Her name was Aurica.
I first brought her home at 5 months of age from her birthplace in Lebanon, Oregon on a dark winter night. She quietly lay on the bed I’d prepared for her in the back of my car as I drove through the snowy mountain pass, blissfully unaware of the bonds the two of us would form in the coming decade.
The steps up the second floor of our duplex were covered in thick ice that she dared not brave and so after enough loud vocal protesting that drew the attention of my concerned neighbors she permitted me to carry her up to our apartment where we would begin our lives together.
An outgoing and spry but sensitive pup, she quickly bonded with me as most dogs do, following me everywhere I went.
We formed many memories in those first years both together and in the company of friends and family. It quickly became apparent that her spirit was particularly unique. Her excess friendliness and emotional sensitivity endeared her to many including those that otherwise wouldn’t have paid a dog any heed. True to the nature of her breed, she was eager to work and to solve problems. Whether retrieving a thrown toy or stick (the larger the better), swimming, bouldering, simple obedience exercises or trying to breakdown a puzzle device, she offered no small amount of enthusiasm. Often quite vocally. Additionally, she had a deep fondness for the outdoors owing to having been born in the countryside and raised around horses, on trails, rivers and open fields. Whenever there was a moment to pause she would lie in a comfortable spot and calmly observe her surroundings.
When I was unable to care for her, my family and close friend, Katie, stepped in to help raise her.
So many considered her to be family for the bonds they formed with that animal.
This dog was truly something special. She had a gift that you seldom see, a casual charisma coupled with a serene innocence that drew people and other animals to her. Aurica meant a lot to many.
And to me she was everything.
More than just a companion, she was my best and closest friend. I understood her idiosyncrasies, she knew mine. My core being was bonded to her spirit in a way I could never have truly comprehended while she was still alive. Through thick and thin and over so many years of hardship she was always there with me, always excited to see me no matter how short of a time I’d been gone.
Until her final day she remained enthused to play and problem solve and above all she never stopped fighting, even when her body had given up on her. With a forbearance that could only be described as divine were she human, she waited for me to catch up to her until the very end.
Aurica was a benign and gentle soul but more courageous than anyone I’ve ever known. Her stalwart kindness influenced so many hearts over the years, though none more absolutely than my own and to the moment of my own death I will retain for her my uncompromising, utmost love and respect.
Aurica Knightenhaus Glory Vom Bachneusohn Berry, July 5 2007 – September 27 2020, requiescat in pace.
A donation was made in Aurica's memory and the memorial was created on October 22, 2020.