My loving Nikki was put to sleep on May 24, 2015. She was nine and a half years old.
Nine days earlier she had developed a nose bleed. I took her to the emergency clinic and they did tests and told me she had nasal cancer. She showed no signs of being sick before this.
They put her on steroids and antibiotics and told me to take her to her regular doctor the next day. I talked to him about what to expect and if she was in any pain. He said she did not seem to be in any and to bring her back if there was any change and to keep giving her the meds.
I woke up one night to find several large areas of blood on the bed. The nose bleeds were back and worse. I took her back to the emergency clinic and they said she was in shock and needed a transfusion. Her cancer was aggressive and spreading fast.
I knew I could have a little more time with her but that would not be fair to her. The look in her eyes as she was panting hard and trying to keep the blood licked off her nose told me she was not happy. If I did the transfusion it was just a matter of a short time before the cancer took over and she would be going through this again and worse.
I asked the vet if it was the right decision and he said it was one he probably would make too. I have no regrets about my decision. She should not have to suffer so I can have more time with her. But this don't take away the sadness and emptiness we all feel.
I got Nikki when she was 8 weeks old. I was looking for a boxer but a friend of my husband had an American Pit Bull puppy left from a litter. I was afraid at first because at the time my children were young and I was worried about their safety. I had only heard bad things about this breed. But she was so small and cute with wrinkles on her face that we decided to take her home and give her a try.
Nikki was suppose to be an outside dog. We already had a poodle and shit zuh in the house. We had put up a fence by the back porch and bought her a dog house and toys to play with. When we went in she sat and cried for over an hour, even though she was raised outside. We would go out to calm her down but she would start back up the minute we were out of her sight. She never spent one night outside. She was an inside dog.
She was so gentle with everyone, even the smaller dogs. There was a look in her eyes of pure love and you couldn't help but love her back. She would put her whole body into the excitement she felt when we would come home.
Her and my husband had this crazy love thing going on. He would sit on the bed watching tv with her at the foot. He would open and close his hand motioning for her to come. She would belly crawl up the bed until she got to him then roll over putting her head in his lap.
If we were going away over night she would know when we took the suit cases out of the closet. She would get so excited she would rush to the car when the house door was opened and sit outside by the car. When you opened the car door she would about knock you down to get in the car. One time she wasn't going with us and I couldn't bare to disappoint her and took her riding for ten minutes before we left.
Four years ago my grown son moved back in with his six month old mix breed pup, Fatty. Nikki was getting mature and not wanting to play as much, mostly laying around like us. We began keeping her in the bedroom with us of a night and when we were in there of a day to give her the quiet time she had come to enjoy in her older years.
Fatty is hyper and would play all the time if someone would play with him. Lately though he would lay on the couch with Nikki or on the bed and not bother her. She would accept him and not jump down or move. I wonder while I am writing this if he knew something was wrong.
He is the reason I found this website. I was hoping to find out what to do for him without going to the vet. He has been having diarrrhea off and on for the last couple of weeks and last night he threw up his dog food. It was not runny it just looked like someone had put his dry dog food in a blender and poured it on the floor, and there was a lot. More than I would think his stomach could hold. I put his dog food up last night after reading that he may need to go a couple days without it. I usually keep a bowl on floor and refill when needed.
I also read stress causes diarrhea. When Nikki left Fatty refused to eat for three days. He would eat treats out of our hand but nothing from his food bowl which he shared with Nikki. This just shows what an impact she had on all our lives, even the pesty dog that she ignored grieves for her.
I also want to comment on your advice about getting another puppy. Every since this happened I said I would never get another dog to watch get old and die. My shi zuh is fourteen and I've had her since she was eight weeks old and I know I am going to have to go through losing her soon. I have had pets all my life but this has left me afraid to love and lose another. I hope to one day get over this feeling.
I also would like to tell pet lovers to not be afraid of a dog just because it is a pit bull. Give them a chance. I did and found one of the greatest loves of my life.
Thank you for sharing Nikki's story with us, Susan. You are going to miss your dog, that's for sure. But I would encourage you to keep your heart open. Don't close your heart to the love of another dog. When the time is right, open your heart and your home to another dog in need. You won't regret it.
The pain of losing a beloved dog is nothing compared to the love they give us.
Nikki has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge now, but she watches you from where she is. She still loves you and you are never gone from her heart, and she will never be gone from yours.
All you have to do is think of her, to feel the love again.
Bless you Susan,
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