At the end of October 2021 I was sitting on the couch contemplating how we were going to handle the Christmas holiday this year now that we were back to 2 dogs. Usually at this time of year I begin to consider family obligations and I wasn't sure if we would be gathering for Thanksgiving since covid lockdown last year. In case we were, I began to consider a plan for handling both dogs. I really didn't want to get the RV out again this year, so maybe we should get a hotel room? Amidst my pondering a foreign thought pushed its way through,
“You won't have to worry about me for the holidays”.
It appeared to come from Nikki. she was sitting next to me on the couch. I turned to look at her in total disbelief.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
First off, I was not expecting my dog to talk to me like that. So, I wasn't sure if I had heard right. Second, she appeared to be in perfect health, so I wasn't sure why I was hearing that. Since I couldn’t really tell where it came from, I just ignored it and continued to consider possible options for the holidays. Although I found the whole scenario somewhat overwhelming and decided to table it for the time being.
Gigi's birthday; the end is near
Gigi had her first birthday a couple weeks later (November 14th). I got her a special little birthday cookie and one for Nikki so she didn't feel left out. We had a cute little ceremony just like we did when Nicky turned 13. We posed Gigi with her cookie to take the obligatory FB photos. She endured this process but not without expressing her annoyance. Nikki was very accustomed to posing for pictures. She had done it her entire life and she accepted her duty graciously. When Gigi was finally released, she turned her attention to devouring her cookie and that’s when I heard,
“Oh good, I'm so glad she's completed a cycle (around the sun). Now it is time for me to go. My job is done.”
It took my breath away. What? I remember thinking. Why was I hearing that? It was in Nikki’s voice again. She was completely healthy with no issues or complaints and completely happy. Why would I be hearing that? I looked at her quizzically as she enjoyed her party favor. This was becoming a familiar occurrence. I remembered these same conversations with her mother, Tori, some 12 years ago before she died. a sense of dread began to creep in.
I wanted to remain optimistic and not create something that wasn’t real. We had so much going for us and so much to be thankful for. I really wasn't anticipating a big change right now. I tried to put that thought out of my head and go on pretending nothing was wrong. That night we went to bed as usual with Nikki sleeping at the foot of the bed and Gigi in her crate.
The next morning I got out of bad as usual expecting to hear the familiar “click-click” as Nikki’s nails hit the wood floor behind me when she let herself down from the bed. But instead, I heard a sprawling “thud!” I whipped my head around in my sleepy daze only to find Nikki spread eagle on the floor next to the bed. I was perplexed. What had happened? Were her legs asleep? She looked really embarrassed but seemed to be alert and awake and otherwise okay. No sign of pain. Maybe she got tangled up in the sheets somehow? Once I got her up on her feet she seemed to be walking normal; so I brushed it off. (can you feel it? It’s a whisper)
Following our usual routine I went to get the puppy and let them both out the back door. After giving them enough time to potty, I opened the door to bring them back in. Gigi came as usual and then I heard Nicki start to come up the steps and then abruptly fall back down. What the heck? What's going on Nikki? I stepped out the door to get a better look. I could see Nikki struggling to get her feet underneath her and trying with all her might to muster enough control to pull herself up the three short steps. She managed to get it together before I could arrive to help. Again, I was scratching my head thinking how weird this was.
I heard a little voice in my head say, “this is it. she will not last long.”
Again, I was startled by my thoughts and tried to push them out of my mind leaving room only for positive options. As she moved through the house she seemed to be OK. She kept her legs squarely under her and did not fall. She ate her breakfast and curled up on the couch as per her usual routine. I couldn't shake that little voice. I knew something was up, but I didn't want to deal with it. We went about our day as I prepared to go to work, and Nikki seemed to get a little better. She had no other issues the rest of the day.
The next day was like a repeat of the previous. Only this time Nikki could not get herself up off the floor when her legs gave out. She looked so confused and embarrassed that she needed me to help her; maybe even a little scared. Like she really didn't want to be a bother and especially didn't want me to see her like this. I could feel the SHIFT just like with her mother. I could no longer ignore the voice or pretend that I did not know what was happening.
Nikki was preparing her exit, just like she said. The tears welled up in my eyes and I snuggled up to her and hugged her as tightly as I could.
My heart began to strain as it had so many times before for all those that had passed before her. I knew our time was drawing to a close. I could feel it.
I wasn't ready to let her go. I had grown so accustomed to having her with me; she was my co-captain. The dog I had told to go away and leave me alone was now the dog that I did not want to leave! (this makes more sense when you read the book.) I decided I’d better call the vet and prepare him for the possible progression of events. Because this day was not like yesterday. This time she steadily declined as the day progressed.
It was now Tuesday, just two days after she had announced that it was time for her to go. As you already know I cannot stand to see them suffer. If they want to go, I will certainly let them go even though it kills me; breaks my heart in two. I knew our time was drawing near to a close. By the end of the day, she had progressively worsened until she could no longer stand or walk. I had to carry her outside and then hold her up so she could potty. At this point I knew it was time and we began to say our goodbyes. She had waited as long as she could. Thirteen & 1/2 years was a very respectable age for a Malinois.
It would be an easy transition for her to just be released from this old body that had worn out it’s welcome. I hung onto the precious seconds, the precious memories; the feel of her coat in my hands, the lick of her tongue on my skin, and the smell of her scent in my nose. I hoped that I could hold on to the sound of her bark and the thud of her happy tail wage as it met the wall. I tried to memorize it all so I would never forget.
She had secured and trained her replacement. She ensured that I was in good hands with Gigi and that my path was on track. It was time. I let the vet know that we would need him the next day.
Saying goodbye to our Queen
At this stage of my life I had just begun learning to meditate. I was studying the Silva method and decided to do a meditation with Nikki to connect spiritually with her. Ha, the irony of that now! I don’t have to meditate anymore to connect to them (and I really didn’t then because I was hearing them clear as day). But I wanted to do something special for her to show my appreciation for her service. In the meditation I connected with her spirit and used video pictures in my mind to show her what was going to happen the next day when we went to the vet. I don't know if this helped her. She probably thought it was unnecessary since we were really already psychically connected. But it allowed me to feel useful instead of helpless. I did another meditation with Gigi to explain to her what was about to happen with her sister so that she would not be frightened when she realized her sister was gone. And yes, I do realize the major irony in this since Gigi's guide, Héric, is the Guardian of Past Life Integration – being the ultimate expert on death and reincarnation!
I spent Nikki’s last day on this earth totally devoted to her and never left her side. She seemed a little nervous and didn't want me out of her sight. It was so sad and so hard to see her feel so helpless. She had such an incredible life with us. There were so many adventures that we shared. She taught me so many things about myself. I was so thankful that I got to spoil her rotten and love her as hard as I could even though it was never enough for her.
I carried her out to her yard, her field, for one last time. I thought maybe she would want to say goodbye to a place she had enjoyed so much. But I could tell she was in more pain than she was letting on. She didn’t have any interest in seeing her yard. She just wanted to go back inside and cuddle on the couch.
If I had known at that point that I was really saying goodbye to Apachi for a second time, this would have been so much harder! I am ultimately thankful that I actually didn't know. And this is an example of Divine Design with a purpose! (this makes a lot more sense when you read the book!)
And just like that, only three days after Gigi’s birthday, Nikki was gone from our lives. Just as she had told me. She was ready to go and so she went quickly. Gigi got to say her goodbyes and she seemed content with that. We were all very sad, but we were also very thankful. Grateful for all the gifts that she had given me; all the insight, intuition, and the spiritual growth that she had led me to. We were now thankful that we had Gigi to hold our hearts.
As much as I claimed I wanted to be done with the dogs, I was so eternally grateful that I still had a dog to love. I was so very thankful to whatever force outside of me that had pushed me so hard to find Gigi. Losing Nikki was much harder than I ever anticipated it would be. I was thankful to have the comfort of yet another puppy dog to fill her shoes.
Gigi seemed to mourn for exactly 7 days and then she suddenly snapped out of it and returned to her normal cheerful, inquisitive self. I wish I could bounce out of it that fast. Even a year later I still miss her very much. All those annoying habits she had are now so endearing and very missed. Gigi never even looked for her; it was as if she completely understood what had happened. Just as Nikki had been when her sister died. It is the humans that struggle.
Nikki was a very special soul that has been with me before. She continues to speak to me today as I write about her story. She has much to share with you and with humanity. You can hear more from her spirit guide, Oeragon, by following us. I will reveal the entire story of the Core Four Spirit guides in my new book, “K9 spirit guides” which will be released at the end of this year 2022. Please like, share, and follow on all platforms: K9spiritguides
This was an excerpt from my book "K9 Spirit Guides"