Animal Astronauts

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Laika the Dog

Flew on the Celestis Starseeker Flight

 

Written by John Rothrock, III, Irvine, California:

 

November 2007.  Long Island, New York.  She was the last Shiba Inu left. Scared, jittery and on “sale.”  Upon meeting us, she immediately urinated on her new dad’s shoe.  “We’ll take her.”   Her name would be “Laika” to commemorate the first dog in space.

 

We brought her home – a high rise apartment in downtown Manhattan. The frustration and exhaustion of being new puppy parents gave way to an absolute love for this furry creature that showed her adoration for us with the relentless wagging of her tail.  Nothing can wipe away the harshness of a long New York workday like a dog running into your arms the minute you walk into the door. 

 

From the minute she came home she was tormented with digestive, IBD issues.  Most likely a result of her breeding and living conditions prior to us.  She was given the best life anyone could ask for.  Long 

days for us at work meant long days of doggy daycare for her.  The family at Ciao Bow Wow became her second family and so for pretty much 24 hours a day, our little “Donkey” was showered with attention and love.  We don't think there was a dog that played fetch more than she did.  To those she loved, she always showed an exuberance and sheer joy that was infectious. She would smell her human friends from far away and come bounding towards them with a crazed happiness.  Her pics were shared with many, she was famous amongst our friends and co-workers and known in London as the “Fox Dog.”   She was the one and only dog of the month in our apartment building.

 

We don't think there was a dog that played fetch more than she did.  To those she loved, she always showed an exuberance and sheer joy that was infectious.  She would smell her human friends from far away and come bounding towards them with a crazed happiness.

In 2013 we decided to leave the hectic life in New York and make our way to Southern California.  There was no chance that Laika would be flown in the cargo of a plane.  A car was purchased and off we went on a cross country trip.  In California Laika would finally be given opportunity to all the grass she would want to play on … no more concrete city dog parks.   What we couldn't do was stop the IBD that was continuing to plague our baby girl.   After one great session of fetch, Laika could not keep up her energy and a few days later with massively broken hearts we had to say goodbye.  To the very end she was surrounded by those that loved her intensely.

 

Laika was not just a pet to us.  She was our first baby girl, our best friend, an absolutely beautiful creature whose spirit and energy was way too bright for this world to last long.  She was our supernova.