All the dogs that come through the rescue are special but some leave impressions that are lasting. Kelsey was one of those dogs. Not that he was so much of an adventurous GSP, but that he managed to stay with his adopter when they were faced with several major life changing events.
When his adopters moved away, he accompanied them. When they came back and had to make special arrangements so they could keep him, they did. When one of the adopters passed away, he remained with the other. When the remaining adopter remarried, Kelsey remained. So many opportunities where other GSPs have made their way to us, but giving up Kelsey was never an option. The commitment Kelsey’s adopters had for him was unmatched. When he was adopted several years ago, he had found his forever home.
Earlier this month, our very own dedicated volunteer Teri informed us that Kelsey passed away. Our hearts and condolences go out to Teri, but we know Kelsey had a life filled with love. Teri shared the following memories:
“Kelsey had his own little personality, and was always challenging me competing for the pack leader position. He wasn’t the easiest dog from the time he was young, and was quite stubborn. One day I came home from work, and my 110 lb Lab/Akita was bleeding over his eye, Kelsey on the other hand, untouched by my gentle giant. Another day I came home to find pillow stuffing all over the living room… Kelsey sitting in the middle of it all… He was such a brat! He is the reason I made the decision to remodel my house, as he had eaten the carpet, the walls and the baseboards.
Kelsey came to us with some fear aggression which we were ALWAYS working on, and as he got older, he finally realized that life was much easier, if he learned to relax a little and let me lead the pack. Kelsey wasn’t interested in playing with balls or toys as much as I tried to get him to play. Kelsey was more of a serious fellow, and as I watched his personality unfold, I realized that he really did think he was the pack leader, and that his job was to watch over us and protect us. He tolerated trips to the rescue, and in the field he never took his eyes off of me, and wasn’t too happy about the young GSP’s that would bump into him, but he was a trooper. Over time, he became better about foster’s coming into our home, and learned that it was only temporary, and knew that he was there to stay. He loved and lost 3 of his siblings, Eli, Kanga and Kylee, and the loss of his Dad, but welcomed his new sibling Hope and later a new family.
Kelsey loved to run, hike and liked to go in the water, but preferred lakes over the waves of the ocean. His absolutely favorite thing to do was ride in the car, and was a perfect co-pilot when we traveled to and from the Pacific Northwest to California. When he was young, he was a powerhouse, and could scale a steep slope in the backyard in no time flat. I remember on one of our walks, we encountered a Bobcat. Kelsey was so focused, and it took every bit of strength to get him back up the hill. He was oh so handsome with the most beautiful soulful eyes. I loved to just watch him. Sometimes he would look at me and it was as if he knew exactly what I was saying. Underneath that toughness, was really a very kind, loving, special boy. Kelsey taught me patience, perseverance, and to face challenges with an open mind and know that there is still so much more to learn.
As his health was declining, I tried everything to make him more comfortable such as Acupuncture, laser therapy and massage. A friend also performed Reiki on him. During one of the Acupuncture treatments at my vets home, I discovered that as he had aged, he could co-mingle with cats!
Kelsey, while not a purebred GSP, he is the reason that I discovered this incredible breed that led me to becoming a volunteer to rescue them.
When tragedy struck my life, he was my constant companion who never left my side. I owed him a huge debt and when his quality of life had diminished, I made the extremely difficult decision to let him go.
Kelsey, you have left an eternal impression upon my heart. I am so grateful for our time together, even though it is never long enough. You lived a full happy life, and that is all that I ever wanted for you. Someone else’s trash was my treasure, and I cherish the time we had together. I love and miss you so much. You have left a huge hole in my heart, but also a lifetime of memories. Rest peacefully my sweet boy… Until we meet again…”