A number of our blogoshpere friends know that mid-July is ruff at our house. We lost Rocky on July 14, 2014 and Niko on July 22, 2010. They were both beloved family members. To honor Niko’s memory, I decided I would share one of my favorite stories about him. It still makes me cry – but they’re tears of laughter. I can never get through the story without laughing hysterically. I hope it at least gives you a chuckle.
In the summer of 2000, my dear friend, Shaun*, came to visit. Shaun was a big guy (like 6’5”), very amiable (he’s Canadian, after all), and while quite ornery, he was (and still is) a genuinely good guy. None of that mattered to Niko. For whatever reason, Niko didn’t like Shaun.
One day during his visit, Shaun offered to get groceries and cook a curry dinner at my place. I gave him a key to the house and thought nothing more of it. While sitting at lunch with a friend, I realized that Shaun would be entering the house without me… and I wasn’t sure how Niko would handle that. My friend and I raced back to the house and saw the front door ajar. Before he had stopped the car, I jumped out and started running towards the door. I heard fierce barking and ran faster. I hit the door full force and was stopped in my tracks. The door wouldn’t budge. I was able to poke my head through the crack and couldn’t believe my eyes. There, in the small foyer, was my giant friend crouched down into a ball. Across the room was Niko – ears back, teeth showing. He was not about to let this guy into the house!
Don’t let his smile fool you… He didn’t like strangers coming into his house!
I couldn’t quite process what was going on. There were grocery sacks next to Shaun, and between Niko and him was a large package of chicken. I just stood there for a second not knowing what to do. Finally I shoved my way past Shaun and into the house. I yelled Niko’s name which seemed to get his attention momentarily before he refocused on the “intruder.” After calling his name a few more times and “petting” Shaun in a lame attempt to show Niko that Shaun wasn’t a threat, Niko finally came around and ran to me.
Once the situation was diffused, Shaun, our friend, and I finally started to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I Shaun asked if the chicken was supposed to be our dinner; he said yes. Then I asked him why it was in the middle of the room. He told me that he was hoping Niko would rather eat the chicken than him. Fair enough.
From what I remember, Shaun gave Niko some curried chicken that night which finally won Niko over (or at least helped him decide to be a little nicer to Shaun).
*Shaun isn’t the guy’s real name, but it’s close enough.