She was with us for 13 years. We found her over internet in a place that turned out to be slightly better kind of puppy mill. 7 months old, already deeply neurotic, at the bottom of the pack hierarchy, Kai immediately fell in love with Kita-San. Later she decided Olga was her sister. And she loved us all, to the end.
For years, she was afraid of every stranger, being only fearless if she had Kita with her (so many times he was suffering, after being framed into fighting for her). She was no warrior. She was hardly a hunter. She developed a distinct personality of an elderly lady, with sarcastic coughing sound, conveying all kinds of disapproval. She was akita-inu all way through — not really showing all that enthusiasm, we humans cherish in dogs. She just wanted be with us — however uncomfortable was the space under a desk, in bed or in the car. As long as she was with us, she was fine.
In the beginning, we thought it was a teeth infection. I was in Athens, N. with dogs in Aghia Triada, without support or transport. Based on description, I got an antibiotics and brought it there. It worked, but we were warned, that it is temporary and an operation will be needed. And that means a lot of money.
We moved to Athens. The symptoms returned. This time the antibiotics did not work so well. So I begged my way to a (very decent and friendly) vet. She saw Kai and said “it is cancer”.
Yes, you can operate. Yes, if you are rich, you can probably cure it — just a matter of money and time and traveling to specialised clinics — not really available in Athens. Unless you are rich, of course. But, for the normal people — let alone poor people like us — it is just keeping it some time longer. And keeping Kai suffer. But no other chance for her.
So we decided to kill her. No euphemisms here. The doctor gave her the strong sedative first, than the lethal shot. And then the next one, as she did not want to die. Later, we disposed the body the only way poor people can — to the dumpster.
I was holding her all the time, talking to her. I still keep talking to her. I still see her at the corner of my eye. N. says that for the next forty days, as the Buddhists believe, she will be walking through Bardo. And we do whatever we can imagine to help her get through it, get to the light and perhaps, just perhaps, meet us again in her next incarnation. Or maybe not.