I am writing that post I have been dreading for the last 2 years as I sit here broken hearted. On Monday, August 22nd, 2022 at about 11:45 AM, Miko left us. It seemed to happen so fast before we could get him to the vet and we were both with him cuddling him. I knew this time was coming from changes I observed over the last 2 weeks, but I was in denial and being optimistic after his last vet visit and him coming out of past tough times. Words fail me to accurately describe what an amazing family member he was and how much I miss him as I write this in tears.
When I first saw Miko at an animal rescue adoption event in October 2011, I was ready to take him home, but held off to discuss with Ron. When we went back a week later and he was still there with a cute Adopt Me vest on, it was a sign and we did. We were told he had been returned multiple times due to challenges with other pets and discovered quickly he was obsessed with our cats constantly chasing and barking after them. It took me about 5 days of research and training to solve that issue and found that he was eager to be a loving member of our household.
As time went on, he proved to be the sweetest companion that always wanted to be with me. I had so many nick names for him, but “Our Sunshine” seemed to be the most accurate since he was always our sunshine during dark times there for us and our other furkids such as being there for Leela after coming home drugged up and in pain from a dental cleaning and welcoming new friend to Skipper.
At one point when I was very sick home from work and sweet Miko would not leave my side, I found myself consumed with sadness that one day he could not be with us, the thought of not having him in our lives and not coming home to that sweet and excited face hit hard. Many years later here we are and I am still numb and figuring out how to face the future without him.
As you probably know, his diagnosis with an enlarged heart in congestive heart failure in July 2020 was an awful shock during a tough time early in the pandemic just a few months after sweet Leela passed away. He went into heart failure in April 2021 and spent the weekend hospitalized while he was stabilized and medications adjusted. After an echocardiogram to understand the condition of his heart, he was placed on more medications 4 times a day and we were given a grim estimate of how much time we had.
Then in March 2022, a vet recommended letting him go due to his heart challenges causing discomfort. I disagreed and found a new vet and cardiologist for him who found improvement by adjusting his meds and gave us nearly 6 more good months which I am thankful for while wishing we had more time. For the last 16 months or so, Ron and I scheduled our lives around taking care of him making sure he got his medications, monitoring his health, managing medication refills, and including him on our travels and family gatherings to make sure he could have as much fun and love as he could with however much time was left and I would happily continue to do so for years to come if I could.
Spending so much time caring for him and including him in more of our lives was such a gift because he just trusted us and loved spending time with family and friends. A gift that meant we bounded a lot during a time of anxiety and sadness of pandemic unrest.
I even considered traveling to Japan or the UK to clinics that performed open heart surgery to repair the specific heart condition he had since that option is not offered in the US currently despite the insane costs, time, and logistics to make it happen. But decided it was too risky at his age and the experience too stressful for him after reading every story I could find.
Ugh, it’s difficult to sum up what an amazing family member he was. He was not happy unless with us, in the same room, sleeping in our bed, and happily going on adventures with us. He loved visiting his family. He always made sure we weren’t alone and knew how much we meant to him.
There are so many happy memories and loving lessons learned from the time we shared. Despite the early years of his life ending up in and being rescued from a bad shelter, then being returned multiple times, he never seemed traumatized and so happy to move into a happy life with us leaving that behind and something I still need to get better at.
I am so grateful we got to share our lives with such a loving being, that he chose us and will never stop loving and missing him.