Ode to Cooper (Halloween 2017)

After we got the sad news on Monday, October 30, we took Cooper out to Vallacito Lake, one of his favorite spots, where we could watch his beautiful body run (albeit slowly). A couple months ago, when I took him there, I had a “light bulb” moment– I realized that Cooper loved running JUST for the sake of running! I had never really noticed that before, but how he loved to do just that!

The next day, I went to work, and Steve took Cooper to say goodbye to some friends, then to their favorite spot, the dog park, and then to the sandwich shop in the downtown mall, where he always got a handful of turkey.

It was a very peaceful and sweet ending. The day, weather wise, was interesting. A dusting of snow upon awakening at dawn, sun and clouds off and on, a lovely ray of late afternoon sun shining in the room at the vets (he loved going to the vet!), and finally, on the long way home, a phenomenal rainbow, spanning both sides of the highway, the north end seeming as if it were coming right out of the vets office building in the distance.

We didn’t know how sick he was. He had us fooled these last 3 weeks. At times he seemed so normal, but most days, he would “crash” about 4 pm, be out, asleep, for a good 12-16 hours, then rally again, acting like his old self, tail wagging, ready for a walk, eating, drinking, happy to have his treats. But by the end, his lovely belly, so sleek and strong and steady, was not the same. The disease grew quickly.

As many of you know, we had about 24 hours with Cooper after his terminal diagnosis on Monday. What a gift from him and the helpful recommendations of our vet— he wasn’t in pain, no surgeries, no frequent trips to the vet; his last weeks being mostly his “normal” self, but as we would eventually learn, he was very uncomfortable, but put up a brave face each day. And Andrew, always so wise, said, how wonderful it would be for us to not have huge vet bills AFTER Cooper was gone, as they had had when they lost Indie last year.

And these are the pals he will miss, and will miss him:
His canine friends Chester, Izzy, Boone, Chaco, Indie, Jake, Pria, Lola, Eiger. His best feline buddy Bob-e, with whom he shared many adventures, and from whom he protected from the big bad bears and other undesirables in the neighborhood. His human friends, most of whom you know, but also my office neighbors Sam and Jen; Jesse in my office coffee shop always made Cooper sit for his treat; my clients, who always loved to see Cooper in my office (my always checking with them first to make sure they were OK, and not allergic to having a dog in my office): but over 10 years, there were many clients who were always so happy to see him there (a true therapy dog); Joanie, one of his favorite dog sitters, with her one acre fenced-in yard full of lots of critters; his 2nd family Ashley and Izzy, Margaret and Ophelia; Kathleen, who never tired of Cooper being just “dropped off” for the day and more; LuAnn at “Fat Cats and Healthy Hounds”, our dog store; the guys at Home Depot, whom Cooper knew always had treats in their pockets,

We will surely get another dog. But we did finally realize that we must suffer a true period of grieving (like I didn’t know that—duh…) as we can never replace Cooper. A new relationship will be just that—a new relationship…never the same as the old.

Thank you Safe Harbor, for these wonderful years.

With love,

Jane, Steve and Bob-e