Thursday, September 11, 2014

goodbye kona ♥

left us. dog heaven sure got an angel in our kona!
my family's dog kona got sick recently and quickly 
went downhill, passing away in her sleep at home in 
her bed. she had a good long life of 12 years and although
the tears are nonstop, we're so lucky to have had her.

although there are much bigger hardships
and tragedies happening in this world, i
had to stop and feel the tenderness and
certain sadness that comes with losing a
dog. i know dogs aren't our whole life, 
but they sure make our lives whole. 

what is it about losing an animal that is so

tender? it's a lost companion that you know
felt your love, even though they couldn't tell
you. losing them makes you hope they really
knew how loved they were and it feels helpless
that you can't explain things to them...but i
know they know. dogs are old souls and the
most genuine, loving, loyal creatures on this
earth so each one is so hard to see go.

kona was truly special, and my family has
all cried together on facetime as it sinks in that
she is gone! she brought us so much happiness
and there's so much we loved about her...and
she loved us right back! she truly lived up to the
quote: a dog is the only thing on earth that 
loves you more than it loves itself."

so, in my usual way of coping, i'm making a list!
one big list of all the reasons we loved our kona.
this is mostly for our family and to remember all
of our favorite things about this member of our
family, but if you've ever loved a dog hopefully
you'll appreciate it. i'm crying already!

here's a little tribute to the best pup ever!
  • kona was more human than dog, truly.
  • she had a smile -- i promise! see:
  • her tail was wagging always. it was never not wagging... even when she was sleeping!
  • she was so obedient yet spunky.
  • she was up for any adventure, rain-snow-or shine.
  • she loved to be loved. she was always in search of a hand to pet her, or a person to nuzzle against. she would nudge your hand if you forgot to pet her for a second!
  • she went to work with my mom every day and made friends everywhere she went.
  • we all called her "konie," and so did our friends. our little nephew taggie couldn't say her name so he called her "tony" which made us laugh.
  • she ran and hiked every single day with both of my parents.
  • she even skiied lots of times, sprinting down the canyon in between my dad's skis.
  • kona loved neff's canyon and pranced around like she owned the place whenever she was there...because she did own the place!
  • she could sleep anywhere...even in a hammock!
  • she loved her dog "husband" duke, our older dog who was waiting for her in heaven.
  • she loved chewing bones so much that we started calling her "kone bone."
  • she would ride in the back of the car with her head perched on the back of the headrest so you could see her little face in the rearview mirror while driving. she loved resting her head anywhere!
  • she had 2 litters of darling puppies and was the cutest puppy mom! (and so tough to deliver 12 pups at home!)

  • she went sledding on our sleds with us all the time in neffs.
  • she was always in the car at every airport pick up in my family, there to greet us! she even got brought inside once:
  • all of our family friends know and love her. she's truly part of the dunns.
  • she always laid with her paws smushed against her face in the cutest way.
  • she had a chubby stage where we called her little piglet :)
  • she sat like a human, on her bum instead of her legs.
  • she got her own vet-approved special diet of pumpkin puree and costco green beans (her favorite)...oh, and popcorn of course :) no pet food for her! she really was part human!
  • she made coming home to visit even better.
  • she had the cutest face & whiskers, and we all thought she looked like a little seal. seriously, look one up- the resemblance is uncanny! that's why i always love seeing seals out here in california...they remind me of my kona!
  • she let us dress her up all the time, whether for downton abbey pictures or as a sheep in our family christmas nativity :)
  • my mom commissioned an artist to paint a picture of her that we all love and cherish...especially now!
  • she loved sleeping on the bed with us when she was allowed, but would never jump up without being told.
  • she let everyone hold her.
  • she would push her way into any nook & cranny to cuddle up close to one of us.
  • she was a big fan of popcorn once my dad introduced her to it. then it became their thing. hearing her crunch it was the cutest sound ever.
  • she loved going in the car on errands with us.
  • like every good dog, she knew how to find the perfect shaft of sunlight coming through the window and bask in it for hours. (i love this picture and spent many afternoons laying in the sun with her: )
  • if she was outside wanting to come inside, she would NEVER bark...she'd only sit at the glass door looking in and silently waiting for someone to come. even as a puppy!
  • i used to walk in on my mom having full conversations about her day with kona sitting there listening.
  • she would follow you ANYWHERE you went in the house. she just wanted to be around people!
  • she was always up for a run, a walk, or a hike, no matter how many times she had gone out that day.
i had lots of tears over this pup the past week knowing she was
going downhill, and even more when my mom called with the news.
but, there's a peaceful feeling about knowing she's now in dog heaven
and not in pain, and she didn't have to be put down. she went at home
where she was most comfortable. i love that dog and hope she knew it!

“dogs have given us their absolute all. we are the center of their universe. we are the focus of their love and faith and trust. they serve us in return for scraps. it is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”

^^ this picture is from june when we were spending our last
she was so happy and lookin' wise beyond her years in this one.
i'm wondering if she was starting to realize they were leaving :(

^^ here she is on mount olympus way, her home turf...
on the walk up to neff's canyon. this was a month ago 
when i flew home for a wedding and saw her last.
i am so glad i got to go on one last walk together,
our favorite route! you can see her smile here :)

okay i'm too teary to write any more, 
so here's to man's best friend.
here's to one of the greats.
and here's to dog heaven!

xo case you need proof of my lifelong love
for white labs. we love you kea, duke, & kona!
we can't wait for more labs in our family and
hope you're all playing together in dog heaven. 

pps..i have the sweetest friends who made me feel
so loved and cheered me up with these blooms.

we love you kona dunn!


  1. This made me want to cry!! Dogs are so special- we love our dog like a child! I am so sorry for your family's loss!!

    1. you're so sweet, glad you're a dog lover and you understand! :) xoxo

  2. Ugh. I just saw the title of your post and knew I would be sad reading it :( dogs truly are the best aren't they? I can't imagine life without one. So sorry you lost your sweet kona. She seemed to be a good best friend.

    PS my dog sits like that too - on her bum and not her legs. It's goofy looking but I love it :)

    1. you are a dear, thanks for this comment. i LOVE that your dog sits like that too, hilarious!

  3. I am bawling my eyes out. I am so incredibly sorry that you lost your sweet pup! She looked like the cutest ever - that Downton Abbey photo is on another level. At least you got so many happy years and memories with her that she always will be with you in some way. Dogs truly bring so much happiness to families - being a new pet owner, I can even imagine life before my sweet Finley now!

    1. you're the sweetest person alive and give your finley an extra big hug today!! ♥♥♥

  4. Oh my gosh I am so so sorry for your loss! I have grew up with a golden retriever (she is 14 going on 15) and literally have no idea what we would do if we lost her. Dogs become a part of your family that you never expect. Have you read the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" or "A Dog's Purpose"? They both are incredible stories told from a dog's perspective. It shed a new light on me whenever I am with my lovely golden. Dog's hearts are pure and loyal. Thinking of you during this hard time!

    1. you're a darling, your golden sounds so sweet. i've read "the art of racing in the rain" and loved that book. completely painted how i imagined a dog's perspective! i have to read a dog's purpose for sure...and can't read "marley & me" for a LONG time now!!! :)

      thanks for your love! ♥

  5. {{Hugs}} I was very sorry to read about your loss. Pets are such a wonderful addition to our families, it is their unconditional love that warms our hearts.


  6. I'm so sorry about your loss! I know how incredibly hard it is to lose a dog; it happened to me last year and left me devastated for months! I'm glad you were able to write such a sweet list of why you love Kona

  7. Fire up the BBQ! Just kidding. Great dog. Great post. We'll miss you Tony...

  8. So sorry to hear about your loss!! Dogs add so much to a family. Best, Melissa

  9. So many good memories with Tony. What a sweet post. All the pictures make me miss her more. She was the best behaved dog I've ever known. I loved her permanent smile, human behaviors, patience, and those litters of pups! Sure thinking about you!

  10. so sad to hear the loss of your precious kona <3 thoughts and prayers! xo

  11. I am definitely crying right now as I read this. I loved reading all those things about Kona. She is definitely in dog heaven right now! These dogs sure do teach us a lot! I once heard that's why their lives are much shorter than ours. It takes us a lifetime to learn what a dog already knows. Thinking about you and your family. Xoxo Steph

  12. I know exactly how you feel. My sweet rot Taca just passed away today. He suddenly got very ill and was on,y get worse by the minute. I was completely heart broken from the news. What makes things worse is that I just moved from home a few months ago and this was the last thing I thought would happen. He did live happy and long life. I just miss him like crazy and wish I could have been there one last time with him. But I know he's in peace now, and in doggie heaven with your sweet know. My heart goes out to you.

  13. Awww...I'm so sorry, Emi! Losing a pet is absolutely heartbreaking, but it's obvious she had 12 awesome years with your family. Such a cute dog and I know she knew how much you loved her!

  14. and I cried! I am so sorry to hear about your pup but what a lovely little tribute !


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