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What a beautiful face I have found in this place that is circling all round the sun. What a beautiful dream that could flash on the screen in a blink of an eye and be gone from me. Let me hold it close and keep it here with me. And one day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea. But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see ...

lisa follows:
adam music (concerts)
shannon books (Read )
books (Popsugar's 2019 Reading Challenge)
books (Read Harder 2019)
Ryan activities (Day Hikes + Backpacking Trips)
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His Last Day:

  • We built a bed fort on the floor and had a slumber party
  • We lit candles and listened to the 10 hour "most calming song in the world" and stayed up all night
  • He snuggled into my arms for a couple hours and that was magical
  • I read him all the lists I made about his life and why I love him
  • I sang him this lullabye throughout the night
  • I showed him the home video I made of him of his first year with us
  • I wrote a letter of recommendation on his dog ambassadorship
  • I apologized for things. He apologized for things.
  • We went on a nice morning walk on a cloudy day
  • We sat on the back porch and ate breakfast and watched a crow and a squirrel - he barked at the squirrel
  • I explained what I think happens after death to him (if we can send videos, messages, and talk over invisible radio waves, then probably his electrical current will enter into that space too)
  • I explained all the ways I would miss him and told him my love does not end when he passes...it keeps going
  • The highland park parrots came to fill the trees outside
  • Our neighbor Miggie came out to say goodbye and she cried and Toki kissed her face
  • We went to the park for a nice walk with James and sat in the shade. We face-timed with Hollis and his grandma Janet
  • His four blended family members came together to send him off at his home July 6, 2019 (James, Adam, Amelia, Lisa). Toki had a magic moment where he went up and kissed all four of us in a row. And gave me one last gnawing on my arm. We lit candles and had sunflowers and a marigold garland wrapped around him.

Songs Toki Howls to:

  • Wait, M83
  • Turn Down For What, Dj Snake and Lil John
  • Don't You Dog me, Fat Boys

Places Toki has Been:

  • Oakland (x4)
  • Detroit
  • Cambria by the Sea
  • San Francisco
  • Palm Springs + Desert Hot Springs (x2)
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Big Bear
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Long Beach
  • Venice + Santa Monica Beach
  • New York City and Brooklyn
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
  • Pittsburg
  • Los Angeles National Forest (many times)
  • Venice Beach Day (not long before he got sick: May 12)
  • Adam/Amelia Hikes:
  • Dec 2018 Utah
  • July 2018, Backpacking to Fern Lake, Sierras
  • March 2018, White Mountain
  • January 2018, Death Valley
  • October 2017, Backpacking to Onion Valley, Sierras
  • February 2017, Mt. Baldy
  • November 2016, Death Valley
  • September 2016, Backpacking to Ediza Lake, Sierras
  • March 2016, Cayucos
  • January 2016, Strawberry Peak
  • December 2015, Joshua Tree

Local Parks We Love:

  • Los Angeles State Park
  • Griffith Park
  • Echo Park
  • Silverlake Resevoir
  • El Dorado Park

Toki HATES:

  • vacuums
  • pugs
  • flies in the house
  • when feet move under the covers
  • a Rottweiler dog named Thunderbolt and a dog named Oscar
  • when I come near him after giving him a new toy (I never get to keep anything he says)
  • kibble breakfast
  • puzzles Adam gives him
  • when I dance
  • when people (seniors or babies) wobble
  • kids - kinda
  • cats, squirrels, possums and skunks
  • riding in the backseat
  • not sitting on my lap
  • not doing fun things
  • dogs that annoy him
  • when you tell him to come to bed after he's already in a comfy slumber
  • baths and haircuts
  • when I’m not awake yet and he has to wait
  • feet
  • the gardeners
  • fireworks

Toki LOVES:

  • when I make a clicking sound with my tongue while I kiss his forehead
  • his blog
  • jumping on guests
  • kicking big time after peeing
  • mouthing your arm
  • groaking
  • boneys
  • stuffed toys torn apart in 10 minutes
  • mamma snuggles
  • not coming when you call him
  • getting his flea comb done
  • walks
  • meeting people on the street with dogs
  • guarding me
  • thinking he’s getting our take out food
  • watching animals on the tv
  • his family pack: Adam, Ame, James, Hollis, me

I LOVE:

  • how he could never catch popcorn in his mouth
  • when he stops on the stairs EVERY NIGHT for a butt rub before bed
  • how he never understood the concept of fetch
  • how he spies on me in the bathroom (always peaking in the door)
  • when he takes James' spot in bed and I roll over and realize it's him
  • when he thinks the delivery food at the door is for him - EVERY TIME
  • when he comes to the edge of the sofa and slaps his paw so I’d invite him up for snugs
  • how he knows not to touch other peoples stuff (of course after he got scolded for eating a scrabble game). he would go into hollis' room and not touch a stuffed animal. or if his toy landed by your drink he would be cautious to go get it.
  • when he leans according to the direction the car is going to turn
  • when we are both surprised by something at the same time, like a noise, and we look at each other
  • when he taps me on arm while in the passenger seat to rub his left thigh
  • when he looks up to me when exposed to something new, like the sound of church bells
  • when he acts like he knows everyone that pulls up in a car, or all Korean people
  • how he would know when James was home because of his car sound or wouldn't leave on a walk if he thought james was coming
  • when he reports to me if anyone walks in the room and stands firmly in front of me, like my secretary or guard
  • when he growls at my feet when they move under the covers
  • when we snuggle/spoon on the couch every night as his tummy settles after dinner
  • when Toki points to things he wants done with his nose
  • when he is excited to greet the kids that have lived with me (h, j, a)
  • when he simultaneously comes over and holds both hands with his paws like a squirrel
  • when he finds the coolest spot in the house to lay (bathroom tiles)
  • when he finds a good viewing spot in the car cause he gets car sick
  • when he comes to thank me during his breakfast for the food (halfway in his eating)
  • when he cleans his pee drops after he gets excited (he's very considerate)
  • when he has to have something pressed against the bridge of his face/nose in order to sleep cozy
  • when he acts like he can't get his toy and cries for it so you'll get it for him
  • when he gets up and just goes upstairs to bed, like I’ve had it
  • when he puts his face so close to where you're doing something (like he's not wearing his glasses but wants to see what you’re doing)
  • when I give him a tortilla chip and he crunches it very loudly
  • when he does these long low growls for me to pet him
  • when he's asleep in the livingroom and I call him to go to bed and he lazily gets up and crawls into bed
  • when he has his doggy dreams and kicks his legs and barks
  • when he looks to see if I'm awake in the morning and then crawls up to me for a kiss fest
  • when he acts like he can't get up into the car
  • when he marches into sit position because he sees i have a toy or treat
  • when he growls at things that aren't there
  • when he licks my toes
  • when he snores or makes snuffly sounds when you're petting him while he's in sleepy mode
  • when he sticks his head between my boobs when i'm petting him
  • when he calms down because I am squatted closely behind him
  • when he sits down cause he sees another dog coming and cries to meet with him
  • when he takes off full speed running and does circles, and i yell "go toki, go toki" --esp at my dad's house on the carpet
  • when he does his sassy gallop
  • when he wears hats
  • when he rests his chin on me and sighs deeply
  • when he gets into buddha squirrel position and looks deeply in your soul
  • when he comes to me right at 4pm for a walk
  • when he runs home after he poops because it's raining hard
  • how he is always more excited to meet people than dogs
  • how he never leaves my side, won't go in backyard or anywhere unless I’m there
  • how he goes to find James to invite him on our walks (and sometimes won’t leave without him)
  • how he was afraid of James sculpture head and the lions at magic castle
  • how he loves it when I do his fleas (puts his head down for medicine and lays back for a comb)
  • when he’d clean up any smells he mighta left by licking it

Some Memories:

  • when he ate Amelia’s sock and I had to rush him to vet
  • when he finally listened to hollis for tricks and to eat dinner “okay Toki”
  • our long walks around silver lake neighborhood, hollywood secret staircases, highland park
  • when he fetched a ball but came back with a fence wrapped around his neck
  • his doggy friends behind gates in silverlake and highland park (archie)
  • when he said goodbye to my dad
  • sitting in the park after our el dorado park walks
  • when him and eddie would rough play forever and then we had to separate them and then one of them would walk by and give a look or paw slap the other to start the play fighting all over
  • when he pooped perfectly onto a plant leaf
  • when he got kicked out of doggy daycare for attacking a pug
  • when he held both our hands while riding in the airplane and him looking out the window as we took off
  • when he sniffed the air in our neighborhood in the cab (after being away 3 weeks) and cried with excitement that he was home
  • when he barked at the man trying to give my mom an ekg
  • when he licked a funny kid with autism in brooklyn while he was talking about toki being a wolf
  • walking toki with cynthia's dog in new york
  • when we taught him to howl during a train horn passing by
  • when he got a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting (extreme puff face) and then had a bad reaction to steroids (seizures)
  • when he sneezed CONSTANTLY because of a soap used on the dog mat in the car from the car wash
  • when Eddie got the dog model job over him
  • when he pulled two White Castle burgers outta the bushes fully wrapped
  • when he sat on my lap at our BBQ and by the fire in Santa Cruz (he barely fits)
  • when he rode in the plane to Detroit for the first time (on my lap again)
  • when he got gum on his paw and then walked with all these leaves stuck to it
  • when he laid on a cut tree and got sap all over his leg
  • when he fell asleep while sitting when I rubbed his belly and then proceeded to fall over
  • when he got mad I was doing the mc hammer dance
  • when he barks at my dad when he thinks he's drinking too much and might fall
  • when we came home and toki had torn apart his entire bed in his crate
  • when he barked at the ice cubes I put in his water
  • the first time we let him run free at the dog park
  • the poop and barf night - he tried to tell us! But we thought he was playing or responding to dogs on the tv by barking...so we hid on the porch.
  • first day at the beach and him running in fast circles kicking up sand
  • drive home from the shelter and adam shed a tear
  • when he peed on glen's face
  • his fear of the magic castle lions. I always had to cross traffic to avoid!
  • when I looked down and he was eating adam's socks
  • when Lila read him jonathan livingston seagull and he sat there patiently bored
  • when he lifts his head very proud for the blow dryer
  • when he first arrived and ate: the blender cord, a boardgame, cook books
  • when we went for a walk and he immeditately peed and tried to drag me back home.....I soon discovered there was wildfire in the hills and he was trying to protect me
  • when James put 4 socks on him to see if it quieted his toenails

Toki's Tricks:

  • sit
  • touch
  • watch me
  • leave it
  • down
  • up
  • roll
  • turn
  • back back back
  • stand
  • kiss
  • shake
  • hold
  • stay
  • wait
  • under
  • let go
  • go to bed
  • twist
  • find it
  • where's “james”, where's "hollis"
  • slow baby

Nicknames:

  • San Toki
  • Toki buns
  • Toki San
  • Toki Bear
  • To-quito
  • T Bone
  • Tokes
  • Honey Bear
  • Sugar Plum
  • Sugar Bear
  • Babies
  • Toenails
  • T
  • Yukon

Quotes:

  • Lisa: I had a low moment. Toki stepped in gum on the walk and I didn’t have anything to clean it but a Flaming Doritos bag on the street
  • Toki: why I gotta be clean?
  • Lisa: today I had to explain what an oedipus complex is to toki
  • Adam: I think toki's butt just sighed
  • Lisa: I love how toki can remember where every cat lives but can't remember that I don't like him farting in the bed!
  • Lisa: I just held my dog's paw and told him he takes things for granted and self-sabotages.
  • Toki: I've got three rules: no f'ing squirrels, no birds, and don't walk too close to our damn hedges!
  • Lisa: spiderman just broke character on Hollywood Blvd to give Toki some love, then we sat next to an old beat up yoda on a coffee break.

Toki Songs:

  • i want toki, i want toki. i know a dog whose tough but sweet (bow wow wow)
  • oh toki you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind hey toki
  • my dog likes to potty all the time potty all the time potty all the time (murphy)
  • i'm in love with my dog i'm in love with my canine mobile (queen)
  • ohhhhhhhh toki, ohhhhhhhhhh toki (oh yoko)
  • what a dog what a dog what a mighty good dog (salt n pepa)
  • you give good poop to me (houston)
  • san toki korean folk song

Percy Poem by Mary Oliver:

  • He puts his cheek against mine
  • and makes small, expressive sounds.
  • And when I'm awake, or awake enough
  • he turns upside down, his four paws
  • in the air
  • and his eyes dark and fervent.
  • Tell me you love me, he says.
  • Tell me again.
  • Could there be a sweeter arrangement?
  • Over and over
  • he gets to ask it.
  • I get to tell.

Illness:

  • February: Toki is very stiff and sore, we get him to vet (do x-ray) and she says it's arthritis (gives him a prescription)
  • Weather warms and Toki seems to be better for a couple months but not eating breakfast as much and a couple nights ate dinner late 5/25/19
  • 5/26/19 lays down for a break on a walk - unusual
  • 5/27/19 I take him to reservoir he does great
  • 6/4/19 I take Toki to groomer and they said he did great!
  • Then Toki seems to be a bit more sore and sluggish. We proceed with a different arthritis medication again after another vet visit.
  • June 7th, I have sinus infection. Toki seems like pain is getting worse. I stay up with him all night on one night. He is whimpering a bit and needing attention but then next two days he's fine?
  • I drop to Adam after silverlake resevoir walk that he did great on and he is seeing the whimpering again.
  • We go back to vet together. I go through list of questions. Toki gets different meds. Still treating arthritis. (16th) I want to rule out cancer.
  • Toki comes back to me for my co-parent shift and immediately his pain is unacceptable...cannot leave him at Zen Dog while Adam and I away on trips we have planned.
  • I call animal hospitals that can observe/care for him. We go inspect one but they do not have over night care attendant. No way! (18th)
  • I research a hospital instead with 24 hour care and also to figure out what's wrong. I beg them to see me early for a consultation. (19th)
  • They say it's hip dysplasia > FHO surgery needed after ct-scan. Yay! We think all will be well with this surgery!!! Doctors super confident.
  • Adam/Ame depart for their trip and I keep them up to date.
  • X-ray before anesthesia reveals giant abscess which a week later is revealed to be cancer. They remove all of it with chest surgery. I visit in his recovery at the hospital. They say dogs can live another year or two with cancer with great quality of life.
  • Toki in hospital 4 more recovering nights. We are all still hoping for the FHO surgery. There is concern arthritis might be bone cancer because of this discovery in his chest but doctor sounds confident it is not.
  • They take bone biopsy.
  • Bone biopsy comes back positive for cancer.
  • Now we plan to amputate the one leg and he would have another YEAR if cancer is confined to that leg doctors say. We do a bone scan procedure to make sure cancer not anywhere else and prepare thoughts on amputation.
  • We find out it is in various other bones and there are not good options beyond this but palliative.
  • Adam keeping me up to date during my time away and taking him to appointments.
  • I fly home to spend last days with him.
  • Passing: July 6, 2019
  • I got a tattoo of you
  • I brought your things to donate to the shelter where I adopted you (full circle)

Forgiveness:

  • Not having kale in the house because I hadn’t gone to grocery store
  • Any moments of sex or arguments in front of you (life of a dog)
  • Doing a short walk sometimes cause I was feeling lazy or in a hurry
  • Taking you to groomers versus bathing you myself because it was so messy
  • Sidelining you a little when a kid came into my life, esp weekends with James work schedule
  • Going to dinner, movies, and a bar after (those times you were alone a bit longer)
  • Waking up later than your morning pee schedule
  • Sometimes being on my phone while walking
  • Anytime we've fallen into routine (as we all do) and we take each other for granted a little bit
  • Your apology for not being kid trustworthy because you’re bossy, being snippy with my wobbling dad, not being tolerant of all dogs, jumping on guests when they first meet you
  • I hope I made up for it.....

Dog Friend:

  • You are my first dog and Adam's.
  • I did everything I could to protect you.
  • I researched best dog foods.
  • I carried around a 3 inch switchblade and mace because I’d fight a vicious loose dog or a coyote to the fucking death for you.
  • I made sure you had an orthopedic bed.
  • I spent hours researching the right doggy daycare centers and veterinarians.
  • I took you on long walks and travels.
  • I bought safe toys and figured out your allergies.
  • I yell at everyone about closing the gate.
  • I give you post dinner massages while I spoon you so your tummy settles.
  • I get you hypoallergenic shampoos and kind groomers.
  • I rub your thigh while I drive because cars give you anxiety.
  • And I taught you how to do tricks so you could hustle for treats.
  • But I couldn't stop you from leaving.
  • "They lead you where they need to leave you"
  • “You can never love someone as much as you miss them”

Reminders:

  • He was on two maximum strength opioids plus the anti inflammatory, and still whimpering at night and crying out when getting onto his feet.
  • Large lung abscess making things life threatening. The surgery was the only choice at the time.
  • His hair turning grey from pain on his back legs.
  • Humans and dogs with cancer or other diseases will have terrible endings with pain and bad choices.
  • How many places the bone cancer lit up on the bone scan.
  • Millions of loving pet parents euthanize.
  • The bone scan doctor and the doctor at MASH highly recommended him being put to sleep soon (his bone could fracture or he could enter the next state of excruciating pain).
  • Articles online saying to not let your dog cross the threshold (not being able to eat, walk, defecating on themselves) because then their process of being put to sleep would be worse.
  • He was panting heavily all the time in pain. He'd have good moments but then be yelping to just stand up.
  • He was whimpering in the night with pain. And Toki was hiding his pain so it must have been bad.
  • We did everything we could and every test along the way.
  • I gave him 9 years of love and so much affection, so don't keep focusing only on his death.
  • Millions of people go through this and the guilt.
  • You feel guilt and feel like shit because you care and you are a good person.
  • Regrets: the chest surgery, timing of both our trips (had we known where it was going to lead), that cough (thought it was allergies like ours - not pressing for more because diagnosis of arthritis/hip dysplasia seemed so clear), not getting "special time" in with him before the illness really set in...just didn't know. He was so happy and loved the walks and at times vibrant. I thought we had so much more time.
apr 25 2011 ∞
aug 11 2019 +
user picture the invisible girl: <3 jul 10 2019