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Linda1270 10-18-2012 11:12 AM

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.

Stosh 10-18-2012 11:18 AM

I'm so sorry you lost your beloved boy and that his passing was so hard. He was obviously well loved

lzver 10-18-2012 11:55 AM

So sorry for the loss of your Cocoa. It's always so hard especially when we make the decision.

Any experience I've had with a dog being put to sleep, they do give them a sedative and they drift off to sleep before they give the final drug. That must have been so horrific to watch ... I would have a hard time forgetting that as well.

Kyleigh 10-18-2012 12:02 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss of your wonderful companion. As owners, we are often put in the position of choosing when our beloved companion's life will end. You mentioned that you will always second guess your decision, please don't! I read your post and thought how wonderful Cocoa's life sounded, and wished ALL dogs could have such a joyous journey with people.

You gave your dog an amazing and wonderful long life, and although the passing was hard, you gave her the dignity to end her life before it became unbearable.

My prayers go out to you in this very hard time of your life.

Kayos and Havoc 10-18-2012 12:16 PM

Oh my. I am so sorry you lost your best buddy. I am so sorry his passing was difficult for you. I hope in time you will see it this as a last gift of mercy to a hurting friend.

It sounds like Cocoa was truly a beloved member of your family.


kbella999 10-18-2012 02:36 PM

MY heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. It is one of the most difficult things we do as pet owners. Please don't beat yourself up for it. I'm sure you made the right decision for Cocoa. Hugs to you and your family.

Linda1270 10-18-2012 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by lzver (Post 2607235)
Any experience I've had with a dog being put to sleep, they do give them a sedative and they drift off to sleep before they give the final drug. That must have been so horrific to watch ... I would have a hard time forgetting that as well.

That was the missing link, he was never given a sedative to relax him and they should have given him one, he was so scared, this would have made it so much easier for Cocoa and for us. Instead they just injected him with that drug that just shocked his heart instantly. I let him down by not doing my research, I would have insisted on a sedative if I had known that they are usually given, no matter what the cost. This only makes the grief that much harder to bare.

Thank you all for the wonderful sentiments, this means a lot to me. Only another dog lover can know the love we have for our pets. I'm sitting here at my computer typing this and I keep looking down expecting to see his wonderful face looking up at me and tail banging on the floor whenever I spoke to him. Tess is in her crate behind me and she's watching me cry, I wonder if she understands what is going on. Cocoa use to identify with every one of my emotions, whenever I would watch a sad movie or Animal Planet and get choked up, he would come right over to me and give me kisses and lick my face. I tried so hard not to let him see me cry last night but I just couldn't help poor baby.

BMWHillbilly 10-18-2012 04:46 PM

I'm a new to the forum and came across your post and just wanted to say how sorry i am on your loss. I too have a senior lab that I will be facing the same situation soon. I have discussed with my vet how the "procedure" will occur and she will be administering a sedating shot before the final shot. I made sure of that. I would be absolutely livid at ANY vet that did not follow that type of protocol. I can't imagine how a modern day vet could not.

Again, i'm so sorry for your loss. :(

pyratemom 10-18-2012 04:53 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how devastating it can be having lost my heart dog this spring. It's never easy to lose a loved one. It won't get easier for awhile but one day you will be able to smile at the good memories and not tear up. I still have days where I tear up over Pyrate but we have to do what is best for them. It does get easier with time. I hope the following link will help.

The Rainbow Bridge

1sttimeforgsd 10-18-2012 05:49 PM

So sorry for your heartache, your precious Cocoa is now running free at the Rainbow Bridge and he is whole again. I have been in your shoes many times over the years and it is never easy. I too have a Lab and she holds a special place in my heart, they are such a lovable dog to own.

Again I am so sorry for your loss, try to dwell on the good memories. :hugs:

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