It’s always a great honor when a fellow blogger believes in what you have to say, and asks you to do a guest post on his/her blog. It’s exactly what happened when notdonner from a dogtown.blog asked me to do so. I was so humbled and happy, yet it has taking me eons to respond back and finally write my contribution. I could blame it on a number of things but I won’t. There simply is no excuse as to why it has taken me so long, and a huge thanks goes out to notdonner for inviting me. It means a lot, and here it finally is. I hope you enjoy this little story.
I want to talk about Nikki and the special bond that we shared. This story is about overcoming challenges and the things we can learn from each other. I’m sure these lines on here will find nothing but dog lovers, although I’m aware that somewhere else she might appear as just a dog, or a pet. But Nikki was so much more than that, she was my fur baby, and over the years she taught me a thing or two.
Her life started very rough, coming from an abused background, which took years of rehabilitation to regain her trust. Humans had done her wrong in the worst way during her short one and a half year old life. What was left were broken bones and a malnourished, scared, little soul that was nothing but skin and bones after an initial brushing.
It was no wonder that she was food aggressive in the beginning, and would inhale anything she was given. Despite of being the second to come into the family, she quickly put my same age Akita Pit mix in his place by making it known that she was the boss now. After a few weeks and a few flesh wounds, biting him, I was near the unwanted decision of having to give her up to a shelter. I knew it couldn’t continue the way it was, and my loyalty had to be with my first dog which I had raised from little on. He could have easily hurt her, but he grew up as a gentle giant and without aggression. It was as if he already knew about her painful past and therefore never bite her. He simply showed patience and endured. Even if it meant gaining painful wounds from her razor sharp fangs. He too taught me that sometimes we have to endure the storms and it’s not always wise to fight back.
I remember sitting with Nikki, holding her, and telling her that she needed to stop. As if she could understand, I talked to her as if she was a person. “I can’t keep you if you keep this up” I told her, while pleading with her. Miraculously she stopped shortly after our talk, and now took on a motherly role. The flesh wounds turned into loving licks and kisses and it was the end of all the fighting. She replaced her food aggression with daily grooming sessions that Sparky had to endure. She wouldn’t stop until he was properly groomed, and if he turned his head away from her, she simply walked around to the other side to continue her task. Much had changed from fighting for scraps, defending herself, and being on her own. She had adapted to her new role full of compassion and harmony. The transition was quite remarkable, she had found her forever home and was loved in a way to make up for all the bad she has encountered before. I’m sure she never forget, but the gratefulness in her eyes is something I will never forget.
Eventually she wasn’t afraid of the hand reaching down to pet her, and stopped ducking. It became play, and years later she turned into her true self, a compassionate, but feisty and playful little pup. It was the first time I got to see the “Shiba 500”. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when your dog all of a sudden takes off running as being chased by the devil, from one end of the house to the other, around in circles, flying and leaping through the air, with ears back, smiling like crazy, bowing their front legs with their bottoms up in the air, only to take off running again. It’s the funniest thing you will see as you take cover to get out of the way.
Nikki was heartbroken and went into extreme mourning as my other dog passed. He had become everything to her and she stopped eating and lost all joy of life. I had to intervene and it was then that Nikki took up hiking, late in life, but not too late. She eventually found purpose again and a passion for Mother Nature. She loved her time outside and we helped each other get past our loss. She was the best dog anyone could ever have and lived for nearly another two years. Looking back, I’m not sure who saved who, and our bond and relationship was very special. So special indeed that I became a lifelong fan of her breed.
What I learned from her is that sometimes you have to stand up in life and defend yourself. That sometimes you just have to be the boss and take ownership, but you can just as quick lay down the role when it no longer serves the situation. She demonstrated so beautifully what a big heart she had and that it is possible to forgive those that harm us and move on. We all get hurt along the way, and it’s par for the course. It shapes us into who we are ultimately meant to be.
Nikki reminded me that there will be moments where you have to adapt and compromise. Not necessarily because you have to fit in, but to hold on to your uniqueness while respecting others to live and let live. To love unconditionally, and to never take a day for granted. She had the heart of lion and never gave up, despite her health challenges along the way. Her frail bones ached as she struggled to adjust to her age, but her heart remained full of adventure and spirit. She was a fighter and showed me that it is possible to overcome great loss, although I never managed to get over losing her. There are days I find little consolidation knowing that I alleviated the suffering for her in the end. It’s something I constantly have to remind myself of when my heart aches because I miss her. I wish that I could hold her and see that crazy smile, running through the house again. Nikki was a special family member and I know you understand. I’m sure you also have a beautiful story to tell about your special relationship with your four legged child.
I’m sending a giant hug to you and yours tonight with a reminder to hug tight and love like no tomorrow.
Thank you so much for letting me share this story and for your time. And please don’t forget to stop by at notdonner if you haven’t already and pay a visit. ❤️