He was barely 6 months old when he came to live with us. The web site said his name was Nico, but he was too energetic and feisty to be Nico, he was more of a Nicky. So that’s what we renamed him. Often, he wanted things done his way, so I started calling him Nicky Picky. Our family was experiencing a period of turmoil and adding Nicky to our first rescue, Noodle, would bring some good karma into the house.
At first, it took some adjusting for Noodle. Little Nicky would lie next to 10-year-old Noodle on the family room sofa. But the little one would often battle the bigger Noodle for position. They were like brothers with the younger trying to assert his presence. Sometimes, Noodle would seek refuge in another location. But for the most part, they were inseparable.
I loved them both. When Noodle left us in October 2007 at age 15, it was hard for our whole family, and especially for Nicky. Eventually, both Nicky and I adjusted. Sure, I had my wife and kids, but Nicky and I had each other. Nicky sat on everyone’s lap from time to time, but since I was retired, he spent most of his time with me. We’d take our daily walks and when in the house, Nicky would follow me up and down the stairs. I had former work friends, and golf and poker buddies, but Nicky was my best friend.
When I took Nicky to have his teeth cleaned less than two years ago, the vet said his blood showed some disturbing kidney values, but a special diet and medication could keep him going for a long time. I thought, “OK, maybe he won’t be around as long as Noodle, but we’ll have another 7 or 8 great years together.” But, it wasn’t to be.
Nicky’s 7th birthday was the day after Thanksgiving, 2009. In January, his energy and spirit level dropped. The vet said his blood work showed the kidney values had soared and his weight had dropped. Another medication was prescribed. He tried to battle back, but on Thursday, it was clear his life was too difficult to endure. I’ve now lost my best friend at the much too early age of 7.
I don’t know if Noodle and Nicky have reconnected in spirit, but their spirit lives on in me.
Neal Blustein for
Neal, Carol, Chad and Darcy Blustein
Our original picture with Noodle is still on the web site as picture number 1 under And They Lived Happily Ever After. I think it may be our best picture ever.
I am making a donation in memory of Noodle and especially, my best friend Nicky.