My heart is breaking since I had to say goodbye to my best friend and fishing partner, Niko. He made his journey to the Rainbow Bridge at 4:30pm May 15th. We held him in our arms and told him how much we loved him. The vet came to our house, and he passed in the spot he loved next to my bed. I feel like a part of me died with him today. He was 14 years old and I adopted him from GRRoW at one year old. Niko was a standing fixture in the Hooked on Fishing which I ran, to encourage kids to do fishing - not drugs, in Fond du Lac. The picture was from a GRRoW calendar. 13 years ago Niko was thrown out of a truck in the middle of a cornfield in Eau Claire WI by his owner. The man who almost ran him over brought him to the humane society who in turn called GRRoW. He went on line, we met the foster family on Mother’s Day, 2011, and began a special 13 year relationship with the best behaved, most wonderful fishing partner I have ever had. For the past 10 years Niko was the star of my program “Get Kids Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs”. Every year the kids would have their picture taken by their parents while they hugged the big lug. He was 120 lbs of love. The only thing he ever did wrong was eat 17 home made chocolate chip cookies that my wife made for me. I really could not get mad, he did leave his Dad one! In his later years he could not jump onto the bed so his place was always by my side on the floor. He needed steps to get in and out the my SUV because it was a little high. He loved going everywhere with me and didn’t miss a fishing trip in the boat for 13 years. I went fishing a week after he made his journey to the Rainbow Bridge and started talking to a companion that was no longer with me. I knew it was time to get off the water. Niko loved everyone he met, and the feelings were mutual. He was so handsome until his last day, which he spent with my daughters Chug. He was so big, she so small, yet he was a gentle giant with every dog and child he met. I hope you enjoy his pictures. The picture in the black-eyed susans was his centerfold photo. He was Mr. May in the 2009 GRRoW calendar. Niko made his journey surrounded and cuddled by all those who loved him. He passed in his favorite place to sleep at our house. Thank you for giving me the most wonderful “furry kid “I have ever met. We all miss him terribly and will never forget him. I must close now, my tears will ruin my keyboard!