Farewell to Kacy: A dog­gone good dog

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - Dick Yar­brough Philoso­pher & pun­dit

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 who 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 ten-fold.

Rest in peace, Kacy. You were a dog­gone good dog and you will be missed. May God scratch your belly into eter­nity.

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at dick@ dick­yarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, 31139 or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

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