The floor looks empty without a big old hairy-toed dog lying on it.

Ol’ hairy-toes is gone.

Pokey is wandering around the living room looking in all the empty dog beds, searching for his friend.

Katsu was one hell of a dog –  an ADHD crazy crack-head bundle of pure energy – and love.

Brian found him running up to moving cars on the freeway.  He opened the truck door and the black and white hairy dog jumped right in. He was obviously well cared for, and very friendly. Brian thought the best way to find the owner was to take him to the Animal Shelter. There, he was told that if the dog wasn’t claimed by August 19th, he would be put to sleep.

So Brian returned on the 19th where he found a very different critter. This dog had mange, scabies, and kennel cough. He had diarrhea all over the seat of Brian’s work truck. He was one sick little doggie.

We took him to our veterinarian, Doctor Fenster, at the Clovis Pet Hospital, who fixed him up and made him well again. Dr. Fenster also identified him as an approximately two year old  Japanese Chin mix. I named him Katsu after one of my favorite Japanese students.

Although I got to name him, he was definitely Brian’s dog. When Brian came home from work, Katsu would run and jump into his arms.

Katsu and I  went to obedience training together. I tried all sorts of treats, but he wouldn’t take anything. Sarah, our trainer, said she had never seen, in her entire career, a dog who would do so much just for affection.

He was crazy, he was wild. Whenever we took him anywhere in the car, there had to be two of us because he just couldn’t be still. Aunt Carleen had to put on long sleeves and leather gloves.   Crack-head, indeed.

We took him down to Hemet to visit the family, once. Eight hours in a car with a crack -head. OMG!

Our twin nephews in Hemet, Jake and Ben Luna, weren’t able to say Katsu. They called him Kah-shoo. That’s still my pet name for him, 15 years later.

Then Aunt Carleen moved into the casita out back. She always comes over around 6:00 pm to watch Jeopardy with us. First thing she does, though, is give all the dogs a treat. Katsu learned to tell time. Around 5:00 he would start watching the door, whining and barking to hurry her up. It didn’t hurry HER up, but it drove US up the wall.

It’s only been within this last year that his health started to decline. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and kidney disease. He was doing OK up until about two weeks ago. This week we had to admit to ourselves that we were only keeping him around for our benefit, not his.

It was time.

Dr. Katy Byrd and the kind and caring staff at Clovis Pet Hospital helped us send him quietly and gently across the Rainbow Bridge.



That’s not how Katsu would do it.

I can see him now, with one great leap he totally bypasses the Rainbow Bridge and jumps straight into the waiting arms of God.

Yep. That’s our Katsu.


  1. says:

    Your words are so powerful! I’m crying and laughing at the same time for you, Brian and Katsu! Love is the most fulfilling emotion of all, isn’t it!

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