Retired police dog lives out bucket list

Staff writer

A retired Marion police dog spent her final days reveling through a bucket list of favorite activities before she died Tuesday morning.

Kahti lived with Marion officer Mike Stone and his wife, Alicia, after retirement.

When her veterinarian said nothing further could be done for Kahti’s cancer, the Stone family made a bucket list for her so she could go out with style.

Although Mike and Alicia Stone were too heartbroken Tuesday for an interview, they chronicled Kahti’s final days on social media.

“We put all the things she loves on it and figured we would do one each day until she left us,” Alicia Stone wrote. “I don’t think either of us realized how difficult and horribly heartbreaking completing this list was going to be.”

They took Kahti on a final cruise in the squad car with lights and siren. They fed her Skittles, black licorice, and a Rice Krispies bar.

Kahti went for a ride in the back seat of a truck with her head resting on Alicia’s shoulder. She was lifted onto a bed for one more night’s sleep with Alicia.

Alicia wrote she arose early each day as the clock ticked down.

“Not because I am a morning person all of a sudden or because I have things to do, but because I want to see my sweet girl for just a little longer,” she wrote. “I want to hug her and tell her I love her and that she is my best friend. I want to hear her snore and I want to feel her warm breath on my leg because, Lord forbid I don’t let her snuggle with me on the couch while I drink my coffee.

“My heart breaks a little more each day knowing that her end is near and there is nothing I can do about it. It is hard to love something so much, knowing full well that the day will come that she won’t be there. We have been blessed to have so many wonderful memories of Kahti.”

Saturday, Kahti was tired and didn’t move much.

“A few moments ago, I watched her attempt to jump on the bed, something that she used to be so proficient at, and she hit the side and fell,” Alicia wrote. “She just can’t do it anymore. And my heart hurts. So, my son and I picked her up and placed her on the bed where she can rest as I type this post. I sit here and look at her sweet face as her eyes close and I am reminded of how amazing she is.”

On Monday the Stones tried to steel themselves.

“Tomorrow will be one of the hardest days I have had,” Alicia wrote. “Kahti always has been and always will be our heart and soul.”

On Monday night, Alicia Stone slept on the floor with Kahti. Tuesday morning, she woke to find Kahti’s paw tucked into her hand.

On Tuesday morning, they made Kahti a special breakfast of ham, eggs, and coffee.

“I will be getting ready soon,” Mike Stone wrote. “Boots spit shined to a mirror finish, uniform starched to a stiff cardboard feel. Yet I know I’m not ready yet. You know what makes it so hard for police or first responders for that matter? We are trained to fix and preserve. I can’t fix or preserve this. That is the tough part. I have no control.”

Last modified Sept. 15, 2016

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