Niko touched a lot of lives in his 16+ years with me. His passing was acknowledged by people far and wide. I received emails, cards, flowers, and forum posts in response to his death. This page is dedicated to sharing these, so I may forever hold onto them. The outpouring of love and support were truly heartwarming and I’ll always be so grateful.
LymphomaHeartDogs is a support group for people who have dogs that have been diagnosed with a type of canine cancer called lymphoma, lymphosarcoma or canine lymphoma. In order to belong to this group, your dog *MUST BE IN CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT*.
Below are some of the kind words from those that shared in our battle against Lymphoma, as well as others that shared their feelings via email after hearing of Niko’s passing.
Bettina – I am so very sad for you as I read this. You loved Niko so much and I am sure your heart is breaking. I will light a candidate for Niko and all the other beautiful fur angels out there tonight.
My thoughts are with you.
Catherine & Jack
Bettina, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts & prayers during this difficult time.
Lisa & Cayanne
It makes me so sad to read your e-mail. I feel our Niko and Skyler had so much in common, their age and the Cushings. I know how heart broken you are but in time, you will feel surely blessed that you were able to have Niko so many years. He will live on in your heart forever. You will never forget him but it will get a little easier as time goes on. I lost my Sherlock 1 month ago and even though I cry a little each day, it is getting easier. I hope that you take care of yourself and find comfort in anyway that you can at this difficult time. Hugs, Georgia
Bless you Bettina for being so unselfish and let your boy go when his time came. I am so sorry to hear he lost his fight. You are very lucky to have had him so long, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it is their time to leave us. He was a very lucky boy to have such a loving mom.
Take care of yourself and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Life is so unfair sometimes that in spite of all that we try to do, we can beat this horrible disease and it’s side effects!
Rest in Peace Niko!
I am so sorry you did not get the long remission you were hoping for with Niko.
Just know that I share your grief and sense of loss, and understand how empty and quiet the house seems without your sweet boy.
I hope that knowing that others mourn Niko with you helps ease the pain of losing him, and that soon, one day, you can think of him with a smile in your heart instead of tears in your eyes.
Maggie, Cruiser, and Surfer, too!
Godspeed Niko~our most sincere condolences to you Bettina.
Lynn and Destiny
OMG Bettina, I am so so sorry. I can not believe it either. Sweet Niko did put up a good fights but knowing now that he is free and romping with the other babies must give you some relief. You were the best mommy to him and gave him many more years than the average fur baby, wow 16+ GOD BLESS NIKO.
I’m so sorry, Bettina! You did everything you could for Niko and he thanks you for it. I like to think he found Rain and they are playing right now. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Suzanne and Angel Rain
Oh Bettina, I’m so sorry for your loss of Niko. What a brave and valiant fight you both fought. You loved her so, and doing that last painful thing for her showed just how much. My heart goes out to you!
Amy P. and Hunter
So sorry for your loss Bettina
Love N Hugs
Jo & Toby
My heart sank when I read about your Niko becoming an angel. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Teressa & Kennedy
I am so sorry to hear about Niko. I am so happy that you were able to spend so many happy years with him. He sounded like such an amazing little guy, from the moment you adopted him. Hopefully you will be comforted by your memories of so many years together.
Our Sincerest Condolences,
Hilary and Lilly
I am so very sorry you have lost your dear friend Niko. I pray you will have comfort in all the wonderful memories you have from the past 17 years. What an amazing life to have shared…
Carol and My Sweet Angel Marc Anthony
Oh sweet sweet Niko 😦 Bettina, I know that you know having him in your life for so long was a miricale & a blessing, but it doesnt help that HUGE gaping hole you feel right now. But I have a small smile on my face thinking of the old wise boy up there, the King of all our angels, b/c of his age & wisdom. Sana was a big dope … 😉 So maybe Niko will keep him in line. ((((((hugs))))) R~
I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Niko. The special bond that you had will continue on, just in a different way. I know that it will be difficult not to have his physical presence, having been with you almost half of your life, and all of your adult life.
His final resting place will be a beautiful tribute for such a special being.
Dori and Angel Drake
These next notes came after I shared the tribute I wrote for him…
Bettina – what a beautiful tribute. I cried when I read the poem as it is so true and I know my time will come to make the choice for Bear. Niko was a beautiful dog and I can only imagine the loss you are feeling after 16 years with you. My heart goes out to you – you did a wonderful tribute – Niko is proud of you.
Linda and Bear
Bettina, wow, HOW lucky was Niko to be blessed by having YOU as his mama. For as much love as he gave you, you did the same in return. A beautiful tribute.
Your story of the first meeting, to the disappointment of the “hold until 4”, the joy of finding out he was for you and the years of love, fun, companionship and the tribute in death is a remarkable one. I am so touched by your words, Bettina. You have truly captured what your relationship was and is like with your “heart dog”, even now.
To show the progression of his life, through your eyes, your love was engaging; made me laugh and cry. The pictures of him lit up like a Christmas tree; the raincoat, him sprawled out on your bed, enjoying the company of the three girls (your mum, you and a sister?), him licking his nose when getting the chest rub, the snow falling on him…what wonderful memories.
These are memories that will last forever and your bond with Niko is a good part of why you are the loving, gracious person that you have become.
Thank you for sharing this part of your life.
Sue and Trigger
Bettina, this was so wonderful. I loved your story and the pictures and videos enables you to know Niko. You had a rare gift of life with him for 16 beautiful years and lots of memories. He loved life. I absolutely loved the rain coat pictures, christmas lights oh and the one of him laying on his back with the paws in the air reminds me of how Thunder sleeps sometimes. Cheroush those memories, laugh and cry with your family because it seems to me he was also their heart fur baby as well.
Luv, hugs and wet kisses.
Amy and Thunder
I love your tribute—thanks, Bettina! We all loved Niko as part of our family even though he had always been “Bettina’s dog.”
Imagine him with Gusti, Ned, Bismarck, et al, playing together talking about the good old days on Seneca Road and the fun they had with us.
I have looked at most of your 102 pictures—some are so precious of baby Niko and then old man Niko—and I can’t help but smile to have been blessed
with a wonderful pet like Niko—MR. PERSONALITY!
Your poem is lovely and so sincere from your heart, I understand your heart ache, your sense of loss though the joy of having had him for 16+years should
outweigh it all—just imagine never having had Niko in your life at all! Good thing I stopped at the pound that morning!!!!
Sweet little daughter of mine, I wish I could lift the pain out of your heart and sing “Heile, heile, Gaenschen, es wird ja wieder gut! Kaetzchen hat ein
Schwaenzchen, es wird alles wieder gut.” Remember?
I love you and share your sorrow-
Oh. My. I’m crying my eyes out over your beautiful poem Bettina…it’s so lovely. Then I watched your videos and smiled through those tears. As special as sweet Niko was, his owner is even more so. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Wishing you comfort,
Amy P. and Hunter
Oh Bettina, I am sobbing. 1st, what a wonderful Mom you have! Thats SO cool about the adoption! 2nd, the poem … beautiful. & 3rd – LOVE LOVE LOVE the pics of Niko. Boy, that was one LOVED ADORED doggie. & 4th, thank you for donating to the MBF, they were a big help with Kibos chemo.
Im sorry you are hurting – I still hurt over Sana. But they are together, talking about what GREAT MOMS THEY HAVE! ;(
Beautiful tribute; love the adoption story, poem and the keene fashion sense in the rain . . . laughed through the tears….Bless you!
Debbie & Rusty
That poem is really sweet. Thank you for sharing all the great moments of Niko’s life.
I love you! If you need to talk, please call me. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
This is such a wonderful tribute and the poem is so special. I read it on the main list first. I plan on putting Dunkin’s little videos on Youtube soon. He has one from a fly ball tournament that out team put out that I shared with the main list.
Thanks for sharing this and mentioning the Magic Bullet Fund. That’s a great idea.
Ginny, Dash and Angel Dunkin’
This is great stuff! There are soooo many good pictures in there! Fun to look at! Too bad Hooter and Niko didn’t get to hang out and be buddies! This motivates me to go through Hoot’s video and upload some stuff. Thanks for sending this along. And thanks for showing interest in Hoot’s pics on my page.
Bettina, tears are streaming down my face. I’m very glad that my help & advice played a small part in giving the both of you this extra time together.
I am so sorry to hear about your boy. I am crying for you and him while I write this (don’t tell anyone that).
While I can never know what it feels like for you I know how horrible it has felt for me the two times I went through this in the past and I know it hurts. I was not able to be there for my buddies; the first one was my childhood dog who I had from when I was 5 or 6 until after I graduated high school. I could not bring myself to be there for her. I respect and honor your courage.
Hang in there. The pain and bad memories fade over time but the good memories stay with you forever.
If there is a heaven I know that all dogs go there for no purpose could be served by keeping the purest hearts ever created from heaven.
It is very warming to hear he was surrounded by family. I know he was the light of your life and he was lucky to have such a loving caretaker in his life.
I have no words of wisdom. Yet a peice of my heart is here to help fill the gap.
Thank you for letting me know.
Such a sad day….I’m so sorry about your Niko. I know you are in pain and disbelief. You have been a wonderful Mom and you must know how much are babies appreciate our love for them when that terrible time comes. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Sweet journey, Niko.
Monica and Angel Scooter
I’m a sobbing, smiling, mess after watching Niko’s video’s and seeing all the pictures.
What a special guy. As lucky as you were to get so many years with him, it could never be enough. Thank you for sharing your boy with us.
Sometimes, certain people and dogs touch you a little more than others on the board… maybe it was that like Kennedy, Niko had other issues to deal with besides the Lymphoma, and maybe because she also shared a Cushings diagnosis (though hers was borderline). Whatever it was, I always closely followed your post on Niko.
Your donation to The Magic Bullet fund is a loving tribute to Niko, and a much needed help to some other sweet dog in need of treatment. We also recently donated to the Magic Bullet fund. (to honor the birthday of a friend’s dog who is a Lymphoma dog too.)
My thoughts & prayers are with you,
Teressa & Kennedy
Thank you for letting me know. Thanks for your kind words. He did respond well for quite a while. It was a pleasure to see you both, especially to see him in your lap on the couch in the reception area!
JK (our holistic vet / acupuncturist)
sorry to hear it, but take comfort in the fact that he’s no longer in any pain! ~ Jeff
I know that he had such an amazing life.
Big, big hug B. ~ Isabella
i was not looking forward to this day…when i would be sending you my condolences regarding precious niko-roo
my heart just broke when saw your post
lovey, i e-hug you with all my strength. love you and remember we’re all here for you. xoxoxoxoxoxo ~ Mel
I am so sorry to hear about Niko. I know how much he meant to you. I have never seen such a strong and loving relationship between anyone and their dog. A love we humans could learn a lot from! Unconditional and always happy. He lived the best life anyone could ask for. I will be thinking of you my dear friend. And one day i hope to see what beauty his energy will create in the cherry tree you plant. ~ Scott
I am so sorry for your loss. I know I never met Roo, but I’ve been following things via FB. I’ve never been fortunate enough to have that type of bond with a pet. However, I have lost people very close to me, and even cared for a loved one who was dying of cancer. It’s not something you’ll ever be ‘over’ but he is a part of who you are and will always be with you. Just know that it’s fine to be sad — even 6 months from now.
Hang in there, lean on your friends and family,
you’re in my thoughts. ~ Leslie
i just found out yesterday afternoon….lisa called to tell me the news. i’m so sorry…. i wish i could be there…. it’s too early to call you and it was too late when i got home last night but you are definitely on my mind. i can’t wait to hear your voice. i’m so sorry…sweet roo… ~ Christy
I have been so out of the loop lately and I just back tracked a bit and read the news. I wanted you to know that you and J are in my thoughts often, a little more right now, ~ Dee