Saturday, January 07, 2012

Nikita's Fourteenth Birthday!

Nikita Blackwolf Lupole - January 7, 1998

Nikita Blackwolf is our dog who is celebrating her fourteenth birthday today. I thought for sure she would not make it to this birthday. Though she is in good shape, healthy looking, despite being overweight (an issue we are presently working on), and having some weird lumps and bumps on various parts of her body. For the most part she is a very happy girl even after having had to give up some of her favorite activities as she got older.

In the yard

One being sleeping upstairs in the bedroom. Once the stairs became too much for her, some years back, we had to move her bed downstairs for good. She adapted well to this change. But I know she misses being up there. She used to come to my husband when he was in bed and tell him good night. If he went to bed without telling her good night, she'd get up and come to him.

July 2011, hanging out!

In 2003, we bought our truck which has a big step to get in and a teeny space for the back seat. She was able to get in and out very cautiously, but soon could not go with us anymore. I was very sad over this, as I missed her attention to things she'd see along the road. She loved going to the grocery store with me and would be watching for me to come out. In fact, I know that is how she understands where we get the food from. Her favorite thing was to see a cat or another dog along the road. She'd growl and bark and act like she wanted to tear them apart.......but in reality, she is a very gentle girl and loves cats. I always hoped I'd be able to get another car for her and me to go in. I haven't been able to do that. Now, I don't think it will be possible before she is gone.

Winter 2011, loving the snow!

One of her most favorite things she used to do was to go on horseback rides. She would go for miles and never tire or have a problem. Trotting right alongside the horses. Riding past other homes, with other dogs in the yard did not deter her from sticking with the horses. One time I remember she went with my husband up the road. Soon my horse, Georgie Girl, was standing riderless out front with Nikita standing right beside her. I didn't know what had happened. Soon my husband was walking in the driveway, mad because he had gotten off Georgie Girl to fasten a gate, and she took off and left him behind. Nikita though, chose to stay with the horse.

In 2000, the area that became the paddock!

My husband and Nikita hiked all the trails through out the state forest around us. They'd be gone for hours. Investigating areas that were so deep in the forest that even the hunters hadn't discovered them. Nikita loved doing that! My husband has said many times that he really misses those walks. They were a team!  He hardly ever hikes anywhere anymore without her. It just is not the same.

In 1998

It is sad to see her activities change, but it happens to all of us. People, horses, cats and dogs. Life goes on and you can't dwell on that part of it. Instead seek out other activities that you can do. For an animal it is different since they can't take up a hobby or other activity. All I can do is to encourage her to go outside and take a walk in the woods with me. Give her all the love and attention I can at this time in her life. She is a very pampered girl and we cherish each and every day with her.

Callie sleeping with Nikita!

One thing I have noticed as she had become older is that now she seems very wise. She observes things you wouldn't think a dog would understand. Her knowledge as she got older, became so apparent to us. Like somehow, she passed us by, and was now the one who was taking care of us. She has many conversations with us by staring into our eyes, and I can feel her words through those meaningful looks.

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
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