Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Memorial to My Beloved Koshimi

Today is a sad day for us. Our beloved Koshimi has passed away this morning. About two years ago, I thought we were going to lose Shimi when he had some serious back and hip problems. He was given a major dose of meds to help him, but there were no guarantees on how long he would live. I cherished every day of the past 24 months, knowing that each additional day was a gift from God. Along the way we helped Shimi adjust to the aging process. Extra vitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin supplements too. He had good days and bad days. Some mornings he would wake up feeling stiff with creaky joints, so we would give him a baby aspirin. Other days he was raring to go and would happily walk and run along for exercise. He compensated for his bad hips and back legs by building strong muscles in his front legs, pulling himself along wherever he wanted to go. This dog was resilient and never gave up. He was the perfect family dog: loyal, loving and always happy. He lived a long, happy, healthy life. We always fed Shimi the highest quality natural/organic food and treats, which I believed helped him live as long as he did. When I returned home from work Thursday night I knew something wasn't quite right with Shimi. His head was crooked, his eyes darted back and forth and he had difficulty moving. For the past two nights I slept on the floor next to him, keeping him company. This morning when we awakened, Shimi's condition had not improved, yet his mood and spirits were bright and cheery. He smiled as he enjoyed a hearty breakfast, licking his lips after he finished eating. But we knew. When he was able to stand, he was wobbly, and would just walk in circles. I suspected he had suffered a little stroke, causing some neurological damage. He wanted to keep going, but his poor little body was just worn out. I loved Koshimi so much, but I would never let him suffer. Fortunately he was never in any pain. This morning we went to the vet's office, where he was thoroughly examined. The doctor concurred with our assessment, Shimi's body was worn out. The dreaded time had come. The vet staff were gentle, kind and so considerate- we had plenty of time to say goodbye. Even though I had spent the past two nights crying for my "son" I still wasn't ready. We were with him as he breathed his last breaths. We were the last things he saw, as he gently put his head down to sleep. It was a deeply moving moment that I will never forget. I just wrote this little Ode to Koshimi in his memory:
You made me smile everyday
You kept me going on my way
A welcome smile and wag of the tail
Greeting me home when I went for the mail.
.
With the toss of a ball, a rope or teddy
You loved to fetch, always at the ready
Your later years you settled in
With a watchful eye and a happy grin.
.
You had your routines, each day and night
And reminded me of them with all your might
We were best buds- through and through
Everyday that passes I will think of you.
Farewell dear Koshimi, I miss you so much already.

above: Early this morning, I put Shimi in this chair with his brother Owen so they could spend some time together.

above: Just a few minutes before we left for the vet's office. You can see how Shimi's head was crooked and one eye slightly closed.

above: I wanted these photos more for my own memories, but somehow sharing them is a coping mechanism for me.
above: Happier days: last year Koshimi and Owen together, best buds.
above: just a few months ago: the three amigos. Koshimi, Owen and Sheldon

above: This morning, my little Koshimi in the library- how I loved that face. Thank for you stopping by today. I have some business travel starting tomorrow, so there we be no Sunday Art Review this week. Hopefully my business trip will take my mind off things for a while. See you Monday.
-Rick Rockhill

52 comments:

lime said...

i'm so sorry, rick. it is obvious you loved koshimi and that he gave you a lot of joy. i'm glad you and the vets were all able to keep him as comfortable as possible. i do hope that sharing the poem and the photos are some comfort. that one of the three amigos just makes me giggle the way owen is wedged in between. hugs.

Stephen Rader said...

I'm so sorry. Keeping you in my thoughts. Much love.

texas_fan said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. Our pets are our family. Although I do not know you personally, I felt your pain as I read your blog. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Lois Grebowski said...

Oh Rick... I'm so sorry for your loss...YOu all are most definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you find peace soon.

Big hugs...

Nina said...

We sign on a sad emotional line when we become partners with a dog, knowing that they will only be with us 12 - 16 years, more or less. But what wonderful years, and we must be strong, knowing also that we and they gave each other our all. What a bond. I too have loved and lost dogs and still think and talk of them all. Thank God, with time, there will be another to welcome into your life when the time is right. Not one that will replace Koshimi because they all have their own personalities. That's what's so great about dogs. In the meanwhile I haven't had a cat, but my 2nd dog sure mourned when his companion dog died, so Sheldon will need lots of extra love. Keep your focus there and that will help.

A Lewis said...

What??!! I just commented yesterday on "his slowing down". And now this? I'm so sad...giant tears in my eyes when I think of that beautiful boy. I hope you kissed him on the head for me. His eyes show so much depth and soul. He is such a beautiful boy. My thoughts are with you tonight. I can't imagine....

Judi Bush said...

Rick we will miss Shimi with you, he was a good dog, thanks for bringing him to the office last week, it was good to have one last chance to pet him and look into his sweet eyes. I am praying for you and John as you process this loss.

Dana said...

I very sorry to hear about Koshimi. All my love.

bunnygirl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Koshimi had a great life with you and he knew it. Unlike us, our animal friends pass on with no regrets of great things undone and fabulous places unvisited. He had love, comfort and safety, so you could say he truly lived his dream...thanks to you.

I'm always amazed at how long it takes to get over losing a fur-friend (I still cry over Tidbit and it's been almost six months!) but we sign on for the pain of loss when we make friends with someone born to a much shorter lifespan than our own. It's a deal with the devil, but the love and the happy memories are worth it.

Be good to yourself.

kenju said...

Rick, I am so sorry to hear of Koshimi's passing. You were lucky to have each other for so long. He was beautiful and he appears to be smiling in all the photos.

Mags said...

Rick, I am so sorry to hear this news. Koshimi was a very lucky soul to have you as a father and I know that you made his life better, just as he made yours.

I'm sorry for you loss, my friend. Lots of love...

Rhodester said...

Rick, I thought I was over it. My Sheltie, Ian, had passed months before, suddenly and without warning at the age of five. "Heart problem", the Vet said.

I'd worked through my grief and had finally gotten to the point where I no longer had his picture as the wallpaper on my cell phone so that I'd be able to see him 20 times a day. That place had finally gone back to my wife.

Then - one day - I was at work, on the set of some TV show that I can't even remember. I did extra work back then and had arrived on set wearing my best suit, that I frequently used for scenes where they wanted me to be a lawyer or executive. The suit had been off to the dry cleaners a dozen times or more, but there it was, as I sat in a chair while they changed lighting to reset a scene..

..a lone, gray dog hair.

I gently picked it off the pant leg and caressed it. Then the tears came. I ran from the set and found a hiding place somewhere and sobbed.

They called everyone in, but I couldn't go. One of the AD's said, "I think we're missing a guy.. where did that lawyer go?"

I know how you feel. God bless Koshimi and the joy he gave you during his time. I don't know anything, but I like to think that he and Ian have met up and are comparing notes on us.

© Karelian Blonde said...

I sorry to hear the news Rick!

*Big hug*

Jeni said...

Oh Rick, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Koshimi. As others have noted, pets are not just simply dogs or cats or whatever one may have chosen but rather they become an integral part of our family. And often, they are the most loving, most dedicated member one can have in their family as well. Having lost several family members of the dog and cat variety over the years, I can easily empathize with the feelings you have now -and will have too for some time to come. You may later acquire another dog, perhaps of the same breed, but the new never takes over and fully replaces the ones we have lost. Especially when it was a pet you had a special affinity for as well. My deepest condolences to you in the loss of this beautiful dog. Prayers for you as you cope with the grieving process too.
Peace, my friend.

Matt said...

Oh, Rick ... I somehow knew as I was clicking on the link to your blog, but hoped I was wrong.

It's such a hard thing to do, but you know you made the right choice. And it sounds like Koshimi was happy to the end, and is even happier now.

And now I'm crying ... another hug from Seattle, Rick.

Andrea Casey said...

Ricky -- is that you? It's Andrea Casey. I'm so sorry to read the narrative and view the photos. Pets are so special. Would love to catch up. It's been a long time. Take care of yourself.

jan said...

So sorry to read about your loss. Dogs add so much to our lives and take so much of us with them when they leave us. Will Rogers said that if dogs aren't in heaven he wants to go where they are.

Tod said...

I'm sorry to hear about Koshimi. I know how hard it is at times like this. We've had an upsetting few days with one of our pets too.

Karen said...

I feel for your loss. It is sad to lose a loved one like Koshimi.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Rick, always remember how much joy you shared with Shimi. Without a doubt, Shimi had a most wonderful life. Great food, wonderful toys, loyal friends, and so much LOVE! What more could any being ask for in this world? While I know how heavy your heart is today, I also know that as each day passes - you and your family will feel a little lighter and brighter, for sure. Thank you for sharing your warm and heartfelt words with all of us. I send you much sympathy and love.
Andi Brown

Rhea said...

I know how attached I am to my pup, so I was so sad to read this. The poor, sweet pup. I hope you are doing as well as possible.

Curtis said...

I am sorry for your loss. Many don't realize that out pets are part of the family too.

Scott said...

Rick, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Koshimi was very lucky to be a part of your loving family for so many years. Big hugs to Owen and Sheldon as I'm sure they are missing their brother as well.

Sandy B and Dick said...

Rick, I share your grief, having just lost our long-time Parker kitty on Friday. I know the suffering you are going through. He had been our baby for a long time, and now Dick and I both have big holes in our hearts, just as you do. Treasure your memories.

Olivia said...

Oh Rick, I am so sorry that he's gone so soon. My eyes welled up when I read that you were the last things he saw.

You really will treasure the last pictures of him and they will touch that chord in your heart for many years to come, when you look at them and think of the "son" you will always miss.

I understand.

**Big Hugs for you all**

Jerry G Dawg said...

Rick, our friend Rhodester told us about Shimi, we are so truly sorry for your loss.

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing in the world to do for our furry friends, and it's also the most honorable. You did the right thing, and Shimi will always be grateful that you were so brave.

Our hearts go out to you.

Sharon said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts at this painful time.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Dear Rick...I am so sorry about your beloved Shimi....(My brotheer is going through the exact same thing today and I KNOW how Heart Breaking this is....!
The pictures are wonderful and I can understand needing them.....Shimi will ALWAYS live in your Heart, my dear....
May he Rest In Peace now....in Dog Heaven.

Todd in Palm Springs said...

Rick,

I am so sorry for your loss! I can not stop crying so I can only imagine how you are feeling. I have a ten year old dalmatian who is epileptic and on medication. Ger seizures are controlled, but I know the day will come and I am dreading it already. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

Todd

Anonymous said...

I know what this feels like and my heart goes out to you...

karma lennon said...

I'm so sorry, Rick. He was a beautiful dog and I know he'll be missed. (((HUGS)))

Amazing Gracie said...

Rick, I am so very sorry - I read of Koshimi in Lois Grebowski's blog.
My daughter has two Shibas: Norma Jean and Bandit. They are, indeed, precious dogs and are wonderful members of the family.
I've been with two of our dogs as they left this earth; as hard as it was, I felt so much better knowing that they felt loved all the way.
Please accept my deepest condolences.
~~~Blessings~~~

Rhodester said...

Whoa, just look at all these posts, Rick! Was there ever any doubt that Koshimi was loved?

..or you?

Odat said...

:-(
Hugssssssssssssssssss.

Sounds like he had a great life, thanks to you!

Peace

Desert Songbird said...

Rick, I'm so terribly sad at your loss. I lost my Pandora three years ago a week before Christmas. We STILL ache for her.

I send you hugs, and hope you find a some peace in your heart soon.

WAT said...

Holy cow. Imma start crying now.

Well, you were a good father sir, and now Koshimi has gone to puppy heaven.

snowelf said...

Rick, I was so sorry for you and your family to read this. I know that Koshimi was so well loved and such a cool little guy.

Our love and hugs to all of you,
--snow and the chilis

BGarmon said...

Good bye Koshimi, it was wonderful to have been able to meet you. I fondly remember those times your dad had me keep an eye on you while he was in meetings. The little mischiefs you got into and your charming personality.

God Bless,
Tom

Cheryl said...

I'm sorry you lost your faithful friend. You were the best owner, and he was always loved and I know he's still by your side. I think it's wonderful that you took all these photos. It sounds like a peaceful ending to a happy life.

Biddie said...

I am soo sorry, and I am so sorry that it took me this long to stop by and see how he was doing!
I know that there is nothing like the love of a dog. Nothing.
I will be thinking of you in the coming days.
Biddie xx

coopernicus said...

Sorry for your loss. It's tough to let go of a loyal friend. I've been there as well.

Palm Springs Savant said...

I've been reading the comments each day for encouragement and I must tell you all, it really does help. I've been feeling blue for the past week, and I'm still so sad, but I'm doing better. I tried to blog on Monday but I just wasn't ready. I hope to resume this weekend.

Thanks to all for being so thoughtful.
Rick

maryt/theteach said...

Sorry for your loss, Rick. Songbird sent me over. Noone should lose such a good friend. :'(

Mona said...

O dear Rick! i came to know about his demise from Snow's blog & came to offer my condolence! I am so sorry for what happened!

Mona said...

O dear Rick! i came to know about his demise from Snow's blog & came to offer my condolence! I am so sorry for what happened!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

rick, i am SO sorry for your loss. i know how they are truly family members and he was so good at that from all you say. bless his little heart, i know your heart is hurting and i apologize for being late getting here.

big hugs, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

CRUSTYBEEF said...

I am so sorry.
In Memory of your love,
God Bless.

Casdok said...

Am so sorry so sad. Hugs.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

What a precious face! I will miss your stories about him!

Elisa Greer said...

Dear Rick,
I'm so sorry about Koshimi. Here's something to read that made me feel good when I lost my dog.
The Rainbow Bridge
inspired by a Norse legend
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.
Elisa

Naomi said...

I was so sorry to hear about Koshimi Rick. The way you described him, he always seemed almost human - a special member of your family.

Jen said...

I don't even know how I found this blog, but I'm reading this and sobbing for you! What a special little spirit, for you to always remember.

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