Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cosmos - In Memorium

Born - 1996
Adopted - November, 1999
Passed, October 2, 2009

We struggled long and hard during his illness. He did not want to leave me, even at the end. He was so brave, and he loved me with complete abandon.

He loved me when I adopted him.
He loved me when nobody could stand me.
He loved me in my sickness and health.
He loved me in his sickness and health.
He loved me, even as I changed into a different person.
He loved me, even as I applied needle and drug during his last eight months to sustain life.
He loved me when he passed.

I have been blessed with the support of so many kind friends. But still, even though I know deep in my heart that he couldn't have lasted much longer, and that his struggle to live had turned into intense suffering, I still feel like I've betrayed my best friend.

From Elissa:
No betrayal...
It was time.
Nothing left to do.
Bye bye little certainly entertained us over the years.
Nothing left to do.

I have loved each and every one of my dogs. I've had many over the years. Taking in unplacable rescue dogs, they are generally middle aged or older, in poor health, and emotionally damaged. The bonds between each of them and me have been intense. But I've never experienced anything like what I had with Cosmos. The intensity of the bond, the slavish devotion, the willingness to put up with anything to please me.

Thank you to Elena for sending me this poem by Kipling:

The Power of a Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie --
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find -- it's your own affair --
But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit hat answered your every mood
Is gone -- wherever it goes -- for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept'em, the more do we grieve;

For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long --
So why in -- Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

He was incredibly funny. He was incredibly bright. He was loved by many.

Our bed seems empty without him.

I miss him. I don't know how to go on without him.


Kathy said...

Laura, I'm crying for your pain and for the pain I have shared in the loss of a beloved pet. Remember that you have many friends who have grieved over a dog or cat, and know what you are going through, so never hesitate to reach out to us and share your grieve, we will help you bear it. In answer to Kipling's question, we give our hearts to a dog to tear because the immeasurable love they give to us is worth the tearing and the pain.
love, Kathy

skyeman said...

Dear Laura,

I'm very sorry for your loss. I've had close pets over the years, and it's never easy to lose one. Each one is unique for the unconditional love they give us and maybe for the "secrets we tell them" -- the things we share with them -- that happen at particular moments of our lives.

From a dog we had to leave behind with friends in Arizona when we moved to Philadelphia when I was 6 (I'd had the pet for about half of my life at that point), to the dog I had in high school and early college, to the bunny that was close friends with Adele's bunny who became soul-mates of sorts after they both lived through the Northridge Quake together -- these are little beings who share our lives for a while and then leave.

It takes hundreds of millions of seconds -- little moments at special times -- to make a person who they are: who they meet, what they learn and experience, whom they love -- and eventually because of those unique moments, they become greater than the sum they were ever directly taught. That's you, Laura, the sum total of all those little moments that your folks, friends and pets have provided for you. That's why you turned out to be such a great lady and sister-in-law!

I think that bond is especially true of people for their pets. There's something exceptionally strong in the non-verbal communication between pairings like that. It's inexplicable the closeness that is often felt that non-pet-owners just "don't get". And while I really do believe that it does take a village to make us who we are, there is usually no closer village than the home shared by loving family members, including their non-human members who often get so close, we treat them as human anyway! ~8-)>

Someone once described losses like these to me as earthquakes and aftershocks. You never know when the Big One is coming; even if you have to put a pet down, once that moment is here, it takes a while to pick up the pieces. And as you do that, there are aftershocks: little memories that remind you of the big shaker. And you never know when they're coming, either --- it could be a memory of a funny occasion you had with your pet, it might be a picture... These little aftershocks bring it all back again. And I've been told that it's important to feel these aftershocks and understand that they're based in a deep and abiding love for the times you both shared.

But these aftershocks and the heartache that goes with them diminish with time; the aftershocks become fewer and farther between. And what we're left with, hopefully, is a glow of fond remembrance. We get a chance to bathe in the warmth of the times we shared with our pet. We remember the good times more than the tough ones.

In case you've never seen it, there a poem, of sorts, called "The Rainbow Bridge". It deals with aspects of spirituality that may not be what you believe, but if it might help, here's the link for it:

So, Laura, I am SO sorry for what you've gone through and are going through.

You know where to find us if you need us.


--- Steve >>>>

Spindlicity said...

He loved you Laura, and you loved him. And at the end you loved him in the best possible way, by helping ease his suffering, by helping him exit gracefully, and still with the love in his heart that sustained you both, even though it cost you great pain to do it. I know Cosmos made your life richer and I am positive you made his fantastic. You gave Cosmos a life that any dog would envy and he will always be in your heart.

Good night sweet Cosmos, we are waving here from Oregon...

Summer said...

I am so sorry for your loss Laura. Kathy said it all in her comment. We are all here for you. (((Hugs)))

jo said...

Oh, Laura, my heart-felt condolences. My heart aches for you.

I am glad that the two of you had each other and had love and that extra-special bond over the years.

hot tamale said...

from one animal lover to another, you did not let him down. You showed Cosmos unconditional love to the very end. Im so sorry for what you are going thru right now.

Claudia said...


I'm so sorry. I wish I was there with you to give you a hug.

I love you,

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Laura. That is truly the stinky part, but you got so much more good. Cosmo, too.


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