Jul 172014

Yesterday we said goodbye to Cody, our 9 year old Golden Doodle.  It was not easy.  My heart is ripped apart. 

If you’ve had and loved a dog, you will understand.  I am grieving.  I have a good life and I have not grieved in a long time.  When you are grieving you never know how you will get over your loss but I know we can eventually.  I am not looking for sympathy, I just feel like I need to write about him and share his memory.

We said goodbye to our previous dog in 2006.  Clancy was a lovely, faithful Kerry Blue Terrier.  He was also 14 and blind at the time.  Although we were incredibly sad, it was his time.  I lasted only a few weeks without a dog.  We spotted Cody, a 6 month old Golden Doodle on Kijiji (Canadian Craiglist).  His owner had been injured and could no longer care for him.  He was a BIG pup.  Miss Nice and I drove a couple hours to pick him up in another city.  He’s been loved in his forever home ever since.  I will admit, he wasn’t a perfect dog because he liked to eat stuff that he shouldn’t have.  The list would be a LONG post on its own.

Cody was a very beautiful Golden Doodle.  He looked very Poodle-like on the outside but I believe inside he was all Golden Retriever.  It was hard not to love him and everyone did.  He thrived on affection and would insist everyone he met pet him.  And they did.  They almost had to.   His head was at most people’s hand level and he knew how  to move it.  He was so cuddly.

cody in snow copy

Cody Loved the Outdoors in All Seasons

Cody had been noticeably under the weather for about a month.  It was about the same time I fractured my leg.  Then ten days ago, we were to go visit my elderly in-laws in England.  I did not relish the idea of sitting on a plane for hours with a cast on my foot.  After much deliberation, I decided I would stay home and go with my husband when he goes again in November.  As it turns out, it was a good decision.

Just before they left, Cody stopped eating.  I took him to the vet the day they left for England.  His blood work determined he had a liver problem.  In fact his “bile acid test” came back TEN TIMES the acceptable level.  This past Monday, the day before my husband and daughter were returning, Cody had an ultrasound of his liver.  By now, he was not eating anything.  Not even peanut butter in his Kong and he was very listless.  Every day that week, my heart was breaking more and more.  I knew he was very sick and it was not going to be good.  He rarely left my side or I his.

The ultrasound showed he had a massive malignant tumour on his liver.  A few hours after I got the news,  I picked up my family at the airport.  It was a sad ride home. 

Yesterday, the three of us took Cody to his all time favourite place: THE BEACH.  Even very sick dogs will rise to the occasion if it is something they love.  And he loved the beach.  Cody fetched sticks in the water, he swam a bit, he ran in the sand and most of all, he made us SMILE! 

What is more fun and delightful than watching a happy dog play with his family on the beach? 

Cody in the rain

He loved walking by the lake, even in the rain.

After our beach outing the three of us took our wet, sandy, tired and weak dog to the vet to say goodbye.  He was brave and sweet and loyal and loving right to the end. 

That was yesterday.

Today is a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky.  A perfect day for a long walk by the lake.  Those walks will never be the same.

My daughter and I put together a tribute slideshow of Cody to share with all his friends via Facebook.  It was a somewhat healing process but what I really want is to hug him just one more time.

I am sharing my short video.  You will see Cody had a great life and ours is so much richer having shared those 8+ years with him.

You may need a tissue.


  36 Responses to “Saying Goodbye is Never Easy”

  1. So sorry. Our yellow lab somehow got a spinal injury that ended up paralyzingly her back end. We learned to care for her during her last year. Helping her outside to go potty, feeding her a special diet, even wiping her like a baby to keep her clean. Many thought we should have just put her down, even the vet, but we couldn’t. Although it was hard work I don’t regret a bit of it. She was a loyal, faithful, loving friend. God has now blessed us with an amazing chocolate lab who I am currently missing a lot while away for a week.

    It is like ripping your heart out to lose your dog. Again so sorry.

    • Thanks Cyndi for your thoughts. We went true something similar as you but not drastic with our first dog, when he lost his sight. For us the loss of Cody was just too sudden and too soon. Time heals. Thx.

  2. So very sorry for your loss. Take solace in knowing that you gave him 8 wonderful years which, as a dog rescuer, I know that many dogs do not have. You were lucky to have found each other. What a beautiful boy he was!

  3. A good dog is more precious than jewels. So sorry for your loss.

  4. Our pets are family members and I know your grief. I lost my little girl (a pug) several years ago and I still miss her, though memories and pictures of her still make me smile. Work through your grief, cry when you need to (I am while writing this) and know that in the end you gave him a peaceful end to a wonderful life. The tribute was beautiful and – yes – I needed a tissue. 😉

  5. Yes Joan! I did indeed need a tissue after reading this post and viewing your slideshow tribute to beautiful Cody. My heart goes out to you at the loss of such a precious member of your family. Your tribute was very poignant , you must all miss him terribly. I recently found this poem and thought it very touching, I hope you don’t mind me sending it to you, I’m sure Cody will forever hold a special place in your heart. Thank you for sharing this snapshot of Cody and his life with you, his “forever family”. Wishing you happier days, soon xx

    Will you be my angel and place me in your heart
    Will you always love me until the day we part
    Will you be my angel and handle me with care
    Will you keep me close and promise to be there
    Will you be my angel and shelter me from harm
    Will you offer comfort within your loving arms
    Will you be my angel and snuggle close at night
    Will you reassure me if I should get a fright
    Will you be my angel and spend your life with me
    Will you be my angel when I need to be set free
    I will now be your angel here within your heart
    I will always be your angel I have been from the start
    Bev Green

    • Oh my Loretta! It is my turn for a tissue! That is a wonderful poem and sentiment. I am happy to admit we were his angels. We did look out for him always. He was a very special but admittedly naughty dog who we always forgave. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  6. Joan, I am so sad for you and your family.What a handsome boy he was.
    They leave such a huge hole when they are gone, dont they? Gone but never forgotton.
    Best Wishes xx

  7. Joan
    I am so sorry for your loss! I had a similar experience with my 10 yr old Bichon almost 3 years ago, and it still hurts. These little furry babies really get into our hearts. But I believe that we are better for having them.
    ~ Megin

  8. Dear Friend, I’m so sorry for your great loss…there aren’t words that will help you to feel better right now, but I do understand very well how you and your family feel. We lost our greatly loved yellow lab, Bo, when he was just 11 years old. I still miss him every day, and it’s been 2 years now…..Just focus on the wonderful life that you gave your sweet Cody, and how much he loved all of you, and you him. Believe me, Cody knew how much he was loved…. They do become part of our families, don’t they ?

  9. Joan…I am so sorry to hear about your sweet dog…I , too, had to put my little boy down almost 3 months ago. His name was Lucky Boy, he was 17, deaf and blind…I knew coming into 2014 that this was going to be the year that I was going to have to say good-bye….He had been my sweet boy since the day Princess Diana died, which is the day I got him. He was with me when I went through my divorce and was my protector, comforter and friend and was there as I raised my daughter by myself. He loved us and we loved him. I had been dreading this day for years, because I loved him so much, and I was so worried that when it was time that I would wait too long, so i made sure my vet knew to be very firm with me (My vet is one of my closest friends) … The time came in early April, I bathed him and he was so skinny, I hadn’t noticed because he was a fluffy haired dog…but I knew something was wrong…He hadn’t been acting like his normal self…My vet told me to pick a day, which I did, it was 10 days off…so those last 10 days was all about him…I came home from work every day and spent it with him, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything, I just sat with him by my side and read…he didn’t feel like doing much at the end so I knew he was happy just being with me. I fed him all his favorite treats to his little heart’s content, when THE day finally came, I took the day off from work and spent it with him, it was that day that I could tell he was not well really not well…(I had been telling myself he wasn’t that sick) My vet came to my house, my family and closest friends were there and I held him in my arms next to my heart so he could feel me and smell me since he couldn’t hear or see my any longer…I knew the instant he was gone and now I know what it feels like to have my heart wrenched but I was at peace knowing he was no longer in pain ….I had him cremated and about 2 weeks later I got him back…I didn’t realize how much comfort having his ashes would be for me. I had a beautiful handmade redwood urn made for him a couple of years ago and one day when it is my time, my daughter knows that when she sprinkles my ashes that my Lucky Boy’s ashes are to be spread with mine…I am just so thankful he was my dog and that I had him for almost 17 years, he was one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me…

  10. So sorry for your loss. He had a great life


  11. I am visiting your blog from BNOTP. I wanted to express how sorry I am for your and your family’s loss. It is so difficult to loose our furry friends. No matter how long we have them, it’s never long enough. Please know that you have made the right decision for Cody, even though it has left you with broken hearts. It was the last loving thing you could do for him, and he was grateful. With my sympathy.

  12. We lost our mini dachshund Winston last October. He was a rescue and came to live with us when he was 18 months old. I took him to the vet on a Thursday because his breathing was rapid & shallow. He had a tumor on his heart and there was nothing that could be done. We spoiled him like crazy until Monday and realized that he was starting to suffer and it was time to say goodbye. It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. Hubby & I cried like babies for weeks. We found another dachshund 6 weeks later that we love like crazy. Tate’s smarter than Winston and more affectionate, but we still miss Winston and the tears still come when I least expect it.

  13. So very sorry. We’ve lost quite a few and only in time will your heart feel better. Lovely tribute, he had a wonderful life with your family. Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY…

  14. This is close to my heart. I had to let go of a beloved pet in May and it was so hard. He too had a cancer and we waited as long as we could before letting go. He being a cat couldn’t go on a fun day like what you gave your dog- what a wonderful thing to do. Bless his heart and yours. Only time can heal the heartache.

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss, Joan. I’ve been there and I know. Cody was really beautiful, what a sweet face! I’m glad y’all had that last good day together at the beach. Blessings and comfort to you – Dawn

  16. This was such an unbelievably touching tribute to your sweet boy Joan. He was indeed a force to be reckoned with! He oozed charm and mischief, and anyone can see how you all loved him, and he you!

    Like so many others, I had to go through the rapid decline of our beloved Bichon. It was so sudden, and the day after Christmas we had to put her to sleep. It was one of the saddest days of my life.

    You will never forget Cody, but time does help minimize the emptiness.

    (Found you from BNOTP)

  17. I know that you made his life a joy and full of love. He was beautiful and full of life. I can see that from the video. Thank you for sharing your life and giving him a wonderful forever home and family. His sweet dog spirit will linger around you as you go forward knowing that your family gave the love and care that he so deserved. What a wonderful tribute to a special dog. Remember that love does not die.

  18. ugh, it makes me so sad to even see this. i didn’t want to click through to your post from the link party, but i wanted to support you in this time. he looked like such a sweet dog, and how special you were able to make his days, and with your whole family there at the beach.

  19. So sorry for your loss. Cody seemed like an amazing dog. I have a Goldendoodle of my own at home, and watching the video reminded me a lot of him. I can’t even think about the wreck I will be when it’s his time to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Looks like Cody had a great and loving home and he was able to enjoy his time here to the fullest because of you and your family <3 Thoughts and prayers with you!

  20. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and I’m so sorry to hear about your wonderful Goldendoodle. My Labradoodle will be 8 in October, but I almost lost him to a massive liver infection and a blocked bile duct when he was 3. He’s still on medication and has to have expensive lab tests every year. He’s the most wonderful dog I’ve ever known! He loves everyone and is well-behaved, except for the desire to eat covers off hardback books if he can reach them and I’m not home! And, just like your Cody, he loves sticks! He collects them and eats them for a snack! He’s a big, lovable boy and has given me much joy—as Cody did for you.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are not just pets, they are part of our families and it does crush our hearts when we have to say goodbye. What a beautiful send off you gave him – a day at the beach with his family. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet pet.

  23. Such a touching video. Thank you for sharing Cody’s story with us. I hope that as each day goes by, the pain gets less and the memories make you smile. And that someday, when you are ready, you’ll give another needy pup the chance to experience such joy in your wonderful family.

  24. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Lhasa Apso three weeks ago to congestive heart failure. He was diagnosed last September and I believe he had been living on love since then. He was my constant companion for 13 years. I lost a part of my heart the day he died and I will never be the same. I am sure your handsome boy will be forever in your heart. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I wish you peace.

  25. So sorry for your loss! It is always hard to loose a loved one even of the fur variety.

  26. Hi Joan, So sorry for your loss. We lost our dog of 8 years a few years back. It took a bit before we could even consider getting another. They are such amazing companions. I know nothing can make it better but, hope you keep fond memories of Cody. Thanks for the follow on twitter btw that’s how I found you. Drop by anytime. Theresa @DearCreatives

  27. Oh Joan, I am so sorry for your loss. Cody looked like a very happy member of the family. Sending hugs your way.

  28. I could not watch the video, I was upset just reading your story. I do know that heartbreak and I think only those who have loved a dog can grieve in the same way. I have never grieved for a human in that same gut wrenching way. I don’t know why, maybe it is a giant fault in me but I have loved my poodles like none other person. Its so different from loving a human. There are no misunderstanding, no judgements just pure adoring love. I feel for you so much even though I will never know you.
    I feel your pain and it brings back my own.

  29. Wow! You have me crying. Such a beautiful tribute to your fur child. I understand completely. He has given you so many wonderful memories that you will be able to laugh about in time, but I am sure you know that. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Someone who lost their dog once said to me “Why can’t they live longer lives like humans”. And it’s true because we love them like people. Of course, if they lived a really long time then their deaths would be that much harder to bear. My daughter still dreams about our dog and he has been gone for 6 years. Sorry for your loss; I think your account probably made everyone cry a bit. He was a handsome boy.

  31. I am so very sorry for your loss ~ looks like you gave Cody the kind of life any dog would love.

    Bless you ~


  32. […] in July I shared my sadness at the loss our beloved Golden Doodle, Cody.  I dealt with his sudden down turn in health and vet visits alone, while my family was in the […]

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