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.