Rest in Peace Cocoa - I Miss You So Much.
We made the decision to have our 12.5 year old chocolate Lab Cocoa put to sleep last night and I am totally devastated. He had two protruding discs on his spine that were putting pressure on his hind legs, severe arthritis in his right front leg, Laryngeal Paralysis, and also Horner's Syndrome, which was most likely from the other issues he had going on. All these issues began happening just this past year, since he turned 12 years old last December. He was doing fine on medication for a good while, but as time went by, he started getting worse and to the point of hardly being able to walk. He couldn't even go up or down the three stairs that lead outside without a lot of help and he was a big boy, 98lbs. It was time, but I will always second guess myself on whether or not I did the right thing.
Putting him down was horrifying, I was always under the impression that they were given a shot and then very slowly drifted off to sleep, but that wasn't the case last night. The shot was given and he instantly fell over, as if he were having a major heat attack and his eyes never closed, they were huge, I can't stop thinking about it, I can't even talk about it, I hate myself right now. He kept looking at my husband and I for help, he was so afraid. If I'd had known that his last moments on this earth would be what I remembered the most, I'm not sure I could have gone through with it. I just hope he didn't feel any pain.
I wanted to write a very nice tribute to a dog that meant the world to me, but right now it's hard, I'm much too heartbroken. I look forward to the day when I can think of him without crying and remember all the joy and happiness he brought into my life. We had so much fun together, we were never without him, it was always, my husband, Cocoa and myself. I would never kennel him, if we went on vacations, we had to find pet friendly accommodations or we didn't go. We rented the same cottage every year up on Lake Winnesquam in NH, where Cocoa would spend every waking hour in the water. He was known on the lake for stealing everyone's ball, we'd go out on the deck to find about 5-6 balls on the lawn between the deck and the water. We had to go around and ask the kids who had which ball, and then to to Walmart's to purchase replacements for all of them. Nobody minded though, the kids all loved him. They all spent hours in the water playing with Cocoa. We had to make him come out of the water to eat or sleep at night. Memories like this bring a smile to my face, I'm so grateful that we have videos of a lot of summers up on the lake.
I know these last few months were hard on him, he wasn't able to run and play ball the way he use to or go for long walks on a beautiful day. He loved life, he was always happy and smiling. Even a few days ago, when one of our friends came to visit, he hobbled over to his toy box, took out a ball and brought it over to our friend in hopes of playing ball with him. My poor sweet baby, you'll never know just how truly loved you were Cocoa. He loved everyone and everyone loved him...he was a goofy, happy, lovable Lab and he took a huge piece of my heart with him last night.
You will never be out of my heart Cocoa, run with the angels.