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Kimeo : A Dog among Dogs

Jim and KimeoKimeo was the runt of her litter, one of the smallest Brittany Spaniels I’ve ever seen. Still, in her short life, she proved that the size of one’s body has nothing to do with the size of one’s spirit.

One beautiful fall day when we were hunting in Atchinson County, KS with our hunting buddies, Kimeo showed those other dogs what a big-hearted, little dog could do. The dogs had run hard and found little all day. They were tired and ready to call it quits. When we finished walking a milo field bordered by a large line of trees , we planned to head for home.

Suddenly, an explosion of feathers and a burst of cackling rose; a rooster was making a valiant attempt to clear the tall tree line in front of us. Kimeo pointed the bird and kept a vigilant eye on its travels. One of our better marksmen hit the target just as it reached the top of the tree line. From where we stood, it was impossible to tell where the bird fell.

We raced behind the panting dogs, only to find ourselves on the edge of a hidden bog. What I saw next brought tears to my tired eyes. Assembled on the edge of a two-acre pond was a line of yelping, whining dogs who found they had no stomach for swimming in cold water at the end of a long day – except for my little Kimeo. She leapt into the water without a moment’s hesitation, paddling to the middle of the pond to complete her duties. I will never forget the rush of pride that overtook me as my sweet four-legged companion struggled mightily to bring the downed bird, nearly half her size, to shore. Her fellow dogs stood on the sidelines like a canine cheerleading squad, rallying Kimeo on.

That day, I learned that the only size that really matters is the size of one’s heart. And, my dear little Kimeo had the biggest heart of all!

When she died last month, I was heartbroken. She was my companion, the friend with whom I’d traveled hundreds of miles across all our favorite hunting fields. A backyard burial or a box on the mantle simply weren’t the memorials I wanted for her. I wanted the same memorial I want for myself – to have the people I love carry me back to the fields we shared. So, my hunting club and I took Kimeo back to those fields and gave her a 21-gun salute. It makes me feel great to know that she lives on in her favorite place.

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