This past weekend our beloved furry Nikko went to sleep one last time. I brought him home when he was barely 4 months old. He was a King Charles – Schiperkke mix and was bred to look like a mini Golden Retriever. The people who first bought him didn't like the way he looked, so they placed an ad on Craiglist, which is where I found him by searching for “Mini Retriever.” Fabulous how we find each other! I drove nearly 3 hours to meet him and immediately took him home with me.

Nikko 2007

Years later when I moved to Europe he stayed with my daughter who is heart-broken right now. This is the part that is really hard for me – to be half way across the world and without the ability to comfort her in any way. Thankfully, she has her Dad and two more dogs that keep her company. The picture above is when he was just a year old. The picture to the left was taken a few years ago right after he came home from the groomers.

The cycle of life and death affects all creations of this material world. This doesn't make it easier to say goodbye, but it does help to know that we are part of this cycle as well. We must make the best of every opportunity we have been given to express our highest good. Nikko's favorite past-times were (in this sequence): eating, fetching his tennis ball, cuddling up to his mom and playing with his little girlfriend, Sammie (picture to the left). It seems to me Nikko figured out all that makes life worth living.

As I went to sleep last night, I made a conscious effort to talk to Nikko's spirit and to connect with my daughter to let her know that I am sending her strength during this time. I woke up in the middle of the night because I dreamt of Nikko running towards me in a field with wild flowers that were as tall as he was. I got on my knees to welcome him and as he jumped up and into my arms I jumped up in bed and woke up. I'd like to think it was his way of showing off that he was in doggie heaven, wherever that is, and that he is without pain and doing just fine. It also felt like he was saying ‘thank you' for picking him that day when I decided to take him home with me so many years ago and that he had a good life. This may just be imagination or wishful thinking. Or maybe not and he indeed is doing splendidly. Yes, I'll go with the happy thoughts on this one. 🙂

Nikko 2016

Lesson for today:

  • Enjoy your food.
  • Have a past time or hobby that makes you happy.
  • Be grateful to have someone to cuddle up with.
  • Treasure friends you like to spend time with.
  • After you die, visit someone's dream to thank them and to let them know you had a great life.

Of course, a dog's life is much simpler than the complex lives we create for ourselves as humans. But perhaps that's the whole point of having these furries in our lives – to help remind us that all this chasing around and worrying and all these accomplishments – will get us nowhere except to an early grave. All I'm saying is, if any of these things are missing in your life, is now perhaps the time to make some positive changes and enjoy the roses along the way?