Coco loved being out in the yard. Even as her eyesight faded
she easily found her way around.......knew where she could safely go and what areas to avoid.
Coco endured many physical problems in her all too short life.
As a young dog she suffered a broken leg which required surgery and the implanting of pins to aid in the healing. She
developed a cancerous tumor on her lower jaw which eventually led to the loss of a tooth. Then came the cataracts which
slowly stole her eyesight from her. And then the diabetes.
But finally, there was glaucoma. Coco's eyes became very inflamed
and she began to rub them almost constantly with her paws. A visit to the doctor and subsequent tests showed
that because of glaucoma, the pressure in Coco's eyes was three times normal.
Her doctor was very honest, letting me know that there was little
if anything to be done to ease her pain and discomfort. We tried eyedrops but there was little difference
in her pain.
And this was when I knew......it was time to let this sweet girl
go. I thought that the "decision" to help Coco earn her angel wings was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life..........and
My daughter Lisa was extremely distraught over my decision......and
I will forever be sorry for that. But I will never be sorry that I helped Coco when I did. Never.
While Lisa may not have been ready to let Coco go, I think she knew
in her heart that it was time......for Coco's sake.
I decided that we could wait two weeks before Coco left for Rainbow
Bridge. I knew that my daughter and granddaughters needed this time with Coco.....to come to terms with Coco no
longer being beside all of us in the physical world.
I made sure that I also explained to Mandy that her sister was
going to be leaving for the Bridge....and that we would be okay. Mandy grieved for some time afterward, but I know in
my heart that Mandy understands......
Coco and I also talked......many times during that two weeks.....and
I know that Coco understood.....and told me in her own way, that it was time......that she was asking for my help.
I talked to Coco daily about how much we loved her, but we didn't
want her to be in pain anymore. I explained in detail to her what would happen when she got to Rainbow Bridge.
I kept wondering if she understood and hoping that she did.
I asked my sister Carol, Mo's
Mom, if she would go with me. I knew that it would be hard for her but I really needed some moral support. I knew
that I would stay with my decision but I really needed Carol to help distract my thoughts on the ride to the doctor and the
ride back home. I thought that I might also need her to drive. I wasn't sure that I could handle it.
When Coco came to live with us, I wanted Mandy and Coco to be treated
equally. Coco's diet prevented her from having alot of different "treats", and Mandy graciously gave hers up.
Lisa informed me that one of Coco's favorite things to eat (before her diet was restricted due to the diabetes)
was "pizza bones" (crusts). The night before Coco was to go to Rainbow Bridge, we ordered a pizza and
Coco and Mandy had all the "pizza bones" wanted!!!!!
Much too quickly it was the next day. I tried to keep the day
as "normal" as possible but out of the ordinary things started happening. It rained on and off all day. Between
the rains I took Coco outside to take some more pictures of her.
Much too soon, it was time to go. I quietly got Coco's leash
out. It never made a noise, but all of a sudden Coco came running into the kitchen and started jumping up on me.
She was blind. How did she know that had gotten her leash out??? Added to that was the fact that she had never
jumped up on me before when I had gotten out her leash. Whether we were going to the doctor or the groomer, she would
always sit patiently while I put her collar and leash on. Mandy came into the kitchen to see what all the commotion
was about. Then my daughter came into the kitchen to give our baby a last kiss. Needless to say it was very
difficult to get her out of the house.
We went to the car and she jumped right in the
back seat. I then proceeded to Carol's house to pick her up. I didn't realize it until much later, but while I
was driving my teeth were clenched so tightly that my jaws ached and I was gripping the steering wheel so hard that I bruised
my hands. When Carol got in the car it calmed me down immediately.
Coco was sooooo excited when Carol got in the car. She had never been allowed to ride in the front seat but she wanted
in the front seat so bad....to be with Carol and myself, so I let her. Coco knew that this day was different.
When we arrived at the doctor's I wanted to walk
around outside with her for a little bit but Coco had already decided how things were going to be. She wanted to go
into the office right away. When they called her name she immediately headed in that direction. My dear sister
had to stop her for a moment to give her a kiss.
Coco and I went into the room and I laid her favorite afghan on the
floor and had her lay down on it. She laid there with her head on her paws. I laid down with her and put my arm
around her. We stayed like that for about a half hour and talked. We talked again about Rainbow Bridge, how much
she was loved and about how very special she was. She never moved from that spot. When the doctor came in she never
even raised her head. When he gave her the shot I just kept telling her over and over to run to the Bridge. I
laid there with her for another half hour with my arm around her and was thinking about how peacefully she went to the Bridge.
Then out of the blue it hit me as to why things weren't quite so "normal" that day. The things that she had done
that were out of the ordinary for her. This very special fur baby was ready to go to Rainbow Bridge.
As much as she loved us, she had had enough of this life here. She didn't want to be in pain anymore. I then knew
for sure in my heart that I had made the right decision.
It was cloudy when we went into the doctor's office. When I
went outside afterwards, Carol told me that the sun had come out for a brief time and we knew that it was then that Coco had
found her way to Rainbow Bridge.
Lisa, Mandy and I miss her terribly but we know that she is in a
much better place, out of pain, playing with all of the other furbabies, and waiting for us.
When I tried to explain to my daughter that Coco would let her presence
be known to us she didn't believe me. One day when I came home from work, my daughter was crying. When I asked
her what was wrong she replied that she had heard Coco scratch at the back door. She is now a believer!!! I have
also heard her scratch at the back door. Thank you, Coco, for letting us know that you are still with us and still giving
us your unconditional love......