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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maybe tomorrow?


Our beloved Havanese, Ms. CoCo Chanel, the Harbor Master of Mariner's Cove, died last night. 

She had been diagnosed with a frontal lobe tumor about two years ago, after a major seizure left her back legs weakened for a few hours and her behavior changed. 

Ms. Conroy immediately left work and took her to the Vet where she underwent a complete blood panel to check the functioning of her heart, lungs, pancreas, liver, metabolism and other functions. Everything came back perfectly fine. 

The Vet said that he was quite certain she had a brain tumor. He said this is growing more and more common in little dogs who have been over bred in puppy mills. (She was a rescue pup). 

He guessed the tumor was in the frontal lobe because her eyesight and hearing were fine, as was her balance, but she seemed to be even less tolerant of human behavior which did not meet her Upper East Side sensibilities.  And, she had very high standards.

At the time, the Vest said that he could take an MRI and confirm the diagnosis, but, with no health insurance for pets, the fees would run into the thousands of dollars.  Surgery, he said, would be very difficult and no real promise of success. And, very costly.

"Take her home and love her and enjoy her," he said. "You can give her some Pet Tylenol if she seems uncomfortable and some Phenobarbital if she has more seizures."

I think she had a very good past two years.

There were occasional episodes of very mild seizure activity which only once required Phenobarbital. Sometimes, she rubbed her ears and seemed uncomfortable. When we could convince her to take a Pet Tylenol, it seemed to work well. 

Mostly, though, she was one tough little cookie and worked it out on her own. We tried putting her medicine in Peanut Butter, Cheese, even Ice Cream. No way. She figured it out immediately. She would put up her nose and walk away. It almost seemed that she was disappointed in us - that we couldn't have been more clever or creative.

In the past year, she developed "Sundowners Syndrome". Somewhere between 5-6:30 PM, she'd get confused and that made her upset and anxious and angry.  At any sound or sudden movement, she'd fly off the couch and bark furiously and continually. Nothing seemed to console her. She just had to work it out until she calmed herself down and then she'd curl up in a ball and go back to sleep.

Her favorite spot was on the cushion behind Ms. Conroy.  Every now and again, Ms. Conroy would lean back and softly say to Ms. CoCo, "Can I have some kisses?" 

She'd ask once. No response. 

Twice. No response.

Third time. The response would come in a low, soft, annoyed, "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

Ms. Conroy would say, "Not today? Maybe tomorrow?"

Ms. CoCo would huff and curl herself more tightly into a ball on the pillow.

Last night, as Ms. CoCo had her last, major seizure - which was so difficult to watch - we sat on either side of her, stroking her body and saying soft, loving things to her. 

Our two other pups, Lenny and Theo, sat outside the bedroom door, clearly aware that something was going on but not wanting to come in. Suddenly, Theo let out a yelp - just a short, quick yelp, like someone stepped on his toe. We looked over at Theo and, when we looked back at CoCo, it was clear she had stopped breathing. 

"She's gone," said Ms. Conroy. 

And, it was so.

We both sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

Ms. Conroy took a snip of her hair and put it in a tissue to save.  We took off all her tags and wrapped her carefully in her favorite green shirt.

We will bury her in the front yard, where she can be near the boats and ducks and geese that go by, which earned her the name "Harbor Master of Mariner's Cove" from our neighbors.

As we tucked her into her little coffin, Ms. Conroy wept and bent over to give her a kiss. She gulped and said through her tears, "Maybe tomorrow?"

Maybe. Maybe not. I expect, when we see her again in heaven, she'll do what she always did: Run to us, dancing her little dance on her back paws, her front paws pumping up and down. 

The house is very quiet without her. We're all pretty numb from the loss. Theo and Lenny are sticking pretty close to either one of us. 

Our hearts are broken.

Oh, we'll heal. We'll move on. Ms. CoCo wouldn't have it any other way.

It's just not that way today.

Maybe tomorrow.

36 comments:

Stephen said...

Sitting here at my computer, 'sposed to be writing a sermon for the morrow, crying instead. Blessings! Stephen+

Grandmère Mimi said...

I'm so sorry, Elizabeth. What a lovely tribute to Ms Coco Chanel. My prayers and sympathy are with you and Ms C.

J. Michael Povey said...

My love. Indeed much love.

heather said...

So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed the stories about her.

Linda Ryan said...

I am so sorry for your loss. She was certainly a personality. I am glad you rescued her and gave her such a rich and love-filled life. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Linda

Mark Harris said...

what a fine obit / statement of love and affection. You did well by her, and she by you. loving dogs is a sure way to God.

suzanne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I chatted with Ms. Conroy at Diocesan Convention a couple of weeks ago, and one of the topics was Ms. Coco. She said Coco was having good and bad days now. I'm so glad Theo let you know that she has passed. What a gifted pup he is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Ms. C. It's always hard to loose our furchildren and best little friends.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Stephen, May the emotion you feel lead you to a deeper place of gospel truth and an even better sermon

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks you, Mimi. Your prayers mean so much.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you Heather

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Love doesn't always cure, but it always heals.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, Linda. For a little dog, she claimed a lot of space. We feel her loss.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I know it sounds hackneyed but I think there's a reason that GOD spelled backwards is DOG - and vise versa.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Suzanne - Yes, CoCo had good and bad days but mostly good days and bad nights. I'm glad she's at peace.

Terri said...

Oh Elizabeth, I'm so sorry. We have an old dog that has seizures now and then.... it is just a matter of time. Holding you in my prayers and thoughts....

whiteycat said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know what it is like to lose a treasured companion animal. They give us so vivid an experience of what God's love is like.

May you be comforted by the companionship of Lenny and Theo as well as that of all your human friends!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for your kind words, Terri. Our Ms. Coco was only 7 years old. I don't know what's worse: losing a young friend or an old pal. I pray you have many more years with your baby.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Whiteycat - We've lost many pets over the years - I still desperately miss my Bogart - but it doesn't get any easier. They each have their own personalities and characteristics that are so endearing. Thank God for Lenny and Theo - both of whom have spent time searching the house for Ms. CoCo.

This, too, shall pass. Just not today.

the cajun said...

Oh I am so shocked and saddened by this news. Sitting through seizures is always difficult, but then to lose her. I am so sorry.

love to you both

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Cajun - I knew this day would come but I'm still stunned. She fought so hard over the past two years. She had such a strong will to live, we could deal with her grouchiness.

Thanks, dearheart, for your kind words and your love.

Sextant said...

So sorry for your and Ms Conroy's loss, Elizabeth. Losing a loved pet is every bit as hard as losing a family member.

We had the same thing happen to our beloved cat of 13 years. My wife said that's it no more pets. She could not bear burying another pet. That lasted a week. Alas loving pets with all hearts and losing them is just part of life. It is very hard but it would be terrible not to have them and love them too...its one of our burdens to bear. My deepest sympathies to you and Ms. C.

Textjunkie said...

Oh my oh my--I am so sorry for your loss! She was a wonderful dog, just from what we heard here.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sextant - We bury her today. A few friends are coming by to help us. It's almost unbearable and yet, it's the last loving thing we can do for her. So, we will do it.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Textjunkie - Ms. Conroy awoke smiling and declared that Ms. CoCo had come to visit her in the night. I don't know if that's true. I don't care if it is or isn't. I find that thought very comforting.

RENZ said...

I think my phone ate my long comment. Just in case I will day once again, Tears from the upper peninsula. I had an episode with Frankie this week that brought Ms Coco to mind. Peace a.nd love to you all

Susan Pederson said...

So sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. They say our pets will meet us at the Rainbow Bridge...So look for Ms. Coco there.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Apparently it did, Renz. Sorry. Thanks for the empathy, my dear. We buried CoCo in the front yard today. She's at peace.

Bill said...

Today I was privileged to be able to help lay Ms. Coco to rest. For such a tiny dog it seemed as though we were digging forever. I think that, even though small in stature, she had a great heart. It was the same way when she was alive. Though she was the smallest, she filled the house and made the world aware of her presence. The passing boats she barked at and the ducks and geese she chased will miss her.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Susan - I know CoCo and I will know each other instantly. And, it will be glorious.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bill, Thank you so much for helping lay CoCo to rest. She adored her Uncle Bill. She taught Theo to not be afraid of you. We owe her so much. I am so grateful.

JCF said...

{Ms Coco}

{{{Ms Coco's Pack}}}

It's so hard to lose a four-legged friend. :-(...

Enjoy your Golden Tail, Ms Coco. May your pack on Earth be comforted by your memories.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, JCF.

Scoop said...

So very sorry for your loss. She must have been a wonderful companion, even while ill.

Donna said...

So very sorry for the loss of your beloved 4 legged companion. Having recently lost my 'Jackie Boy',(my 8yr old standard poodle) to a brain tumor, I too know the heartbreak and emptiness that can accompany such a loss. Praying that the memories of your time together may soon bring you joy in the remembering.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, Scoop. She was an amazing force of life.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Donna - I'm so sorry for your loss of Jackie-Boy. And, thank you for your condolences. It helps to know we're not alone in our sadness.