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Bicky's 1St Year Anniversary


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January 2nd , 2012 will mark the 1st year anniversary my beautiful baby boy (my pet dog, Bicky) made his way to the Rainbow Bridge. As some of you know, my girlfriend (Naoko) and I found Bicky as a stray on the streets of Tokyo in 2002, and we were blessed with nine wonderful years with him.

One year on, I am still mourning his loss greatly. Especially around the holidays, I feel the emptiness and the sense of loss is amplified.

I have some weeks that are better than others, but Ive found that the waves of grief can sneak up and overwhelm me. I am guessing that this pain and sorrow will never completely dissipate with time, and the quiet grief and loneliness I experience at times is just the new normal for me. His death has made me a better person though, helping me understand the value of friendship, love, and how precious (and fleeting) life can indeed be.

I keep his urn in a prominent place in my house, along with a digital photo frame with over 500 rotating pictures of him. This has brought Naoko and I much needed comfort.

For those interested, Bicky died beautifully.

Leading up to his passing, he had been quite ill for 4 or 5 months. The veterinarian determined that he had Cushings disease, but was somewhat optimistic that some new (revolutionary) medicine could help his condition.

Bicky slowly deteriorated though. I was in complete denial and convinced myself that he would miraculously rebound and put it all behind us. But it was not to be.

Bickys last Christmas was tranquil and joyful. We spent it up in the mountains (at Naokos parents house) in Northern Japan. Although he had trouble walking, we made a beautiful bed for him right beside the Christmas tree. He was surrounded by everybody he loved and he was even able to eat a little turkey and enjoy the Christmas ambience. He seemed so happy and content.

His condition took a turn for the worst though on New Years day, so Naoko and I decided to drive Bicky to a veterinarian hospital in Tokyo. The doctor was a bit taken aback by Bickys deteriorating condition. He hydrated him with an IV, and instructed us to bring him back the next day. That night we lay Bicky down in his bed, located in the same living room we spent so many wonderful times together. For the previous 4 months, I had slept on the living room sofa, so I could be with Bicky during the evening in case he needed me. His bed was right beside mine. Bicky looked much better. I remember I crawled up beside him, and whispered, We have a big day tomorrow Mr. Handsome; we have to wake up at 8am to go to the vets. Bicky licked my nose and then rested his head on his (favorite) soft green pillow. I put a light blanket on him, kissed him one more time, and turned off the light.

I kept a flashlight beside me, so I could sometimes see how he was doing during the evening. I turned the flashlight on once as if to say hello, and Bicky wagged his tail as if to say Im o.k. Now try to get some sleep Mark. I did just that.

I slept like a rock that night, and the sun was already up by the time I awoke. I turned over to say good morning to my Bicky…but as soon as I laid my eyes on him, I realized that he chose that night to let go.

Thank you again everybody for your (continued) support.

And thank you Bicky for being my best friend (ever).



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Mark, you have my deepest sympathies and empathy on Bicky's One Year Anniversary. If you're like me and many other animal parents, those "firsts" feel virtually impossible to bear, and time is often sensed as compressed, where a year only really feels like maybe days, or weeks at best, yet conversely also feels like an eternity at the same time. Bicky's date being right around the holidays doesn't help, either, I'm sure. My own feline fur-son, Sabin, was in Emerg. on New Year's Eve, 1999, and his earthly life only held out for another month after that...and my Mother passed on a Jan.2 as well...so "holidays" and I are certainly not the nicest combination anymore, despite the number of years that have passed. As you guessed, these feelings most often remain with us to one degree or another, depending on many personal factors, and as another part of our "new normal." But if we're learning from them and using them in personally meaningful ways, we can then "live" our legacies to our loved ones in a higher way -- one that does some justice to our cherished ones and the love we grew together.

I thank you for sharing Bicky's last days with us, as I (and likely others here) have been holding my breath all this time, wondering how it went for both of you, and what exactly happened. I, too, remember many anxiety-ridden "flashlight days," and always being primed for "instantly awake" mode as needed. It's very depleting, yet speaks volumes of our true love and dedication to the furry family members we hold so very dear to our hearts. And so I'm so glad you were right there with your precious baby boy, not just for that night, but for all those months preceding his transition, and that he was one of the more fortunate few (nonhuman or human) who returned to spirit in such a peaceful and natural way, and in the most loving atmosphere of his home as well. He most certainly deserved such blessings. :wub:

You have made Bicky a part of all of us who have been reading your wonderful recounting of your family's life together, and so he lives still, in our hearts and minds, as well as in yours, Naoko's and your extended family's. He will always be remembered, treasured and loved by many, no matter how long the passage of linear time. Never doubt that your deep love for him reaches and embraces him still.

In hopes this may help you, I offer one of the best-written articles on animal companion loss I've seen to date, by one of my favourite people in the world, Teresa Wagner:

Pet Loss & The Holidays: Four Things To Consider When Grieving During the Holidays

Wishing you every strength and surrender that you may need in your own heart's healing, and joining you in your pain and remembrances,

Many Soothing Purrs,


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I too feel your sorrow at losing your best little furry friend...I feel like my (100+ lbs) dog is my baby boy and I can't fathom how I'll handle it when his time to go comes. The only comfort is in knowing that Bicky had a wonderful life with you and couldn't have had any more love than he did with you! The gift of love is so reciprocal with our dogs, they are truly wonderful companions.

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Hi Mark,

I lost June bug in 2007 and just yesterday I drop into tears as a memory of her working with me came thru when I was talking to a potential volunteer about doing some work. Took about three minutes to work it thru - just kept talking thru the tears, point is - the pain of the loss stays with you as long as it stays. (years? Forever???) I have Foxie and Thunder and Scotties...sigh. But I feel there is a difference between grieving the loss of as individual and grieving the loss of that lifestyle - that seems to me why people cant move on. I KNOW they are around me, I KNOW they wait for me at the rainbow bridge but I still have "temper tantums" about them moving on. One thing I am comming to feel tho, is our acceptance or not about their dying makes the difference if they are enthanized. I am begining to feel that when we accept their death it makes it easier for them to go. I am feeling that it is not such a big deal to them (because they can see the souls on the other side?) So for me, it is a complement on an "Maturity" so to speak when they just cross over with euthanizing help. Thank you so much for sharing your story. The holidays for me are a time of loss and I dont celebrate them anymore. I just try to make every day commemorate familiy and celebrating a new day!

CJ Anderson

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