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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

Conversations with a Dog

Ask my sisters, I was never a " dog person." Ask my husband, he will tell you I was the last person he thought would cry when we found a new home for Kobe, ask me and I will tell you, "I never thought I would feel this way."

Kobe came to our home almost a year ago- just shortly after Kobe Bryant died. In fact, he is Bryant's namesake- and boy can our Kobe jump. Madsen brought Kobe home one night- bought him from a buddy for $100. I was not sold on the idea neither was Rigby, but there were underlying circumstances so we agreed rather reluctantly that Kobe could stay.

Kobe became a "therapy dog" for all of us. He was Maleck's COVID playmate. Together they rode four wheelers and played ball in the backyard. He stole Emma's heart right away; She doted on him and watched over his every need. He became Madsen's "will" to escape the darkness that enveloped him. For Stockton, he was his scouting, hunting, fishing, adventure buddy, for Seleck and Leydi he was a preview of their "child" that will one day come, for Rigby he was a reason to make sure to get a morning run in before work- and for me, he became my best friend, literally.

Growing up, we had a dog named Spot. The only remnant or memory I have of him is an old photo. And then our family got two dogs- Willy and Billy. Billy was my dog and he died and Willy was my sister's and he lived a long time- I never bonded with him. To me, he was the poor dog who was chained in the car port except when my dad or baby sis took him out. I feel guilty now that I wasn't better to him.

But Kobe brought something to my heart that I never knew existed. He became my protector, my safe haven. Nearing 50, I have had many running partners and I cherish them all, but Kobe he was a listener, a healer- he just seemed to sense my pain.

The last two years of my life has been filled with doubt, anxiety, discouragement and fear. The last 10 months (COVID induced) has brought all of those feelings to a whole new level. Kobe "slogged"(my gait is not quite what it used to be) along with me, and he just listened. I mean I didn't really talk to him, but he listened all the same. Animals have a way of sensing that- Kobe was exceptional

Together, we talked to God, strengthened my faith, made resolutions, listened to podcasts, audio books, and scriptures. Together, we ran trails, hiked mountains, and walked (rather he pulled me) around the neighborhood. Together, we took my broken heart and put it back together.

Kobe filled a void and answered prayers in all of our lives, but for me he became my hope.

Loving someone means you love them enough to know that sometimes you have to let them go. It means that sometimes they outgrow you. It means that you have to love them enough to put their needs ahead of your own.

Last week we did that for Kobe. He has a new home with other dogs, with horses to follow, an owner that loves him, and a farm on which to adventure daily. We all miss our Kobe- he is athletic, handsome, and happy. He will always have a part of our hearts, our history, and most definitely our memories.

Happy Trails, Kobe! Thanks for loving me and listening to me!


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