12:07am May 25th.

People come and go in and out of our lives for whatever amazing or unfortunate circumstances that come up.

When you have never had the amazing privilege to grow up with a fur baby, you just don’t know what joy they bring. I had the fortunate meeting later in my grown up life to have raised a fur baby who became my life, my child, my best friend. Now, I will say, I’ve never had the privilege of raising a human child, so my boy, Kiska became my #1 priority as he was my only child, my boy.

Kiska had so many nicknames from so many people who loved him and he answered to all of them because they were used so often.

#1 – my little “Love Bug”. Some may disagree because he wasn’t the needy, affectionate type always, but on his terms when he wanted your attention, he made sure to get it. He always let you know how much he loved you by sniffing your eyes. If he ever did it to you, you were someone special to him. Every morning having coffee on the couch, he would sit up in his spot and walk over to sniff your eyes and say “good morning”. Coffee on the deck with Dad was especially important to him he loved his guy time. During moments of him being tired, playful, or when he knew something was wrong – you got my Love Bug. And he sure loved his “scritches”. Held lean into your hand when you’d scratch his chest, neck and near his curly tail. Held lean his little bum right into you as hard as he could. He loved with all of his might and I had the fortunate privilege to experience it every day for 1 1 years and 8 months.

#2 – Ding Dong. I don’t even know why I started calling him that but I guess it was out of endearment. He was so very smart, quirky, stubborn, stoic, regal, silly at times, but always loyal and loving. My little Ding Dong.

#3 – Mr. Whiskers – he gained this nickname from an amazing friend who loved him very much. Mr. Whiskers was always sniffing the air and miraculously, would point out or go chase what it was. His whiskers would wiggle and he would go into protective mode. Sometimes referred to as our patrol; always keeping everyone safe. He would guard like a gargoyle, he would always be on watch, he loved to lay his head between the railings of the deck or sit perched out on the lower deck at the cabin by the fire just to make sure we were all going to be safe. He also loved to be rubbed between his eyes and he would always close them so lovingly.

And if he wanted your undivided attention, he would sigh, sigh some more, then huff that little nose over and over and louder and louder until he got what he wanted. #4 – Budsy. His Gedo, my dad, always called him his “buds”. They were so very close. His Baba and Gedo adored little Budsy, but when it came to his Baba, he became Love Bug and Mr Whiskers. Protecting her from harm, always and making sure she was okay. As soon as wed get to their house, he would run to Baba’s chair and try to patiently wait for her to give him a treat. If she didn’t have any ready for him, held be sure to let her know! He liked helping my dad, his Gedo, with my mom. Always helping to support when she had to go to the bathroom making sure she was okay, he would huff at her to go for their afternoon naps on the bed and for play time – tug of war with his hedgie or chewing on his orange ball. He loved helping my dad in the kitchen when the fridge would open and plastic Ziploc bags would make a noise and especially if we were having Mom’s Trout dish because he got some of the skin and raw end pieces dropped from his Gedo “by accident”. We liked to enjoy wine with my parents and Kiska would make sure to sit by Gedo ready to “cheers” the wine glass with his paw to get a treat. Afterwards when we would load the dishwasher, he always loved to help do the dishes cleaning all the cutlery with just a little extra “rinse”.

He has other nicknames that weren’t regularly used, just when the time around people who loved him had to chime in. Rain Man, Tugboat Kyle, Perogie, and a couple other ones that were special to those who knew him.

Kiska loved his cousin Kozak from the day we brought him home. They had an instant puppy bond from day 1 only being 2 months apart in age. They were the first 2 dogs in the Marcinew family, thanks to my brother, Chris (he picked Kiska for me… actually Kiska picked Chris). He spent a lot of time with his cousin at dog parks, on many hikes, playing in our yards and on our eventual acreages. And then came along his sister who very fortunately lived next door to Baba and Gedo. He had very fond memories of “putting up with” his sister, Kumba and getting the zoomies and at off leash parks chasing each other.

Kiska had so many people and doggie friends in his life that he touched: Missy Roo (Ulu), Cayenne, Lars, Rupert, Ruby, Helen, Harlo, his sister, his cousins, and his favourite human babysitter (when he wasn’t with Baba and Gedo), Aunty Kathleen to name a few. He came everywhere with me every chance he could. We had a favourite place together The Cabin. We always had wild pets show up in our yard and on our bird/squirrel feeder. Anytime I’d say “get the squirrel”, he would squeal and whine and run up and down the deck railing chomping in the air like a snapping turtle perhaps in hopes one might fall into his mouth. He loved the outdoors and visiting the neighborhood out at the cabin. Everyone got to know our little dude out on Aspen Road. He made sure to make himself at home with 1 of our neighbourls in particular, and they eventually became his second grandparents, Nana and Grandpa; to the point where they started buying doggie treats just for when Kiska would come to their front door, paw at the door and then bark if he didn’t get an invite yet. He would go inside, right to the pantry and wait for Grandpa Al and Nana Shirley to give him a treat. And when they ran out of doggie treats, he shared raw almonds with Grandpa on the deck overlooking the lake.

I often said he wasn’t your typical Shiba. Although aloof at times to be sure to gain his trust, he was amazing (most days) off leash, he loved the water, paddle boarding with his mom, being in his little life jacket on the boat standing at the front like he was on The Titanic, he was so well mannered and had an extremely calm demeanor since he was a baby. There are of course, way too many amazing memories to share, but one of my fondest memories will always be when we would have jam nights at the house.

Guitars would be playing, people would be singing and if anyone took me for a dance in the kitchen, he would bark and follow us along at which point I would pick him up and two step with him for the rest of the song. He acted like he hated it, but I knew he loved me that much that he endured it to please his momma. My boy did so many things to make me happy. He was with me through all of my sad times, happy times, in between times and my best times. Over the last year, we gained my sister in laws family dog, Ricco, as part of our family. Kiska took Ricco in like they had always been brothers. He kept Ricco safe and calm when we would go out, he led Ricco around and showed him the ways of a great dog life.

There were often times when he would be headed to unfamiliar places and sometimes couldn’t settle. It was different with his second set of grandparents in Kimberley. The first time we went, he checked the place out, as per usual, inside the house and outside around the perimeter of the beautiful acreage. Once he made sure all was okay, he was so calm there, at peace and didn’t have a problem whatsoever making himself at home at Nana and Gramps’.

We are all so broken right now as the end was so very sudden. Nobody knew he was sick, neither did he. He wasn’t ready and neither were we. That’s the hardest part of it all. He spent his last days at his favourite place and now he/s most likely rolling in whatever stinky substance he can find and doing his Zoomies with his hedgie with my best human friend, Mikey.

We love you Kiska.

Sept 1 8, 201 0 – May 25, 2022