We had a hard day yesterday and a flood of tears. It was time to put our dear, sweet Rikki down.
We adopted Rikki in 2005 through RAGOM from Jan K in Balsam Lake, and Rikki could not have asked for a more loving place and caregiver to help us transition from her home to ours. Our twin sons were 10 years old at the time and thrilled to get a dog.
Rikki has been our constant companion and sweet friend since then. When we first brought him home, he had some separation anxiety and jumped through window screens; busted out of his kennel; chewed through shirts, kennel pads, shredded toys; twisted the cap off laundry detergent and got it all over himself and everything else, and more. After one such shenanigan, I remember our sons asking if we were going to give Rikki back, but we said no. It was the clearest picture of unconditional love that we could draw for them, and they understood. Rikki was ours for keeps.
As time went on, Rikki settled down. My husband, Dean, was faithful to walk Rikki in the early morning hours, before work, rain or shine or cold, or dark of winter. (Rikki had no shortage of walks or treats throughout his life.) Dean would also sit on the floor to pet Rikki. I’m talking hours of petting him! If a person could get carpel tunnel from petting a dog, Dean would be a likely candidate for it.
Rikki was a dog of few words. If he needed to go outside, he’d gently tap the door. At night, he’d paw the bed. He had always been a strong chewer and very few toys on the market could hold up to Rikki’s jaws. He had the naturally softest coat (it sure wasn’t due to me brushing him a lot!). He had beautiful, expressive brown eyes that held a whole world of thoughts and wonder. He was a continual source of life and joy in our home. In short, we loved him and he loved us.
In March 2016, we bawled our eyes out when Rikki was diagnosed with a tumor. The vet told us to “say our good-byes” and we thought that was the end. But Rikki’s been living on love since then, and our vet started calling him “the Wonder Dog.” He was.
Earlier this week, there was a sharp decline in Rikki’s health. His back legs stopped working and he needed help to stand. Walking was also very difficult for him. There were other signs too that it was just time. We know it was the right decision and a merciful one to put him down. We knew this day would come, but still so hard. We had a bonus two years with him, and somehow, it still doesn’t seem like enough. Today is the first day in an empty house. I have never loved a pet before so I have never lost a pet I loved. God puts these remarkable animals on earth for us to enjoy, and we sure did enjoy our little Rikki.
Good-bye good boy, our good friend. We will always smile when we think of you.