Raleigh was Kyle and my first pet together.  Raleigh was a stray who wandered into Kyle’s grandparents’ backyard in Richland Center one afternoon in 2010.  Kyle and I had been together only six months when Kyle met Raleigh and neither of us was thinking too seriously about our relationship or our futures.  Kyle’s grandma brought Raleigh to Madison and told Kyle she was his if he thought he could take good care of her.  Kyle’s grandma wasn’t looking for a dog and the only other option was the Humane Society.

Kyle was still in school and working almost 30 hours a week in addition.  Time to raise a dog was not in his schedule, but he wanted her.  She was beautiful and had the softest hair. She was gentle and sweet from the get go. She was a medium-sized dog, perfectly sized for walking and cuddling up on the couch.  She never barked.  She listened to every command.  She was a perfect companion.  So Kyle asked if I could help take care of Raleigh.  We were both busy, but together we could definitely make the time to care for a dog.

We had Raleigh for three months while we lived in separate apartments across town, though it felt then like we lived together.  I was over at Kyle’s house with my own set of keys most days of the week.  I’d ride my bike across town to make sure Raleigh had water or to take her for a walk.  When Kyle decided to move into a house of his own, it was obvious that I should move in with him.  Raleigh taught us that we were good at communication, good at putting each other first and good at being a team.  It may sound silly, but in many ways, Raleigh taught us how to be partners.  As we begin our farm, we know that there is no more team-oriented partnership that can exist between a couple and we are happy to have had Raleigh to help us learn.

Sadly, Raleigh passed away in the summer of 2012.  Our farm’s name is also in memory of our lovely girl.  Raleigh loved to be outside and we talked a lot about Raleigh when we made plans for our farm.  Endless acres of farmland for Raleigh to run around in!  She’d be the happiest dog in the world!  Raleigh never got to see our farm but she is buried in a tree line at the edge of it.  She came into our lives for a while and we are never sad when we think of Raleigh.  We are happy for the time we had with her and the way she changed our lives.







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