Cozy Tales: 59. Return of the Crab

Just after we celebrated Daisy turning 12 ½, we took her to the vet where we were saddened to learn that Dr. Fritz, the beloved vet for both Cozy and Daisy, had died suddenly in New York. With Dr. Fritz gone, we took Daisy to a new vet who discovered a tumor in her belly that had apparently been there for some time. The good news was that it was probably benign, though large. The bad news was that having a heart arrhythmia at her advanced age meant that she would not likely survive the surgery needed to remove it.

This was a shocking blow for us. While surgery could save her from the tumor, we weren’t sure that we would want to put her through that. The point was moot, though. Since we had not had her heart problems resolved, she would likely not survive surgery to remove the tumor. Lauren and I both felt like we were to blame. After living through Cozy’s ordeal, we had put our beloved Daisy in a similar situation. Of course it wasn’t that simple, but we blames ourselves nonetheless.  (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 58. Dog Years

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While every dog is different, I would estimate that 10 years is about the average lifespan for Newfoundland dogs. Cozy had only lived to be eight, but we considered her to have died too young. The oldest Newf we had ever heard of was Henry who lived to the ripe old age of 17 ½. Such long-lived Newfs were very rare however.

Someone on Newf.Net had posed the idea that once a Newf reaches the age of 10,  every half year should be celebrated. Of course Lauren took that to heart and we celebrated accordingly. Still, Daisy’s 12th birthday was a special occasion, even when counting by half-years. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 57. The Ramp

Miss Daisy was almost 12, and she was getting frail. She was no longer able to nimbly leap into our Pathfinder, so we bought her a ramp. Instead of making one, we shelled out almost $100 for a fancy plastic extending ramp with handles and a nice carpet for traction. These ramps are great for dogs, especially when they learn how to use them at a young age. We weren’t smart enough to have bought one when the dogs were a young age, so now we had the pleasure of trying to teach an old dog a new trick. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 56. The Duchess

Over time we slowly adjusted to life without Cozy and Daisy developed some interesting eccentricities as during that time. When Cozy was so sick, Lauren had done anything she could to get her to eat including cooking bacon and eggs for her every morning, and liver most nights for dinner. If you’ve got two dogs you can’t give bacon and eggs to only one, so Daisy of course enjoyed the bountiful new eating arrangements. Not only did she get her fair share, she would also get Cozy’s on the days when Cozy didn’t feel like eating.

Once Daisy had a taste of the good life, she had no interest in returning to the common fare of the bourgeoisie and so The Duchess, Miss Daisy, became beneath such insulting grub as kibble. She demanded that her dinner be handmade to her exacting specification.

In other words, she had become a royal pain in the ass. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 55. Cozy Comes Home

Just when I thought I was done crying, Cozy’s ashes were delivered, after which I sat in the office with her and wept all over again. We couldn’t decide where to put her. I wanted  to keep her close, since that’s all she ever wanted, but I knew that anywhere near where I sat and worked posed a risk of her being knocked over.

We talked about putting her in the entertainment unit in the living room. She would be protected behind glass in there, but that wasn’t my Cozy.

We decided to put her on the mantel in the family room. The family room is where I would sit and watch movies at night with Cozy either at my feet, in her favorite corner, or with her head in my lap begging for scritches. When it would get too hot from the fire she would go outside and lie on the patio, but always so she could see me.

Guy Germaine, one of the more active members of Newf.Net, had posted many pictures of his woodworking skills. He had donated some wonderful creations to Newfoundland Rescue which were auctioned to raise money for their cause. I contacted Guy and asked him to make me a special box for my Cozy. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 54. Grief

The weeks after Cozy’s death were very hard for me. The hardest part of the ordeal was first receiving the news that my Cozy was terminally sick. The vet told us she only had days, and looking back I think he was right. I think Cozy also finally got me to understand how sick she really was, and then needed to stay to make sure we would all be okay. Either that or she really just liked having eggs cooked for her breakfast every morning. I’d like to think it was a combination of both.

During the last two weeks I spent with my Cozy, I struggled daily. I should have been spending as much time as possible with her, but I was so sad some days I couldn’t bear to do anything but sit in my chair and weep. My mind would scream what a waste – she’s still here! so I would go sit with her and weep. Many times I pulled myself together enough and take her outside and take some pictures, some of which have graced these pages.  (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 53. Cozy Lets me Know

In the midst of Cozy’s ordeal, Colleen had her fifth birthday party. She had a good party, and I don’t think the recent events at home impacted her enjoyment much, if at all. What five year old doesn’t like to be the center of attention? Certainly not our Colleen.

The party was held at a local business built solely for the purpose of hosting children’s birthday parties, and Colleen enjoyed her party. As usual, Lauren was busy running the show while I took pictures. The break from the drama in our lives was welcome, but Lauren and I both wanted to get back to Cozy. We felt guilty for leaving her, but Colleen deserved to have her special day. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 52. Week Two

On Sunday March 5th, we once again loaded up the two cameras and went outside with the dogs. Cozy was feeling pretty well, and she played with the Kong while we took pictures. I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to take some great pictures given Cozy’s prognosis. I had agreed to shoot a wedding a month prior, and had purchased some wonderful lenses for the occasion. Those lenses added a certain magic to the images that made Cozy look almost ethereal. She was beautiful, even so close to death.

We took the dogs out into the woods near the stream where I had taken pictures of Cozy in the snow. Cozy threw her Kong into the water and stirred up the mud looking for it, determined to cause trouble even when she was so sick. I could see the glint in her eye as I managed to find the Kong with a stick. I had managed to protect the Kong from the mower for all these years and there was no way I was letting it get lost in the mud now! (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 51. Week One

Sunday morning found us with a suddenly perky Cozy. Before I woke up that morning, Cozy lay outside while Lauren went about her morning rituals. When Lauren called to Cozy to come in and she didn’t respond, Lauren feared the worst and went to check on her. As Lauren approached, Cozy’s tail started thumping the ground.

Cozy could be a stubborn pain in the ass when she felt like it, and Lauren probably thought this was one of those times, though the events of the night before added a bit of confusion to everything. We had seen Cozy refuse to listen to anyone but me, but usually when this happened there was no wagging involved. Content that Cozy was just enjoying the yard, Lauren turned back to go inside. As she turned, Cozy got up and ran past her to get to the door first, wagging all the way. Lauren stood and stared, wondering if the previous day had been nothing more than a dream. (more…)

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Cozy Tales: 50. The Crab

As I pulled into the driveway from my long commute, I saw my Cozy sitting in the yard waiting for me like she always did. I parked the car and got out ready for my greeting, but there was no boisterous dog at the fence. My Cozy always ran up to the fence with a joyous bark when I came home. Always.

Something was wrong.

I went out and sat with her in the yard, and she thumped her tail a couple of times as I approached. She was lethargic, and had that same I’m sick Daddy, please help me look on her face that she did when I rushed her to the vet. She didn’t seemed distressed this time; she just didn’t seem to have any energy. When I went inside she followed me in with her head and tail hung low. It was an obvious effort for her to move. (more…)

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