I love dogs, but this will make you cry. Who is man’s best friend? His dog of course. No truer words have been spoken. Who is glad to see you when you return from work? Your dog! Who sticks by you through thick and thin? Your dog! Who doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, fat or thin, blonde, brunette, redhead, or bald? Your dog! Your dog loves you just because you’re you!!! All he/she wants is your love and companionship. When everyone else has left you by the wayside, who is there with that tail wagging and eyes begging just to be with you? Your dog!
I’ve had many dogs in my lifetime but there are two who are still in my heart after many years since they went to their reward.
Mac was a small mixed breed terrier. He and our other dog, Cocoa, a chocolate poodle, were roomies. Actually, Mac didn’t care much for Cocoa, but since Mac was our outside dog, and Cocoa was our inside dog, they didn’t have to meet in the middle much, except in cold weather, when Mac would condescend to come indoors to get warm. He’d hear the furnace creak and crack before coming on and he’d go stand by the vent and stretchhhhhhhhout out as long as he could to get all the warm air possible. Mostly Mac just wanted to stay outside and play with the other neighborhood dogs. Mac was a little dog, but he didn’t know it, he thought he was a big dog. Whenever there was a dogfight Mac was in the middle of it, and he played with the “big boys” once too often. He went down in glory like the hero that he was fighting to his demise.
Cocoa was a miniature chocolate poodle, who was my friend and companion for thirteen years. He even slept in the bed with me, and his regular bedtime was 10:00 PM, whether I went to bed or not. He’d go back to the bedroom, and if I didn’t come back after awhile, he’d come down the hall, look in the den, and glare at me, as if to say, “Where are YOU?”
The last year of his life he became ill. As time went on, he got sicker. I was taking him to the vet every morning on my way to work, and picking him up in the afternoon on my way home. One morning when I arrived at the vet’s office, the receptionist was not yet there, but the doctor was standing behind her desk. He just looked at me. I burst into tears. We went in an examining room to talk. I said, “Dr. Nall, I’ve been waiting for you to tell me that I need to have Cocoa put to sleep, but I realize that you never will, because if you did, and I did it, and then I was sorry, I’d blame you.” He told me that he knew how much I loved Cocoa, and to go to work and think about it, and let him know that afternoon when I picked him up what my decision was. I did! When I picked Cocoa up, I told the doctor that I’d let Cocoa suffer too long, because I was selfish, and didn’t want to give him up. I told him that I’d bring him in the next morning and let him put him to sleep.
That night Cocoa lay beside me on the couch all evening. His breathing would alternately be strained, heavy, and hard, and then normal. This went on throughout the evening. At exactly, 10.00 PM – his bedtime – he breathed his last breath. It was as though he was telling me, “No, YOU won’t put me to sleep, I’ll do it myself !”
Rest in peace Mac and Cocoa. I love you.
“Epitaph To A Dog”
Near this spot are deposited the remains of one,
Who possessed beauty without vanity,
Strength without insolence,
Courage without ferocity,
And all the virtues of man,
Without his vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery,
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the memory of
All of our dogs.
George Gordon, Lord Byron