Four years west

This year started so incredible: my work was going well, Sarah began her Physician Assistant program in the summer and we purchased our first house. Everything was feeling really, really good.

Then, all of a sudden, it fell apart.

This fall was full of stress, loss and heartbreak. Work intensified. The finished basement of our house flooded, and is in disarray while we plan repairs. And we lost Kip.

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You know, I never considered myself a dog person. Growing up, my family never had a furry friend, mostly because we’d be skiing or traveling or generally didn’t want the added responsibility. (Also, I’m betting some part of it was not wanting to clean up and maintain a house with a pet.) I had a cat after college, who found a new home when Sarah and I left the country. Once Sarah and I settled in Portland, her cat Taches joined us. But for years, Sarah had slowly, repeatedly suggested that we might one day have a pup.

The week before we brought Kippa home, I’m not sure who was more terrified: me, not knowing what we were about to get into, or Sarah, who was worried I wouldn’t be happy with a dog in our home.

I couldn’t have loved Kippa more. She was the best, and taught me the joy in small moments, every single day. She loved, unconditionally. She was a goof who always had fun. I miss that silly, floofy pup with her wet nose, floppy ears and fluffy tail snuggling up just to be…close. She’d sit between my legs, flip her head backwards with her tongue hanging out, and would be full of love.

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I don’t know what to say. I thought 2016 was rough, and I never imagined 2017 would be so much more challenging. I’m grateful for my family and friends, and the love and support I have from Sarah. I’m cautiously optimistic as I look toward the next year.