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The Daily Vet by petMD

The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets.


Transitioning from one year to the next always prompts me to reflect on my current place in life, especially regarding the relationship I have with my canine companion, Cardiff. We had a sad end to 2011 when we lost our friend and neighbor, Nike, the German Shepherd Dog.

Nike was a truly amazing girl. I first got to know her as a patient three years ago and always enjoyed my opportunity to work on her from an acupuncture standpoint in attempt to improve her gradually degenerating hind limb mobility. As Nike continued to decline, her human mother gave Nike the gift of wheels, which greatly facilitated her mobility.

Very few dogs have such benevolent guardians as Nike’s, who completely rearrange their lives to make the most of their pets’ last few months of life. Nike’s owner moved her from West Hollywood to Manhattan Beach, where she spent her time basking in the southern California sun. When encountering beach terrain too challenging for her wheels to access, Nike was provided a custom cart so that she could continue to accompany her owner for afternoon lounging in the sand.

Nike peacefully left this world while lying in her owner’s arms on the beach. Rarely do I hear of a pet being given the gift of such a peaceful exit from their earthly existence.

Here are the words of Nike’s caretaker, Rory, which reflect just how much Nike meant to her:

She was the true love of my life. She was my soul mate and my everything. She inspired me (as well as so many others) on a daily basis. She made me laugh and taught me what was important in life and what was not. She was a pillar of strength and exuded the most positive energy and light to all those around her.

I desperately miss my Nike girl but know that I was blessed to have the most magnificent gift in my lifetime.

Cardiff and I miss you too, Nike.


Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Images: Nike and her human Mother, Rory, on Manhattan Beach, CA.

Comments  8

Leave Comment
  • Well Loved
    01/31/2012 07:22am

    Nike was truly well loved.

    RIP Nike.

  • 02/05/2012 06:16pm

    Thank you for your comment.
    Yes, Nike was a very loved companion who brightened the lives of many people that she encountered. She is missed very much on our block.

  • Such a short time
    01/31/2012 09:27pm

    They are with us for such a short time. Some for seven months and some for seventeen years with each leaving a hole in our hearts. I will always feel blessed that I was able to share my life with each one. Rest in peace Nike..

  • 02/05/2012 06:17pm

    Thank you of your comments.
    Yes, we consider each day we have with our pets as a blessing.
    Thank you,
    Dr PM

  • Important reminder
    01/31/2012 09:38pm

    Thank Dr. Mahaney for this poignant post. It's a reminder how much they have given us and how much we owe them. Pets make us better people if we watch and listen to them. I have more faith in them than people.

    Many friends say they plan to live long lives. Not me. I used to say I want to pass away right after my last pet dies. Because then my life will feel like it's over. But now that I'm actively in world of rescuing and educating about homeless pets, perhaps there will always be new pets. Who knows. It scares me if they outlive me. Who will take care of them? Well that just means I have to stop procrastinating and write that will and leave substantial amount for caretaker...This is a reminder to complete a very important task.

  • 02/05/2012 06:18pm

    Thank you for your comments. You are very compassionate and generous to help animals that have been rescued from less fortunate situations. They are lucky to have you in their lives.
    Dr PM

  • Nike was FAMILY
    01/31/2012 10:38pm

    Dr.Mahaney, thank you for this beautiful reminder of what our companion animals mean to those of us who treasure them. They are anything BUT "property", they are "the reason' for many of us to keep on keeping on.
    It is very evident that Nike was more than "just a dog", but a very loved and loving family member to her human mother, Rory.
    If only all human beings could have such a peaceful passing and such a loving home as Nike has. Rory is to be commended for her care of Nike and Nike deserved every bit of the love showered on her. Rest in peace, Dear Nike, until you are reunited with Rory at the Rainbow Bridge one day.

  • 02/05/2012 06:20pm

    Thank you for your comments.
    Rory went well beyond and above any other "pet parent" I have encountered. Nike was very fortunate to have had Rory as a caretaker.
    Dr PM

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