I wanted to say thank you to all those that have loved Niko and who have supported me through his illness and my recovery after his passing.
To my husband Jonathan, thank you for sticking by me. My mother often called you a saint. I know it was difficult being #2 from the moment we met, and I know it was hard losing your wife to Niko’s needs, but you let me care for him with no regrets. You spent many hours taking long walks with us, and you helped keep my boy safe and happy. You have my undying gratitude.
To my parents that faithfully took care of Niko during the days I was at work the last few years, and who gave him many years of a loving home.
To my sister Kerstin, who spent many hours with Niko and I and who helped me through the hardest decision of my life.
To my friend Laura who loved the Roo from the moment she met him in 2004. Laura was a supportive friend throughout Niko’s cancer battle, even though her husband was dying of lung cancer at the same time. Laura was also a tremendous strength for me as we both stumbled into an immense amount of grief.
To our incredible vets and their staff – Dr. Adams, Dr. Ball, Dr. Davis of Adams Mill in Great Falls, and Dr. Kocen (acupuncture / holistic at Southpaws) & staff who spent hours with us the last few years (in person, by phone, and email), working through cushings, arthritis, glaucoma, vestibular disease, and lymphoma. You all helped me give my boy the best possible quality of life until the very end. I am eternally in your debt.
Thank you to Dr. Ball and to LVT Theresa who made a special trip to our home to help Niko cross the bridge in comfort. This was outside normal business practices for the office, on their own time, and I cannot possibly express my appreciation for you making this special arrangement for us. Thank you.
Thank you to Debbie K from K9Cushings for helping me realize chemo was an option for my boy, by sharing her inspirational story.
Thank you to Tara L for taking the time to talk to me about your experience with lymphoma with Woodie. Talking with someone first hand, was helpful.
Thank you to Cat, Carolyn, and Liz, for all your texts to check on us in the final days.
Thank you to the LymphomaHeartDogs’ board. I do not know how I would have gotten through Niko’s chemo without ALL of you. There are too many to name them all, but I want to give a special shout out to Leisa, (mom of Lucy) who I grew very close to. Also to Amy, (mom of Thunder) for all her research and suggestions. Rebecca, Sue, Theresa, Catherine, Lisa, Georgia, Diana, Lynn, Suzanne, Amy P, Carol, Dori, Jo, Linda, Debbie, Ginny, Roz, Sharon, Sook, Jelinda, Monica, and many others deserve a little recognition too. I fear I have left some folks off, and I’m sorry for that!
Very special thank you to Susan K from LymphomaHeartDogs’ board, for starting the Angels board. Susan started the Angels board shortly before Niko passed. I am so fortunate to come into Susan’s group and find support with many familiar ‘faces’. We are all going through the same thing, and this group is helping me, and others, heal. Freeway would be so proud.
Thank you to the wonderful people on the K9Cushings boards. You all were amazing support for our journey with cushings and the support continued through cancer and death. Extra Special thanks to Leslie, Marriane, Stephanie, Glynda, Christy, Sue, Terry, Beth, Susy, Lori, Cheryl, Scott, and John… and all of you that sent me such kind messages when Niko passed.
Thank you to all my friends that have been a part of Niko’s life. I know he was loved by many and your outpouring of sympathy after he passed was so touching. Thank you to all those that kept us in your hearts during his final days. The texts, the emails, the calls, and facebook posts, all meant so much.
Thank you to Phil and Jonathan for digging Niko’s final resting place and for planting his weeping cherry.
To my employer for understanding that Niko was my baby, and allowing flexibility to care for him in any way I needed, without question.
To all the friends and neighbors that sent cards.
And my final thank you to my mom, for going by the Fairfax County Animal Shelter on the morning of April 22nd, 1993, to adopt my little 02000. Thank you for giving me the gift of Niko.