Coco, my Cairn Terrier (cream color)came into our home in 1999 after my husband had a stroke that left his right side paralyzed. She was just 10 weeks old.

She became mommy’s little girl from the first day we drove to pick her up. She has been by my side thru all the bad times and the good times. Every night since she was old enough she has curled up in my stomach area or the crook of my back in bed She would wait outside the bathroom door every night when I took a shower and in the mornings she would come in the bathroom and lay down on the rug till I was ready for work. Every evening after work I would pull up into my drive way and she would know I was home and would start screaming her high pitch voice.

We have two other Cairns, Tony who is 11 years old and has a bad pancreas and diabetes and is on insulin. Kandy is our youngest who is still healthy.

Well, this weekend I had to put my beloved Coco to rest. Two years ago they found anal cancer and she went thru chemotherapy successfully. They said it would give her another two years and it did. About 3 weeks ago she had an ultrasound done and the vet found a tumor in the lower stomach area (where the food is suppose to flow thru. It was almost blocked. So we took what I called the hospice route (prescription blended food and water) At the time they diagnosed her, they gave her 6 months. That was not meant to be

On the morning of February 2nd she became very ill and could not keep her food or water down. I prayed to God to give me the strength to let her go. It was time.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I stayed with her for about an hour after she passed not wanting to let go, crying and whispering into her ear. Last week I had taken her for a spa treatment. Her hair and nails were cut and she was bathed and her pads were soften by some lotion. She had her peach colored sweater on  and she looked beautiful and peaceful  when she passed. It was very peaceful for her but I wanted to die so I could be with her. For 3 days now my husband and my remaing two dogs have been so depressed. I could only cope by taking a prescription and staying in bed for 2 days. I could barely go back to work today.  I have a hole in my heart and the dynamics of the home have changed forever. There is no more high pitch voice, no one outside the bathroom waiting for me and what hurts the most is no one there at night nuzzled up against me. I feel like a part of me died with her. I can only hope that I can get thru this. I need the strength to deal with my Tony when it is his time. I ask God only to allow me some time in between to give me time to recover. I love my special baby girl and miss her. She has given me unconditional love and I to her. My baby is gone and I am lost but need to help my other dogs overcome their depression. So it’s more love for them and lots of walks to help them to become whole again.  Coco was the dominant dog and my Kandy followed her around and learned everything from her. Now she is lost too. We will all find our way back with the help of God.

— Kathleen from Phoenix, AZ