Man’s Best Friend
It is true what they say, that a dog really is a man’s best friend.
About two months ago my dog, Cody was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. He woke up one Saturday morning with a tennis ball-sized tumor in his neck. I took him to the vet only to find out that there were tumors throughout his body, and it was just matter of time before he would be in pain. At first Cody responded well to the medication. The tumors shrunk in size, and he seemed normal. Then two weeks ago, the tumors came back and his health declined more everyday. He had a difficult time breathing and could not climb the steps or jump into my arms. Cody loved to jump, so I am sure his heart was broken because he could not muster the energy to do so.
Cody was a great dog, companion, and friend – as any dog is. But Cody was special because he was the dog we got when my dad was still alive. He was the dog that was there to comfort my mom (and me) when my dad died. I remember the day we picked up Cody and his sister. Dad, mom, my two nieces (Amie and Sarah), and I went to pick Cody and his sister up at a dog show two hours away. It wasn’t five minutes after we got them in the car that Cody took a big ol’ dump in the car (luckily he was in a cage). So we pulled over at the nearest gas station, all of us fleeing the car to escape the smell. Of course the responsibility of cleaning up the first poop by my dog fell on me. I would often use this as a reason not to pick up poop later, but it rarely worked. So after the smell had dissipated, we hopped back in the car and continued on our way back to Cincinnati.
This past Monday I had to do one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. I had to take Cody to the vet to be put to sleep. It’s hard going somewhere where you know the outcome is not going to be good. Once I arrived, I carried Cody into the vet and as I walked in a lady commented on how cute he was. I forced a smile and continued to walk into the room where Cody was going to be put to sleep. The vet came in and asked if I wanted to stay in the room. I chose to stay only because I did not want Cody’s last thought to be that I was going to come back into the room to get him. The vet told me that it would happen fast, but I had no idea just how fast it would happen once the vet injected him. He looked up at me one last time…I almost lost it, but somehow managed to hold it together. I held his head in my hands and, just like that, my dog, Cody was gone. His head went lifeless in my hands. I laid his head peacefully on the table, petted him one last time, and walked out the door.
This was one of those times in a man’s life when it’s okay to cry. I could not hold back anymore, and as soon as I got in my car the flood gates opened.
It’s been a rough week. I still think I hear Cody walking on the floor above or barking at the postman. I think of him the most when I would have been taking him out for a walk, feeding him, and chasing him around the house. He loved to play. He was a great dog, a cheerful dog always happy to see you when you walked in the door and sad to see you leave.
Cody was a great companion and definitely man’s best friend. He will truly be missed.
The following pictures are from Cody’s last night with us.