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"On the other side of the bridge to forever, our animal friends wait for us.

Good-bye hurts so much But someday you will think of your animal friend with smiles instead of tears.

And it will feel as if this little soul left a rainbow in your heart."

This was a Hallmark card sent by a friend.

My dog, Coco, who was around 14 years or so, has recently died. Coco, a brown poodle was a rescue I adopted from a shelter, then around 5 or 6 years old, who had been abused by children. As with many shelter dogs, who just need more love and understanding, than those who have never been on the streets, hungry, alone and at the mercy of whomever might harm then. Life would not always be easy with Coco. But it would certainly have mostly happy times.

When I found Coco at the shelter, he was up on his back legs, front paws dancing in the air, dogspeak for "Hey, Take Me Out of Here!"  When I brought him home, he was often out in the back yard, running around and around in huge circles, like a circus dog. And who knows, perhaps he did run away from the circus. He did other dances when we were at outdoor cafes and he wanted attention. Coco was a very smart dog.

Coco loved going out, to even hear the sound of car keys had him alert and going toward the door. He  hated being left alone. From the time he came home to live with me, 9 years ago, we would live on the west coast, then Europe, then the east coast. He was a delight in so many ways, and in his earlier years, loved other dogs, loved meeting new adult people.

Watching Coco's decline: But during the past year, slowly Coco's world would narrow. No more trips to the big dog park. He no longer had the energy to run, and jump and play. He even walked slowly. He could no longer jump up or down to the car seat, or the couch.

FINAL GOODBYE

When his time came, I wanted him to hear my voice comforting him, my hands petting him. And that is how it happened, as his life slipped away, and he took his last breath, I was right beside him, talking to him, petting him, and then he was gone. And my heart ached.

I have more tears right now than I have smiles, because there is a hole in my heart right now. But I know in time that I will instead feel the rainbow in my heart that he left behind. But not quite yet. My house is so quiet. There is no water bowl to fill first thing in the morning. There is the sense of waiting for Coco to wake up and come into the living room making his presence known, but that is an expectation that is ultimately filled with emptiness.

I didn’t know losing the little soul that was Coco would hurt so much, or that I would miss him this much. I wanted to do this diary to honor his life, but I hope that others who are grieving that have lost a beloved pet, or are facing that happening, will share their memories, and maybe that helps all of us mourn, to write about the dogs and cats that share our lives, that become such a part of our families.

I have rescued cats and dogs since childhood, and have always felt that there is an animal heaven, And this video is how I want to think of Coco now, and all the other animals who have passed on........running free, running, jumping, playing, their souls now free, happy in animal heaven, feeling totaly joy, walking on sunshine.

Doggie Heaven - I'm Walking on Sunshine!

Originally posted to allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 01:59 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  pet poems (21+ / 0-)

    When a pet dies, that special place in our hearts feels so empty...
    But we realize, as time passes, that animals have a way of teaching us about loving, about loyalty, joy, and friendship...And whatever we've shared in their presence can never really be lost.

    They will not go quietly, the dogs that shared our lives. In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives. Old habits still make us think we hear a barking at the door. Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor. Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be, And sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly. And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill, That one place in our hearts belongs to them...and always will.

    Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

    by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 02:01:01 PM PDT

    •   (16+ / 0-)

      Allenjo.....
      You rescued him from a shelter to give him his forever home.
      You loved him every  moment of his life from that point forward.
      He knew nothing.
      But love. And hugs. And kisses.
      And then more love. And hugs, And kisses.
      Nothing in his his life.
      Other than that.
      And when he had to go.
      That same voice. Those same gentle gentle hands.
      Held him. And his heart. As he gently left.
      My god....that would be my dream for each and every sentient being on this planet. What you gave him.
      Through your tears,  let some that joy seep though.
      Just a tiny tiny bit.  
      Of  being able to make a life.
      Here on this planet.
      Be able to feel such beauty.

      RIP Coco.
      Much ♥ to you allenjo.

      Fragile Circle

      "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
      Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
      We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
      never fully understanding the necessary plan."

      Irving Townsend.

      Solace

      From the silence of your pain I heard my name
            and on the wings of light I have come
                   to see the sadness in your eyes
                          that cry without tears

      Can you see me, I am here
            I will always be near you
                   to calm your shattered heart
                          and to make you smile at the memories

      Do you feel me, perhaps a soft brush of fur
            You ache to believe it's real
                   but you are afraid to hope
                          You brush away a strand of hair
                                 But it was I, whispering.....

      I am only here for but a moment
            The silver thread gently quivers
                   I will leave behind my love in a dream
                          When you awaken, and without really knowing why

      Your heart will know at last
                That it is all right, for now
                          to say good-bye

      Lisa Carmel Singer  

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

      by Christin on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 02:12:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My deepest sympathies on the loss of (18+ / 0-)

    your beloved friend. I know how painful it is. You gave him several years of love and care, and I hope knowing that helps you find some comfort.

  •  Don't let your heart hold back its tears. (12+ / 0-)

    Knowing When It Is Time to Let Go Forever.....
    And for when you have to take that final trip to the vet, when your pet will not be coming home......

    James Herriot, All Things Wise and Wonderful: "Like all vets I hated doing this, painless though it was, but to me there has always been a comfort in the knowledge that the last thing these helpless animals knew was the sound of a friendly voice and the touch of a gentle hand."

    We've had so many happy years -
    What is to come can hold no fears.
    You'd not want me to suffer so;
    The time has come, so let me go.
    Take me where my needs they'll tend
    And please stay with me until the end.
    Hold me firm and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time that you will see
    The kindness that you did for me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I've been saved.

    Please do not grieve - it must be you
    Who had this painful thing to do.
    We've been so close, we two, these years -
    Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

    Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

    by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 02:12:09 PM PDT

    •  "Euthanasia" means a good death (6+ / 0-)

      And that is the last gift we have to give our animal friends.

      I've posted below the story of one cat I rescued and lost, all within the space of less than a year.  Here is the link to the story of how I said goodbye to the horse I'd owned and adored for thirteen amazing years.  That was almost five years ago, and still I tear up when I relive it, but still I know that I did all that was possible, and that Nick left this life enfolded in love.

      We can do no more.

      Dude, your statistical average, which was already in the toilet, just took a plunge into the Earth's mantle. ~ iampunha

      by ETF on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:19:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, ETF, I read your story and it (5+ / 0-)

        just so touched my heart. I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved horse Nick. How trusting he was of your love and your comfort, to go so gently, while you stroked his face, and he breathed his last breath.

        Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

        by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:15:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It tore me apart to lose him (4+ / 0-)

          It would have grieved me even more if I could not have been with him at the end.

          I still have his grooming box, with all his brushes and curry combs and such, and coiled within it are strands I cut from his mane and tail after his death.  It took nearly two years before I could even look at it, sitting on a shelf in my basement, without crying; to this day I cannot disturb its contents.  I cannot reuse his bridles for the horses I've owned since I lost him, because that would mean changing their fit, altering what was HIS to someone else's.

          Dude, your statistical average, which was already in the toilet, just took a plunge into the Earth's mantle. ~ iampunha

          by ETF on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:35:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand what you mean so well. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christin, SomeStones, ETF

            Sometimes it is not possible because the pain is just too great, and we deal with it best we can, as you say, sitting on a shelf in your basement because it means too much.

            In time, I will donate to a new shelter opening here, Coco's belongings, but not yet.

            Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

            by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The rabbits say it best. (8+ / 0-)

    My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today.

    My sincere condolences on your loss.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 02:19:38 PM PDT

  •  Profound sympathies-to you. (8+ / 0-)

    "Republicans keep saying they want their country back. I want my country forward."-Bill Maher

    by lyvwyr101 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 02:28:19 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for your kindness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101

      and sympathy, lyvwyr101.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:37:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That small rainbow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo

        is on its way.

        I lost my best friend not to long ago-too.

        I was lucky to have had her with me as long as I did.

        When it is time to say  good bye-that decision is made with both courage and compassion.

        Make room for that rainbow-hearts heal.

        "Republicans keep saying they want their country back. I want my country forward."-Bill Maher

        by lyvwyr101 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 05:08:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  that's the best of what is wanted... (9+ / 0-)

    ...I was right beside him, talking to him, petting him...

    ...in life, coming in, and going out...

    All the best, allenjo, from a lucky dog.

  •  A poem for you (10+ / 0-)

    Sorry for your loss.  Be happy for the wonderful life you gave your friend while he was with you.  And for the ability to have loved that dog as much as you did.

    Been thru this several times and I fully understand the total heartbreak you are experiencing.  As does Kipling:

    The Power of the Dog
    by
    Rudyard Kipling

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie--
    Perfect passsion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find--it's your own affair--
    But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
    So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

    The Power of the Dog
    by
    Rudyard Kipling

  •  Tremendous sympathy for your heartache. (7+ / 0-)

    There's no getting around that ache when we love them so much. So let the tears come!

  •  Thanks for writing. (6+ / 0-)

    This is a tough thing for any dog owner.  There's a book by another rescue dog owner who wrote about dealing with the loss.  It's by right-wing-nut Mark Levin, but this sort of thing is deeper than politics:

    http://www.amazon.com/...

  •  So very sorry for your loss and thank you for (6+ / 0-)

    sharing a little bit of Coco.  Looks like a very sweet dog and bless you for adopting her and giving her all those years of love.

    "...I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards.".Julian Assange

    by Sydserious on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:04:51 PM PDT

  •  Good dog, Coco. (9+ / 0-)

    You run on ahead now.  We'll catch up.

  •  Memories of a stray cat (5+ / 0-)

    A long time ago, I rescued a stray cat that was living -- no, existing; it wasn't much of a life -- in a small fenced-off space at the end of the alley in Boston where I then had an apartment. It took several days of feeding, inching closer each day as the little thing grew in her trust of me, till I could snatch her up, stuff her into a carrier, and bring her to my vet.

    She was filthy. She was half-starved. Her long fur was so matted she had to be shaved over most of her body. Worse yet, she'd broken one hind leg above the hock some time ago and it had healed up bent outward, so that she walked on the inside edge of the paw. My vet almost cried when he saw that; he said if he'd gotten her right away he could have fixed it, but by now it was too late.

    Well! That wee Piglet (so named for her enthusiastic appetite) could get around just fine on that crippled leg, could run like blazes on it in fact, and she settled in with me and my other cats quite happily. Her body filled out; her fur grew back in to a rich soft brown tabby and white; and she proved to be an affectionate, gentle cat. We were all so happy.........

    Until, after several months, things started to go downhill. Piglet began losing weight, despite continuing to eat voraciously. Her energy diminished. She began spending long stretches of time lying by the water dish, alternately drinking and just resting her head on its edge.

    A visit to the vet confirmed my fears: Piglet was ill. Specifically, she was diabetic. We discussed whether to try her on insulin; but my vet's considered opinion was that euthanasia was the kindest option. And so I said a sad goodbye to my little rescue. It grieved me, yes; but it comforted me to know that I had plucked her from misery and given her a happy life for its last few months.

    Dude, your statistical average, which was already in the toilet, just took a plunge into the Earth's mantle. ~ iampunha

    by ETF on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:14:14 PM PDT

    •  given her a happy life for its last few months. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, ms badger, SomeStones, ETF, freesia

      Thank you for sharing this. That you were able to give Piglet such love and caring, a happy home for the time she had on this earth. Someone cared enough and that was you. Bless you.

      I feed many feral cats where I live but there are so many. They live such short lives, and it is so heartbreaking.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:52:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a beautiful post. (6+ / 0-)

    I am so very sorry about your loss, and I can feel it deeply in my heart reading this.

    I have always owned several dogs at a time, and when each one departs, the loss is almost unbearable.

    But it IS true that one cannot replace another as each is so unique and wonderful.  Each one really does have a special place not only in my heart, but in my memories.

    When I hear a cow bell, I think of Chips. When I see a Golden retriever, I think of the masterful Katie.  When I see an abused or neglected dog, I see Flopsie.  Two true buddies... I see Kaweah and Ralph.  Yellow labs, it's Luke and Dax and their dad, Pete. German Shelpherds it's Duke and Hopi.  Cocker spaniels, I see Joy-Joy.  Doxies, I see Wrennie and Artie.  Poodles or poodle-ie doggies, I see Beau.  And the list is ever longer than this.

    You will have beautiful memories and also know that you were THERE when they needed you the most.

    BTW, that is the BEST dog video I have ever seen... and notice, they recycle:)

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:19:59 PM PDT

    •  When I hear a cow bell, I think of Chips. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, ms badger, SomeStones, ETF, cany

      I don't know what it will be in the future that will most make me think of Coco.

      You have such a big list of well loved and cared for dogs! Bless you for caring for so many.

      A friend sent me that video saying it was her husband's happy song, and thinking of Coco that way would help me.

      When I feel less grief, I want always to think of Coco just walking on sunshine, free and happy, like all the dogs in the video.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:57:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so sorry for your loss (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, ms badger, SomeStones, allenjo

    There is something special about the unconditional love of a pet that makes them much, much more than an animal.  It sounds as though you and Coco were very good for each other, and I am glad for you both that you were with him at the end.

    My cat, Meikan, died about a year ago, and the pet community here was very supportive.  I hope their kindness is a comfort for you, as well.

  •  {{{allenjo}}} (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, ms badger, SomeStones, allenjo

    My deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved Coco. May you find comfort in your memories of your lives together.

    Coco was met at the Rainbow Bridge by our black Labrador Lucky who went to the Bridge two years ago.  Lucky will show Coco all best napping places and all the best fields to chase each other around in.

    •  ah, munchkn (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, ms badger, SomeStones, ETF

      you brought such a smile to my face.

      Sorry for your loss of Lucky.

      How great to know that your Lucky is Coco's new pal. Perhaps Coco will teach Lucky how to be a circus dog, or at least his circus dances.

      Coco was small only 20-22 lbs, but at the dog park, he only wanted to play with the big dogs. So from the safety of his inside the little dog fence,
      Coco would run along the side of the fence barking and yapping joyously until he got the attention of a big dog or two, that would run on big dog side of the fence up the hill and then down the hill and again and again until they were all tired out. One of his favorite things to do. Seems so long ago now.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been there. You're not alone. (6+ / 0-)

    My mind and heart flood with memories, tears.  You asked us to share our stories.  

    Rufus was a gift, 10 months after the death of my mother (my father had died 2 1/2 years before).  I was barely 22.  My adult life was lived with that black little cock-a-poo.  He used all of his immense intelligence to make it clear he disliked any man I went out with.  When he was 8 I met a men at a party who drove me home.  Rufus climbed into his lap and put his head on his shoulder.  We were married 6 weeks to the day after that meeting.  It will be 30 years August 15.  Rufus died a month shy of his 19th birthday.  

    Then came Calliope, the only dog we didn't rescue. The only one we raised together from a puppy.  I swear she radiated a kind of golden topaz energy that covered everyone in her path.  She died in my arms when she was 17 1/2.  In her last hour, her eyes that had been completely covered in cataracts looked up at me and I swear for a good half hour, they were that deep, soulful brown/black they had always been.  She looked at me with such love.  We had been so devoted to each other in her last months.  

    We adopted Pilgrim when Calliope was 8 years old.  He was about 4 or 5.  We literally fell in love with each other across a crowded room.  He lived his life as if everything but me was a fog -- I was the only thing in focus for him.  I will never be able to explain the depth of the love we shared.  We lost him last October 29, to insulinoma after 9 months of nursing day and night. He was about 17 years old.  I never thought I could decide to say good bye to Pilgrim.  My husband had to be strong for all of us.  He had started to lose the life in his eyes, the seizures wouldn't stop.  He felt my touch until he could feel no more.  The hardest thing I have ever done.  No one will ever love me the way Pilgrim did.  

    Harvey walked into our lives in a parking lot.  About 10 years old with a tumor the size of my fist.  We had the tumor removed and were told by doggie cancer specialists that the cancer would come back in 10 months -- guaranteed.  They wanted to do radiation, but he was now afraid of the car and doctors.  I told my husband we would love him, care for him and give him the best months we could.  I never thought I would have the strength to get that attached and say good by that fast, but we would do whatever Harvey needed.  The cancer didn't come back for 6 1/2 years.  We caught it early, amputated his toe so it wouldn't spread.  But his old heart and kidneys gave us a fight for 9 months.  Anything we wanted to do was okay with Harvey.  Even when I could no longer balance his meds and he was barely able to take a breath.  The first dog we had to decide to say good bye to.  He was in our arms, told him how much he was loved, felt our touch until his last moment.  

    Nickelby came into our lives before we knew how sick Pilgrim was.  About 3 years old.  A cairn/silky terrier mix.  When Pilgrim had his first seizure, Nickelby ran to get me and did not leave his side for the next 6 months.  Watched him, cared for him.  Sat on the sofa staring at Pilgrim's bed for a solid week after he was gone.  He was such a blessing in those last months.

    I wasn't ready.  I didn't know if I'd ever be ready after losing Pilgrim.  I'd lost three dogs in 2 1/2 years.  My husband had lost both of his sisters in this period.  We were raw.  But I saw Kasper on the website of the shelter where we adopted Nickelby.  I wasn't ready, was I?  My husband quietly said to me, "You honor Pilgrim by opening your heart."  

    So in Kasper came -- a maltese/bichon mix, under a year.  Fully of puppy energy and naughtiness.  Had just lost his elderly owner and his other doggy companions.  To our surprise, Nickelby didn't think very much of him.  Really would have preferred being an only dog, which was such a surprise.  

    The best surprise is that in 6 short months, they've become the best of friends -- they play together, they cuddle.  If we had waited too much longer it would have been harder on Nickelby to accept another dog, I'm sure of that.  

    I would not be who I am without my dogs.  I only hope I am 1/100th the person they see when they look at me.  

    When the time is right, you will honor Coco by opening your heart.  Right now it's raw and painful and unbearable.  The hole in your heart doesn't close, but it subtly takes the shape of someone who needs your love.  I can tell by your beautiful diary that your heart is just too fine to not open it to another puppy in need.  

    My heart goes out to you.  My deepest sympathy for your loss.  

    •  Thank you for sharing that beautiful story of all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, SomeStones, Curiosity

      of the dogs you have opened your heart and your home to, 57andFemale. Your heart is as big as all outdoors.

      Animals bring so much to our lives.

      I am concerned about my son's family who have one cocker spaniel they rescued almost 16 years ago who became deaf a fews years ago and became totally blind a few weeks ago. However, her spirit is great and they have helped with sniff points around inside, and she is finding her way, and calmer now. But her days on earth are limited. They have another dog that came to them as a little puppy about 13 years ago, and just had surgery for a life threatening tumor, that the vet did not think would make it, but he did.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:38:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Condolences. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, marina, Rosita, ms badger, allenjo

    Coco lived a life to be envied because of you.

    My wife and I have gone from 3 dogs and 4 cats to 1 dog and two cats over the last 3 years. They are all rescues and those still with us average over 14. It is never easy to loose one of our furry family members, but remembering the love and good times always eases the pain.

    From Eugene O'Neill as part of his tribute to an old Dalmatian called "Blemie" (as if written by Blemie):

    One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved."

    No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of Death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.

    I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps himself in the Constitution than someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps himself in the flag! Ivins

    by SomeStones on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:30:52 PM PDT

    •  Beautiful tribute. SomeStones (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, marina, SomeStones

      I just came back from a big Greek baptismal celebration and one of the guests there who visits where Coco is buried at a friend's house, said to me, "I miss my Coco baby. I took some doggie biscuits to Coco's grave, and said I miss you Coco, baby and these are for you!"

      Small thing but it touched my heart.

      Bless you for all the dogs and cats that you and your wife have rescued. I am sorry for those you have lost.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:44:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am signing off now as it was (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SomeStones, freesia, Curiosity

    pretty much a raw day of emotion for me. Attending a party that I was not really up for was draining also.

    But I want to share a really happy memory of Coco, when we went to visit family on a Greek island who had 3 dogs, and Coco was so happy because he was part of a pack.  They lived in the countryside so the dogs all ran free on the grounds.

    Coco being so excited about being "in the pack" that he started howling like a wolf at the moon, and soon the other 3 dogs were howling just as loud, and they were all having a fine ole time, just howling away.

    When you think of how little it takes for an animal to feel total happiness and joy..........

    Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

    by allenjo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:21:24 PM PDT

  •  You have my sympathy... It was 3 weeks ago lost (5+ / 0-)

    my Boo... the sweetest big lug... from cancer. He died at home in my arms with sweet words murmured into his big heart... So I understand and am crying as I write this.

    We bought tennis balls by the case because he loved to retrieve them and sometimes he experimented with dumping them in rivers and lakes... so every time I see a tennis ball I think of him... I finally have his den ,otherwise known to fools as a walk-in closet back and it makes me sad to not climb over him for clothes. His sister is still mourning and can't stand to be away from the rest of her pack for any time at all.

    The only regret is that I had to go get groceries the morning he died and for the first time in over 10 and a half years he didn't race to the door when I called let's Go (his sister did and that should have told me something was wrong)...Stupidly I left him when I feel I should have just stayed with him and held him and told him I loved him...I can't quite forgive myself yet because I am sure I hurt him... I just didn't know it was his day to die...

    Dogs are so special.

    •  You came back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo

      and he knew you would, Boophus. At least the last thing he knew of this earth was the love and care of his human. I am sure he had a great dog life. Best to you and his sister.

    •  They don't expect us to be perfect. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo

      I was racked with guilt that I had not done everything perfectly for Pilgrim, that I got so very tired and didn't hold him every minute his last night.  

      The support group for his insulinoma helped me to realize that Pilgrim didn't expect perfection from me.  

      It will come in time, your forgiveness of yourself.  Because no one knows what's in our hearts like our pets do.  

    •  Oh boophus, what a heartfelt post (0+ / 0-)

      I can feel the pain in your heart.

      On Wednesday, Coco just seemed to let me know that it was his last day. And it was heartbreaking. He wanted to be outside and first it was the courtyard, but he went to lay down in groundcover where I could not sit by him, so I brought him back inside. Then Coco wanted to go out to the garage, and lay under the car. So I sat out in the garage by him, giving him water as he was very thirsty, though he would quickly throw it up. Later he moved out to the lawn, and I got a chair and sat by him, still giving him water and talking to him and comforting him. As it began to grow dark, I had to pick up him and bring him back inside, and he was weak then and did not fight me. I put him on the couch beside me, talking to him, and to a friend on the phone, telling her what was happening with Coco, as Coco's eyes glaced over, and who told me the moment when he slipped into a coma and then when death came. I don't know what I would have done without my friend to help. I wrapped Coco in a blanket and put him in a box under a ceiling fan for the night, until we could bury him on Thursday.

      On Thursday morning when I got up, it was if not just Coco's body was there, but as if his spirit was also.

      I hope that you have no regrets about the grocery shopping, as we never know when it is their day to die.

      For Boo, "the big lug," to know such love, and to die in your arms with your comforting touch and voice is the greatest blessing.

      Yes, each and every one is so special.

      Rest in Peace, Boo, running free and happy now.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 06:03:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  R.I.P. Coco, part and parcel of The Good Dog. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, freesia, Curiosity

    He'll be back. They all come back. The Good Dog comes when it is called.

    Sometimes they keep coming back, looking almost the same - I have my eleventh retriever, Maybelline, - even as they are all so individual.

    But there is something in every dog that leads us to all dogs. There is something in all my old retrievers - strong, alert, handsome, clever, heroic, merry, athletic, elegant, - that leads directly to my newest canine pal, Maxwell, a comic and intense and dauntless eighteen pound terrier.

    I know if I had met Coco, I'd see him in Max, and in Mabel, too. They are all the Good Dog.

    You'll see, in a day or a month or a year. The Good Dog will come, when it's called!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:27:20 PM PDT

  •  My heart goes out to you and Coco (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, allenjo

    I'm sending some good thoughts your way :-)

    Please support equality in California: http://www.couragecampaign.org

    by Curiosity on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:04:34 PM PDT

  •  My parents vowed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, allenjo

    that when our toy poodle died after 17 years of mixed blessings, they would never get another dog.  Three days later, my sister drove Mom to the pound to get another.  She couldn't stand sitting in her chair with nothing on her lap.  

    The new dog was a mixed blessing as well.  He would tear up the house if left alone for more than a few minutes.  In nice weather, they would come home to find him waiting for them on the front stoop, having clawed his way through a screen.  After awhile, they simply didn't go anywhere without him.  He had his own food and water in the back seat.  If it was too hot or too cold, they'd drop him off with one of us or ask us to come over and dog sit.

    Pets are amazing beings.  They add a whole other dimension to our lives, and losing them can be almost worse than losing a human being.  Blessings to you in your sorrow!

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:00:06 PM PDT

  •  {{{allenjo}}} (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, allenjo

    I'm so sorry about Coco.  I know how  hard it is to let go of our furry family members.

  •  Thank you to all of you who shared such love of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, Debbie in ME

    animals, who posted to show your caring and concern, your sympathies, your memories of your dogs and cats, all of you who have rescued animals, saving their lives.

    I was blessed that Coco about a week before he died had a surge back to the past, and was quite lively and energetic. He was dancing a bit, quite animated, he jumped up on the car seat a few times, even tried chasing a cat a few feet. I began to think that he was actually getting better, though that was not to be. I have that memory of that special time for him.

    My best memories of Coco will be of a younger, energetic Coco, who would get all excited when company came, dancing away, sure that they had only come to visit and pet him.  

    I will think of him running free in the parks when we lived in Greece, where there was no lease law. I will think of him riding in the basket of my bicycle, happy just to be out. Of his traveling on a train in Greece, sitting freely inside the car, not crated, or traveling by ferry, out in the open seas, free in the ocean breeze. I will think of him in all the outdoor cafes, of his dancing to get someone to pay attention to him.

    I will think of an abused dog, damaged in many ways from the ill treatment of children, who always scared him, and his little heart would pound away when any were nearby, and I will think of Coco now, running fast, running free, just as he did at the dog park by the fence, alongside the big dogs.

    So, Coco, my eyes are filled with tears as I write this final goodbye to you. You were a brave dog, your survived so much, and yet your spirit was indomitable. We shared so many memories in different countries.

    And now may your soul soar in doggie heaven.

    I am missing you so much, but soon, very soon, I hope that the pain will leave and I will just feel that rainbow that your soul left in my heart.

    Rest in Peace, Coco.

    Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

    by allenjo on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 06:31:38 AM PDT

  •  {{{allenjo}}} (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME

    I am so sorry. Please accept my deepest sympathies and the sympathies of the entire PWB community.

    Economic: -7.62 Social: -5.74
    Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

    by triciawyse on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 12:23:05 PM PDT

  •  {{{allenjo & coco}}} My sincere sympathy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee

    R.I.P. EdmundR.I.P. Maggie

    Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow.

    by NormAl1792 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 12:30:00 PM PDT

  •  so sorry for your loss (0+ / 0-)
  •  I am so sorry. Candles are lit for your loss. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I am so sorry for your loss and I want to share (0+ / 0-)

    this with you.  We had a friend who was a vet.  He died three weeks ago.  He was the kindest, sweetest and gentlest man who loved all animals.  He helped us with are rescues and rescued so many animals himself. At his memorial service, someone remarked:  

    "P. has crossed the rainbow bridge. I know he will be petting and loving on all of our pets who are gone from us.  That gives me comfort."

    I think that he will be there for Coco and I hope that gives you some comfort, too.

    My heart to your heart.  I know how hard this is because I have also lost so many fur children over the years.  May healing light surround your grieving heart.

  •  so very sorry for your loss (0+ / 0-)

    my heart goes out to you

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 02:50:03 PM PDT

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