watch her turn to butter in his skillful hands.

Kiwi had a great sense of humor. She often got our little jokes and loved playing tricks on us, as well. Our times together became even more special after she had a difficult surgery. Our seventeen year old Toyota was about to turn 200,000 miles. We had forgotten the anticipated event, when one afternoon, I happened to notice the odometer reading: 199,998. I rushed into the house and explained we all needed to get in the car for the awaited event was finally upon us. We put Kiwi in the back seat where she always sat and road down the street. We screamed in excitement as the gauge turned over its milestone numbers. Kiwi was panting and smiling, darting from one side of the back seat to the other, sharing in our enthusiasm.

One morning, Kiwi came over to nuzzle me awake. She sighed and plopped her weary body on the floor next to me. Reaching down to pet her, I felt an incredible ball of energy pulsating just above the top of her head. I believe in that moment, her soul was telling me she was ready to go.

A few days later, on a beautiful day in mid-March, Kiwi was out in the backyard. It was unseasonably warm. As night began to fall, the warm air quickly grew cold and Tom was forced to drag her in against her will. Once inside, Kiwi found a spot in the middle of the living room floor. She lay down, never to get up again.

For three days we cried, played music for her and kept a vigil over our beloved friend. At times, she would open her eyes and smile through her stupor, knowing we were there for her till the very end.

Kathy Beckwith,


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