Nia: She Taught Me How To Care for Others
by Eli Roco
(Des Plaines, IL, USA)
I was around 11 when I got Nia. She was a short little basset hound and she was just one big bundle of joy. I had two dogs at the time. The other was a male basset named Narcky. They played and were always together. I took care of both of them.
I have so many memories of Nia and how she was. She loved getting messy and was such a sweetheart. She was more emotional than most dogs and she was very affectionate. Her eyes were chocolate brown, and she was a black and white hound. Fairly unusual but that's why my family chose her.
She was a mother of several puppies for which I helped care. During those times of raising puppies, she made me learn so much about life and myself. Watching her care for her pups and helping her during those stressful times had put an enormous responsibility on me. For being only 12, I had already raised several puppies with Nia and I found myself becoming much more intuitive with her. I could read her like a book and we got really close. I loved her so much... I miss her so much...
She died February 5, 2012... five days after my 19th birthday.
Nia did not live very long for a dog. She died of an inoperable brain tumor that caused her to be blind in one eye.
One thing I cannot accept is that I saw her for my first college winter break, and she was fine! She was happy and cuddly and just her Nia-self. But she did not make it after I left.
I frequently wonder if she ever needed me during her final moments. I was away and I couldn't be there for my dog. The dog who taught me that it's okay to care for others. To give up your time for those who need you and to those who love you. She made me learn more about myself than any other dog I own.
She was the protective mother of my doggy family. I loved her like an owner but I feel like she loved me with a mother-like nature. She was so obedient and very well-behaved.
I miss her so much. I cannot get it out of my head that I was not there for my dog who needed me and cared for me and loved me. She loved me and I was not there. She really did not need me when caring for her pups, but when she really needed me in her last days, I was not there to care for her.
After I learned of her death, it's like I can still pet her. Like I can still hug her and rub her belly. Snag a kiss or cuddle.
Nia was my dog. Nia was my friend. And I will miss her so much.
I frequently remind myself that she is with Jesus Christ now and she is healed and not in pain. And when I enter heaven, we will be together again.
I love you Nia.
With all my heart,