Aug 22, 2013

Missing My Girl

This week has been one of the hardest in my life as we said goodbye to our sweet little constant companion of almost 15 years.  My baby.  My friend.  My CoCo.

 
It is through tears that I write this post, but I feel this is just something I need to do...to honor one of the best dogs I've ever had.  She was more than special, and I fought to hold on to her as long as possible - but it really came down to what was best for her, and not for my own selfishness.  We let her go gracefully and I thank God that Dean was strong enough to be there with her, showing her love until the end.


CoCo came to us soon after we lost our other lab, Lady, to cancer.  I was not wanting another dog so soon, but our daughter worked at the local veterinary where there was a six month old lab that had come in for adoption.  She called and asked us to come look at her.  After all of 10 seconds, Dean said "come on, let's go home"....and so it began.


CoCo was a wild child in the beginning and she was not an easy one to tame down.  Whoever had her the first few months of her life didn't seem to have trained her in any way. With a little time and a lot of patience, she turned out to be the best natured and most disciplined dog we've had.  She was so smart and could understand almost anything we said to her.  I have read that dogs have the intelligence of young children, and with CoCo, I believe that is true. 
 

Before we brought her home, we had already adopted our cat, Molly, and they did not know what to think of each other...but, it didn't take long for them to co-exist.  Many mornings I'd walked in on them...Molly on the dog bed, and CoCo on the floor.  They had a love/hate relationship; however, they were "siblings" and seemed to know it.  We'd have to put CoCo up outside while we went to work, and Molly would be upset if we didn't get 'her' dog in before dark. 

When CoCo turned around nine years old, she started losing her eyesight.  First in one eye, then the other.  The doctor said that it can happen with labs...for some reason, they stop producing tears.  For years, we had to put drops in her eyes and keep them as clean as possible.  Nonetheless, she still seemed to enjoy life.

 
Enter Tiger, our other cat that we adopted in 2010.  He was not used to being around other animals, but it took only a very short time for him to become CoCo's best friend.  He kept a sharp eye out for her and never let CoCo get too far out of his sight.  One evening when I was looking out of the kitchen window, I saw him get in front of her and coax her back when he felt she had gone too far in the front yard.  Today, he is lost and confused, looking all over for her and it breaks my heart even more. 

 
The last month has been particularly hard.  She started going deaf and I believe her sense of smell was also just about gone.  When I spoke to her, she looked confused and couldn't tell where the voice was coming from.  I had to put the food right up to her because she couldn't find it based on smell.  Any quality of life that she had left was quickly slipping away from her and I really didn't want to make that appointment, but I couldn't let her keep going like that.  She was having a hard time standing up and watching her just lay on her bed with her eyes open and looking dazed just absolutely broke my heart.  She became very antsy most every night, and yes, we could have medicated her, but really....what kind of life would that be?  The doctor said that it was about her dignity and we agreed it was time.  I can honestly say that it feels like my heart has been ripped out.  So many people feel that "it's just a dog", but to me, she was one of my babies.
 
 
All I can hope is that she knew that we loved her and that she will be waiting for us.  I can't stand the thought of spending eternity without her.  For now, I want to picture her running free and happy until we can play ball together once again. 
 
Until then, my Puppy!

24 comments:

  1. SO sorry for your loss. They really are family members and deserve the same respect.

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  2. Hi Susan. I am here from Brenda's Welcome Wagon post. I was going to say welcome to blogland. But instead I read this gut wrenching post. I am so sorry for your loss. We have had labs, and had to put them down, and it is awful. I know what you are feeling. We have another Chocolate Lab, now. He came to us from a family member that suddenly passed away. He is 7 and he is my love!!!!! I don't know what we will do when he has to leave us.
    I am so very sorry.
    xo Kris

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  3. Hi Susan, My heart aches for you and what you are going through and feeling. I know how it is losing pets/four legged members of one's family. Just know that you've done the humane thing. We don't want to see our babies suffer at all.
    My family and I have had many kitties and two dogs. One kitty lived with us for twenty years. He looked like your orange kitty.
    After we lost our last kitty, Boo, I said "no more pets", but now we have a gray and white brother/sister act. They sure do keep us "hopping"..
    I'm a follower of Brenda's, Cozy Little House blog. I'll keep checking to see how you're doing. Take it one day at a time and cry all you want to. I understand.
    Hugs, Charlotte in Virginia

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  4. Susan, I guess most of us have been there and understand your heartache for CoCo. I'm glad you wrote about her and honored her memory this way and hope that sharing it helps some too, although I know that nothing helps that much really. It just hurts. I went through this last December and it still hurts. One thing that helped me eventually was the file on my computer with all my little dachshunds pictures and videos of her taken over the 15 short years of her life. I'm sure I've practically worn it out by looking at it but it helps me remember all the good times, the good memories, her sweet ways.

    I know you have a lot of good memories of CoCo too. They will help eventually. Right now is just that hurting time that old country music songs are written about.

    Thinking of you,
    Dewena

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  5. Susan, your post has brought me to tears. As one who's gone through this with our fur baby, I know all to well how your heart is breaking. I am praying for you And want to thank you for your beautiful tribute to her so that we could see what a wonderful girl she was. Bless you, my friend. Twyla

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I came over from Brenda's Welcome Wagon at Cozy Little House and did view the beautiful dresser of yours that she featured but having lost many beloved pets over the years I know how you feel and it is awful :(

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  7. I just want to say that I wrote the Welcome Wagon post and added your link a few days ago. I did not know about your loss. Obviously I would have waited. I apologize for the intrusion. And I am oh, so sorry for your loss. I have two pupsters that are my constant companions.
    Brenda@Cozy Little House

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    1. Thank you so much and I really appreciate you adding my link!! It is absolutely no intrusion. I always enjoy hearing from others. :)

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  8. Oh Susan, like the others, I came over from Brenda's and wanted to welcome you to blog land, but I see you have lost your beloved fur baby and I'm so very, very sorry. I wish I could say I don't know how it feels, but I do. It hurts like nobody's business. I hope writing this has helped in some small way to ease your pain, and yes, Coco definitely knew she was loved and cherished. Don't ever forget that.

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  9. Thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate your comments. :) It is getting better and I am certain that she is in a better place. Thank you for being here and I have some new posts coming! Burlap pumpkins will be later today.

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  10. I know exactly what you are going through and my thoughts are with you.

    Coco looks a lot like our precious Dorje who we lost last month after 14 years. It was a very difficult time for both of us- losing a companion and great friend. Our morning walks on the beach were just not the same. And, everyone stopped to ask where Dorje was so we were reminded constantly. Two weeks ago we got a golden doodle puppy and she has changed our lives completely. We have never had a puppy. Her name is Little Lulu, but I call her Dorje all of the time.

    In the front of our house, I have a small lantana plant that never grew. Dorje loved to eat a little lantana every single day. Now that bush is blooming and growing big and I tell myself that Dorje is blooming right there for me to see daily.

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  11. I am here by way of Sweet Brenda. She felt bad for featuring you when she didn't know about your loss. I think it is perfect timing as most of us are doggy lovers. I am so sorry for loss of a dear one. Yes, I have been there. Our last Springer we waited and waited for the sign that she was suffering. It is such a hard thing to go through. We waited three months and found another Springer at the pound. Quite a miracle how we found him. Long story short, we had been to the pound and he wasn't there. We returned an hour later and there he was. So big ole(((((HUGS)))) to you. I will check out your blog now.

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  12. I'm so sorry. I am a doggy lover, too. I dread the day when we start to lose our precious babies. My heart is broken for you. (((hugs)))

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  13. I am so sorry for your huge loss. I had a cat from 2 months old that died on his 21st birthday. I still miss him after 4 years because he was remarkable like your CoCo. This is the only bad part about taking them into our lives. But the years of unconditional love they give us are worth the overwhelming sadness at the end. Just remember you gave her the most wonderful life & unselfish compassion when needed this week. Mary

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  14. Oh my goodness the tears are streaming down my cheeks. You are right, they are not just dogs, rather they are like children. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know the pain. It is a physical pain in the chest. A true heart ache. Our almost 2 yr old pug has been diagnosed with inflammatory brain disease. I truly understand the heartache you are suffering. Hugs from a stranger a cross the miles!

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  15. Just came from Brenda's....What a beautiful tribute.... I've lost 3 of my precious babies over the years and it's Always so hard. I miss them all to this day but am mostly thankful for their love and the lessons they've taught me. The last days of our babies lives are so very hard, but the years of love and companionship they've given to us are what make this hard time worth it. Hugs to you!

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  16. Brenda sent me over and I am so glad that I did. I am so very sorry about CoCo. I know how hard it is because my dogs are my children and they follow me every where and as you said they know what you are thinking and saying.
    Rest assured that CoCo will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Gate. Go to Google and look that up - it really helped me when I lost my Whoopie Girl.
    I will be following you.
    God bless you.
    Mary

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  17. Hi Susan, I just came over from Brenda's blog, and I want to extend my condolences on the loss of your sweet girl. I have a lovely 14-year-old Girl of my own that I know will not be with me much longer. I wish they could stay with us forever, but that is not how it works. I am happy that you got to have CoCo in your life. It sounds like she is your Heart Dog, and that is how I think of my Annabelle. That is such a special bond, and I know you must be missing her terribly. Gentle hugs.

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  18. I am so sorry to read of your loss. Our furr babies are so special to us. It's so hard when they go. I'm over here via Brendas blog. Thinking of you and your family

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  19. I too am here from Brenda's blog....so sorry for your loss....my Schnauzer Bella is my daughter, and we understand each other completely....all I pray is that we will get to spend eternity together!!!! Good luck. Kathy

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  20. I just came over from Brenda's blog. I am very sorry about your sweet Coco. She had such a sweet, soulful face. She knows that you love her and she will be waiting for you.
    Take care,
    Susie @ Persimmon Moon Cottage

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  21. She is running happy and free with Lady . . . (((HUGS)))

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss. It must be very hard. Thinking of you and your family!

    Goedele

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  23. My heart goes out to you! What a wonderful dog. Your post is a wonderful tribute to CoCo.

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