Kima’s Legacy

A love letter to Kima...

At the beginning of May we got an email from Mike letting us know of Kima's passing. Mike's story was so touching, and showed the epitome of why we do what we do. Furry family members are incomparable, and Mike's beautiful words explain it so well. We'll let him take it from here:

“Hello. I just wanted to let you know I lost my best friend for the past 13 years, Kima (Key-maH). Kima, or Lily as she was known at the Asheville Humane Society, was a sweet, loveable hound/pit mix. My partner at the time and I adopted her July 3, 2010 from your old location. The gentleman who showed her to us said she was surrendered because the previous owner didn’t have enough time to spend with her and she was “destructive.” It’s bonkers to me that anyone would ever surrender such a sweet animal, but I’m also forever grateful they did.

We fell in love with her long, ears, her wrinkly chin and her adorable tail. Most of her fur was tan, but her tail – from the tip going about halfway up – was black and looked like it had been dipped in ink. Kima got along great with the beagle mix we already had. They would play fight a lot, but would also snuggle together on the couch just as much. My former partner and I adored her. Kima stayed with me after the relationship ended, and we made numerous moves together in Asheville and especially enjoyed going on daily walks in the beautiful neighborhoods of West and North Asheville. 

When I moved to Henderson County in 2016, we started going on hikes in many of the state parks and forests with some of her best dog buddies. I work in vet med and I brought Kima and her sister to work almost daily when I lived in Asheville just to have them near me. Kima saved numerous lives by donating blood to several critical patients. Everyone at my job loved her. Her personality was huge and couldn’t be denied. 

I moved to Athens, Ga., in early 2018 (another one of the many moves Kima and I made together). I got married and Kima and her sister then had two cat housemates. It took a little while for the dogs and cats to get acquainted, but Kima eventually grew to love the cats. My wife and I had a son in June 2021 and Kima adored him, and he loved her. My wife also developed a strong bond with her and considered her one of her own pets from the start. For most of her life, Kima had been a healthy dog with no major health ailments. At the end of April, Kima started to lose interest in her food. She would still eat some of the table scraps dropped by my son, as well as some chicken and rice I cooked for her, but she eventually lost interest in that, too. 

I brought her to work last Friday and she was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. We tried aggressive IV fluid therapy and antibiotics, but her kidney values only showed marginal improvement. I took her home to spend a few days with her surrounded by those who loved her.  On Monday, under the shade of a magnolia tree in our backyard, one of her favorite spots, we said our final goodbye and she slipped peacefully away from this realm. We buried her in our yard and topped her grave with rocks painted by my wife and son. 

My heart is shattered and I suspect it will be for a long time.I could write billions of words about Kima, and it still wouldn’t come close to capturing the essence of what she meant to me and how she enriched my life. We’ve shared so much joy and pain together, it’s hard to think about life without her. \She loved people and was probably trying to land one of her trademark, playful muzzle punches. Thank you for helping bring Kima into my life. She will never stray far from my thoughts.”