*I write this hour after I said goodbye to my best friend. Poor grammar and choppy thoughts ahead as I attempt to compose this through leaking eyes*
Teekon – wolf (Athabascan)
11 1/2 years ago I was blessed to have you enter my life. I was searching Petfinder.com and looking through rescue pages. I came across your profile and I knew you were the one for me. I immediately called hoping that I got to you before anyone else had. The lady told me of how you had been abused and bounced between 5 owners in the first 2 years of your life. You had been returned by your previous owners due to a divorce and was looking for a happy home and someone to rescue you (Little did I know at the time, but you rescued me, buddy). When she walked you in the front door, I knelt down to see if you would come to me. You walked over calmly, tail wagging and licked my face. I looked into your eyes and saw a kindred spirit and I knew you were home. I stood up and told the woman I had made up my mind. She told me there was a 5-day “grace” period to see if we work together. I told her there was no need and that he had found his last owner. The next step was to give you a new name. Buddy did not fit your personality at all. I decided on the name Teekon to show your uniqueness and strength. That was just the beginning of our amazing friendship.
I soon discovered that you didn’t bark. Okay well actually I can count 10 times in the entire 11 1/2 years I have heard you bark. However, you were a master of the tapping feet. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. No matter how frustrating or overwhelming my day, all you had to do was start tapping your feet and give me that look. I couldn’t stay in a bad mood. You were always at the front door with your big head to lick me when I got home. Everyone who got the pleasure of meeting you was automatically in love with you. We could all have done without the massive amounts of white fur you covered us in, but the tradeoff was worth it. Every pet store you visited, wanted to use you in their window advertisements. Once people got past their initial fear of you, based on your scary looks, they couldn’t stop spoiling you or wanting their kids to play with you. You touched so many hearts and left them all better for knowing you. I couldn’t imagine my life without you and your fur in it.
In Dec 2013 I rushed you to the vet for an open wound on your chest. The vet informed us that you had skin cancer and gave you 6-8 weeks to live. They never took into account your will to live and the fighting spirit you possessed (kindred spirit). For 4 years you fought and it was easy to forget that you had cancer. You stuck by me through all my struggles of being a single parent without help while trying to run 2 businesses. Whenever I was tired or wanted to give up. You would be right there with your face in mine, tapping your feet and telling me to keep fighting. How could I let you down by allowing my struggles to overwhelm me? How could anything I was dealing with compare to your battle? It was also hard to be upset with you always trying to lick my face. I think you did that on purpose.
Jan 2016 cancer had started to win. I noticed blood on your bed and in your fur as 2 tumors had ruptured. The vet said to keep an eye on you and just to clean the wounds. You started to have seizures as cancer attacked your CNS(Central Nervous System). Despite this, you still acted like a puppy and had tons of energy. Sometimes the seizures would be so bad you would knock your food bowl over while you were lying down trying to eat. You would bounce up afterward and act as nothing happened. I struggled to watch you suffer and it tore me up because I couldn’t fix this. You gave us so much happiness and here I was powerless to help you.
Feb 2016 Tristan was involved in an accident and got hurt pretty bad. You stayed by him as he healed despite your rapidly deteriorating health. Somehow you knew Tristan still needed you one last time and so you held on to be there for him in his time of need. Just as Tristan recovered you lost your energy and your appetite slowed down. You will never know how much that meant to us. There is not enough frozen Tilapia in the world to repay you with. Again you put us before yourself. I knew the time was coming and made arrangements.
These past few days have been an internal struggle for me. Was I making the right call? What if you had another week left and I was robbing you of your time? Should I call tomorrow and postpone it to another week? I knew that I had to forego my own feelings and do what was best for you. Last night you enjoyed your last fish. The look of excitement you gave me, made me forgot the pain I felt and focus on your happiness. You knew I needed it and thank you. I slept on the couch beside you as we both found solace in our last moments together. All morning long I kept looking for a sign to let me know that I could reschedule the vet visit. Something to tell me I had made the wrong call. I saw you struggle to walk outside, and my heart struggled to grasp the reality. As I sat on the couch this morning frozen and not wanting to move, you got up and went to the door to tell me it was okay and time to go. I took you to the pet store to get one last treat. The clerk asked how old you were. I told him you were 13 1/2 and that it was your last treat for an old warrior. I started to cry as I told your story. He was amazed you lasted 4 years and told us the treat was on him. Even in your last hours, you touched another heart. I showed up to the vet early so I could fill out the paperwork. As I sat down to collect my thoughts and compose myself, you nudged me wanting to go outside one last time. We walked around the yard of the vet, enjoying each others company, as you would stop and take in the sights. You were at peace and kept looking back to check on me. I needed those last few moments with you and like so many times before you saved me.
Thank you for one last walk before we said good bye my friend.