R.I.P. Saki (2006-2018)

Warning: this is a non-running-related post, and also sad.

Earlier today I had to make the excruciating decision to put down one of my dogs. Saki had been my mom’s dog – I adopted both him and MacGregor after my mom passed away last year. Literally the only thing she cared about as her condition grew worse was that her dogs were kept together and looked after. There would be no giving them to a shelter or splitting them up. So that was that – her dogs became my own.

But my mom didn’t choose Saki. He chose her.

She met Saki one night in 2008 as he jumped up on her car door while she was at a stop sign. He was filthy and covered in burrs, and she knew he needed a bath and maybe some food. Clearly, he hadn’t been looked after and he certainly hadn’t been living indoors. She brought him home and saw from his tags that he belonged to a junk yard. They were closed for the weekend. She called and left a message, figuring she’d keep him inside for a couple days. But by Monday morning, she smartly decided that his life would be better spent with her than with them. So she called them back and told them he ran away.

She loved him so much and gave him an incredible life. When she died, I did my best to do the same.

Saki had been slowing down in recent months, even before our move from Long Island to the city. We think he was 12, but we weren’t positive – it was assumed when my mom found him in 2008 that he was a year and a half. He had developed a bad cough in the past few weeks. I’ll spare all the details about the visits to the vet and such, but in the end, three separate doctors felt it was in his best interest to end his suffering. It was most likely lung cancer, for which there is no cure.

This was also the disease that killed my mother.

Saki went peacefully, with his head resting in my hands while I told him over and over that he was a good boy. He kept looking into my eyes with what I hoped wasn’t sadness but rather a feeling of relief that the pain was finally leaving his body. MacGregor was there too, licking Saki’s face until the end and resting beside him after he was gone. I like to think MacGregor understood.

Here are some photos I’ve taken over the years of this beautiful, sweet, sensitive dog who loved my mom, hoses, and roughhousing in the backyard with his best friend MacGregor. I love you, Saki. I’m glad I got to be your mom for a little bit.

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