Welcome to Niki Anderson's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Niki Anderson's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Niki Anderson
A Poem for Niki

Brown eyes
Wet nose
Big smile
Heart of gold

Ears big and soft
Tail wagging 'round
Niki the regal beagle
Black and white and brown

Her running feet
Flying fast
Up every hill
Through every path

Tail up
Nose down
Sniffing every scent
In God's ground

Baying voice
Rings out high
Letting me know
Just what's on her mind

Gone too soon
That sweet little lady
But she lives on
In all I do daily

My History with Niki

So I got Niki in 2012. She was a beagle. She was a senior dog. The sweetest dog. She was very calm when I first saw her. She melted my heart. I wanted her and it took three days to adopt her. This is when I lived in Virginia. It took some adjustment for me. I'm sure it took adjustment for her too. She was very loud. And she also had separation anxiety. So when I would leave in the morning to go to work she would how loudly. But she just loved walking in being outside and sniffing everything. I lived in an apartment and out Alexandria. And then moved to a townhouse out in Fairfax. And this Niki loved. There was a wooded area I would let her off leash and she would just go running and sniffing. They were all kinds of animals. Deer rabbits foxes. This dog is living the dream. And when I moved to Maryland we didn't have quite the same set up but he spent lots of time at the park I would walk her over to the park and then walk her in the park and she just love the outdoors. I left that area Virginia Maryland in 2014 and moved down to Atlanta. It took a while to find a place at first I was living out in Dallas. It was hard because I worked with Sandy Springs. With the hours I was working I didn't have tons of time. Then I got over to Stone Mountain and it was a bit better. But things really lit up when I rented a room in this apartment near Marietta Square. I was really close to work it was no more than a 30 minute drive which for me at that point was a dream I'd been doing commuting for over an hour.

I'd get up before 5 o'clock and I give a short walk and then when I got back around 1030 or 11 we'd go walk over to the park for a nice long walk. And I have to work in the evening I get home and I'd walk her so she spent tons of time outdoors. And we started hiking. I'd take her over to Kennesaw Stone Mountain all the time, anytime I had a chance.

And then pursuing my dreams, I moved to Texas thinking I could get a gym started. That didn't happen, but we did get to explore Austin. The really nice thing about Austin, is it has hiking that allows dogs be off leash so I go in there and we and I had a chance and she would just walk in walk The really nice thing about Austin, is it as hiking that allows dogs to be off leash so I'd go there any week and I had a chance and she would just walk and walk and walk and walk. Lots of outdoor time, lots of fresh air, I'd go to In-N-Out Burger with her. Double Double for me, Puppy Patty for her.

And then I decided to come back to Atlanta realizing that I missed it I missed the people missed being in an outdoorsy kind of place. I wound up buying a townhouse and I tried my very best to spend as much time outdoors with her as I could. We hike we got to different places I took her to some waterfalls, I took her to the Lost Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs which she loved. I also took her to Sope Creek which she loved and it is one of our special places from my original time in Atlanta.

But the most remarkable out of all of this is this dog never stopped loving me. She was sweet and kind full of love, full of life. Always happy to see me. Her kisses were the very best. I hated it when one day in January she just didn't walk she couldn't stand up on her own. We went to different doctors, did a lot of different things; we did medicine acupuncture we did laser. She also had cancer, she had a tumor growing. We did get in a few last hikes though of which I have wonderful pictures. Lost Forest Preserve, Sope Creek, and Arabia Mountain.

In the end I think maybe it was too much for her. She was a shadow of her former self and couldn't walk very long. Didn't get to enjoy the outdoors like I spent so much time with her doing. I just in the end I tried to love her as much as I could. I'd hold her at night snuggle up with her. It was hard seeing her not be able to control her bladder see her lose her functions. The morning of today March 27 when she took her final breath I carried over to her water so she could drink. I would've happily done it every day for years and years if she could continue to live.

But now at least now she's in a better place she is running free. She is sniffing every good smell that she can find. She's happy. I'm sure she's fully restored to perfect health and back to her playful self. I just love my Nikki,I will always love her. I just hope that one day we can be reunited again. And then I could be so privileged as to feel your loving presence one more time.

She will always be the one that saved my life. Kept me from killing myself. I was not worthy but she loved me. And for that I'm forever thankful, forever grateful. My heart is simply broken. I gave her the birthday February 14. She was born in 2006 from what I was told. I got her in 2012. She took her final breath March 27 2020. I didn't think she'd make it to another birthday but she did. Fighter, warrior, brave soul. I'm forever honored to have known her.

The funny thing is I got her from a rescue - Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. In the end, I was the lucky one. Something I am committed to for the rest of my life is to do a hard workout every Friday and hike every Saturday and Sunday, like I did with her. These have been the two hardest days of my life and sweating it out is the best way I can think of to honor her. Work hard Friday, then get up Saturday and Sunday and walk and think happy thoughts of her.

Last night I saw a single star as I was leaving work and again as I arrove home that inspired this poem:

Single star in the sky
Burning bright, shining light
Gone but always with me

Walk in the door, your scent comes through
Look at old pictures, my smile is true
Gone but always with me

Still have your fur all over my clothes
Can't feel those ears, soft as a rose
Gone but always with me

Close my eyes and I hear you bark and bay
Loud voice says what you need to say
Gone but always with me

I saw a star tonight, thought it was you
Telling me not to be sad and blue
Gone but always with me

I could cry because I can't see your face
But I try to smile, say you're in a better place
Gone but always with me

It has been two whole weeks since my sweet girl has gone home. Although I should feel relieved she's no longer in pain, suffering from a tumor I can only feel sad that she's no longer here. I came home today and could only think about that sweet, caring face smiling at me ready to go walk and sniff. I kept tossing and turning all night, reflecting on all the memories we made. All the walks and adventures from Maryland to Georgia to Texas and back to Georgia. So much time outdoors doing what makes a beagle happy. I came up with an idea to make a few memorial jars of some of her favorite places to walk (Kennesaw Battle Mountain, Laurel Park, Sope Creek) that have a light or candle so I can start to try to heal from her absence. I also wrote another poem which seems to help.

I lie awake
Can't get to sleep
And the tears start to fall
They could make a river so deep

Soft at first
Then they get stronger
Can you die from a broken heart
Don't know if I can take this any longer

Then I go back
Remember the past
All the little walks
The fun times we had

Whether little patch of grass
Or forest deep
You'd sniff around
Listening to every peep

The dog parks you'd play in
Making new friends
The wooded trails
That seemed to never end

In between adventures
You'd eat and eat
Just like a beagle
Happy for any treat

I miss that wagging tail
That beautiful brown eyes
That loud baying voice
Your sweet sweet smile

I have all those moments
Stored in my head
Close my eyes and I see you
It's like you're still here

It's been 4 weeks since I lost my sweet girl. Writing poems has been the best way for me to cope and try to heal. I haven't been crying every day but I still miss Niki dearly. I've been lucky to find some old pictures from when I first adopted her. Still trying to revive my old phone that I believe has even more photos and videos. I'm very grateful for all that I have though.

Love at first sight
Big brown eyes
Couldn't have guessed
You'd change my life

Walking for miles
With your pretty little smile
Looking back at me
Before you go wild

You'd eat everything you see
It all was so tasty
The appetite in you
Simply amazed me

Sniffy sniff smells
Walking the trails
Always loved
Hearing your yell

Rabbit, fox, deer
You really didn't care
If it moved
You'd run right there

Back in the house
Sleeping on the couch
Your lovely snores
Making loud sounds

Now you're gone from me
It's hard to believe
I know one day
Your pretty face I'll see

Until that day
I can again say hey
To make you proud
I'll try every way

It is insane to think it's been four months without my little girl. This global pandemic we're in dims one comparison to losing her. I've tried to keep up writing poems and little songs with my guitar. It somedays just seems empty and pointless. But a part of the grief process I suppose. This poem I'd started a bit ago and finished this morning.
I did not forget my little lady!

Do you remember me
Little Niki
It used to be
You and I

I took you home
You were 6 years old
How could I have known
That you and I

Would see all the sights
Smell all the smells
Do everything you like
In this great world

You and I
I never thought it would end
Me without you
Seems cruel my friend

But I hold hope
Cause I know the day'll come
That You and I
Will play in the sun

Forever and forever
Without end
You and I
My friend

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