Cody came into my life in January and he has passed from my life in January. He was somewhere around 13 years of age. When I adopted him from Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue, he was around two years of age. For those of you who follow Cody’s blog, his stories are true and accurate. CHILDREN READING TO ME and FEAR OF DOGS CLASS merely scratch the surface of his amazing and wonderful life. With friends and family, I often referred to working with this Border Collie as, “Walking in with a Rock Star.” His gorgeous markings coupled with an amazingly affectionate, and curious demeanor always made him a fan favorite. In his three years of working The Fear of Dogs program, he worked with children who had been traumatized by dogs, and there were many who chose him to work with, to brush, to play with, to hug. Cody was a VERY steady performer and an absolute joy to work with. Unless, of course, a UPS, FEDEX, or U.S. Mail truck made an appearance.
Cody’s final two assignments were on October 11th at an Assisted Living Facility in Lake Zurich and on December 1st at a Facility for Developmentally Disabled Adults. He was loved on, petted, and tears fell on his mostly white rough coat. He looked people in the eye and let them know that he loved them.
For those of you who have euthanised a beloved pet or know that this event will be approaching in the near future, it isn’t the moment the drugs enter your pet’s body that carries the most anguish; it is hours and days of anguish and tears that lead up to your decision. For me, that moment of decision was this afternoon at 3:40 p.m. when Cody and I were outside in the blowing snow. He couldn’t walk, he was losing the use of his rear legs. I just could not bear to watch this gorgeous animal struggle in the falling snow, looking at me, “I’m sorry, Dad.”
I made the telephone call to the vet and set a 5:00 p.m. appointment. They promised a team would be ready for Cody’s crossing. Cody has always been eager to go for a ride in the car and this moment was no different. Did the repeated failure of his rear legs from our entry door to the Scion make this decision easier for me? I’d have to say, yes, without a doubt. Cody, Magic, and I stopped at McDonald’s for some hamburgers. Cody did have an appetite, and there was comfort in his enjoying of the burgers. And yes, he did bark in the car at every delivery truck he saw.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, Cody may have given me permission to cross the bridge. Last night, just before midnight, Cody was up next to me, placing his gorgeous head on my chest. He has NEVER done that in the past, once he was ready for sleep, he pretty much stayed in his spot at the bottom of the bed on “his side.” I asked him if he was trying to tell me that he was “ready.” I knew that whatever arthritis, dysplasia, discomfort, pain, he had in his body would not be experiencing a miracle improvement.
Without a doubt, the adoption from Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue of Magic on December 6th has provided me with a buffer in the form of another smart, sensitive, and intuitive Border Collie.. The thought of being able to reach over with my hand – anywhere – and not have a dog to love on was a burden I did not want to experience. Magic now provides this comfort and companionship.
During the drive home from Preiser Animal Hospital, I had a long talk with Magic. He will be continuing Cody’s work on codemanbc.com.
And, heartfelt thanks to Dr. Kristine Preiser and vet-tech Jamie for their compassion and gentleness with Cody, Magic and me.