Writing grief

Dogs have given us their absolute all.  We are the center of their universe.  We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.  They serve us in return for scraps.  It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. Roger Caras

Cocoa 9 years old

I lost my faithful writing partner on November 15th. She was 11 1/2 years old. As I struggled to make the decision to let her go, the vet gently reminded me that she was really 80 years old and the skin cancer had returned with a vengeance.

Cocoa two months old

Cocoa (full name Mochachino’s Cocoa McBean) was born in Simla, Colorado in 1999. Her parents Mochachino and Snickers had nine puppies in the litter and Cocoa was the only girl. We got her when she was eight weeks old only because the people who originally put a deposit on her got another puppy before Cocoa was born. I feel extremely lucky they backed out.

It’s hard to sit at the computer and write anymore because I was never alone in my office. Cocoa lay by my side almost every hour I was writing. She gently snored on a striped rug with her nose nestled in the closet. The occasional jingling of her dog tags as she stretched and moved positions was the most comforting sound I knew.

When she thought I wrote enough for the day, she would let out a deep sigh and I would know it was time for a walk. Cocoa loved to hike at Palmer Park. She could sniff out a tennis ball like no other dog. She thought it was her job to herd the hikers who were slowing down the pack. And most of the time she decided what trail we would hike.

Cocoa loved people, dogs were okay. When people came to visit her world was better. If she really loved you she would get so excited she would squeak with pleasure. And then run and get her toy and lay it at your feet.

Although there are plenty of squirrels and birds in our yard, she really didn’t want to chase them out. She would lie in the middle of the yard surrounded by them, sniff the air, and sleep. She was content that all animals and birds could live peacefully together.

Until she retired a year ago (because of arthritis and hip problems) she got the paper every morning. My husband finds mornings the loneliest time because now he gets it himself. After her retirement, he retrieved the paper but she went out there every morning to supervise its pickup and to get her cookie reward.

I’m sure I’ll write more about Cocoa in my journal, there are eleven plus years of memories. The house has never been so silent.

The Writing Nag

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5 Replies to “Writing grief”

  1. I knew as soon as I saw your tweet I shouldn't click on your post. Tears are streaming down my face with the first few sentences and I've decided not to read the rest (we have a ten year dog.) I'm very sorry for your loss.

  2. Hearing you talk so eloquently about Cocoa brings back memories of my own furry writing partner who I lost earlier this year. I am sorry for your loss but thankful that you had such a wonderful companion for so many years.

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