We had to say goodbye to Cooper yesterday morning. His breathing had become impacted by the tumor pressing against his lungs. He was simply experiencing too much discomfort and I couldn’t stand to see him suffer. Any doubts I had about rushing it were swept away the night before.
I kept saying out loud we’d have him for a few more months but inside I knew we didn’t have much time. The tumor was growing quickly. My only hope was that it might grow at an angle that let him enjoy a few more months. Sadly, it was not to be. I’m grateful he declined so quickly to avoid any unnecessary suffering on his part. However, I miss him so much already. I do not think I’ve ever been so attached to a companion. I never realized how much of my daily schedule included him. Everything reminds me of him and sends me into a new fit of tears.
His life started rough as he was abandoned. When he came into my life he rescued me just as much as I rescued him. I needed him without even realizing it. He gave me so much and asked so little in return. I am happy to know I gave him a good life. He was most definitely loved. I could go on and on about all the wonderful ways he enriched my life. He was not just a pet. He was my friend and companion.
As painful as it was, I was there in his final moments. I couldn’t imagine not being there. My only goal was to keep him from being scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved. We got to play with him a bit before the end and it was a joy to see him come alive in those last moments together. He lived for butt scratches and we gave him so many along with happy words. It was an absolute joy to see him shrug off his discomfort long enough to enjoy the attention and love.
I held him as he drifted off. I spoke sweet words of love in his ear and kept my tears at bay until he had passed. He was a light in my life and my life is diminished without him in it. My Cooper Pooper, my “precious”, my love bug. . . you are missed and still loved.
My heart is broken now. And while it will heal, it will always have a mark from you.
Now that I’ve had time to calm down, I’m sad to announce Cooper has been diagnosed with a heart tumor. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know he had a recent vet visit for his leg. Being almost 10, he is an old fella in bulldog terms. His arthritis aggravates his joints, which in turn leads to soreness, hence the vet visit.
While we were at the vet, we got his yearly update and did x-rays. From last year to now, a large tumor has grown around his heart. Ironically, he isn’t having any problems with his actual heart; no murmur, no irregular valves, etc. The tumor has grown to about the size of his heart so it’s begun putting pressure on his lungs. It will eventually impact his breathing severely enough we will have to euthanize him.
Surgery is possible but the chances of success are low and due to his age the vet wasn’t even sure he’d survive the surgery. I’d rather let him enjoy his remaining time vs putting him thru the trauma of such a major surgery. To say I have been upset would be an understatement.
Cooper came into my life at a time when I was severely depressed and having trouble finding my light. His boundless energy and enthusiasm gave me something other than my own problems to focus on and brought me out of my funk. Since then he has continued to be a beacon of slobber and unconditional love in my life. To say I love that dog would be an understatement. I have never in my life loved an animal so thoroughly. After many days of tears and uncontrollable bursts of sadness, I’ve made peace with it. I got over 8 wonderful year with him and I’m grateful for his love. I’m fond of saying, they give us so much and ask so little. Cooper would be the exemplification of those words.
My only goal now is to keep him as comfortable as possible until he reaches a time when his breathing is too labored to carry on. The vet gives him anywhere from another month to 6 months. I’m thinking 2 to 3 months at most but I’m hoping for longer. I would never let him suffer for my own benefit so once his breathing becomes too hard, we will make the decision to say goodbye.
His leg/knee injury is slowly healing and I am hopeful he will be off his meds within another week or two. As you can imagine many of the rules have gone out the window! hehehe He gets treats much more often and I’m less stringent on his structured daily life. I take comfort in knowing I gave him a wonderful life. That said, I know when that day comes a little piece of me will die with him. To my beloved Cooper, you were and are loved.