Monday, January 16, 2023
“A friend loves at all times. They are there to help when trouble comes.” ~ Provers 17:17 NIRV
“A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart.” ~ Anonymous
We had to put down Kiko, our thirteen-year-old Border Collie, on Saturday. He’s been part of our family, and my heart since 2010 when I drove out towards Nanakuli from Manoa to get him from a breeder. My husband and I gave him the Hawaiian name Kiko, for Spot, because of the tan spots about his eyes.
I figure Kiko and I have walked at least 10,000 miles together. There is much I can say about Kiko, memories of some many different adventures together. But what I need to tell you is that Kiko was a good friend, attentive to my moods, always happy to see me, and an especially good listening ear (actually two wonderfully soft and expressive ears) when I needed them.
Kiko at Seven Bends State Park in 2019
He was diagnosed with colon cancer in mid-December after becoming lethargic and losing his appetite. He had a great Christmas with the whole family loving on him. He spent the New Year’s Eve weekend enjoying a visit by our two youngest granddaughters. Although he didn’t have the energy to chase them, he watched them chase each other as they took turns running after each other to get the much-prized squeaky toy broccoli.
Last week he slowed considerably. I knew it was time to let him go. Saturday morning, I fried up a hamburger which he devoured, and had him sit next to me as I worked on the sermon. Rod and I took him to the vet. What happened there was truly remarkable.
Never before did he lie down at the vets; the smells of other animals in the room were too entrancing. This time, the vet tech placed a blanket on the floor. I pointed to the blanket and told Kiko to go lie down in bed. He went right over to the blanket and flopped down. I sat next to him on the floor, petting his forehead and ears. He fell asleep soon after a sedative was given. And when the injection of a major tranquilizer was given, his heart stopped within minutes. It was a tender, merciful, tearful moment, surrounded by his two main humans and a loving vet.
I have prayed aloud with him over the years. In the last year I’ve regularly petted him as I thanked God aloud for such a good, faithful, loyal dog, best dog I’ve ever had the privilege of owning. That’s the funny thing about dogs. We “own” them, but they “own” our hearts.
His paw prints remain – on the sliding glass door, and in all of our hearts.
I give thanks today for our Creator God who added dogs to the list of creations. In a way that only dog-lovers can understand, they are a gift from heaven above. ~ Anne