Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Goodbye sweet old girl.

I said goodbye to a beloved friend today. For thirteen years she has given love, comfort, companionship, and play. We have hiked up mountains together, and shared a tent in the snow and in the sand many times. She has been a pillow for my tears and happy playmate in good times. A protector of her household of humans, cats, and her buddy Henry. Part lab, part German Shepherd, she was so gentle with little kittens and puppies, but took her job as our family protector seriously. She was not so keen on most other adult dogs, unless they were males with all their dangly bits intact. She was a bit of a slut that way.

She was a mutt named Tika. I got her as a refugee from the Vancouver city pound when she was about 9 months old. She was big, untrained and rambunctious; throwing herself  against me and licking my face when I went to the pound to walk her as a volunteer at the pound. I bought her a condo. Really. When I met her my 11 year old son and I were living in a rental house that did not allow pets. I loved that old house. But I loved Tika more. So I borrowed a down payment from my sister, and bought a pet friendly condo so I could adopt the dog who had stolen my heart. I had never had a dog before. Or more correctly, a dog had never had me before. And she had me. Oh, she had me.

She loved to hike. On future hikes I will always feel her spirit jogging ahead of me down the path,  waiting for me to catch up when I lag. She loved to sing and play with our cat Oliver, and if any of the cats tried to eat from her bowl she would step aside for them. She accepted our new puppy Henry five years ago, a little reluctantly at first. But they became great friends, wrestling, playing, and chasing chipmunks together. Henry will miss her as much as I will.

Cancer finally took her spirit. In the last few weeks her body was here, but her eyes held no life. She was often miserable, could barely walk, and on pills for pain. My heart ached for her. On the weekend we made the decision that it was TIME. We made the fateful vet appointment for today at 4:00. At the vet's, we were shown into a special quiet room. Everyone was so kind. The vet tech put a catheter in Tika's leg vien, then the vet came in and gently explained exactly what would happen, and said we could take as much time as we needed. Finally, I nodded and sobbed "O.K. it's time."  A few seconds later, as I held her, Tikas's head slumped in my arms and it was over.

Goodbye my beloved Tika. A big chunk of my heart went with you today. It will heal, in time. But you will have a place in it forever.


Dumdad said...

What a moving tribute to obviously a wonderful dog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. What a beautiful tribute.


Anonymous said...

I am so sad for you. I know Tika meant so much to you, and I know how painful it is to lose a beloved pet. After I read your blog I went out and hugged Max.

So nice to see you back, however.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that Jane. You, grant and Luke all made the animals into family members so I imagine you will have to mourn Tika as family. She was a beautiful dog and I will always have a warm spot in my heart for her! I was lucky enough to 'dog sit' her and she really was a sweet dog. My heart is with you guys!
Xoxo Jen

Anonymous said...

Jane, I'm so sorry you had to say Goodbye to Tika. And I bet your days will be full of tears but try to keep in the back of your mind that she had a good Long life and a wonderful quality of life thanks to you guys! She was cared for and loved. Face it she was spoiled :) And Tika knew you and Grant loved her by the way you looked after her. She had a family who loved her dearly and she always had food and a good safe home, and that is more than many animals have. She was as lucky to have you, as you were to have her. I will miss coming by the cabin and patting her. She had a warm place in my heart because of her gentle spirit, and the fact she growled at men! girl she was! I cry knowing she is now gone and my heart goes out to you. And I know it couldn't have been an easy decision as I love animals as much as you. But you made the best decision for her....her being out of pain is and was the main thing. So when you cry try to do it with a smile for all the good memories together, all the tears and the laughter, the trips, and the comfort she brought to your lives. Remember even though Tika is gone it's in body only....she will Always be in your heart till you are all together again. Rainbow Bridge will look after her till that day. Sending you all my love and a huge hug. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sandy

secret agent woman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
secret agent woman said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.

Voyager said...

Thank you for your kind words.

Lee said...

Oh! How very sad it is to lose a beloved pet. Our pets are so important to us...I know mine are to me. They're my best friends.

It's with tears in my eyes that I write I feel your loss, Jane. Cherish all the good memories...they'll never leave you. Tika will always be with you and own a special part of your heart.

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Rachelle said...

I just followed Bob here, I went through this same loss a couple of years ago.
If you like, you can click on my link and click the 'Goodbye old Friend' link to read my story. I am sad for you, I know they go on to a better place, it's just us still left here who still mourn.

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Lady Fi said...

So sorry to hear about this. Our dogs do take our hearts with them when they go...