Slipping away

14 years ago husband and I were newlyweds and we wanted to start our family. We thought we would start with puppies. My husband found this puppy online and he was gorgeous! It was a white and chocolate Beagle with blue eyes. We called and went over to the place but by the time we got there, blue-eyed chocolate Beagle was gone. The owner said he still had the brother. He brought this puppy over, hazel eyes, copper nose, white and chocolate too. We both fell in love with this puppy and we brought him home.


We were wondering what to call the puppy, we had made a list of all the names we liked. Then we noticed this marking on is back, it sort of looked like a Nike swoosh. That was it, his name would be Nike.


A few days later, we brought Nike to the vet again after Nike stopped eating or drinking water. Turned out Nike had kennel cough, a contagious respiratory disease. My Nike was about 9-10 weeks old, he’d been with us for a week and I wasn’t ready to give up on him.


I was also going through a period in my life in which I needed to hold on to something. See, a few months before we got Nike, I had uprooted myself from my hometown to marry my husband. I pretty much quit, sold and said good bye to everything over the phone. Adjusting to a whole new chapter in my life went alright eventually, but deep inside I guess I was going through some stress, anxiety and/or depression, so holding on to Nike became my one and only job. I’m glad to say Nike pulled through, and so did I.


Once the quarantine was over, Nike and I ventured out to the dog park, which was within Newhall park behind our condo building. Nike loved walking with me, chasing the ducks that lived in the ponds at the park. Nike freaked out once when he fell into the pond chasing a duck, I don’t think he was too happy about it.


Nike and I became regulars at the park, we had our morning and late afternoon friends we used to hang out with. We noticed this guy started coming to the park with his Pit Bull dog. The guy would get his dog over the fence into the dog area and then he’d jump over. His dog was full of energy and like to run after other dogs. It was all fun and games, until he bit my Nike, grabbing him by his muzzle. Nike yelped and the dog wouldn’t let him go. The owner managed to get a hold of his pit bull, someone called the park police. I don’t need to tell you how much I don’t care for that pit bull and his owner.


On a different occasion, a lady and I started talking, we shared our dogs’ names and she said Nike was a Greek name, and it meant victory. I was pleased, because my dog had been victorious in my eyes over the kennel cough and the pit bull episodes. I remember feeling proud for our choices.


Later on, we got Zoe, our white and lemon Beagle. Both Nike and Zoe were my babies for 6 years until God blessed us with Samuel. I had trained them both, I had all their baby teeth, I had delivered their puppies, they slept with us, they sat with us, they were my fur babies.


Kid was born, dogs went to the backseat but were still my babies. Then a couple years later, husband passed away. My family now was the kid and Nike and Zoe. A few years later, we lost Zoe. Nike was absolutely lost without her. Nike had a really hard time adjusting to his life without his buddy. Sam and I tried everything we could to make him snap out of it. Eventually he got better.


Nike is now 14 years and 2 months old. He’s a senior dog and he’s showing signs of getting closer to the end. My oldest boy is finally slipping away to the side where Zoe and Richard are. It’s sad to see him so skinny, having incontinence episodes almost every day. It’s sad to see how our family will shrink down once again soon.


Talking about death in our home is quite common. We went through husband passing and then Zoe passing away, so kid and I cried it through, talked it through, hugged each other through it as well. We know we’ll go through Nike’s passing as well, just feels like they’re all slipping away from us.


Samuel said a couple days ago, one day he’ll have all of urns on a shelf. We have Zoe’s on the fireplace, husband’s in my closet, Nike’s will be next to Zoe’s. With God’s help the kid won’t have to put me on a shelf any time soon. It’s been the one thing I ask God more than once a day, to live as long as I can to see my kid grow up and turn into a man.


I know Nike will leave us soon, kid and I are doing everything we can to make his last days peaceful ones. My oldest boy is slipping away and I’m grateful for him being there for me, for being my support and for the love he gave me since the day we brought him into our lives.


I don’t know if you’ve seen someone you love slipping away. It’s one of the saddest and most painful things ever. I’ve always said that we all come with an expiration date, we don’t know when that date is, only God knows.


Meanwhile, all I want is for Nike to be a happy dog, until it’s time.


Thank you…


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