Niko Bess, 9/15/2003- 9/2/2020
When we the boys were given the opportunity to pick out a dog that would serve as the family pet, the choices were a subtle dog, low maintenance and a low cost, or the high energy pure bred Shiba Inu that was much more expensive for the folks footing the bill. Naturally Chase and Levi made the choice to bring home the three month old, high energy pup that would be named Niko. Despite the name that was chosen, she would be given multiple nicknames over the years... Chipa, Chiko, Miko Jarven to name a few.
It was a tall order to grow up in a house full of boys. Never a dull moment. Always playing ball, having sleepovers, and wrestling around. Niko loved to get in the thick of it all, and wrestle as well. She would snarl one moment, and the next, come in for a kiss and remind you she loved you. The house on Bethel Avenue, where she spent a majority of her life, was almost never an empty house. The first time we left Niko in someone else’s care for a week while we enjoyed a getaway, Niko left a friendly reminder on Mom and Dad’s bed that although she was okay with us leaving, she’d rather us be home.
She would test us in similar ways to that. She wasn’t always the best listener. A lot of her wildest adventures would begin by darting towards the door, ignoring our commands, and squeezing by a new visitor. Out the door and around the neighborhood. Often times leading us to pile in the vehicles, driving around in snow, fog, rain or darkness of the night calling her name and trying to catch her eyes with flashlights. We spent countless hours over the years searching for her. She always came home.
Over the years she made many friends, most of them friends of Chase or Levi’s. Through all of the boys’ fads, the phases, the falling out with friends, the making of new, one thing remained constant, Niko was there to beg for food no matter who it was from. And if you complied, you’d have a friend for life.
Her love for food translated well into the abundance of tricks that she mastered. She could high-five, growl on command, or even whisper if you asked. She would sit patiently still during her frequent grooming through her excess hair. She could catch birds in midair, and play fetch. She was an easy learner.
Her last pit stop came at the new house. Here is where she would spend her later years. Despite many new grey markings, Niko didn’t change much. She was slower than she used to be, but Niko most certainly still loved to eat food, loved to roam the yard, and was always interested in group activities. In those later years, she spent much of her day watching over Owen and following Chase and his friends around. Owen was her new buddy when he came around. She spent a lot of her later days with him. Though the memories for him will be distant due to age, there is plenty of photographic proof of the love they shared for one another.
Even though she couldn’t keep up as well, she continued to always involve herself with what Chase and the boys were doing, much like she always had. Whether it be watching movies, playing video games, or disrupting card games on the floor.
As she aged, certain tricks that involved hearing commands were near impossible, given her hearing loss... but she still managed to have that connection and understanding of what we were wanting her to do. Her love for us knew no bounds and she would fight through soreness and bad days to get across the room to say hello.
Though she is gone, she will remain a part of this family for as long as we all live. Her memory will never fade, and we will always remember all of the great memories we shared. From month 3, and the 16 years that followed, she lived a life fit for a Queen. And while it is much quieter without her, Owen will continue to remind us of the impact she made while she was here with his excited, “NIKO!”
Rest In Peace, beloved Niko.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Niko Bess, please visit our floral store.