Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Goodnight, Sweet Buddy

I'm writing this through a thick veil of tears at the moment. On Sunday my sweet little buddy started having focal seizures and we discovered a mass on her brain. By Monday afternoon I made the decision to not allow her to suffer and let her go. In between the seizures, Coopy was fine - her sweet, loving self, but she knew something was wrong and she gave me a look that said, 'fix this, Kelly, you're the only one that can'. I didn't want to do it. I tried to find every excuse I could not to, but in the end I couldn't put her through another day of seizures, knowing it would only get worse.

This is, without a doubt, the most painful thing I have ever done or gone through. I've lost people in the past, people I loved, but Cooper was my every day. She was my child, my companion, my best friend. She was the one I leaned on through everything else. She came into my life at a time when I needed her the most and she molded me into the person I am today. I said to my Mom as she was going to sleep, "I don't know who I am without her." But last night it came to me: I'm exactly who she made me.

Her end came peacefully. I laid down on the blanket with her and whispered in her ear all the things I always said, kissed her in all her favorite places, rubbed her soft ear through my fingers. The vet who had become so attached to her was in tears. They turned off the lights and brought in a soft lamp and left me and Mom alone with Coop as she drifted off, then gave us time after to say good-bye. She looked so peaceful, just like she always did cuddled up on my bed fast asleep.

To say Coopy was special to me would not even come close to touching the reality of our relationship. We had an intuitive thing going on. She knew me better than anyone. I loved that she loved me for it anyway, and was always there.

So to you little buddy,

I loved the way you rushed down and greeted me at the door whether I was gone five minutes or five hours. I loved how when I went away on a trip you always knew the exact day I was expected home and spent that day pacing the door.

I loved how crazy excited you got at every single meal time, jumping up and down, whining and letting out little barks. Or the way you would follow at my heels as I got your dish ready. I loved how you yawned long and loud and could make it sound like Joey from Friends saying, 'How you doin'.

I loved in the morning how you would sidle up beside me, rub your paws over that sweet face, then rest them on your nose and peek up with one eye to make sure I was watching. Then do it again because you knew I thought it was the cutest damn thing in the world. I love how you knew the best way to get me out of bed in the morning to get your breakfast was to sit next to me on the bed and lean your weight on my bladder. I love how you hogged over half the bed.

I loved how you flipped my arm up with your nose to slip under it and how when you wanted a kiss you would inch your face closer to mine in degrees, bit by bit until it rested against my cheek. I loved how affectionate you were, every minute of every day for twelve and a half years without fail. For someone who was used to keeping their feelings locked inside, you found the key then kicked open the door anyway.

I loved how you taught me responsibility and selflessness in a way that I never minded taking on either.

I loved the way you crawled up and rested all 42 lbs on my chest like you were still a little puppy, or how I couldn't take a nap without you curling up behind my knees or against my chest. I loved how you always put yourself between me and anything you perceived as a potential danger.

I loved the way you cocked your head to the side and quirked an eyebrow when I talked to you about pretty much everything, as if you were giving everything I said great weight and consideration. Or the dubious look you gave me when perhaps I was throwing out an idea that didn't quite fly. I'm pretty sure you're still listening, and that's good. Because I'm still talking to you and I doubt that will ever stop.

I love all the little nicknames you had and that you answered to every one of them: Sweet pea, Sweetie, Stinky Bean, Smudge, Inspector Clouseau, Coop, Coopy, Coop-pa-pah! I love that you never made fun of my crazy dancing in the kitchen even when the only music was in my head. I loved that you didn't howl in agony when I sang out loud.

I loved that no matter where in the house I went, you were right there with me.

I loved how everyone who met you thought you were the sweetest thing. And you were.

I loved that you loved me unconditionally every day no matter what my mood, what I did, or how little I might have deserved it.

I love that you never let me be down, not ever. You always made me feel better. I'll try to find some of that now and hang on to it because I know you wouldn't want to see me like this.

I love every single memory you left me with and I will cherish ever last one of them.

I loved all the million and one little things you filled every single day with and I will miss every one of them for every day after. This house is so empty without you, sweetie and I can barely stand it, yet at the same time I feel you here with me and it helps.

He whom we love and lose is no longer where he was before. He is now wherever we are. ~ St. John Chrysostorn, fourth century bishop

Do not stand by my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

I love you sweet buddy. I miss you so very, very much. Save me a spot, put in a good word, play with Chaser and Riley. I'll see you when I get there.


Erin said...

Dang...shoulda known better than to read that at the office.

That was a beautiful tribute, Kelly. Nothing else to say (not that I haven't already said, anyway).

Christine said...

Oh Kelly I'm in tears for you. That was beautiful. HUGS!

Tess said...

Erin's right, Kelly - a beautiful tribute to your best friend. I'm crying too. Big, big hugs.

julia said...

Beautiful picture of Cooper, beautiful memories you shared with us. Very moving post.

So sorry you're going through this. I'm glad they made it as nice for you at the vet as they did. Love to you.

Christine said...

I should have listened to Erin and read this at home. What a beautiful post.

I've been thinking of you all day and what you are going through. You are right...she's looking down at you, smiling. LOL

Annie Mac said...

Unconditional love is a wonderful thing. So glad you had Coop in your life.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh my gosh, Kelly, I'm literally in tears. I know how special your Cooper was to you. I"m so glad you have such beautiful memories of her. Hugs to you.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Kelly, I'm so sorry. I know how much he meant to you. My dog died a few weeks ago and it's like some of the sunshine went out of the house. I'm thinking of you. Hugs,

Julie S said...

Oh, Kelly, I'm so sorry for your loss! I'm in tears, too. Thanks for sharing these special memories with us.

Jane said...

That was the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I know how much she meant to you and I know how hard it is to lost your best friend.

annette said...

Again, I'm so sorry, Kelly. Big hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful tribute. I hope when I pass on someone will say something half as moving as that about me. I need to go give my two dogs the biggest hugs ever.

MaryF said...

HUGS, Kelly! I'm so so sorry. I'm crying, too, and off to hug my kitties.

Adrian said...

How moving that was. We're thinking of you!

Sarah L. Catherine said...

So sad for you over your puppy -- feel better soon!

John said...

Most moving eulogy I've seen in a long time. And I'm a cat person.

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