Micah became the "mascot" of the Akita Adopters Yahoo Group and even though most of us had never met him, we followed his amazing story from when he was rescued from a "supposed" Akita Rescue, to his rehabilitation of many long months with mentors Lori and Bob in Los Angeles, to his airplane trip across country to New York to his forever home with Nancy Lamm, co-owner of Akita Rescue of Western New York. Alas, Micah was just settling in when he had a massive stroke and was not able to be saved. We are all in the state of mourning for a dog who defied huge obstacles and became once again a proud Akita, if only for a little while. God speed, Micah.....this is what his mentor, Lori wrote to the group. She gave me permission to do so....and it says what we all want to say, and how we all feel.
Thank you Lori. And thank you Nancy for giving this bear of a boy his only chance of happiness, even if only for a short time.
I want to thank you each from the bottom of my heart for the compassion and love you have shown Nancy, Rich, Bob and I in the wake of Micah's passing. Every note, every phone call, every thought you've sent our way has brought so much comfort.
Nancy sent me to find this dog last Spring – I believe he was "Palmdale 53". Can anyone say "no" to Nancy lol??? He was 65 pounds of tick and mange-covered hairless, scaly skin and bones. He hadn't been neutered. He was the sickest of the Palmdale dogs and he was `confiscated' in the shelter as evidence for weeks. Nancy knew he was the one in most need of help. I was frightened about my ability to take this responsibility. Nancy had no hesitation. She held my hand across the miles through every single day. She saved his life. He would never have survived long in the shelter. He could barely get to his feet but he began to raise a paw when we would talk to him. We visited him and the others daily and the moment that the authorities allowed them to be released we began our journey.
You know the rest of the story. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Palmdale situation "wasn't that bad" or that the woman who raised money using their pictures on her website while masquerading as a legitimate rescue was "the only real victim" of this tragedy. bear witness with me to what happened so that it never happens again.
The six months we spent caring for Micah were full of emotion and ultimately, great joy. I want you to know that his time here was profoundly important. He taught so much to so many. The young vets who treated him learned about the will of the rescued. The authorities learned about the dignity of our beloved breed. As we all saw him blossom we all learned about the transforming power of love.
Micah was a symbol of hope and of forgiveness and of the will to live. No one who met Micah will ever forget him. And he met everyone! I couldn't walk a block with him without someone stopping us – as first because he was in such bad shape – and then to admire his progress – and then to just admire him. He brought out the best in everyone. He had an army of people rooting for him – including all of you.
He helped me tremendously – as my father nearly died, as my Hossie recovered from bloat– I had this huge, brindle boy by my side on our daily walks. His fur soaked up lots of tears and he smiled when I smiled. He listened very patiently, always. And I told him about how much he was loved. And about my hopes and dreams for his life with Nancy.
He knew he was traveling to mend a broken heart. And while he left Nancy far too soon, I know that he helped her through the darkest days after Nic and Vic (and Helena) left her. (These were Nancy's animals, and they died all very close together, breaking her heart.) and that he was truly heaven sent. What absorbent fur he had.
But know that his wasn't a sad time on Earth. Micah had no teeth …but he had an enormous smile and a giant lolling tongue that always fell to one side or the other. The sight of him beginning to hold his proud Akita head and tail high is something that changed me forever. Boy, did we have fun. Micah was greeted everywhere we went with an outpouring of love and happiness. He was truly an ambassador for the breed…and for rescue. He would literally stop and smell the flowers and I believe from the bottom of my heart that he knew he was ADORED. He was a great companion and joyful creature.
Please know that he felt tremendous comfort and sunshine and companionship in the last year of his life. It was important. This big bear knew love in abundance and he crossed the bridge having known Nancy's devoted heart and home as her boy. What could be better. The pain of his early life, I do believe, was eclipsed by his days in the sun.
I think he did his work here. I think, I believe, his time came too soon for all of us but just in time for his greater purpose. I still feel the gift of his love. I know he will always look after Nancy and that he would want us to keep her in our hearts and prayers. I know she doesn't regret sharing this time of her life with him.
We cared for him as he recuperated, but Nancy brought him home. Her loss is hard to fathom. But the love she gave him saved his life – on the first day he was found and until he took his last breath. And she gave me the gift of time with him, too. And of knowing that anyone can make a difference.
When we put Micah on a plane to his home with Nancy last Fall, I received a gift at my door of beautiful flowers and a cuddly teddy bear with the following attached: "Thank you for my miracle. May this Micah bear remind you, you remain in my heart forever even though distance separates us. Gratefully and with love, Micah".
I called Nancy to thank her (she had sent so many gifts to us for Micah while we fostered him) and she was adamant that she hadn't sent it. I called the company and begged them to tell me who sent this, but they insisted that the sender wished to remain anonymous. It could be any one of you.
Yesterday I received another surprise at my door. Same florist. This was the note: "Your love is a precious gift still with me. Life does not end, it simply changes form as we tend it lovingly. Forever with you, Micah". And enclosed in the box was one perfect, spectacular, proud bonsai tree. How appropriate.
This time I'm not calling the florist. I know this was from one of you – and all of you at the same time. I know it represents the shared love we have for all of our dogs and our shared love of the underdog…the dogs who have no advocate until one of us steps in.
Whoever you are, you have touched us deeply and your kindness will be with us always.
Those notes will be a treasured possession of mine always, and will stay close to the lock of Micah's hair that I cherish, and his tags which Nancy so generously sent me.
We know we are not the only ones to grieve lately, and that our time with Micah was so short in comparison to your beloved family members. All of your dogs are so special.
And for those who crossed over to the bridge before Micah, know that they have another big, goofy friendly boy waiting to play and sleep in the clouds.
It was our privilege to care for Micah. It is our privilege to know you all and call you friends. Let's share the message of hope that Micah brought us and let's each find a patch of sunshine in which to feel the warmth of not only his spirit, but all who have gone before him.
Lori, Bob, Greta, Hossie and kitties Natalie and Iris
Nancy very generously shared some pictures of Micah, and I've made a collage of memories. You can just tell they adored one another.