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 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?
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.