I keep looking at his cushion on the couch. It’s empty and my heart is so heavy. Tears continue to run down my face. I don’t think that image will ever leave my brain; I looked back as we left the room and saw him laying there. Gone. I watched him stop breathing. I saw the life leave his body. And as incredibly sad as it was, I was happy for him. He’s free from the body that failed him. He spent the last several weeks suffering, and last night, we got our sign.
We adopted Cody on August 7, 2004. Young spirits, we were – as was he at approximately 1 year old. We had just bought our house and were about to get married. I had always loved huskies and ironically there was one at a local shelter at just the time we were looking. Timing was everything – when we went to meet Cody, there was another family who wanted to meet him, too. The loudest of the bunch, and by far the most charming. Because we had requested him first, he got to visit with us first. Naturally, we brought him home.
Good grief, did we have some times with him. In the beginning, he escaped our barricades, would go to the bathroom in his crate and roll around in it, and eat bagels when we left him to roam the house during the day. I can’t tell you how many times he got loose. He spent so little time outside in the summer and would spend hours outside in the fall. How on earth he managed to get away so much will always be a mystery to me. We’d put him out when he wanted to go and wait for him to tell us he wanted back in. Sometimes, though, we didn’t hear from him!
He ate countless packs of gum, chewed through my dive bag for chapstick, and devoured an entire box of cake mix. He amazed me when he moved a bottle of cranberry juice into the living room, took the lid off, and drank from the bottle without spilling a drop! Stuffed animals were torn to shreds in minutes. He ate mink oil and would tear apart shoes when he was in the right – or wrong – mood.
He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. And a beggar? Dinner time was sometimes unbearable. He stole fresh-baked bread from the kitchen counter and ate an entire meatloaf. So many leftovers never made it to the next day because he would devour them when our back was turned. And smart – was he ever smart. He’d scope out the situation and wait for the right moment.
He was with me through my pregnancy and was so incredibly protective of Lily – he’d come get us when she cried and if we didn’t respond fast enough, he certainly didn’t give up! We were so amazed when we brought Lily home and he didn’t act like anything was different – except for the protective bit. We’re certain he sensed what was going on – he was right by my side during my labor at home, too, often pacing the house with me.
All in all, he was SUCH a good dog. Yes, we had some tough times with him, but they were so worth it. He adored Justin and was by far a daddy’s boy. Independent – rarely would he snuggle, but he did like his back scratched. He loved going for rides, and the best was sticking his head out the window. In the summertime, we’d have to turn the a/c all the way up and as cold as it would go.
And now he’s gone. We took Cody at 6:40 tonight to end his pain and suffering. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in mid-May and given a few weeks to a few months to live. I’m thankful we got 2 months with him – there were days we were sure we wouldn’t make it this far. We got several signs last night that the time had come – in the end, he vomited twice, hadn’t gone to the bathroom (Neither way.) in 2 days, didn’t sleep the night before – at ALL, was breathing rapidly, and could barely walk. All of this happened suddenly, and it was certainly our sign.
Cody will always hold a very special place in my heart. I’m so sad without him. I know this awful feeling will pass, but for now I feel awful. And I haven’t yet broken the habit of looking to him on his couch cushion – I hope I never will.
P.S. – I took some pictures of Cody over the past few days – I’ll post them when I have a chance. For now, I’ll leave you with some oldies.