It is with heavy heart that I inform you that Kacy, the family granddog, has left us. She died peacefully in the arms of her loving family at her home in Cartersville.
When notified of her passing, her good friend, Hayden Rose Yarbrough, delivered an impromptu eulogy: “I’ll bet God is scratching her belly in heaven right now.” The faith and eloquence of a 4-year-old.
Not much is known about Kacy’s background. There is empirical evidence to suggest that neither of her parents were members of the American Kennel Club, given that their offspring didn’t resemble a pure-bred poodle or a bichon frise. She looked like a plain old dog with floppy ears, long legs and big brown eyes that would melt your heart.
Could she have talked, Kacy would have told you that she was one lucky dog to have lived the life she did. Found abandoned in the woods as a tick- and worm-infested puppy, she was nursed to health by her new family and spent the rest of her long years giving new meaning to the term “a dog’s life,” which generally implies a second-class existence. Nothing could be further from the truth in her household.
Sure, there were those times when she was forced to answer nature’s call in frigid weather or when her sleep was disturbed by some wiseacre squirrel that had the audacity to trespass in her restricted space and who learned the hard way that this was a bad idea. Mostly however hers was a life spent being loved and petted and scratched and fed, interspersed with frequent naps in front of the fireplace.
For several years, Kacy shared space with Sheila, the Family Wonder Dog, who accepted her presence with a modicum of toleration as long it was understood who was top dog in the family. Kacy accepted her role without complaint and with Sheila’s passing, took on the job as the family’s go-to dog without missing a beat. Sheila would have been impressed.
Kacy would have never replaced Lassie or Rin Tin Tin as a leading dog in the movies. She was a terrible actor. One of her frequent ploys was to grab a favorite pull toy and dare her buddy, Cameron Charles Yarbrough, to take it from her. Her growls and snarls sounded real enough but were, in fact, pure hokum — a part of the game. Cameron Charles, always the willing foil, would chase her around the house, tugging at the toy and enduring her theatrical threats until one of them wore out. Rarely was it Kacy. It was a game that never got old to either of them. Much to Kacy’s delight, Hayden Grace later entered the scene, which gave Kacy double the pleasure and double the fun. She was all about fun.
When we visited her in Cartersville, she was always delighted to see us, particularly since Grandma usually arrived with a pocketful of dog biscuits. All it took to empty the pocket was to sit obediently for a nanosecond. She didn’t seem to mind. We were impressed at how well-behaved she was and she got a snoot full of dog biscuits. A win-win situation.
My mentor, the late Jasper Dorsey, taught me a lot about the telephone business and even more about life. One of his oft-stated philosophies was that to be successful in life’s dealings, it was not necessary to read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” although he thought it a worthy read. Rather, he would say, act like a dog.
A dog will love you even when you don’t deserve it. A dog will not sit in judgement of you. They will accept a bad day from you without questioning why. A dog is all about loyalty. You don’t have to worry about a dog switching allegiances because it is in their personal interest to do so. A dog is with you through the good times and the bad. They are always your friend.
Alas, a dog can also break your heart because they seem to leave us before we are ready for them to go. Such was the case with Kacy. Hers was a remarkable journey from abandonment as a frightened puppy in the woods to a life richly lived. For all the love and attention that she received, she returned it tenfold.
Rest in peace, Kacy. You were a doggone good dog and you will be missed. May God scratch your belly into eternity.