7 days ago · Nicole Newkirk · 0 comments
Today, a new tradition was born here at DFW Pet Sitting Services: A Pet Sitter Spotlight.
I didn’t plan it when I invited my employees to write for my company’s blog. I had no idea that our pet sitters would consider sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Well, you don’t know until you try!
When I received Nicole’s submission by email, I was genuinely moved by her story. It resonated with me and my own life with an aging pet. My dog is 17 years old, and I try not to think about tomorrow. I’m taking each day one at a time, trying to soak up her presence and love as much as I can.
Nicole’s situation is very similar. She loves her baby, and she is sharing her story with us.
Let me present you Nicole Newkirk and her loyal “soul-wiener” Ryker. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.
Growing up, I always loved animals. We had cats mostly. Dogs were too much for my family. Both of my parents worked full-time, and my father had his own business on top of his full-time day job. Therefore, when my husband and I first started dating, I pushed to get a dog. Not just any dog, but a miniature dachshund.
About a year into our relationship, my husband took me on a surprise car ride. Twenty minutes later, we pulled up to a house I had never seen before. It belonged to a woman he worked with. Her miniature dachshund had had puppies! I was there to pick out a puppy of my own!!!
I was BEYOND excited.
When we went inside, we met the mother-dog with her 3 puppies. A long-haired cream boy (which the owner was keeping), a short-haired black and tan female, and a short-haired silver dapple male. The dapple male was running all over the place and came right up to me.
I was instantly in love. He was so sweet, snuggly, and full of energy. We took him right then and there at the age of just 6 weeks. I know, I know it’s a bit early, but she knew us and was willing to help if I had any questions.
Once I brought him home, we played for hours. Then it was time for bed. The first night we put him to sleep in a big box. Just until we got a crate and house trained him. But he was crying, and it broke my heart. So that first night, Ryker, as we would decide to name him, slept in a box next to my bed.
In the coming years, this dog has become my “soul wiener”.
Through long days and nights of studying in college, he would sleep on my lap, literally underneath my laptop. When I did work at my desk, I would pull his dog bed next to my feet, and he would sleep there as I worked.
My husband used to travel a TON for his job, and Ryker was my comfort and support through those lonely times. He slept in bed with me and laid under the covers with his head on my husband’s pillow like a little human. Other times he would curl up deep in the covers alongside my back and snuggle. We would play with his toys together, and he would just “shake it” around the living room.
He also loves “W”s, because if we actually say the word (and you know what I mean), he would dash out before we are even ready!
When I get upset, he comes running and literally licks away my tears. It’s funny because I have always felt as if he feels my emotions. He is very intuitive. Ryker has been with me through marriage, 6 moves, two kids and countless life experiences. He is my heart and soul in animal form, and I cannot imagine my life without him.
I bring this to the forefront because he is now 12 and has neck issues.
The fact that he is not immortal is just now creeping into my periphery. He has currently been restricted to his crate for almost a month because the vet thinks he has a slipped disc in his neck. This has caused him to lose partial feeling in his back legs, leaving him very wobbly when walking, and sometimes losing his balance enough to fall over.
It’s very difficult to watch. If he does not fully recover in the coming weeks, our next steps will be a neurology consult. I cannot even begin to think about that process, or him someday not being here. Eventually, I will have to face that harsh reality, but my heart will never be ready! I hope that he has many years still with us….but these past few weeks have weighed heavily on me. They reminded me to appreciate what time I do have with him because dogs live such short lives in comparison to ours. But while they may be short, their impact on our lives is endless.
He is, and always will be, my first child, my confidant, my SOUL WEEN!!!
Categories: Pet Sitter Spotlight