Pet Memorials
Helping Families Honor the Lives Of Those They Love
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Coco
8/12/2017We adopted Coco in December 2013. We had looked at hundreds of pictures on petfinder and shelter pages and nothing clicked so I took my daughter by the hand, strapped my 3 months old in the Ergo and stepped into the local animal shelter. We walked by so many doors and looked into so many eyes and ended up with a list of several dogs we wanted to meet. So we sat in the room and dog 1, then 2, than 3 were brought in. It did not click. Then Birdie was brought in. And it clicked - she was just so sweet and apparently one of the shelter's favorites. Pictures were sent to my husband and the decision was made to put in an application to foster to adopt. We picked her up December 23.

Birdie was renamed Coco and she stole our daughter's and my husband's heart in no time.
There was just one problem - she kept barking at me which confused the hell out of me. Shortly after we Adopters her my husband was going on a business trip and I was left with a dog that kept looking and barking at me. So I scheduled an appointment with a dog trainer to test her for aggressiveness.  Well, she passed with flying colors... It is so funny to think back at that time and my fear because Coco was the sweetest dog you could meet and would never have hurt anyone. She just liked to talk to me and until the last day she did, even though the last time was just a sad try at doing so :-(
My husband always joked and called me the dog whisperer, lol.

We shared many adventures and Coco was my daughter's shadow for the longest time. She took her everywhere. She just had to call her name and Coco would come running, tail wagging. Emma felt safe with her, and Coco loved making sure she was safe, even if it was just from the dark in the bathroom :-)
In the morning she would see her off and you should have seen the excitement when she saw Emma step out of the bus in the afternoon.
She was great with my son too, and the older he got the stronger their bond got. She was so protective of these two.
The second most exciting part of the day would be my husband coming home from work. She loved greeting him at the door and it did not matter if he was still talking on the phone or tired - she did not take no for an answer. That was their time and nothing could stop her from claiming it.

She was a big love bug and never met a stranger. She even loved going to her vet.. seriously. I've seen dogs shaking, hiding, even putting on their brakes when called... not Coco. She went in tailwagging...

We discovered a tumor in December 2016 and it was removed in January 2017 - it was a mast cell tumor. She recovered well from the surgery but shortly after we found a big mass by her teets. Our doctor gave her little time but she surprised us all. I am not going to go over the various stages of her battle.  It was a rollercoaster ride, and not a fun one.

Shortly after she got sick, relationships changed and over the past 7 months Coco and I formed a bond that I cannot explain. We were just so close. She would lay with me, follow me and talk to me. But our big thing was her just laying her head in between my shoulder and head and us just sitting like that, connecting.

In June we decided to lower her prednisone dose and only up the dosage when acutely needed. Quality of life over quantity. And it really did give her back a lot of good times. She had not played with her toys for months and one day I thought one of the kids was playing with her squeaky toy just to discover it was actually her. It was one of these moments that I will always remember.

July 4 I started packing for our trip to Germany. The kids and I were going to see my family while my husband would stay behind taking care of Coco. She followed me everywhere and every time I sat down she was right there, cuddling up to me. She knew something was up and did not like it.
We stayed in Germany for 3 weeks and every time I talked to my husband I feared hearing that she was getting worse but she kept fighting. She was so happy to see us come home and we spent a great week with her before she started getting worse. Where before she had a bad day here and there, she would have good days but bad evenings, tired and in pain. We tried to keep her pain free by giving her Tramadol and it seemed to work. Friday she was up as usual but by lunch time she was not moving much, panting a lot and just different.  I don't know how but I knew this was different and I called the vet to tell him that I think it was time. He told me we could bring her by and let her go but it had to happen in the next 45 minutes because for insurance reasons his assistant had to be there too and his wife was graduating. 45 minutes... I could not do it. I needed us to be able to say goodbye, prepare the kids, and my husband would not have made it. He told me to keep her on the pain medicine and gave me the info for the emergency vet. We were hoping we would get one more weekend with her and let her go Monday morning.
Well, we did not get another weekend...

Coco's last day was filled with ice cream, cold cuts, doggie biscuits and mostly lots and lots of love. We did not get the weekend but we did get 8 more hours before her heart beat for the last time.

Coco has been gone for 2 days now and our hearts are broken. The house is not the same without her.  I keep catching myself looking for her when I enter the house or when we sit down and eat. I picked a piece of chicken of my son's finished plate this morning and called "Co..", stopping halfway realizing she was not there.
We miss her so so much. I know it was her time but our hearts were not ready.
Melanie ConroyLeague City, TexasAugust 15, 2017
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