RIP Neka – 1 Year Ago Today

Neka came to us as a two-year old stray who was living as a shelter dog. No one wanted her because she had some major issues. First, she was a large dog. Next she was a black dog. But her largest issues were that she was moderately dog aggressive and she was very shy around people. In fact, the shelter told me that she could only be placed in a home with NO other pets and no small kids. That worked for me as I didn’t have either! They also said that she would not be able to be around other dogs because she would most likely get into lots of fights.

Despite these issues, there was something about her that I really liked. From the very first moment, she seamed to be drawn to me, and I to her. So I took her home. After lots of work and careful socialization she was able to play (off leash) with all of the neighbor dogs. After still more work, she became comfortable around almost all humans too. And to the amazement of some of the shelter workers, for the last two years of her life she even had a room-mate.

Today marks the one year anniversary of her passing. The atmosphere around here today is slalom and full of memories, both good and bad. The bad memories are on a very short list. They only consist of her suddenly becoming ill and the horror and panic of her final hours fighting for life. The list of good memories is a much longer list. In the almost four years that she spent as a part of our lives she learned to trust and respect humans and learned that other dogs were something to celebrate and enjoy. She found out that they were friends, not enemies. She was even working on her CGC certification and she was visiting a nursing home several times a month.

As we remember her brief life cut short by illness, she will always have a place in our hearts. Here are a few photos that spark good memories for all who knew her!

A shot of Neka "Chillin" on a crisp Winter's Day.

Neka giving me a sad look because I told her we were going back in the house.

Neka loved the cold. She looked forward to going out and laying in the snow.

A Poem to Remember Neka

Always close, no matter how far
Love we feel, coming from the heart
You forever, part of who we are
Memories made, souls never part

Your love your trust, never more true
and we too, opened up to you
So hard, to open up like this
but your life, gave us so much bliss

Trust we gave, and we found in you
Everyday, it was something new
Open minds, gave a different view
We both learned, and we both knew

Friends for life, it was way to short
would’ve loved to have, so much more.
Many things, that we didn’t do
Me and you, and the others too

Now your gone, but we must move on
your memory always, makes me fawn
Not to worry, you’re in our hearts
You’ll always be there, as from the start

Those gone before, and more to come
become a part, of why we live
Pain of loss, hard to bare for some
The joy you brought, is why we give

All these words, I don’t just say
you’ll be remembered, every day
In our heart, sometimes in tatters
You’re always there, that’s all that matters

A Good Dog Never Dies

A good dog never dies. Instead, she walks beside me on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s on the way.

The memories now, like her head once held within my hands; offer the warm glow of her old ways and remind me of the happy days.

~ Michael Albee – Copyright 2011 ~

Into Canine Paradise

The photo above is a picture of Neka’s Garden when it was completed in June. The poem below is one I wrote shortly after, in her memory. I revealed it for the first time at her memorial dedication in September.

I hope you like it. It’s called:

Into Canine Paradise
Into Canine Paradise,
long before your time.
Your stay with me was far to short,
the sorrow now is mine.

You gave your love, companionship
and never stopped to judge.
Friendship given to man and beast,
you never held a grudge.

You fixed my heart once broken,
when another passed away.
You gave me strength and courage
to go on another day!

Our bond grew strong through life and love,
both learned respect and trust.
You taught me that there’s more to life,
you showed me fun’s a must.

You came so far so quickly,
you helped man and dogs in need.
You volunteered to visit sick
and truly helped indeed.

Although you never cared for hugs
you always gave them out.
Especially to the little ones
when they came over to hang out!

I’ll remember you forever,
you’re always in my heart.
Any dog who crosses my path,
will know of your friendly bark!

Until forever day arrives,
when we meet again that day.
Just hang around the bridge up there,
Enjoying new friends at play.

By Michael Albee – Copyright 2011