Kula came into my life when I was in my wheelchair in 2003 after I had a near-fatal car crash. Her mother, Kin, was my service dog. After Kin departed, I wished for Kula to be my service dog. She was a very shy and quiet puppy, so even during the two years that we took her to training, I was not sure if she could be a service dog. But she worked to build her confidence and passed the test.
Kula was the most gentle, smart and kind dog I’ve ever met. She became not only my service dog—opening the door, picking up things I dropped—but also my beloved dog daughter, who was there for me every day to enjoy her life with us. She loved going to the beach, on mountain hikes, swimming, diving into Manzanita Lake, and enjoying the snow. We had a beautiful life together for 13 years.
I felt much sadness after Kula departed on August 1, 2016.
I wanted to honor her life and process my grief and longing through a memorial gathering with my husband Eric and others who’d loved her all her life.
Kula used to go to senior homes, where she made many people happy, as well as to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, where she’d meet children and let them feed her organic apples.
Please read about her going to senior homes and Santa Monica Farmers Market on my blog.
We had 26 guests, and we got all kinds of great food (everything was vegan, except one dish). I made Kula’s favorite hijiki dish, and Eric made Kula Cake—vanilla flavor with almond cream.
These below photos were taking by our good friend, Claire Johnson.
Our friends/guests shared their wishes, thoughts, and love for Kula.
I sang “Kula’s Pacific Blue” (I changed the lyrics) with Eric’s ukulele, accompanied by Dan How, our ukulele teacher.
I was nervous and made mistakes—you can see how I sang—but it was from my heart, and I really want to share it with everyone.The video was posted by Kula and our friend Chef AJ on Facebook.
Claire and I were able to retrieve it and post on Youtube so you can watch it and remember we had a fun and good memorial for Kula.
As I said in this video, animals have feelings and emotions, just like humans. Honoring their lives and holding memorial services help us to experience healthy grieving and learn how to be good humans.
With gratitude and love of light,