Remember “Everybody Loves Raymond”? Well, everybody also loves Niko.
Niko came to us in 2015. We weren’t really looking for another dog, which is usually the way it works. He, however, was looking for us, and when Ashara went into the local pet food store for a supply of cat food, there he was, with 4Paws4Life Dog Rescue. Waiting. Making really serious eye contact. One thing led to another, and a night of foster care resulted in an adoption. At the time we adopted him, Niko was 18 months old and and had no manners whatsoever. What he did have was a great doggy smile and a heart as big as Texas, the state he came from (he was discovered wandering around the streets of Houston, waiting to be picked up and taken to Colorado so we could adopt him, evidently.).
In the ensuing months, Niko learned lots of manners, and has honed his gentle way with everyone. He’s a tall dog, big, and people will sometimes look at him with a little fear, until he winks at them with his one green eye (the other is yellow) and starts his tail wagging. A woman terrified of dogs came to one of our workshops. Niko worked his magic, and by the end of the day she could not get enough of him, hugging and petting him. He has that effect on people.
One thing Niko needed, though, was some way to channel his curiosity, Houdini-ness and energy. So we got him his own puppies, Amy and Bernadette.
Amy and Bernadette are now almost two years old, but from the moment these sisters came home as five month olds, they have kept Niko (and us) happy. They are Aussie/Labradoodle crosses, and busy, busy, busy, which is exactly what Niko needed. Since they’ve come to be with us, he has matured, taking responsibility for these two gorgeous girls, and letting them run him ragged. Their favorite game is “you bite his legs, I’ll hang on to his tail”, while all three of them are galloping around the yard.
Niko may be present at workshops now and again, and is always up for a lunchtime game of tag or keep away. Or maybe you can go for a walk; he doesn’t care so long as he can be with people. Oh, and if you want to share your actual lunch, even better, as far as he’s concerned. We may ask you to ignore his requests for “anything on your plate”.