First Posted: 3/21/2012
K.D. Heine, 17 (or 122 in dog years), died Saturday morning, March 10, at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Clarks Summit. Born October 24, 1994 in Issaquah, Wash. at an AKC breeder’s home, she was the puppy of a pure-bred Australian Shepherd and a pure-bred Black Labrador Retriever. It was an accidental litter and K.D. was sold off just before Christmas that year at a bargain price. She was given as a Christmas gift; however, the woman who received her did not want a dog. K.D. was chained in the yard day and night as the woman began looking to give her away.
K.D. spent a short time at the Humane Society of King County, Washington before joining the Heine family. She lived in Issaquah, Wash. as a puppy and travelled cross-country to settle in the Northeast in 1996. K.D. lived in Connecticut and Massachusetts before moving to Pennsylvania in 1998.
In her youth, K.D. enjoyed a variety of outdoor sports. She hiked up mountains, explored woods and swam in streams and oceans. She was known wherever she lived for her athletic prowess. She could run across a football field in seconds and bound into the air to make a catch. Whether on a beach or at a dog park, crowds would spontaneously form to watch the beautiful black dog jump straight in the air to catch a ball. K.D. wasn’t proud, but her people were, as exclamations of awe could predictably be overheard.
“Mom! Did you see that dog?! She can fly!” or “Wow! That dog is just like Michael Jordan! She got hang time!”
In addition to her extraordinary athleticism, K.D. was known for her quiet dignity and kindness. She was wise beyond her station in life. Looking into her eyes, one was left feeling more cared for than caretaker. She was wildly intelligent, using her eyes and head to communicate clearly with her people. She was the consummate lady who calmly backed away from any altercation with an aggressor. She was gentle from her puppyhood into old age and would let a baby take a bone out of her mouth.
K.D.’s passion was her family and her loyalty to them was endless. She followed them everywhere and looked after them with the utmost care, even to her own peril. She once scampered up a sheer-faced cliff to stay close to her people who were rock-climbing, and another time followed them when they drove up a mountain on a dirt bike, nearly keeping up. When the babies came home to her house, she immediately made it her responsibility to guard them crib-side, while they napped and stand watch while they played in the yard.
As the years flew by, you could find her silently cheering her girls on at soccer and softball games or helping them catch minnows in a local stream. In her old age she loved to lay in the front yard all day, watching them fly by on their bicycles and do cartwheels on the lawn around her.
She leaves behind a brother, Rusty, a Yorkie mix. Also surviving are her people, Adriane and Doug Heine, and her special girls, Danielle, Lauren and Sarah Heine, of Waverly. In addition, she leaves a loving extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, both human and canine. K.D. was preceded in death by her best friend, Sadie, a German Shepherd mix, and her human Opa, Grandma and Nana.
Memorial contributions should be made to your local animal shelter, or by considering adopting a wonderful pet like her.