Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Blues

Good morning all,

As you know, I've just had a week off.  I wish I could tell you that I'm back full of vim and vigor and revitalized, but sadly I have to tell you I've just been through a wretched week.

We had come to the conclusion last weekend that we would have to have our beloved big brown boy, Coco, put to rest last week, so I wanted to spend his last days completely with him.

At the age of 17, he had become very tired and was having great difficulty walking with his hip dysplasia, couldn't see very well and couldn't hear at all.  Despite all that, we was still very enthusiastic about his daily walks (even if I had to carry him up the stairs from the street to our house when we returned home and at 50 lbs., it was no easy feat but something I was happy to do).  He still had a great appetite and was always ready for a treat and a visit with anyone.

On Thursday, our wonderful vet and her assistant came to our house and she was able to tranquilize Coco first with a quick injection in his back (which he didn't feel), so he didn't have to struggle having his leg shaved and getting the injection in a vein. Once he was totally relaxed, the vet was able to give him the leg injection and he didn't even feel it or know it was happening. It was the most peaceful and serene euthanasia I've seen (trust me, I know, as Coco was our third dog to be euthanized in the last 4 years).  The other two had become ill suddenly at different times and had to be taken to the vet's office, where we went through the leg injection and it seemed so quick, stressful and sudden, I couldn't bear to put Coco through that.  So Coco was able to be at home on his own little rug in our living room.  It was all we could ask for a little friend who deserved the very best.

Coco was a rescue dog, you see.  The first two years of his life were deplorable and he had sat in a kennel for two months at our local Humane Society after being found foraging in a ditch for food, half starved and afraid of everyone and everything.  He was in very dire straits when our daughter adopted him in 1997 and he came to live with us.  And never again was he forced into a kennel.  We've had dog sitters come to our house for the last 15 years to look after our dogs if we had to be away.  After being at the Humane Society for so long, Coco was always afraid of big buildings......I soon learned he would just put his brakes on and stop dead in the street if I attempted to take him into a large building.  So, we just didn't do that.

Once he became part of our family, he learned very quickly to trust again and he became a dog owner's dream companion.  He loved everyone and everyone loved him.  I can't tell you how many people in town got to know Coco as we walked the boardwalk every single day.  And most everyone stopped to greet him.  Even other dogs loved him and would always run to greet him.  He had a sweet face and a sweeter disposition.  He was the same, day in and day out, never wavering in his quiet demeanor and devotion.

As years passed, and his face became whiter and whiter, he became the little old man of the neighborhood dogs (there are 13 dogs in 9 houses in our neighborhood), so we are a dog loving group of people.

And the only time in the 15 years we had him that he barked was in the summertime, when visiting tourists would drive by our house in Old Charlottetown in a horse drawn buggy.........Coco loved those horses and would hear them coming long before anyone else in the neighborhood.  He would come racing down the stairs barking, through the dining room, through the kitchen and out his doggie door and around the house and be at our front picket fence in time to see the horse go by and would bark happily until the horse was long out of sight.  One day, I was sitting in our living room as the horse and carriage came down the street and I heard the tour guide say, "and in this house on the hill lives Coco" - and everyone in the carriage looked up, waved and said hello to Coco - who replied by madly wagging his tail and barking some more.  Coco had become part of the sightseeing tour and was a regular attraction until he lost his hearing two years ago and then there was silence when the horse came by.

I could go on about Coco, but you get the picture.  All I can say is that it was a very sad day last week when he was put to rest.  Even the neighbors were in tears.  We were devastated.  But so grateful that we had the good fortune of being his caretakers and knowing that we were able to restore his faith in man........and provide him with a most wonderful life and in return, receive the kind of love, devotion and affection only a dog can give.

RIP Sweet Coco
1995 - April 12, 2012


  1. When I read about Coco, I cried. It's so very
    difficult to lose these beautiful furry friends.
    My heart is with you. Now go adopt another
    baby in need!


  2. What a wonderful relationship your family and Coco had.
    I too became teary when reading this. Grief takes a while to get over. Even in the best of circumstances.
    How lucky to have been able to live in one place for so long and to have a beautiful friend to share it all with.
    I am sorry for your loss!!