You were a little 12 pound bundle of joy that came into our lives at only 8 weeks old. It took no time at all for you to win everyone's hearts. In no time we loved you more than life itself. You had your Nana with you every day and Mom and me took you on walks and played ball and bubbles with you every day. How you loved your bubbles and balls. We had balls everywhere, your "super pinkies" were your favorites! |
We went to puppy school too where you got to play with all the other puppies and we worked on obedience. And then on graduation night everyone got to see just how unique Nikita was. Half way through the tunnel there was all kinds of commotion, and then low and behold Nikita emerged backwards out of the tunnel. Everyone was laughing and you won an award! The most unique approach to the tunnel! Throughout your life your backwards "moonwalking" on slippery surfaces became your trademark.
You grew so quickly. It seemed we could see the change daily. Our little 12 pounder grew through the lanky adolescent years into the most beautiful 73 pound girl in the world. You were always so lovable and so gentle, whether it be with young children or small pets you would never hurt a flea. Then at 2 years old we received some devastating news. Dr. Katz found that you had severe hip displaysia. When the doctor told me I was so upset I passed out in the examining room. But we weren't going to let that stop us. After a visit to Tufts University it was decided that the best thing was to continue with plenty of exercise. Mom also went to work to research supplements for you and we found Dr. Schaffer down in PA. We quickly got you on several supplements and homeopathic medicines and you kept going strong!
Then when you were 4 we decided that maybe you would like to have a sister. That's when our beloved Bonnie came to live with us from the shelter. You were not happy at first. You didn't even want to come in the house! Slowly over time you became the best of buddies. Walks in the woods, swimming at the park, vacations to Moosehead Lake and Tunk Lake, we were always together.
Then in 2002 devastation wreaked through our family. We lost your little kitty sister Spunky at 20 years old, we lost your Nana and you lost your best buddy Bonnie to cancer. Thank God Mom and Dad had you to help get us through.
Over your last 3 years your decline began as well. The hips finally began to catch up to you. We started hydro therapy with you at River Meadow Farms during the winter of 2003 because you started having a tough time. You didn't really care for going there so we stopped in the spring. You kept going pretty good over the summer, plenty of exercise and swimming at the Swift River. Then in the fall of 2003 we found New England Canine Rehab. You loved going there. Bev and Kristin were so good to you, you loved getting your "massages" and swimming in the pool. You weren't crazy about the underwater treadmill, but you knew it was best for you. Thank God for Bev, Kristin and then Lisa. If it weren't for them the end would have come much sooner. Moving to our new house helped out too. No stairs and you had a new friend, our neighbor Griffy who you got to spend a lot of time with. He was no Bonnie, but it was nice to have a canine companion to hang out with.
The winter of 2005 took its toll on you. Mom and I kept paths shoveled through the yard, we kept going to therapy twice a week but you really slowed down. We even got you a cart from Eddie's Wheels, but you didn't really like to use it. You were stubborn and wanted to walk without help. We finally made it through the winter and we thought we would be all set until the next winter, but that wasn't the case. The hip and joint issues combined with myopathy and neurological problems were devastating. We finally reached the point where you could no longer stand. We persevered and tried to continue our regular routine of going to the college each morning and the woods at night even though I had to hold you up, but your will to fight began to slip away. You wouldn't even eat your raw food anymore. Over Memorial Day weekend Mom and Dad stayed with you 24/7. That Saturday we said our goodbyes to your best freinds at therapy as we knew the time to say goodbye was here. Then on Tuesday May 31, 2005 we gave you the tranquilizers from Dr. Thompson and we went for your last ride in the "Squeeter Mobile" to see Dr. Thompson. While Mom and Dad laid on the floor and held you close, Dr. Thompson took your life gently. Your heart was so strong from all the exercise and supplements you always had that it took a long time for your heart to stop. But then it was over. Your pain and suffering stopped and your journey to the Rainbow Bridge began. We know it took no time for you to find your Sister Bonnie and your Nana and we know that you are now swimming and running and chasing your balls again with no pain.
Although Mom and I now try to take comfort in knowing you hurt no more, and that you are now reunited with Bonnie, Nana and Spunky, our pain is deep. It has been over 2 months and still not a day goes by that the tears don't flow. We never knew that anyone or anything could touch our lives as you did. We loved you more than life itself and miss you more than you can imagine. You defied all odds and made it to 13 years and 3 months old. We are so eternally grateful for the time we had with you. And now we can't wait for the day to see you again and to be able to hug you and kiss you and play ball with you and see you swim. For now run free with your sister and know that you are forever in our hearts. We love you and miss you so very much.