Happy 1st Birthday Niko!
You are beautiful – and loving, and deep down you still are fierce. Though you can no longer see my face, and your body fails you time and time again I see you. I see your beautiful face, and the love in your eyes – though vacant – oh they are so full of love.
I could look back on these past six months as a time of struggle – but I really don’t. I do however take it as a time of learning, and a journey on a continuum that i had started several
months – years before.
But really what is a struggle? After all – I am not where Job was – he literally lost everything. Bless the Lord above I am not Job.
We’ve always had a “tough” dog. Dad travels a lot, and we feel rest assured to have a protection dog to alert us when danger is near. After Tyler our beloved Rottweiler died we had adopted your brother Eli. You two shared the same mom, but had a different dad. We spent a glorious 3 months with him, but at his age of 5 months – he passed tragically away.
He had the same love of eating EVERYTHING that you do Niko – except he wasn’t able to pass things as easily as you.
After your brother died we were absolutely devastated and broken. We had lost two of our dogs within three months, and had a little 15 pound Jack Russell protecting our house! She may be little, but she does a great job.
We went out to the farm where your mom and dad live to spend some time with other Corso’s just like you! Your breed has near magical powers that make people feel so loved in an indescribable way. When we were there we learned that your mama was going into heat and would have another litter soon.
Between November and December we anxiously awaited your arrival and were so excited to learn at the winter cabin that you were born! I’m sure outsiders thought we were adopting a human baby because of our excitement level. Our hearts leapt, and came out to see you and your litter-mates as soon as we were able. We chose you! You were so calm and sweet and a tough little man.
We had a countdown calendar to the day we could take you home, and officially call you ours.
The night we took you home we cradled you in our arms, and sometimes even now I can still see that expression on your face when you lay across my lap desperately trying to be that 15 pound puppy we once knew.
Oh how we had high hopes for you!
We immediately put you in obedience training – both puppy kindergarten and obedience. You had a strong willingness to learn, and caught on very easily.
Unfortunately – mid December when you were just 11 months old we learned that you went mysteriously blind, and suffer from Ataxia. You have trouble walking at times, and fall down a lot. We built a ramp for you out our back door, and see how much you try to map out our backyard. You are incredibly determined, and I think you will overcome this obstacle.
We chose your breed to take care of us, but it seems that we are taking care of you. We’ve learned so much from you in just one year Niko. We’ve learned patience like no other and complete trust. You have to trust fully in us to see for you and those times when your legs give out you trust us to bring you to a safe spot.
We will protect you and love you Niko- like you would have protected us. We hope dearly to celebrate many more birthday’s with you, but are truly blessed for each moment we have with you now!!