More Than Just a Dog

Last night our family said goodbye to our chocolate lab, Bauer.

It was sudden. It was unexpected. And it was traumatic.

He woke up fine. Around mid-day he started having trouble walking.

By 4 we were at the vet.

At 4:30 the vet told me that he had a splenic rupture caused by a tumor and his tummy was filling with fluid.

She told us our options. And then we asked her what she would do if it was her dog.

By 6 he was gone.

He died in my arms.

By 6:30 we were back home. Only the house felt empty. Too quiet.

There was no slobbery, loud, stinky, ball of love and hair to greet me.

Almost 11 years I had that dog.

And every morning, afternoon, and night he was with me.

Through everything.

He was so much more than just a dog.

He was my constant.

11 years.

Always home. Actually he was home.

He moved with us six times.

He was with me through my miscarriage.

I remember lying on the couch the night before my D&C sobbing. He never left my side.

He was at my feet through job troubles. Marriage troubles. Financial troubles.

All of it.

He was here for the birth of 3 babies. Breastfeeding and midnight wakeups.

He was my walking partner. My escape from reality.

We hiked. We swam. We sat.

And then autism. Every tear. Every worry. Every midnight wake up.

8 years of sleep deprivation.

Bauer was always with me. Following behind me. Settling in at my feet.

I almost feel like I took him for granted.

I want my dog back. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

I want more time.

More snuggles. More stinky dog farts. My barks. More yelling at him for being underfoot all the damn time.

There is nothing better than a dog. Especially the best dog.

God, I’m struggling.

I’m going through the grief now. And the guilt.

Did I do enough? Did I love him enough?

I know enough about loss that I need to sit in this for a while.

I wasn’t prepared to lose him though. Not so suddenly. Not yesterday.

I wish I had more time.

He was so much more than a ‘just a dog.’ He was my first baby. My person. My family.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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