Early on Sunday morning on February 15, 2015, I walked into our living room and found our 10yr old German Shepherd, Nikko, lying there. Something told me what I didn't want to know. I crouched down next to him and placed my hand upon his chest.
My Nikko was gone...
Nikko had always been kind of sickly while growing up. Food allergies, skin conditions, and stomach ulcers always had us going out of our way to make his life happy and pleasant.
There was a period of time when he was the picture of perfect health. Full coat and shining eyes that made you smile. It is during this time that I will remember him best.
The thing is, even when his appearance started to fail and we could tell his vision was getting worse, Nikko still had an energy about him that made us smile. People that saw Nikko always thought he was a wolf because of his features. He had an unusually large chest for a German Shepherd.
A week before we lost him, my mother came up to visit. We had gone out Friday night and came home and Nikko wasn't acting right. He was very lethargic and had thrown up a couple of times.
We were prepared for the worst. We had called a local pet service place, just in case.
But Nikko rallied back and was eating and looking back at us with those beautiful eyes. We had hoped he just had had a virus and it was passing. My husband left to go out of town early on the 14th. He knelt down to Nikko and kissed him good-bye and left.
That was the last my husband saw him alive.
I went to bed at 11:30p that Saturday and Nikko was on his little mattress, curled up and sleeping peacefully. I asked him if he wanted to come to bed with me and the rest of the dogs; his sister Shelby and her two sons, Cohl and Sterling. Nikko just grunted and nestled into his blanket.
Something made me wake up at 4:12 that following morning. Shelby and her sons were curled up with me, but they seemed upset. I walked out of my room and into the living room and saw Nikko.
He had chose his time to leave.
When I sat down next to him and pressed my head to his chest and cried, the rest of his pack emerged from my room.
The alpha was gone.
I started to howl for him, for his life, for my loss and the loss for the pack.
Slowly, the rest of our German Shepherds joined me in my song for Nikko. We all howled softly for the passing of such a great and beautiful creature.
What I really wanted to share was how supportive all the members on the Elfquest Facebook site were when I shared the loss of my 'wolf-friend'.
I could not believe how many people expressed their condolences.
This is why I love the Elfquest community so much. We are there for each other through the good times and even more so when are hearts are heavy and need a shoulder to cry on.
I cannot begin to thank each and every one of those people that rallied in my time of need. All those that shared my song for a fallen friend and companion showed me how much those of us in the Elfquest community care for each other.
Thank you for that.
Any sane person will condole with loss of the younger friend (pet). The person too can have strong cohesion with the pet. Such cohesion can frighten off also Death, or to delay for a while.
So sorry for your loss, Mkal. Your Nikko was a wonderful near-wolf.
It might sound weird ... or inapproriate ... but Nikko became alive in the way you told the story about his death. Your story of family and pack. He will stay alive in your thoughts - his affection, the time you spend togther. It's a soothing thought that you all had some more good time togehter. That your husband had his moment of farewell, even without knowing. That he seemingly passed away peacefully.
Nikko has chosen his time and his way to leave calm. Your tears are so right and so important. The story you shared is so loving and touching. You told it yourself - when the tears run dry you will recall your furry friend at his prime, with all the lucky moments you've shared. It's a great way to remember Nikko ... the way he would love most, I guess.
All good wishes for you and the family. Thank you for sharing with us, Mkal.
My spirit guide briefly woke up and whispered "Cousin" when I looked at that picture. He was a wolf at heart, no doubt.
I am so sorry your handsome Nikko is gone, but I'm really glad you had such an overwhelming outpouring of support. If there's anything we can do, please let us know.
Embala said: It might sound weird ... or inapproriate ... but Nikko became alive in the way you told the story about his death.
I just saw this. Your story was a really lovely memorial to your friend. Condolences.