Remembering Niko

Remembering the journey

Letters to Niko

with 4 comments

January 12, 2010

Niko looking at me off camera

It’s been almost 6 months since I lost you. Sometimes it feels like yesterday…. sometimes it feels like years. I just cannot believe I can’t see you, I can’t touch you, I can’t kiss your sweet face, or see your smile. I won’t hear your footsteps, your sneezes, your breathing. I can’t brush you, or trim your paws, or rub you with a towel after a bath and watch you run around like crazy. I don’t have you to walk or to cook for or to structure my day around. No hair floating around in my car, or finding it’s way into my clothes, or rubbing off on the stairs. Your leash still sits by the door. Hoping for your return. Your brush still holds the last hair that it brushed out of you. Your bowls still sit where they always did. Your space stays empty, in case you need it back. There’s even a half licked frosty paws in the freezer for you, just in case you’ll come back for it.

I miss you so much my boy… life will never be the same without you.

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Shniffing right through the snow

February 2, 2010

I took my first walk around the neighborhood tonight… my first walk all alone. The last time I walked that path with no other humans, was with you. I can’t believe I haven’t walked it again until tonight. It is so beautiful out there, a wet snow is falling and has coated all the trees. The street and house lights illuminate all the snow. No one else was out. It was so quiet…. I kept stopping, wanting to take in all the beauty. Thinking of how to capture it, how to share it. But it’s not something I can capture to share. It’s something that was just mine for those few moments. Something I needed to just enjoy and appreciate, and then leave it behind. So I did…. and my heart ached for you.

my footprints heading out for my lone walk

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February 12, 2010

I got so used to sleeping on my left side. At first, it used to hurt to stay on one side all night. But I stayed on my left, because that is the side you were on.

You’ve been gone nearly 7 months now. I thought I’d be better friends with sleep again, but I’m not. I cannot stop my mind from turning or my heart from hurting. I still feel that you should be there, right by my bed… and I can only find comfort now, on my left side.

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February 21, 2010

I found my old box of pictures – finally. I have hundreds of pictures of you, but now that I cannot take any more, I long for rediscovering old pictures. I once took a picture of something else in a room, and saw your photo in the background. Part of me was so happy to have a ‘new photo’ – though I knew I was kidding myself.

I like to remember you as young and happy and healthy. I also love remembering your distinguished white muzzle and knowledgeable gazes. No matter what the age, however, I always remember your love.

1993-2008 pics

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March 1, 2010

Last night I dreamt of you. I dreamt of a world that you were still in. I would have to leave behind my life and everyone here, to go to this world. It was much like my world, but subtle differences…. and YOU were there. I called you and your ran to me. You were fine there.  There were a lot of medical advancements there and they could find and pull out cancer. The people were quite different though… the one that took me there was a lady, shimmering in silver. She was very direct, I could not just visit. If I decided to stay, I had to stay. If I decided to leave I could not come back. I worried about those I would leave behind, and wondered if they would understand if they knew I was leaving to be with you. You are all I wanted. But I woke up, and I’m still here… without you. Did I miss my chance? Was that my only visit? I hope you will come see me again soon. I miss you.

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March 15, 2010

Eight months tomorrow… eight months you’ve been gone. Eight months ago today, was the last peace we really had before things really changed. The calm before the awful storm. I know you probably don’t remember the difficult night, and you slept so peacefully on the 16th. I hoped so much for you that you had nice dreams, and I had wished for you to leave on your own, but you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t leave me.

Even now, some days, I cannot believe you are really gone. I keep your pictures everywhere. You are constantly on my mind. I see you every time I close my eyes. I know you are not here, but I still don’t believe it. How can you be gone? How can we be apart? I still miss you with such intense pain in my heart. I can only hope that one day, it will be a little more bearable…. peaceful even. One day…. I hope.

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March 28, 2010

We drove up from Sandy Hook today, after a fun night away. Even though 8.5 months have passed, I still had a fleeting thought of going to pick you up. I thought I should call to see how you were  and say that I would be there soon. I thought it felt like I should see you soon… and it would be such a happy moment to reunite and get back to normal. I cannot imagine, there will ever be a day that I don’t ache for you. I miss you with every fiber of my being. I cry a little less now… but my heart still hurts. 8.5 months later, it still doesn’t seem real… it doesn’t seem right.

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April 5, 2010

It’s April, big guy. Coming up on the 17th anniversary of bringing you home. I went to your grave on Saturday. Your tree was starting to bloom. I went again today, and it was even more beautiful. This little, baby tree, had done so well through such a hard winter. It never needed any supports or any extra care. It’s so tough and strong, just like you. I hope you like it my boy. I know it’s beauty will only grow each year.

Niko’s tree April 3 & 5 2010

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April 15, 2010

It will be 9 months tomorrow my boy…. I’m in the stage where I just cannot believe you are gone from this earth. I still believe, somewhere in my mind, that I can reach out and touch you again. Kiss your whisker covered muzzle and whistle for you to come running. I’ve learned a lot in the last few months, about getting my life back. I’m working on it and I’m finally, just now, feeling some peace. I know you are with me. I feel you when I speak your name. I feel you when I stop and breath, and take in life. I miss you every second of every day, but I’m finding some peace. The pain has not lessened, if anything, it’s gotten much worse. I have kept it at bay, with your help. With the knowledge that one day, I can throw it all away and be with you again.

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Niko’s adoption form from 4/22/1993

April 22, 2010

So here we are, 17 years later, and you’re now gone. 17 years ago this morning, you were not a sure thing, but I was hoping you would be. I was begging to have you as “my own”. I was given the gift of you for 16 years and 1 month and 26 days. So now I am without you again, like I was back then, but without hope to have you as my own in the afternoon. My life is forever changed, for the better, having had you in it so long. There are no regrets. I just miss you and I know there will never be another “you”. More than anything though, I just feel so fortunate to have known you. You changed my life, my heart, forever. On this first anniversary without you, I’m not sure how to feel…. Can we just go back to the beginning?

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April 23, 2010

A Poem for My Roo -written 4/21-4/23/2010

I never want to forget the sound of your sneeze
Or the way your nose would take in the breeze

I want to remember your touch and your smell
The color of your coat where the sun would dwell

The rogue whisker that curled the other way
The tug of war that you loved to play

Your tail, your flag, that you carried so proud
When I’d say “who’s that”, how you’d bark out loud

Your annoyance when the snow would clump in your feet
The way you’d hop off the curb to cross the street

How quickly you would pick up a new trick
And how my face was the only one you would lick

The patches of pink that freckled your lips
All these things are just little blips

I watched how the years turned your orange face white
And how time slowly fogged up your sight

I watched your whole life slow down in front of me
Though I remember your spirit always being so free

You were never sad, you never did frown
Nothing you were faced with, ever got you down

You always were my brave boy, my Roo
I was so proud of you, I hope you knew

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May 10, 2010

I was thinking last night about the little wet prints your nose would leave behind when you slept on the couch or on the bed. The distinct little shape of a nose print… each one unique and beautiful. I cherished them for the few minutes they existed before evaporating forever. There are no more nose prints to be found or made and I miss them. I still have a frosty paws inthe freezer…. half licked. It has your tongue print. It is the last of your prints from every day life. I cannot bear to part with it.

I do better now… most days… but my heart aches for you. I still can’t believe I have to live out my life without you. How am I supposed to do that?

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May 27, 2010

My dear Roo. In my dreams last night, I saw you, and I longed for you. I ached for you…. I ache for you when I’m awake. It feels like part of me is missing. It does not feel right… I just want to spend forever with you. I will never love another like you.

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June 7, 2010

I was thinking today, how sad I am for all those that never met you. You were such a special soul, and I’m so thankful for having been able to spend years knowing you. On the other hand, I have to now live out my life without you and I feel that emptiness, that loss, like no other. The world is a darker place without you. It feels like it’s lacking something. There is a silence that I cannot describe.

I visualize you all the time, so afraid to let any of those memories fade at all. I’ve gotten so much better at functioning though, you’d be proud.

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June 9, 2010

I was thinking last night about how much you loved the blow dryer. You were not a fan of baths, but after a good bath, you’d run around like a complete loon. I loved it… you were so happy and so free and it was all just from a good bath and towel rub. When it was colder, I’d blow dry your fur and you’d lay there in any position and enjoy it. You definitely loved your grooming, and I loved to care for you in this way.

racing around after a bath

I also remember that when you heard me use the blow dryer on my own hair, you would come from whereever  you were in the house, just for me to run the blower up and down your back a few times. You just smiled and smiled. 🙂 Makes me smile just to think of it.

These are the sorts of things I forget sometimes… I forget because you were so not yourself the last  year or so of your life. You couldn’t climb the stairs to get to me and you couldn’t hear or see as well. I know you were still happy, and you still went crazy after a bath, but you were not so free. You were stuck in a body that didn’t allow you to be you.

So glad to have so many wonderful memories. These are what help me through my dark days. Miss you my boy….

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June 24, 2010

I feel like I’ve been so out of touch. I’ve been so busy, and I’ve had to keep you in the back of my mind a bit. I know I will pay the price…. I am terrified of July. So many memories in July, including some of the worst. I’m trying to figure out what to do on the anniversary of your passing. I’m feeling a little panicked about it actually. If only I could see you… walk with you… touch you. Maybe you can guide me.

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June 30, 2010

Tomorrow marks 1 year since I felt your cancer return. I’m feeling terribly apprehensive about the month of July. I still miss you with a physical pain, every day. I know I’m going to re-live many hard moments in the next 17 days… I am hoping that I re-live the good ones too. Particularly the Monday night (July 13) when you seemed to have so much clarity. I felt like that was our real good bye. Our moments when we both accepted what lay ahead. I will treasure this memory because it was so genuine, so raw, and so real.

I will do my best to honor you. Miss you my boy.

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July 15, 2010

The Scotts Run waterfall that we used to visit (photo found on flicker by “neardc”)

Tomorrow is it… the 1 year anniversary of our goodbye. I have the day planned. Jonathan and I  will visit Scotts Run and hike to the waterfall that I took you too when you were a young boy. I’ll have lunch with another favorite human of your’s, Laura. Jonathan and I will join mom, dad, and Kerstin for dinner. We’ll visit your grave and your tree. We’ll end the day with a walk with 2 dogs – Angel and Beau.

You’d be so proud of all the money people have donated in your honor to the Magic Bullet Fund! Almost $900 so far, and I haven’t even contributed yet!

Tonight will be hard, as it was a very bad night last year. I hope you will help keep me strong, as I try not to relive the nightmare. I love you my boy.

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I don’t remember the last day that you took on the stairs by yourself
I don’t remember when you stopped being able to sit up in the car without losing your balance
I don’t remember when you started to bump into things
I don’t remember when you stopped hearing my voice

I don’t remember how many times I carried you up and down the stairs
I don’t remember how many trips we took to the various vets
I don’t remember how often I dropped you off and picked you up
I don’t remember how many hours of sleep I lost

I don’t think about how hard it was to worry about you every moment
I don’t think about how we kept the house so cold for your comfort only
I don’t think about the time I took away from everyone else so I could give it to you
I don’t think about all the changes my life went through for you

I do remember the many miles we walked together and how you enjoyed them
I do remember how happy I was to see you at the beginning and end of each day
I do remember how you would smile at me out of genuine happiness
I do remember how consumed you would get with making me happy when I was sad
I do remember how much you appreciated every breeze
I do remember how you loved to play, swim, tug, and run
I do remember the trust you put in me
I do remember that I would have done anything for you
I do remember how much I love you

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July 16, 2010

Well my boy…. the 16th is almost over. It’s been a year and some hours since I let you go. It was a good day today… I did not relieve the horrible pain and heartache. I relived our happy lives together… 16+ wonderful years.

We went for a hike to the waterfall at Scott’s Run. I had forgotten just how tough a hike it was, but we did it. I took a lot of pictures. I even super imposed us together. 🙂 I visited your grave tonight and brought you some fresh flowers. Your tree is so strong! We talked about you at dinner and what a happy soul you always were. We miss you… but we still smile when we think of you.

It’s fitting that a thunderstorm is blowing through right now. Rain to wash away the day. Year 2 without you, starts tomorrow.

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August 1, 2010

We made it through July big guy. I’m glad it’s behind us. I’ve survived all the firsts without you. I hated it though. Miss you still every single day.

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August 13, 2010

It’s been hot. So damn hot. You would have HATED it. I know summer was not your favorite season as you matured. It’s a season for young pups that can get to swim spots. I don’t really like summer anymore either. I did when I was young, but I find it too hot now too. I do enjoy a cool summer evening with low humidity. Still warm enough to go barefoot and feel the contrast of cool grass under your feet. Good nights for a walk with my Roo. Missing you my boy….

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August 18, 2010

Sometime about 18 months ago, a widow told Laura, before Bruce died, that it never gets any easier. That’s not something you say to someone who is facing losing their soul mate. It made me mad for her, and it made me mad for me. However, she was right in some ways. The pain does not lessen, but it dulls. You get so used to it, it just becomes part of you. Accepting death becomes easier with time, though some days are not without their battles. Missing the one you love does not ever change. How could it? How do you just stop missing someone?

Learning to re-build my life without you has it’s challenges. I do pretty well some days. Others I’m literally crushed by the void your death left behind. I don’t think many people know this. I don’t bring it up and I don’t wear it on my sleeve. Most around me do not understand such profound loss, even if they think they do. Hell, I thought I did, until I lost you. So, to all those people, I am fine. I am “normal”. I do feel so fortunate to have some that I know get it. If I did not know they existed, I think I might have lost my mind by now.

Is it too late to go with the silver lady? Or maybe you can just come visit me?

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September 2, 2010

Every time I see cooler weather in the forecast, I think of you. I think of how much you would enjoy the temperature drop, and the breeze that we are expecting this weekend, would have been so welcomed in your nose. I hope to feel you… I hope to smell you, outside this weekend. I will, as always, be thinking of you my Roo.

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September 14, 2010

From “I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie… made me think of you

“Love of mine some day you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark”

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October 7, 2010

Hey Big Guy. We made it through the 2nd Oktoberfest without you. I wore your bandana around my wrist again. I thought of you often and could still picture you begging table side for tasty treats. Aunt Eleshea had taken a picture of us in 2008 that I had not seen before. I cannot see your face, but you are in my lap. (I miss how you would press your head into my chest and neck when I held you like that.) I had a hard time fighting back the tears when I saw the photo. I took the copy that she had made. It’s another treasured picture of you for me to have. Memories are all I have to fill the void.

The Weeping Cherry

We are approaching the 2 yr mark of your dx date. I’m hoping I won’t think of it on that day. It’s not a memory I like holding onto. On another sad note, the tree I took  you spring pictures in front of in 2008, has died. It was beautiful this spring, and all the weeping branches had grown so much over the summer. It was nearly touching the ground again, like it was when I took you photos. From one day to the next, it turned all brown and looks to be beyond hope. I’m pretty bummed about it.

Niko’s Tree 10/10

Thankfully your little tree looks great! Of course, it is your body that nourishes it. It keeps a little bit of you alive, even though your spirit is free.

Miss you my boy… every single day.

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October 14, 2010

…… some days i’m just so lonely without you.

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October 25, 2010

Scotts Run Waterfall 10/24/10

Hey my sweet boy. Thoughts of you ruled my mind all weekend. It was beautiful early fall weather, and I spent both days hiking. On Saturday I went to Great Falls Park by myself. I spent about an hour and a half  hiking the trails you and I took many times before. There were times I could hear the quick sound of  your feet padding at the leaves on the ground, as you would trot ahead of me, letting  your nose lead you. On Sunday, I went to Scotts Run again. I went with a friend and we started with the hike to your waterfall. We spent 3 hours exploring various other trails you would have so enjoyed as a young Roo. It was a wonderful weekend, but my heart still aches for you. There is always an emptiness in everything I do, without you.

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November 3, 2010

Election day was yesterday. Two years ago, election day was on November 4th. I will never forget it. Not because Obama or Sarah Palin were on the ballot, but because it was your first day of chemo. I remember walking you around 6:00 AM in the dark, and seeing people heading to the polls. I remember the fear and anxiety I had about starting you on chemo. I felt so backed into a corner…. let you die, or fight. Jonathan stood there in the kitchen with me and told me that if you could make the decision, he was sure you would choose to fight. That made me feel better, because I knew he was right. You had too much life left in you to just give up without trying. So November 4th, 2008, Election Day, you started chemo.

Miss you my sweet boy….

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November 8, 2010

I dreamt of you last night my boy. You were so happy. I woke up missing you so much. I miss you every day, and on the days that come easier, I fear that I’m letting you slip away, by not holding so much pain in my heart. But that is silly… I’ve learned to live with this pain. It has not lessened, but I’ve found peace, and it has guided me.

I read a letter today from a lady on the board, and it broke my heart. Every time I read stories of those that have lost loved ones, and who are writhing in pain, my heart breaks all over again. I want to help them… I want them to know they are not alone, and one day it won’t be so hard. I wish there was a quick fix. Like jumping into cool water, within a moment, you don’t feel the cold anymore. You’re acclimated to it. However, ‘skipping’ the intense pain and grief would only take away from the love, loyalty, and respect such relationships deserve. We mourn those we’ve lost, and rightfully so. With all that pain, comes validation that you have loved with all your heart.

I cry a little less now… but I still shed tears over you often. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to hold you, and smell you, and feel your warmth. But there is nothing I can do about that right now.

Love you always…. my Roo.

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November 19, 2010

My dear boy…. I talked to you this morning. Did you hear me. I fully realized how much I’ve taken away from the grief I feel over you. It inspired me to reach out to do more with rescue and to reach out to others that are hurting like I’ve hurt. It has given me compassion that I didn’t think I had in me. This ‘growth’ has come from your death, and I can’t see it as anything but positive. I may have a long road until I really find happiness without you by my side, but I can’t help but be thankful for what I’ve learned.

Your death was the greatest loss of my life. Suiting, as you were, and still are, the greatest love of my life. I need to stop comparing those that I love, who are still living, with you. It is not fair. They are not you, nor will they ever be you. I am reminding myself to love them for who they all are, and not for who they are not.

Missing you with all my heart my love bug….

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December 1, 2010

The 2nd Thanksgiving without you is behind me. It was not as bad as last year. I still remembered 2 years ago that you were in the midst of chemo though. Your presence is constantly missed my sweet boy. What I wouldn’t give for 5 minutes with you.

I have seen the dog we dubbed your twin years ago, out walking with her person a few times. She was 4 years younger than you, so she is now 14. She does not move as well as you did at 16. I hope I continue to see her for some time.

Miss you.

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December 7, 2010

Welcome Molly to your place of freedom my boy. It was hard to watch her go.

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December 16, 2010

My sweet boy, it is almost your birthday. You would have been 18. I will always celebrate your birthday, and always celebrate you.

trimming the tree in 2007

My new Niko ornament

Holidays are hard after losing someone you love. These are not the first, but they are still hard. Bittersweet…. I miss you so very much, it makes it hard to enjoy the spirit. I find I’m so often just annoyed about everything. I was even annoyed about decorating the tree. I snapped myself out of that! Poured another glass of wine, and tried to enjoy the experience with my husband and kitties. I missed you though.

I got myself a little ornament with you on it. I love it. You now have 4 ornaments on the tree. You are remembered everywhere sweet boy. That will never stop.

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December 22, 2010

Happy birthday my love. You would have been 18 today. While we will never know your exact birthday, this was the day we celebrated. You were my Christmas Roo. I am so thankful for your birth, and all the joy you brought me during your 16.5 years, and the joy  I will keep in my heart forever. Love you so much.

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January 2, 2011

Happy new year? Well… I made it through the first calendar year without you. An entire set of seasons behind me, that you were not there for. The holidays this year held very little joy. There were several factors at play for that result though… not just grief. I do feel apprehensive about putting so much time between us. I worry still that I’m going to forget things about you. I have felt so numb lately… it makes me miss the pain of missing you.

We are approaching the year mark of launching your site. I feel like I’ve come so far, and have so much more to offer those that are grieving, yet I still feel so empty and anxious much of the time. I will need to work on that, I know.

Niko and Marmalade 2008

I saw Marmalade recently. He’s pretty fat, but still so friendly. He LOVED you. I’ve never seen a cat love on a dog the way he did to you. It was good to see him and I hope to run into him again on an evening’s walk. It will remind me of simple pleasures we took in our long walks. A simple pleasure I can still take.

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January 16, 2011

It’s been 18 months today since I lost you.

I had someone say to me the other days that animals don’t have souls. I’ve never been so angry and disgusted in all my life. How could anyone be so arrogant to think that people have souls and animals do not? I’m not religious, I don’t know that I am sure if any of us have souls, or if we are all just energy, or what, but I know that what was in you, was not just empty space and a mechanical body. You were my heart and soul. How could anyone share such a bond with another living being, and not understand that there is more to them both, than flesh and blood? I know our bond will not broken. It will last forever in many forms. I don’t feel you with me as much as I did and that scares me. I’m ok with you being free…. I just miss you so much.

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January 20, 2011

2 years ago was your last chemo. It feels like a lifetime ago some days, and others, like it was yesterday. The roller coaster ride is so fresh in my mind… the scars still raw. Sometimes that is what I remember, more than the good, healthy times. Something about this time of year. I think it’s because we were ‘fighting’ for your life during this season. I need a distraction. Will you send me some snow please my love. It always makes me happy. Love you…

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February 3, 2011

My sweet boy… I need an outlet tonight. I am reading about another dog on LHD that I know is at the end of his journey. It breaks my heart every time, but it always breaks a little more when the end of the journey reminds me of ours. There is no way to warn her, or anyone, of how intense the pain is. How exhausted you will be, and sick with worry every moment. There is no way to describe how precious little moments are when you know there are only a handful left.

I appreciated every moment with you. I remember holding you, when you were healthy, and knowing how much I was going to miss it when you were gone one day. I remember being so thankful for that moment.

Days like this remind me that my heart is no where near a place where I could love another like you. You… I would have died for.

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February 14, 2011

You’ll always be my valentine. Miss you…xo

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March 13, 2011

We just went for a looooooong walk. A walk that you would have loved, especially before your ailments slowed you down to only 1-2 miles. We found a little dog in the street with no owner. We knocked on doors and finally found the owner. The dog had gotten through the fence and pulled a Magellan. 😉 We talked about you on our walk too. I so miss your morning sneezes. 🙂 It feels good to talk about you without breaking into tears, though I still feel a lump in my throat.

I put together a slide show, finally. I need to get it uploaded, but am a bit challenged in that regard. I watched it several times though.

I checked on your tree yesterday. It has little buds all over it. I can’t wait to see it in a few more weeks when the buds pop. 🙂

I think about you every single day my love. I miss you with all my heart. I feel stronger, but the hole you left will never be filled. Much love to you my sweet boy.

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guess who?

March 14, 2011

Guess who showed up on our deck this morning? 🙂 Sorry for the dark pic, we just started DST, and it was still pretty dark.

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April 3, 2011

My Roo… it’s spring, and your tree will be blooming soon. It’s covered in buds. This tree is made up of your body, and it’s life is a miracle to me.

I heard about 2 dogs today, being dxed with lymphoma. One belongs to a fellow HART volunteer, and the other is a cush pup from K9Cushings. I so clearly remember the dx with you and the decisions we faced…. well…. I faced. I’m thankful you were never burdened with those decisions.

I miss you every day sweet boy. Looking forward to spring walks, and honeysuckle, and fireflies. You are always on my mind. xo

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first blooms 2011

April 6, 2011

Your tree is just starting to bloom. It is beautiful… it is you.

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April 14, 2011

Well my sweet boy… I’m a bit sad that your tree didn’t completely bloom. Some of the branches just budded with leaves, and not flowers. 😦 I did go back a few days ago to take more pics. I will do some reading on why this might have happened. It might be due to the constant up and down temps that confused the tre. I saw other blooming trees that got leaves and blooms at the same time. I just worry about your little tree.  I know it’s not YOU, but it is part of you.

Love you so much my sweet boy. Miss you always….

Tree on 4/9/11

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April 22, 2011

As I typed out the date, I put 1993 in place of 2011. Wishful thinking, I guess. This day, in 1993, was the day our lives together started. More than half a lifetime ago for me now. You were the best ‘gift’ anyone ever gave me. You were the best thing that ever happened to my life. You forever changed me and will forever be the love of my life… my little 02000. xoxo

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May 2, 2011

The tears still catch me off guard sometimes. I just miss you. So. Much.

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May 16, 2011

I had an unsettling dream with you in it last night. I had left you in a hot car. It was the old Jeep, and you had managed to open a window. I don’t know where this came from. I never did leave you in a hot car. I remember how I would keep both car keys on me in the tercel, so I could leave you in the car, with it running, and the AC on, but have it locked still, while I would run into the store for 2 minutes to grab something. Your comfort was always TOP priority. Why did I dream this? Am I feeling you slip away, and my mind is telling me I’m forgetting about you? Is it because it was a hot day and I remember so well how you hated the heat? I do feel you slipping away sometimes. There is something sort of unfamiliar…  Maybe your energy is disapating – or maybe it’s been absorbed into me, and I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t know… but I’m feeling extra weepy.

Someone mentioned yesterday, that they were surprised I could go this long without a dog. I get why they would think that, but getting over you is nothing like getting over any other animal or human I’ve lost. I am not ready to bring home a dog that is not you. Some people just don’t understand that. It’s not that they don’t truly love their own animals and they are not being insensitive, but they simply will not ever know exactly what I am going through. It’s my journey of loss, and while there are similar ones, we are each different.

Anyway…. I miss you and I hope that wherever you are, or your spirit is, it’s happy and free, and never, ever, hot. xo

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May 17, 2011

We lost Ivan. Hoping you can help guide him to Ned. I know dad will miss him so much.

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June 15, 2011

I’m sorry I have not written you in so long. It’s not for lack of missing you or thinking of you. I think of you all the time my boy. I have to actively work at not getting stuck in sadness. I think all the time about how there will never be another you.

They cut down your old cherry tree – the one we did your pictures in front of. It had died last summer. I don’t know what killed it, but I’m not happy about it at all. I couldn’t stand to look at it, dead, all spring, so I called the HOA. It’s gone now. It was such a beautiful tree.

We had a nice vacation in Hawaii. I worried about the kitties while we were gone, despite them being cared for morning and night. Though it was nothing like the worry I had when we would leave you, even though mom and dad took good care of you. I remember the worry when we went on our honeymoon in 2006. I remember the worry again when we went to Montana to ski in 2008. I hated leaving you. Now, you can travel with me, can’t you?

Love you so much my boy. 1 month and 1 day until your 2 year angel day. I cannot believe it….

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Beau

June 17, 2011

Kerstin lost Beau yesterday. Very sudden… hope he’s free like you.

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July 2, 2011

July 1 of 2009 was the day you came out of remission. It began the 15 days of heartache I faced, until you crossed the bridge. I remember the emotions so clearly. The beginning of the end. I so didn’t want to lose you, but I hated being in limbo.  I made a donation to the Magic Bullet Fund in your honor. I miss you so much my boy. So much…

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July 12, 2011

It is hard to not re-live the events of 2 years ago. I’ve tried not to, and tried to focus on other things while remembering losing you. Something changed yesterday… for the first time since I lost you, I could envision adding a dog to the family again. I have been so clearly “NOT READY” for 2  years. I’m now in the “open to consider it” state of mind. It may still take a lot of time, but we’ll see. I reminded myself that dogs are so much responsibility, which was not an issue with you, because it WAS YOU!  I need to determine if I am ready to to care for a dog that is not you. I am still unsure of that.

I miss you every day my bug. I am still trying to find ways to honor you on your angel day. I know that my love and devotion honors  you, and my work with grieving people honors you, and the donations to Magic Bullet honor you… but I feel like it’s never enough, for all you gave me. Love you sweet boy.

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July 17, 2011

Yesterday was your 2 year angel day. I did not relive the hardships of the last day I had with you. I did, however, agonize over having so much time between us. I went and saw your tree. I brought you orange roses. Oranges roses for my orange dog.

shadow under that broken street light

Jonathan and I went for a walk in the evening, along your old route. There were lots of fireflies out, and it was a cool evening. You would have enjoyed it. I thought about the way you’d hop on and off the curb and how your sweet profile was so sharp under that one broken street light. I hurt for how long it’s been since I’ve walked with you and I hurt knowing that I would never have you with me on that route again. At least, not in body. I hurt because I have to live out the whole rest of my life without you. There is a part of me that is so lonely for you. Only you could fill that void. I sometimes feel lost…. suspended… waiting to find my way again. There is nothing I would not give to have you back, my love.

I’ve started to write an essay about you. I have so many thoughts and feelings, but it takes courage to put it all together. I have determined I classify my life into two categories. Life with Niko, and life without. The latter has two sub categories – before Niko and after Niko. I so often think about things in those terms. “Oh, that happened when Niko was…. 13” or “that happened 2 weeks after Niko died”. One day, so much will fill that time “after Niko died”. I have a hard time accepting that right now.

Enough for now, I am going to pull myself back together. Special thanks goes out to our loved ones that donated to the Magic Bullet fund in your honor: Mom, Dad, Kerstin, and Laura. Thank you for all loving my Roo too. xo

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July 27, 2011

I dreamt of you on Monday night. It was brief, but I felt your love all around me. I got to hug you and I was so happy… SO happy. It was a reminder of the joy only you could bring me. I miss our unconditional love with every fiber of my being. Seeing you happy would make me weightless. Nothing else mattered.

I have talked to some friends about meeting another dog this weekend. Two of my friends are excited and hope that it works out for us. They know I miss having a dog, but that I’ve not been ready. Another friend looked at me like I was nuts and commented that we have 3 cats already. This definitely hurt my feelings. We have no plans to have children, and having fur kids makes my life so much better. I love my little men, and certainly would only add the ‘right dog’ to our mix. Most people would not say to someone who is pregnant with their 2nd or 3rd child and say ‘another one’?! I believe she meant well, but I felt judged.

Growing up we had so many animals. I don’t think all people realize what a part of me animals are. Even Jonathan. I sometimes think he doesn’t understand what volunteering for HART has meant to me. There were times we had 4-5 horses, 3-4 cats, and 2-3 dogs. We never had less than 2 of each, until just a few years ago. So to me, 3 cats and a dog, is not overwhelming.

Sorry to get off topic my boy. I needed somewhere to vent and I know you don’t care what I do, as long as I’m happy. I am hoping for some guidance this weekend when I meet the potential new dog. Miss you sweet boy…. I would trade it ALL to just have you again.

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August 3, 2011

“Mandy”

Well love bug…. I met a roo last weekend. I even kissed her nose. It was the first dog I’ve kissed since you. She was so sweet and pretty, and I think she would have been a nice dog to add to our family. Unfortunately, she would struggle with the stairs in the house. Luckily, there was another family interested in her that lived in a home that was nearly all one level. Perfect for her. So we passed on her, and the other family adopted her on Monday.

Our search continues. There is another older dog we will meet soon, and we’ll see how that goes. I do feel ready to add a roo back into our life. I so miss you, and while I won’t get you back, I will get back some of the joys of having a roo in my life, which will keep your memories alive. I will keep you posted.

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August 8, 2011

8/8/88 was the day we adopted Gusti. Been thinking about the Babu today. 🙂

I also wanted to tell you that I fell in love with a dog this weekend. I don’t know if it’s going to work out yet… but I think it will if it’s meant to. I am trying to keep my feelings in check…. as I wait. I will write more when I know more. xo

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August 11, 2011

Well my boy… today is the day we bring home a new dog. A new girl to love. I need your help big guy…. I need you to help her treat my kitties with respect. I need you to help keep them calm. She will stay with  us forever, if only our little kings, the kitties, accept her. I think they will…. she is good natured, and they have met other dogs w/o incident. I am so nervous…. this is a big step.  A lot will change. Please let me feel you with us all.

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Hayley

August 22, 2011

My sweet Niko, we have another dog in our lives now. It is wonderful to have the new addition, and she reminds me of some of our good memories. The walks, the training, the wanting to please. She’s a sweet girl. You might have liked her. She is bouncy and playful, as you once were. I keep hearing people tell me that she reminds them of you. I get that… and I see the resemblance, however, I knew every inch of you… I knew how every hair laid, and I see how different she is. I don’t expect the others to see it as I do, so I simply concede and say “yes, she does have some similarities” 🙂 I know better though.

I am enjoying all this, but I still miss you so intensely. No one will ever replace  you. No one could. I’d still trade it all for you. xo Miss you….

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September 13, 2011

Hey big guy. I don’t need any national pet memorial day to remind me of what I’ve lost. I know what I’ve lost, every day of my life.

The little girl is doing well. I sometimes resent her just slightly for not being you, but I so enjoy having her in my life. She is so good and learning fast. I saw your ‘twin’ this morning on our walk. She is so frail now, and walks so slow. Her owner is very patient and lets her take her time. I have to say, you were almost never THAT slow. We were lucky, weren’t we?

Oktoberfest is a few weeks away. Should I let Hayley wear your bandana? Maybe I should get her, her own? I will figure it out.

I miss you Roo…. I may not write as often, as I’m so busy with animals, work, HART, and general domestic responsibilities. I am looking forward to cool weather and good memories of you enjoying the crisp fall air. Love you….

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October 3, 2011

Wow… what a terrible Oktoberfest. It was so cold, and it poured, and I spent the whole time in the rain directing cars. I still wore your bandana. I got Hayley her own, but she didn’t even get to wear it, as she stayed inside out of the rain.

I’m really enjoying having a roo around again. Hayley is really a great dog. She is not you, and never will be, but she continues to bring me joy. I sometimes worry I’m going to forget your features, and get too used to her’s. I don’t want that.  You were my one and only heartdog… I miss you my sweet boy. xo

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October 10, 2011

Exciting news! I saw ‘your twin’ today and got to meet her. Her name is Maya. 🙂 She is 14, as I suspected, as she was 10 and you 14, when you and her met 4 years ago. 🙂 Her owner loves her so much. It’s obvious in the care he takes as he walks her. Hayley was a good girl, very respectful of the mature Maya. I loved her all white face, and she is shaved now, so she looks like a little bear. Kinda how you looked when you were shaved. Just had to share that with you big guy. I told the man that every time I see him walking her, she makes me smile. He seemed to appreciate that. 🙂

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October 27, 2011

Hey big guy. Have you been at the house? About 2 weeks ago, I woke up to the sound of a dog and I opened my eyes to see, what I thought had to be Hayley, walk across the bedroom. I flicked on the light, astonished that she could have (or would have) escaped her crate, but there was nothing there. No dog, and Hayley was sound asleep. Was that  you, I wonder? I heard distinct sniffing a few nights later. I know Jonathan thinks I’m nuts, but I think there was something to it.

Today marks 4 years since I lost Fox. I know you and Fox were not buddies, but I loved that little horse. He was in my life for 19 years, and he was the best horse I ever had. I miss him.

I’ve been blogging a bit on the other website. Many of my posts are inspired by stuff on the grief board. They are not half bad, and hopefully, they help someone. That is sort of my purpose now… help grievers and animal rescue. 🙂

Love you  my boy. Still miss you with all my heart.

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November 16, 2011

Wow… it’s been a really tough 10 days or so here. Apart from mom having a stroke, and attending Phil’s wedding, Chance ate part of a toy and spent 2 nights in the hospital. Oh, and I had to take mom to the doctors, because she wrecked her car the day I brought her home from the hospital. I was really struggling last week. So much worry and I was overwhelmed. Better now.

I was walking Hayley tonight, and thinking about the balance of life now that you are gone. It was hard to learn to live in a world without you. I found a way to do it, but it’s a delicate balance. Sometimes I feel like I just barely stay over the line and I wonder what would push me enough to cross it. I miss you Niko. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life.

Thanksgiving is next week. I have a lot to be thankful for, I know that. I can’t help but remember 2008, as Thanksgiving was just days after your 2nd round of chemo. Fridays were your ‘down’ days after a Tuesday dose of doxorubicin. I was reading today, on LHD, about a dog that passed. The cancer went to her brain, and her symptoms were very much like yours. I just hope, that last 24 hours we had, you were already somewhere else. I still think you said goodbye to me that last evening we walked, when you followed me around the bedroom and snuggled up with me in bed. Anyway, this dog that died, I knew it the other week when the lady talked about her seizures. It’s always hard to read that list, and know what they are in for. Always breaks my heart.

OK… I have to finish a grocery list, medicate Chance, and walk Hayley once more before bed. Love you.

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December 8, 2011

Hi my lovebug. I’ve been stressed. So stressed I have my insides in knots, and I feel like I can’t get a deep breath. My heart pounds in my chest, even when resting. 😦  I’m so worried about my parents and what lies ahead. I remind myself, there is plenty of time to worry and stress in the future, to try to not do it now, but easier said than done. Going back to the doc for emergency meds, for the tough days. I’m thankful for Jonathan, the men, Hayley Bear, loved ones, cooler weather, christmas lights, and chocolate. Just wish I had the comfort of my Roo with me. xo

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December 22, 2011

Happy birthday my boy. You would have been 19 today. I love you.

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January 9, 2012

Hey love bug. Sorry I have not written in a while. The holidays were so busy and I was busy with HART, and then Dot, the disabled kitten. Christmas went smooth thanks to a joint effort from all to keep things calm for mom’s sake. My NYE sucked. 😦 It was one of the worst NYE I’ve had in years. I’m hoping that means it will be a good year. It’s hard to tell so far. I’m already stressed thinking about getting our house on the market and moving, but the payoff will be huge. In a few months, we’ll have a SFH, with a yard, and won’t have to live next to the horrible people renting next door. I have a hard time with huge projects, and just focusing on one thing at a time. I just want to do it all. I’m good at biting off more than I can chew. 🙂

We gave Hayley a bath the other day. She was really good for it. Easier to wash than you – since her coat is not as thick (yet). She ran around all happy afterwards, like you would do. I wanted to blow dry her, but she was afraid of the dryer. I sorta forced her into taking it for a minute or two and then rewarded her. I hope she will grow to like the blow dryer. You used to love it! I remember you’d come running when you heard the blow dryer. 🙂 Still makes me smile.

As always, I still miss you. Sometimes the heartache of losing you is still as fresh as the day you left, but most days are easier now. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t trade anything and everything, for you.

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February 21, 2012

My sweet boy…. We are getting our house ready to sell it. I can’t wait to move to another home, with a yard for Hayley, and more room for all our stuff. Ha! But I’m worried about leaving behind the place you died. I know full well that you are not going to stay with the house. I know your energy, your spirit will always be with me. However, I’m still a little worried about how I will react when we really do leave. Right now, I have no anxiety over it, though I do have anxiety over not having anxiety. Hahaha! When I leave the house, I will call you, before I shut the door, so there is no confusion. I hope that I can just close the chapter without any issues.

On a less anxious note, Hayley and I are signed up for agility. Part of me is sad that I never did this with you, even though it didn’t occur to me until you were already a ‘senior’. I bet you would have loved it! I think Hayley will be a super star and it will be a nice way to bond with her. I really love my girl. She’s a great dog. She is not you… and the love is quite different, but that is no surprise. There will never be another Roo like you. xoxox

Did you see, we were mentioned in the Pet Hospice article on the Examiner. I am so grateful for this. I wish more people looked at palliative care / hospice care for their pets, as a gift. Some battles won’t be won, and I feel like I’d rather bow out when all hope is loss, then go out swinging. That is just me I guess. That is what gives me peace.

I will write again soon. Love you my sweet boy… my Ebeneezer Sneezer.

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March 17, 2012

Hey Love Bug. Missing you a lot tonight. Not that I don’t miss you every single day, because I do, but some days are still more difficult than others. We are preparing to sell the house. The house you died in. I watched some old videos of you and things look so different now. So much has changed. What I would not give to have you here again. I love you.

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April 18, 2012

We are a few days from your ‘gotcha date’. 19 years ago, I had already met you and was working so hard to convince mom that  you were the dog for us. I’m so sorry you had to spend all that time in the pound, while they waited to see if anyone would claim you. What a loss someone suffered, when they lost you. Likely they never knew how special you were, but I did. I knew it from the beginning, and I still remember moments where it really dawned on me that you were not just another four legged companion, but so much more. Sending love to my roo.

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June 4, 2012

I skipped a whole month there. It is certainly not because you were not on my mind, because you were, quite a bit. I had to leave the house where you last lived… the house where you died. I don’t miss the house as much as I thought. I kind of don’t miss it at all. The only emotional ties I really have, are that you spent  your last  years there.

We are in the new house now. I love the house, but am nervous about some of the issues it may have. We are going through all the steps now to see if there are any issues that we didn’t know about, or need to worry about. Kind of a pain, but I know we can get to the same level of comfort we had at the townhouse. The animals are enjoying the space and the windows. Hayley will be super stoked once the back yard is fenced and ready for her. It will be a nice place to spend summer evenings. 🙂

July will bring the 3 year milestone since your passing. I am trying to think of a way to honor  you again. Never a day goes by that I don’t miss you. xo

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July 15, 2012

It’s the night before you died. The hardest night of them all. You were no longer yourself. It was a terrible night, and I wish I didn’t remember it at all. I cannot completely forget though. I remind myself that the Roo I knew, had already gone. I wrote about it. I feel like there is more I need to say or express, but that is probably because I keep much more in now than I did before. I’m trying to stay busy. I am trying to find other sources of happiness. It’s hard with out you. It’s just… hard.

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August 3, 2012

My sweet boy… I am glad July is over. So, what did you think of the Animal Communicator? I didn’t feel like it met my expectations. Some of the things she said, sounded like you, and what I expect you would ‘say’. When she said you were surprised I reached out to her, since I talk to you all the time, and you’re pretty sure I KNOW you are there – that sounded like you. That is truth. Part of me wondered how you would feel about a ‘communicator’. But I feel like there is more you would tell me than what she said. I went into it with a grain of salt. I trust my own instincts regarding our communications since your passing. I guess I look for verification… validation. I might still try another communicator for comparison. We’ll see.

This morning Iko Iko was on. There is the vs. that goes “my flag boy and your flag boy….. ” and I can’t help but tear up. Your ‘flag’ was such a fun topic of conversation. Such silly things still make me sad. I also tear up when I put up the flag on the mail box. Really silly… I know. But it’s a flag, and a flag that is up. Only you me and Jonathan ‘get that’. 🙂

Miss you lovebug… always.

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September 4, 2012

So I’ve been talking to you some. You got that, right? I know you did. The last two weeks have been really difficult ones, though this past weekend gave me a small break.

Someone posted something on FB today about how 6 years ago Steve Irwin died. 6 years ago Jonathan and I were in Bora Bora. 6 years ago, you were still alive, with almost 3 years of life left. 6 years ago my parents had their health. 6 years ago, I had a job I loved. So much has changed and so many changes have taken their toll.

I sometimes feel like giving up. I feel like all I love here, just isn’t enough to save me. I know that is unfair, as I have some wonderful beings in my life that I do love dearly. I just think it would be easier if I could just be with you. Instead, I am trying to unburden myself with things I cannot control, which is hard for me, as YOU well know. I could not save you, the one soul on this earth that I wanted to save more than anything. If that has taught me anything, it is that I can only steer a little ways, and what comes my way will collide with me. I can move through it, or fight it, and put myself further behind.

I felt a small piece of peace the other day. It felt really good. I am working on holding onto the skills that brought it to me, which is letting go of things I cannot change, and things that I do not need to change… at least not right now.

I miss you, my sweet boy… always.

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October 10, 2012

I can’t believe it’s October. No Oktoberfest this year, and I didn’t miss it. The good times of that are gone. This is the month that you were diagnosed. I really don’t suffer any ill effects from ‘that date’ anymore. The hard ones are your birthday, the holidays, and the worst days are July 1-16. The day you came out of remission until the day you died. Strangely, election day is unsettling. Even though the date is different than it was 4 years ago, it still marks the day of your first chemo and that was an incredibly difficult day.

Anyway…. Hayley is really doing well in agility. It’s so fun. I think you would have been so good at it as a young boy. You were so trainable and you were so fast. I forget sometimes, how fast you were. I can still picture you racing up from the barn and it always makes me smile. 🙂

Miss you my Roo. Love you still, so much, with every breath.

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November 6, 2012

Election Day. Election day was the day of your first chemo in 2008. It was the 4th in 2008. I can’t help but remember what a hard morning it was. It’s a weird milestone. As I walked Hayley this morning, thinking about it, I was grateful that I didn’t have to face the difficulties of that day, today. It was so hard to decide to do chemo for you. I know now, it was the right choice, but not having any way of knowing then, that it would be effective for 8 months, I was in agony. Anyway… just sort of a weird feeling. I hate days that remind me of hard things. We spent over 16 years together. Most things were not hard. Very few moments were really bad, when you look at the big picture.

I love my little Hayley so very much. It is just so different from how I loved you. I know I will not ever love her the same way. I will never love ANYONE the same way. You were one of a kind. I sometimes feel bad that she is not the love of mine you were. But I don’t think she cares. I think she is happy to finally have a forever home after being a lost stray and then bounced around from home to home to boarding to us. I will give her the best life I can and I hope I don’t have to make any hard decisions for a long time.

Miss you my sweet boy… xoxoxo

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December 13, 2012

I know I don’t write much anymore. It’s not for lack of thinking of you. I think of you every day. I miss you ever time I think of you. I function much better, most of the time, though I do still feel you were my purpose for living. I still feel useless in this life without you.

Your birthday is coming up. What shall we do to celebrate it? 20 years sweet boy! I so wish you were still with us. I will need to find a way to honor you.

The weather is cooler again. You’d love it. Perfect Roo weather. I would have been so much easier to care for you in our new house. Less stairs, and a nice safe backyard for you to sniff away in all you wanted – even in the middle of the night. *sigh* Miss you… love you…

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January 4, 2013

So much to tell you…. I thought of you often on your birthday and on Christmas. I missed you. I cannot believe I’m starting the 4th year that you won’t be any part of.

I just read about a dog on LHD who had facial swelling. She died yesterday. I remember when you swelled, and I did not want to believe it was the end, but I guess I knew it. Sometimes it is so hard to ‘re-live moments’ on the LHD board. I do not spend much time there, I just browse, and invite those that have lost, to join the grief group. But I feel I need to still reach out when I have something to offer. It is hard sometimes to not just say “This is likely the end, and you should prepare to say goodbye now”. You can’t tell someone that so directly. They likely know it, but they will still be in total shock when the dog dies. I did every amount of prep for your death that I could, but nothing can really prepare you for the hurt.

On another topic, next week I have to travel for work. I have to come face to face with the person that so betrayed my trust and friendship last year. His disrespectful actions still upset me and I’m disgusted that he can just go on like nothing happened. I think he’s blocked it. I think he thinks he did nothing wrong, but nothing could be further from the truth. I hate being a victim. I still beat myself up for not seeing it coming. For not reacting differently. I should have hit him. I should have asked someone for help. Ugh…. The anxiety is so high and I hate him. I wish his wife knew what a bad person he was. I wish everyone knew. I have thought about not going, but that is not wise for other reasons, as I need to be present for some other networking. I know I will be protected. I know I have a friend that understands. It’s hard to really explain how I feel to someone that has not lived through it. I hope one day, I’ll find peace and forget he exists. Though I think this means that if he doesn’t get fired, I will need to leave my job at some point. I don’t deserve the constant reminder.

I wish I had something positive to tout about, but I just don’t. I feel nothing but anxiety and anger and sadness right now. I hope to be in a better place by this time next week. I hope you will be with me to fill my heart with your love. I miss you so much.

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February 4, 2013

I saw you in my dream last night, though I don’t feel like it was really you. I’ve just been thinking about you a lot, so I’m sure I manifested it. I’ve been thinking about trying another animal communicator. I’m not sure why…. what can they tell me that I don’t already know – assuming they actually are communicating with you. I think we keep a pretty open dialog. I guess it’s this need to have something more tangible. If that makes sense…. I miss you and I still live in fear that I will lose our connection somehow over time. I feel so much that you are a soul mate to me. No matter how much love I have for those around me, human and animal, nothing is quite the same as how I feel about you. I can’t imagine that will change.

I’m having a really hard time with some things right now. I’m just so sad so often. It sucks. I know there are a few things I need to do that will help break this pattern of depression, but it’s so hard to motivate. Finding a more fulfilling job is certainly one thing. Also re motivating to do fun projects on the house will help. Trying to spend a little more time appreciating my family – vs fussing over things I haven’t done (like laundry and mopping and petty bs). I also need to find it in my heart to forgive those that have hurt me and those I care about. I need to let it go. Stop focusing on the negative. There will always be bad people that do bad things and being negative about it won’t make anything better. I can’t change the world. I can’t make people care about things that I care about. But I can do little things to effect a difference and I must learn to appreciate those small victories. The only time I can remember being able to do that, was while caring for you. I was able to focus on the moments of love we shared, and moments where all was well in the world, and I could let that outshine that fact that you were dying. If I can do that, I can do this, right?

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March 19, 2013

Hey Lovebug. Miss you…. Have you seen Angel? She died on March 4th. We knew she was on borrowed time, but she is the last of the animals that you lived with. I hope she’s found Ivan. I don’t have a lot to say… I miss you. I always miss you. It seems weird to function through most things without you, though I think of you so many times a day. I can’t imagine that ever ending. Next month will be the 20th anniversary of bringing you home from the shelter. 20 years ago, my life changed forever. 🙂 Love you my Roo. Oh… and in case I haven’t said it enough… I miss you.

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June 10, 2013

My Dear Niko…. I am sorry I’ve not written to you here. I talk to you often, and I think you hear me. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you with every fiber of my being. I’ve moved on, yes. I function, yes. But I never miss you less. I’m watching Schoep, the shepherd mix made famous by a picture, who is turning 20 in a few days. I’m so grateful you made it to 16 1/2, but what if you had made it to 20? I would have had you last Christmas. I know how lucky I am, but I still wanted more time. I deeply regret every moment I didn’t have with you. I know, I know…. I can’t do that, and I will always have you with me.

We are a month from the 4  year mark of your passing. I always find it gets hard on July 1, as I re-live you coming out of remission and facing all the realities that piled up from then until the 16th. I hate re-living that time. It was the hardest time of my life. I still don’t know how I got through it. I still wonder how you were feeling. That last night that you  had clarity, shortly before you took the turn for the worse, brings me a lot of joy to think about. It was the one time I had MY boy back, before he left.

Ugh… I need to go focus on work. Just know that I love you and miss you every day. There is still nothing I would not trade for you, my love.

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July 10, 2013

Less than a week from “that day”. This is the first year I have not relived the terrible 16 days. At least not so far. I’m grateful. Still miss you so much.

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July 17, 2013

The first day of year 5 without you. Have I told you how much I hate putting time between us? Yes, of course I have. I still hate it. 😦 I made you a tribute video yesterday. I’d wanted to make one with video – instead of just a slide show. I like the way it turned out. Made me cry a lot, but I feel like it was a healthy way to release my sadness. I don’t let myself feel too sad too often about you being gone. It’s not that I’m not sad and hurting, but I know I have to keep on moving. I still have to live. That is hard to do sometimes.

Once and a while I blur the line between you and Hayley. I don’t know why I do this…. I guess I’ve become more used to you being gone, and more used to having  Hayley in my life. I still look at her sometimes and think that she doesn’t look ‘right’, but then I’m comparing her to you. Not fair, I know. She’s a good girl. I’m very grateful for her.

Well my love… as always, I love and miss you. I feel like nothing I can do or say to anyone, will convey how much I feel it. I also know that most people either don’t understand, or don’t want to hear it about ‘just a dog’. I’ve learned to live with those that do not understand, those that judge, and those that just don’t care. It’s my struggle, every single day, to move on without you.

One year further, but hopefully one year closer. xo

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July 22, 2013

Hello my boy. I wanted to write to you about Schoep. He died last Wednesday, a month after turning 20. You two were close in age, had you still been alive. My heart broke for John. I’ve not met the man, or his dog, but that bond is one I was so familiar with. The loving care he had for Schoep was so touching. His pictures brightened my morning, and made me long to have my ‘old dog’ back that much more. I feel like Schoep will leave a legacy that old dogs have a lot of life left. Age is not a disease. You can get so much from a senior. I wonder if he knows how special he was, to more than just his person.

We also lost Trigger a few days before your angel day. Ugh… I cried and cried and cried over him. He was an inspiration to so many on the Lymphoma boards from both a remission perspective, and for the older dogs. What a legacy he’s left for those fighting lymphoma.

So many special souls that did so much to help inspire.  You are my favorite, but these other 2 are in my top group, so please greet them for me. xo

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August 3, 2013

I just watched your video randomly. While I often think of you with love in my heart, I still cry. It still hurts SO MUCH to know you’re gone. I’ve been living without you for 4 years. How? How have I done that. I spent so long trying to save your life, and I’ve spent 4 years trying to save my own since you died. Most days, now, I’m winning to some degree. But not always….

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September 3, 2013

My love… how are you? I miss you. But you know this. You still answer me when I ask you something. You are still with me.

This past weekend I did my 2nd agility trial with Hayley. It was so fun. It’s brought a lot of joy back to my life. You know that I handle your absence better now than I did at first. Of course… but I think of you, I long for you, every single day. Thank you for letting me love another dog and enjoy having a dog in my life again. I no longer resent her for not being you.

Hayley - 1st AKC Trial

Hayley – 1st AKC Trial

xo

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December 13, 2013

Has it really been so long since I’ve written to you? I certainly think of you no less than I used to. I miss you no less. This year was good though. It’s been good to have a positive outlook such as agility, as rescue really wears me out emotionally. Hayley is wonderful. My kitties are wonderful. I’m cautiously optimistic the holidays will be good this year. Hopefully restful. I am a bit run down. I need a break.  🙂  I love you my sweet boy. Your ornaments were the FIRST to go on our tree this year, as always. xo

 

 

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June 12, 2014

Has it been 6 months since I’ve updated on this page? I guess it has. You know it’s not for lack of thinking about you. I still talk to you most every day. I most certainly think of you every day, many times a day. You will always be very much, a part of my life. I still hope for some day to find my way back to you one way or another.

July is coming. I always sort of dread it because I don’t know how I feel, but I know there will be a few tough days in there.

I have a few things I’m trying to sort out in my head right now. I’ve recently learned what Empaths are, and I finally feel like there is a group I fit into. An explanation for my feelings. I often dismissed my intuitions as ‘lucky guesses’, but I realize now that I can sense much more than I thought. Perhaps this explains our exchange with the animal communicator? I do feel you and I do hear you. I’m hoping I’ll learn how to deal with all the negative emotions I absorb from others. It’s killing me…. I can’t find happiness like this. There are definitely times I want every human to go away because I feel I can’t take any more from them. I find myself pulling away from relationships of all kinds because it’s too hard to handle their emotional mess. We shall see…. I’ll check back in on this.

I’m having fun with Hayley. I sometimes feel bad that I don’t love her like I loved you. I feel like she knows that 😦 It’s just different, but she doesn’t understand. Chance is the one that has my heart, from all the living animals in my life, it’s him. ❤

Alright sneezer… I love you. I miss you… always.

Written by rememberingniko

January 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

4 Responses

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  1. B,
    I never knew you had a page like this for Niko! It’s absolutely beautiful. Though we have never met in person, you and I are kindred spritis–I felt that way back when we first “cyber met” on the other board. I love the way and how much you loved Niko–you are one of the few that really understand my depth of love I had (and still have) for my Lucy girl. Niko was SO lucky to have you as his mommy. To feel that absolute, pure love for 16 years–BOTH of you were so blessed. xoxo
    Leisa

    leisa wick

    February 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

  2. dogs Do have great souls – and YOU have an even greater one!
    I just devoured every word on your Niko page. (And definitely DID NOT deserve my payroll today!)
    You brought great joy to this part of the world. And I will eat a Bratwurst tonight in Nikos honor…………
    Edith

    Edith

    June 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

  3. What an amazing website you have created for our Niko. My Harley has CHF and is sliding fast. They say I probable wont have him around not even for a month longer. I cant even imagine this or rap my head around it. I can share this much with others because so many people view their dog as simple a pet. Harley is my baby. Anyhow I found so much comfort in reading your love for Niko that there are others out there like me. I am going to do more research on your website for creating special memory like the paw creation and jewlery. Anyhow I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story and all the great info you have shared for us all to benefit from. You are a wonderful person, NIko was lucky to have you. Jacqueline Gerra

    Jacqueline Gerra

    October 14, 2012 at 5:57 am

    • Thank you for your very kind comments. Niko was the love of my life. Most of my closest friends understand this, but not everyone fully understands it, and how his life and death affected me. It’s always reassuring to know you are normal when it comes to how much you can love your fur baby. 🙂 I am so glad my site brought you a little comfort.

      rememberingniko

      October 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm


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