In Memory of Loki


We first met you at a shelter outside of Chicago and chose you because you were the most docile puppy of the bunch. Already having picked out the name “Loki” (after the Norse god of mischief), we thought at first it might be ironic. As it turned out, once your life threatening case of Bordatella was cured you rapidly began living up to the new name, starting off by peeing in your sister’s cage (Ember then putting you in your place by having diarrhea on your bed the next day).

Once the introductory formalities were dispensed with, you were immediately smitten with her and became her shadow (usually to her dismay). You loved to cuddle with Dad too, but were otherwise aloof from a young age. Your skittishness was legendary, the noise of a dropped paperback would send you scurrying from your resting place into the next room in a fraction of a second. The smoke alarm was the scariest thing in the world, even if it were just low on batteries.

Over the years you moved with us from Milwaukee to Seattle then to Ohio and back. For the most part you tolerated it like a champ, except for your constant urge to whine loudly whenever in the car, especially when we had to use the turn signal. On our most recent cross country move you enjoyed a short career as a travel blogger, showing a dog’s perspective of Route 66.

We will always remember the endless enjoyment we would get from watching you chase your ball and dig holes in the mulch. You loved to roll around in snow and sand so much we started calling it “in-sand-ity.” Quite the explorer, you always tried to drag us down every side path we passed. You were always lightning fast and agile, especially when chasing imaginary animals through the woods or running from Daddy to Mommy and slamming into her knees at breakneck speed.

Then one day a little over 2 years ago, you fell while chasing phantom squirrels through the woods. You didn’t seem to be quite yourself, but we really started to get worried when you weren’t able to whine in the car anymore. The vet at Ohio State gave us the answer: a huge tumor squishing your brainstem. You were initially given 2 months to live, but the radiation dogcologists at NC State managed to give you a couple of really good years.

As fast as you were, that tumor finally caught up to you, even though you were just 10 years young. Rest easy, Black Bear Burrito, and say hi to your sister for us. I hear there are no smoke alarms across the rainbow bridge, just sandy beaches as far as the eyes can see. I hope you run your little legs off chasing all the tennis balls you could ever imagine.

Julie Howe