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Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Home for Rally: In Memory of Kevin Farley

A big hug welcomes Rally to our home
"The many gifts in life illuminate when battling cancer" - Kevin Farley

The deep sadness that affected Kevin's family and friends when they learned he had melanoma was underscored last week when he passed away far too young.  He was an uncomplicated man who loved life to the fullest, down to his last breath.  His humor, his positive attitude and his unwavering appreciation for the little things in life were a few of the things that made him an inspiration to so many people.  Including my husband who had his own battle with prostate cancer this year.

Cancer has affected too many people we love.  In an email to my husband earlier this year, Kevin's quote above will always resonate with me.  If you can call it a silver lining, cancer does profoundly affect how you prioritize your life.  As Kevin wrote, it illuminates a light upon what's important during our time here on earth.  Kevin's memory will live on through his family and friends.  And most immediately for us, through his beloved companion, Rally.  

We were shocked when we heard that Kevin passed away last week.  After that shock our concern turned to Rally and what would happen to him.  Who would care for him and love him as much as Kevin? For the past two years, Rally has been loved and cared for by wonderful friends of Kevin while he was in and out of treatment.  Rally has been so fortunate to have a so many dear friends care for him and love him deeply.

It was important to find a new home for Rally so he would be able to establish some permanence to his routine.  It was important to open a new chapter in his life.  So, with arms wide open and hearts overflowing with love, my family of five welcomed Rally (full name, Rally Dog Champion of the Universe) into our home.  My three daughters anxiously awaited this day, knowing that Kevin's mom from Massachusetts and Kevin's dear friend from Santa Cruz would be bringing Rally to our home at 3:00 pm.  The girls could barely concentrate at school knowing Rally would be arriving when they got home from school.  

We have a very mellow five-year old golden named Koa.  She could tell we were getting prepared for a new friend for her.  When Rally arrived, the two checked each other out.  Both dogs are food aficionados, and as you can see in the photo to the right, they are eagerly awaiting a treat after a walk around the neighborhood.  I do think Rally looks a bit more eager than Koa.  Both dogs compliment each other well, they are very similar in temperament.  I have the feeling they will be good buddies very soon. 

After settling Rally in to his new home, and after our wonderful friend (and vet!) came over and gave him a quick check-up, Kevin's mother and friend left quietly.  They had to leave unnoticed by Rally so he wouldn't grow concerned at their departure.  My heart ached and my eyes welled up with tears along with Kevin's mother's at this good-bye juncture.  I could fully imagine her sadness.  I have been there in my mind during my experience with my husband's battle with prostate cancer.

Rally and Koa getting ready for a nap.
We hope you join us as we integrate Rally into our home.  To us, he will always be Kevin's beloved companion.  But Rally will be a full member of our family, loved for and cared by all of us. 

I will post several times a week to keep you updated on Rally's new home.  We hope to visit his dear friends in Santa Cruz in the coming months.  We won't forget you, Kevin.  Please know that Rally has a new home and will be deeply loved.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 


  1. Thank you, Tina! It is great to see these pictures of Rally and to see he is settling in well. I am SURE he is quickly falling in love with your family. It was really special to look over and see Alli sitting on the floor patting him on the head. Thank you again for loving him so much. Betsy and Andy

  2. What a beautiful story; tears fill my eyes as I read and type. Rally is a lucky dog, and I believe Kevin is smiling down at you with gratitude and love.

    -- LTV Mom

  3. I'm right there with LTV Mom. What a lovely way for you to honor your friend and one of the loves of his life. Enjoy your time with Rally Dog Champion of the Universe!


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