Ode to Nikki

By Laura Stroebel, November 2018

How do you recover
From the loss of a best friend
Knowing that there are no more soft, velvet black ears to rub
No more dancing of claws across the kitchen floor in the morning
Looking for chicken treats to eat for breakfast?

How do you cope
Knowing there is no longer a tail-wagging creature beside you
Running ahead on walks through the rocky mountain woods of Devil’s Hopyard
Peeking at you with one blue and one brown eye
As people stop to tell you what a beautiful dog you have.

How do you continue
When at night you will not hear the lone woof
Or see the excited wag of a buddy ready to come in
And snuggle by your side
For a warm winter night’s sleep?

How do you go on
When you come home from work
And see there sitting on the kitchen counter
Is an empty red and white-striped collar
With no Nikki to put inside of it?

How do you manage
Gardening in your backyard
When there is no longer a Lord of the Rabbits or
Overseer of the Squirrels
To wave to from the lettuce patch?

How do you get by knowing that
Your husky-mix never let you know
That it was her last day
Before she stoically lay down on the bathroom floor
To take her final rest?

How?

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