It’s taken me a week to work up the strength to write this post yet as I sit here today it’s still extremely challenging for me. After 13 years together I had to say goodbye to my sweet Coco.
I’ll never forget the first day we met. I had adopted Gigi for my 19th birthday and about six months later I realized she needed a companion. I thought it would be a great opportunity to rescue an adult dog, one that’s much less likely to find a home than those that are in the puppy section. As I walked down the cold concrete hallway lined with individual cells I spotted a dog with the most beautiful black shiny coat curled up in a little ball. She looked up at me with the saddest expression on her face, almost like she was pleading to be saved. Little did I know, this look would become an easy way for her to get whatever she wanted for years to come.
The last thing I imagined in that moment was how difficult it would be to say goodbye one day. When we lost Gigi 3 years ago it was shocking and unexpected. I felt like my heart had been suddenly ripped from chest and I blamed myself for not realizing something was wrong. With Coco things were much more gradual. With each weekend hike she would start to tire earlier and earlier. Then eventually she lost the ability to walk on her own.
For the past 6 months, Brandon and I had been carrying her up and down the stairs to take her out and using a sling to assist her on her daily walk. I even bought a wheel chair in hopes that it would help her get around better but unfortunately she didn’t like that very much.
We were happy to help her walk as long as it kept her going but the real hurdle was when she stopped eating. I began preparing homemade food and spoon fed it to her in hopes that it would help. It did for a while but over time she rejected everything I tried.
I wish I could say that we had some clarity on what was wrong but multiple visits to the vet left us confused and bewildered. We tried a few different medications however, in the end she only got worse. During the last few days she struggled to breathe and was unable to stand up on her own. It became painfully clear that it was her time and we needed to let go.
As earth shattering as losing her has felt, I’m forever grateful for all of the happy moments we shared. Coco was the sweetest, most gentle dog I’ve ever met. She provided us with so much warmth and laughter, more than enough to overcome the many tears I’ve cried.
I will miss her every single day for the rest of my life but I have faith that she is in a better place roaming free and playing with her best buddy Gigi.
I’m so sorry Sarah :( Sending positive vibes your way!
Thank you, Liz! <3
O no :( Sending love <3
Thank you! <3
My heart breaks for you, Sarah. I’m so sorry to read about Coco’s passing. She always seemed like such a gentle loving girl. Sending you lots of hugs!!
Thanks Kelli. I know you understand how deep the love for our pups is. Give Riley a big hug for me!
I’m so so so sorry :( Sending hugs your way, thinking of you guys!! xoxo
Thanks Katie! xo
I am very sorry for your loss. It is one of the hardest things to go through.
I wrote to you a few months ago about my little guy Zeus. He was also 13 when I put him down in March. I read this post and had tears in my eyes. My heart just hurts for you, as I know how painful the loss of your best friend is. So very sorry for your loss!
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Raquel. It is the hardest thing to go through. Thank you so much for your kind words. You are in my thoughts!
My sweet daughter
My heart breaks for you and Brandon. I know how difficult it is to say good bye to our babies. You wrote this post most eloquently and with so much love. Coco and Gigi had wonderful lives with you and Brandon and knew how much they were loved. They were very picky to have you and Brandon and you them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Brandon. I love you my bear!
Thank you, Mama. I love you! xo
I hope you knew I meant lucky not picky…..I dislike auto correct!!
I lost my gorgeous boy last summer and it took a few months to even breathe again. The depth of our love is immeasurable….
“don’t cry because I’m gone, smile because I lived”.. it took many months but eventually, I could recall his silly antics and chuckle.
God bless and KNOW these amazing creatures are romping in meadows…splashing in brooks…..they are ONLY a heartbeat away.
What a lucky dog to have had you..and vice versa.
And if I go, while you’re still here,
Know that I still live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
Behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me.
So you must have faith.
I wait the time when we can soar together again,
Both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to the fullest,
And when you need me,
Just whisper my name in your heart.
I will be there.
Until we meet again….
Thank you so much for the kind words, Chia. Looking back at videos and pictures of her has been bringing me comfort in the recent days. We shared so much happiness together and I know we will be together again, as you will with your boy one day. <3
So, so sorry to read this. Losing a dog is truly crushing :(
It is heartbreaking. Thank you for the condolences, Hannah. <3
My heart goes out to you and your husband! Pets are like our children and even though I have 3 kids, I also have 3 dogs and 2 cats and my pets are as much my babies as my children! Your sweet doggie isn’t suffering or in pain anymore and she was truly grateful for the amazing life you gave her! She will be with you always in spirit and you will see her again someday!
Thank you so much, Amy. Your kind words mean the world to me.
Oh, Sarah :( I’m so, so sorry. I’m currently dealing with an older dog who’s starting to show a lot of the same signs, and I’m dreading each visit to the vet. Sending you tonnes of love <3
I thought watching Coco grow old would be easier than losing her suddenly, as I did Gigi. But either way it was extremely difficult. All we can do is cherish the time we have with them. I’m sending you lots of love and healthy wishes for Kyah!
Sarah! :( My heart goes out to you and to Brandon during this very sad time. Our dogs are true members of our families, and this loss must be so difficult. Remember all of the good times with that sweet lady! And know that she’s frolicking along in a better place now. Hugs and kisses, my friend.
Thank you, Ashley! I know you understand with your love for Rudy. You have plenty of great years left with him and I know you will cherish that time as much as I did with Coco. <3
Sending healing hugs my friend xoxo
Thanks love xoxo
I know the heartache you feel, Sarah. I’m so sorry for Cocos passing… it’s heart wrenching. Give yourself time to grieve… love and hugs to you and Brandon. xo Your in my heart.
Dear Brandon and Sarah, A part of your family is gone but the memories you created with Coco and Gigi (I think I helped you name them from French Movies) are with you forever. You can bring them to mind and know that their suffering is gone. Happy memories remain as long as you remember them. Love you both!
Thank you, Grandmere. You did help me name them and I think that is why they were such good girls. I am finding comfort in their memory. Miss and love you!
I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Nancy
Thank you, Nancy. It has been a rough couple of weeks but her memory is bringing me comfort. As always, I appreciate your kindness and hope all is well with you. <3
I’m so very sorry to read that you lost your beloved dog-child Coco. From all the posts you shared with your readers, it has always been abundantly clear how much she was loved and cherished, and she was one very lucky dog to get to go on so many wonderful trips and explorations with you and your husband. I don’t think anyone can truly know how you are feeling, because it was that one on one special connection with her that was uniquely yours, no one elses.
What timing, for you to be packing and moving across the country and for you to carry the burden of your sadness and your grief in parts unknown. I wish you any semblance of peace in your heart because I understand the hurt so well. Thank you for letting your readers know of your circumstances and I hope that reading the care from others will help you in some small way.
It was horrible timing, Jerilyn. We were hoping she would be able to enjoy Georgia with us for a little while but we had to go see the vet as soon as we got here. It was a very sad start to our time here but looking back at videos and pictures of her brings me comfort. Your words mean so much to me so thank you for taking the time to let me know you’re there. I appreciate it more than you know! xo
Oh this is so heartbreaking. I am so so sorry. I know how much you loved her and she seemed like such an amazing dog. Losing a pet is so incredibly hard and I’m thinking about you and sending lots of love. I will squeeze Bella extra hard tonight. <3
Thank you, Kelly. Give all of your babies big hugs and kisses for me! <3
I am so sorry to hear this Sarah. I saw this post pop up on Bloglovin and my heart broke for you when I read the entire post. I know how much you loved CoCo and I always enjoyed reading about your sweet girl. Praying for you and your family! Losing a dog is so incredibly difficult. If it helps at all, try to remember what a wonderful life CoCo had and how all she knew of life with you was love!
Thank you, Jana. I am trying my best to focus on the many years of love we shared. <3
Sending hugs your way, and from experience, I can tell you, although Coco and Gigi can never be replaced, there’s a hole in your heart that won’t heal until you go back to the shelter and adopt another forever friend…
My favorite quote(Anonymous) “Do not bore me with your petty attempts at friendship….I’ve owned a dog that licked my face, and a Man I didn’t even know died for me half a world away.”
I’m not sure the hole will ever heal but we will definitely rescue a few more pups one day soon. Thank you for sharing the touching quote with me, Cheryl! <3
I am so very sorry for your loss Sarah. It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to a furbaby. But looking at all of your posts, she always looked so happy with you and Brandon and you were truly blessed to have found each other. Sending you love and hugs!!
Thank you, Melissa! We were so blessed to have her in our lives. xo
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss :( Coco seems like the sweetest dog from the pictures. Sending you love in this difficult time. xo
Thank you, Jill. She really was the sweetest!
I thought I had subscribed to your blog already but I was mistaken. I just righted that mistake though and wanted to thank you for sharing this story and your pumpkin muffins the other day as well. Our family lost a loved animal a year ago and I can relate to the pain. Sorry for your loss, they were both beautiful babies.
Thank you, Darin. I’m so happy you enjoyed the muffins and I greatly appreciate your condolences. <3
Sarah my heart is just completely breaking for you :( I’m over here crying as I read this. Fur babies are just the absolute best and I have always always loved hearing stories about Coco. And I secretly wanted to come give her a big hug (says the crazy dog lady over here!). I bet she is having a blast with Gigi and both of them will be waiting to hang out with you both again some day :) Sending lots of hugs your way friend.
I’m sorry to make you cry but thank you for the kind words. Thinking about all of us being together again is my ultimate heaven. Squeeze Emma extra tight for me tonight! xo
Aww I’m so sorry for your loss Sarah. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose a pet. Thinking of you! <3
What a beautiful post, and such a nice tribute to your Fur Babies. It is such a difficult thing to say goodbye to our beloved pets, I know. I have done it as well. After a while I am able to smile or chuckle when a beautiful memory of one of them pops into my head! : ) Sending peace to you!
Thank you, Tonya! We took several videos of them together in their younger years and watching those has made me feel better about the good times we shared. The memories are ever lasting! :)
Oh girl, I am so sorry to hear this. Coco seemed like such a sweet pup, and I know that you were an amazing mom to her. Dogs really become part of our families – sometimes a lot more so than some of the people in our families – and I’m sure that you’re missing her so much. I teared up reading this because I know that we share the same love for animals, and I know how much you adored Miss Coco. Sending lots of love your way!
Thanks girly. I know you are just as attached to Harley as I was to Coco. They’re our babies! Give her a big hug and kiss for me. xo
Oh Sarah, I wish I could give you the biggest hug right now. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss..I know how much Coco meant to you and Brandon and feel fortunate I was able to meet her before she passed. She was a lovely spirit and I know she’ll always be with you. Thank you for sharing your experience with us…as sad as it is to hear she’s gone, your post is so very uplifting. You have an incredible outlook on life in general, and an amazing attitude toward this loss. I’m here if you need to chat any time…my love goes out to you and Brandon…RIP, Coco! xo
I’m sorry to read this Sarah. I know those girls were your babies. You should always take comfort in the fact that she knew she was very loved by the wonderful adventures you and Bran provided for her. She’s up on the rainbow bridge with Gigi and my Max and all the other pups and is no longer having to struggle with her health. Love you, hope to see you soon now that you are so close again! love you.
Thank you so much, Ang. They were my life for the past 13 years and it feel so weird to be without them. But I know they are in a better place with your handsome Max. We will definitely have to get together at some point soon. Love you! xoxo
I’ve been thinking about you since you said you didn’t think Coco could make the move — my heart went out to you.. I know it’s so hard losing a pet. I’m so sorry Sarah and I know there’s really no getting over her..I still cry over our old German shepherd that passed about 14 years ago. I’m thinking about you, friend!
Thank you, Marcie. Saying goodbye to my girls is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But the time we have with them is worth every second of pain we feel when they leave. Pups are the best! xo
Oh Sarah, I’m just now catching up and could just cry with you! Sending virtual hugs your way! Dogs are truly the best companions and it’s like losing a small part of your heart :(
I’m so sorry for your loss Sarah. I don’t really know what I can say to comfort you, but I’ll be thinking of you and Brandon! I hope your life in Georgia will be filled with fun and adventures and many good memories about Gigi and Coco.
Thank you, Anne. I’m honored that you are still here with me after all of these years. It means so much to me. I hope you are doing well! <3
Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry about this :( I’m in tears reading this right now. I used to say that I never wanted to get a pet because it would be too hard to say goodbye to them. Some days I get teary eyed just thinking that there is going to be a day when Cheeto won’t be around. Pets are our family and it is never easy to say goodbye to them. I’m sorry that you guys never figured out what was wrong with Coco, but I love that you guys did everything you could to make her last months as happy and as comfortable as you could!! She was such a lucky dog to have you in her life! xoxo!
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Sarah! I was just reading your 2016 best recipes post and realized I somehow missed this. I just want you to know I’m sorry for your loss (and sitting here crying after reading your post) and I’m thinking of you. Losing a dog is like losing a family member–it’s not easy! Just remember all the good times you had together <3
I’m sorry I made you cry! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. It’s so hard but still worth every second we had together. I appreciate your kind words. Give Layla a big kiss for me!