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Kiralynn
Kiralynn of Rohan
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Hello, Banders.

I lost a German Shepherd Dog to cancer on Friday. Her name was Kira.

Last November, we adopted a dog that had been through a terrible life. Abandoned, hit by a car, left for dead, rehabilitated, bounced around homes, and finally came to us. A week after we adopted her, we found out she had highly aggressive cancer. She had a mastectomy to try to buy her some time. After that, we gave her the best life that we could for as long as we could. She had several amazing adventures, many toys, and lots of love until her quality of life diminished. When the cancer reached her brain, it was time to say goodbye.

All of my German Shepherd Dogs share many personality traits. I think it's fair to say these traits are part of the breed. There are always individual traits, those amazing differences between dogs, that make them special. Here are the things that made Kira different from every other GSD:

Kira had huge ears. No, really, they were huge. If my other dogs were "humans", she was the "elf" of the GSD world. They were radar dishes and she could hear a mouse squeak from a mile away. Nothing slipped past her.

She loved plushy toys, especially ones that squeaked, but she didn't tear them apart. GSDs are amazing "disassemblers" but Kira cherished every toy in her giant box full of plushies. She also knew them by name. Ms Cow, Hedgie, Chickie, Santa Hedgehog, Chipmunk, Piggie, Kong, Pink Ball, Blue Ball, Red Ball, and so on. She also knew which toy made which noise. I'd say, "Who goes cheep?" and she'd bring me Chickie. "Okay, who goes grunt grunt?" and she'd bring me Hedgie the Hedgehog.

She was vengeful with incredible follow-through. She hated the big male Weimaraner who lives across the street because he pees in our yard. On walks, she would save up her pee for his yard. One time, she knocked out the window screen, ran across the street, went behind his house, and pooped in his food dish before letting me take her home.

Kira was master of "the paw". She knew just the right time to gently lay that massive GSD paw on your lap, your knee, or your hand. She wouldn't lower herself to "beg" but she leveraged her cuteness to get what she wanted.

Anything lower than 6' off the ground in the kitchen had to be secured. She was a reincarnated spy from Mission Impossible. It wasn't fair to call her technique "counter surfing", it was actually "culinary espionage".

She was really good at scent work and picked it up quickly.

And my all time favorite...

When it was time for a walk, *she* would walk *me* to the kitchen door. I would get her leash out of the closet, then she would grab one end and forcefully pull me to the door. Sometimes, she would get her own leash from the closet and bring it to me. She decided when it was time for a walk. If her brother Talos lagged behind, she would grab his leash and drag him along, too.

So that was Kira, the "tom boy" of female GSDs, strong-minded, clever, and fearless. Please join me in celebrating a tragic life that had a happy ending, thanks to time and money donated by her rescue group, foster Dad, and family.

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Aedon Durreah
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I am deeply saddened by the loss of your lovely girl Kira. The loss of a pet is never easy, and those who have never enjoyed the privileged of having a furry friend walk lives paths with them cannot always understand the depth of sadness this can bring. Kira was lucky. She landed in a loving home, and through you and your family the pain she suffered before, was washed away to be replaced by caring hands, a warm place to eat, good food, and all the toys should wanted. I am sure that she will await your arrival at the Rainbow Bridge.


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Loeci
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I am so sorry for the loss of your dear family member. She was a lovely spirit that was blessed to be part of your family and be showered with your love, and you with her special personality and love. treasure those memories unit you see her again on the other side of the Bridge. Many hugs and love to you dear. They are so special and it is so hard to lose them. :'(


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I'm very sorry to hear about your Kira and am sending hugs and warm thoughts your way.

I have a nine year old German Shepherd that I have raised from eight weeks and I know I will have a very hard time saying goodbye someday because of the bond we have. They are a very special breed.
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I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Your description of her is so sweet and touching. Her ears are adorable! She was so fortunate to have found her forever family and have love and care and be happy for the last part of her life.


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Such a beautiful girl!
A toast to Kira and her mountain of plushies.


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Hello Kiralynn,

I would also like to express my condolences for the loss of a very dear family member.

I'm mostly a pitbull kinda guy, but German Shepherd dogs will always hold a special place in my heart. I worked extensively with dog handlers during my last tour in Afghanistan in 2010. In my AO at the time, you simply did not go anywhere without at least one dog handler per platoon, often more.

The military working dogs eventually were phased out in favor of the Belgian Malinois, but in the Marine Corps at the time they were all GSD's. The dogs performed specific jobs: attack dogs, tracking dogs, explosives detection, drug detection, and search & rescue. Some were cross-trained to perform multiple roles.

Every mission called for a minimum of an explosives-detection dog and an attack dog to go out with us, or a dog that was trained in both roles. The explosives detection dogs were beyond amazing... they could locate devices far in advance of, and with much greater precision, than even the most cutting edge electronic devices that we had.

We were all taught that their loyalty was to their handlers alone, and that they were not to be treated as pets under any circumstances. But after months in a harsh environment under combat conditions...the dogs began to bond with all of us. Every Marine was a part of their pack, part of their family. The dogs knew when we were upset, when we were exhausted, when we were stressed, and when we were angry.

There is a playful side, and a strong sense of family, which I believe are also hallmarks of the German Shepherd breed. When you were having a bad day, they always knew it...and they'd do all sorts of goofy things to try and cheer you up (often to their handlers' chagrin). Even the fearsome attack dogs were part of it...their idea of perking you up usually involved a wrestling match and lots of face-licking.

I was introduced to "The Paw" while on deployment; each and every dog had their own favorite moment for utilizing it.

I spent 18 months as a foster dad for rescue dogs after my discharge from the Corps. I'd still be doing it now, but I ended up keeping one of them, and adopting another that I found wandering in the countryside just a couple months later.

Here ends my long-winded tale of admiration for our canine companions; know that I have lost pets before and while it is different for everyone, I am still able to relate.

I'm very happy to learn that Kira was able to spend her time with you experiencing love, friendship and comfort. Thank you for giving her the home and family that she truly deserved.
Tearna Quickfoot
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So sorry you lost your fur child, Kira. She was blessed to have been loved and cared for by you!!!

*hugs*


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Durakili
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Aww!! So sorry to hear that- and so glad you saved her from a bad life..
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Sorry for your loss. She seems lovely and a very good companion. You gave her a great life and created a lot of happiness for the both of you.
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Oh I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. This hits home for me because years ago I, too, had a dog named Kira. She was a Siberian Husky. It is so sad to lose our fur babies. I am glad yours had such a loving home to live her life in...

*hugs* to you!


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Oh Kiralynn, I'm so sorry for your loss. Even as sad as it is, your stories of your time with Kira brought a smile to my face -- you were both so fortunate to have found each other. Pets can be such a comfort simply by being who they are, and we in turn can be such a comfort to them. That is truly worth celebrating! *hugs*


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I'm very sad to hear of the loss of your beloved Kira. She truly was an amazing GSD & she was fortunate to have found you at the end of her life.
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I'm so sorry Kira sad *hugs* They're so precious and it's so so hard to lose them sad What a lovely end of life you gave her though :) She sounds so clever and funny and I love her ears! <3


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Kira,

I’m so sorry for your loss. As a dog owner myself, in darker moments I live in fear of the moment at which you’ve arrived.

Thanks for sharing the many details of Kira’s quirky personality. Despite the sad circumstances, I really laughed at this in particular:

Kiralynn of Rohan wrote:
One time, she knocked out the window screen, ran across the street, went behind his house, and pooped in his food dish before letting me take her home.


She sounds like she was really a pistol. Hugs from me. Hang in there.

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