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Posts: 4
My wife and I picked Koko up from a pet store it would have been 9 years ago in late November. We had just put down our yellow lab of almost 17 years about 6 weeks prior. The house was lonely and quiet with our last daughter in High School. She too missed Tammy.

We went off looking with a promise not to pick out another dog yet. We found this beautiful 6 week old puppy from North Dakota playing in a fenced in area. She was cuddly, brown and white with beautiful gray eyes. We were told that she was a Border Collie. We had no idea what we were getting into.

We took Koko home and her antics began pretty quick. She learned to climb gates, close doors and lock herself in a room. One time she even knocked the phone off the table and managed to get a call through to my cellphone. We came home early because the call came from home. Low and behold there she is locked in the bedroom.

She quickly taught us what a Border Collie was. Like having five little kids all at the same time, but she had us hooked. She learned about baseball, football and love when we threw things to her. she quickly mastered understanding the English language better than any dog I had ever met.

Koko was always one for needing to give hugs to mommy and daddy. Even more she needed to play play play, to our exhaustion. She loved playing in the water and mud and getting towel dried after. She even had her own kiddy pool.

There is so much i could go on about Koko. Since I work overnights, my wife worked days and all the kids had gron and moved out, for the past 7 years it's been pretty much me and Koko all day, with her strapped to my backside no matter what I did. Sue and I had been making plans on retiring in the next few years and traveling with Koko.  She was our joy, although sometimes we just needed to tell her to stop and take a break. It seems that she was always lets go lets go, play play play, etc.

IN April we brought her to be groomed. When I picked her up I was told that she had some blood come from her nose, but they thought maybe her nose dried out from the blower. She continued to get worse with a "cold". A month or so later as her nose began having more mucus in it we went to the vet. They treated her for a nasal infection.

Through the summer we noticed that we saw less and less of Koko. she was always hiding behind the couch. Even if she was outside with us, she would find a quiet piece of the yard and law down, very unusual. When she played games, she tired of them quickly and suddenly she wanted nothing to do with her pool or water.

We thought it was allergies or the heat. In late July we noticed a little blood every now and then in the nasal mucus. We were a little worried but she seemed to be eating OK and still following me around.

Two weeks ago my wife found blood splatters beside the couch where Koko lays. I made an appointment for this past Monday. In the mean time I had done some research and it didn't look good. Monday morning I sat and listened as my Koko was having a difficult time breathing, but still wagging her tail as I petted her head. I dropped her off early to be checked out.

I got a call from the doctor. She told me that she was not going to waste any money on blood work or x-rays. She didn't need confirmation. Koko has Nasal Cancer. She was not going to last long. She was having extreme difficulty breathing and it would get worse. She could send Koko home with some steroids and we could have her for a few more days or weeks.

Sue and I discussed what to do. She came home from work and we went to see Koko. We new we had to let her go and stop her misery. We were let into the room to see Koko and say goodbye. the hardest thing was that she was responsive and jumping at us to take her home, then she snorted a bunch of blood from her nose.

Sue said goodbye and left crying. I stayed and held Koko as they injected her. She looked into my eyes, closed them and she laid down. She was gone in 20 seconds. She was so tired and had no strength. I held her and kissed her, told her I was sorry and loved her.

Did I do the right thing? I hope so.........It has been a long 5 days since losing my best friend and companion. The house that was always covered in toys, fur and dog food is now so sterile. No noise, no toys, no barking.

I was outside Tuesday turning on the pool and went looking for Koko only to remember she's gone. My days are long and lonely, but we're getting better each day. I just wish people would stop saying, get another dog she'll help you get over it. We don't want that. We need to get through this. As Sue said, just a couple more years is all she wanted. It seems Koko went from puppy to sick girl overnight without us having the growing old in there somewhere.

Sorry to rant... but this is tough on me. Still having my crying fits and some anger mixed in.

Thanks for allowing me to vent... time will heal us.



Posts: 4

Sorry about the spelling and grammar mistakes. I thought I caught them all between my tears. Thank you to this board for the opportunity for me to tell of my baby-girl Koko


Posts: 2,719
Dear Wayne,   I am so very sorry for your loss of Koko.  It sounds like she was quite the girl.  You have my deepest sympathy.

Our pets have a unique way of hiding illnesses from us, sometimes until it's too late.  I have heard that it comes from the ancient days when dogs were wild and the sick were killed off.  So animals learned to hide illnesses for self preservation. 

Come here often for support and comfort.  We all know what you are going through and are here for you.

Bless you and the spirit of your beloved angel.

Love,  Diane, Mom of Miss Dallas at the bridge almost 8 years

Posts: 628
Dear Wayne, I am so sorry to read about Koko.  She sounds like a wonderful, wonderful dog.
I truly understand your grief and sorrow.  We lost our Beagle, Bonnie Lou on June 9th of this year.  She had multiple health issues, mainly congestive heart failure.  She was 13 years and was the light of our lives.  Just like you and your wife, our kids are grown and gone from the house.  Floyd and I never had any children together and so therefore we called Bonnie our daughter. 
When we took her to the vet that horrible day, we knew we would not be coming home with her.  Floyd was so upset, he went to the car, sobbing his heart out.  I stayed behind to finish up the "business part of it".  I could not bear to be in the room when she took her last breath.  However, I did go into the room where she was at to tell her good bye.  I will never forget the wag of the tail she gave me when she saw me.  I hugged her and kissed her sweet Beagle ears and told her we love her.  Then I removed her collar and left, to join my husband in the car sobbing!!!
For several weeks, I would be walking through the house and I would catch a glimpse of my shoes and i would think it was Bonnie. 
The pain is still so new for you and your wife, but as hard as this is to believe, the pain will become less.  It will never go away and you will never "get over it".  I hate it when people say that!!!!!  How can we "get over it" when they are a member of the family.

I will keep you and your wife in my thoughts prayers.  You have come to the right place.  You will find comfort and healing here. 


Posts: 116
Wayne, I too am so sorry for your loss. You did do the right thing my friend, I waited one day too long for my baby. You'll have enough grief don't add to it with the "should I have waited". You loved your baby and did the best for her. She knows this, and she loved you and your wife. You both gave her a great life!

My girl was blinded by the stroke, I had to look into her face and say goodbye knowing she couldn't see me. The HARDEST thing I have ever done.

No one cares about miss spelling (I hope so, I'm the king of it). This is not a typical forum, this place is special. My first post I couldn't see, type or think, let alone use the spell check. 

WE all know you grief Wayne, were all here to help. 



Posts: 4
Thank you all for your wonderful show of support. I think Sue put it best to me this morning. She feels robbed. We were looking forward to growing old together with Koko Jean and were robbed of that.

I don't want to sound mean to people who try reaching out to help, but a replacement right now will not take away our pain or feeling of being robbed of our aging and traveling together.

Maybe someday, but not now. Although I do tell them a nice snuggle from a fluffy little guy for a minute might help. Just a reminder of the early years, but nothing as a replacement.

Thank you All!

Posts: 11,059
Dear Wayne,

Your story is so sad. I am very sorry your precious companion, Koko, has passed on. She truly sounds like a very special girl and I know you are missing her with each beat of your heart. Being with your pet when they take their past breath is something you will never forget. I remember every detail of my bunny boy's last hours on this earth. Our pets are so important to us and losing them sends us into another realm. I would love to see a picture of your precious little one. Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~

Posts: 5,100

Dear Wayne,

I cannot begin to tell you how much your story of your beautiful Koko has touched my heart.  Your words so lovingly captured her incredible zest for life and her wonderful well as the awful intensity of your heartache.  I am just so very sorry for your loss.  I hope you know you can lean on your Petloss family during this very sorrowful time.  We will be here for you.  When you feel up to it, I would love to hear more about Koko.  I am sure you have so many, many more wonderful stories to share.



Posts: 893
Of course you are feeling terrible right now, the pain is so new...the loss is so new.  No matter when you sent your beautiful KoKo on, it would have been "too early, or too late" to you.  There is never a right time.  It sounds like you saved KoKo from a lot of pain and suffering that was sure to come.
It's only been 5 days and I can't believe that people are telling you to get another dog.  There is no "another dog".  There will never be anyone to replace Koko but someday in the future you may find someone that can be your furry child. 
It's been 16 weeks for me and I still cry, I still get mad but I get angry less often.  It has gotten better but honestly I probably cry every day.  We are thinking of visiting the shelter but I am not ready. But I think I just have to jump in and find a furbaby to love because I am having such a hard time.  The next furbaby will NEVER replace Foster, will never be like Foster and my love for Foster and my memories of Foster will never be less because I share my house with another (ok, that is what I am telling myself now).
They always leave us too soon.  I always thought I would have Foster until he was at least 14...even on his 12th birthday I started the countdown to when he would probably be gone and he ended up dying when he was almost 13 (about 2 months before his birthday).
It took a long time, for me, to not anticipate seeing Foster when I got home.  When I would leave work in the morning to go home, I would get excited to be going home to see Foster.  It was a long time before that stopped.  I still, however, think that he will come running when I clang a spoon or fork on something or when I drop something on the floor (food)....for a milisecond I expect to hear him come running and it makes me sad.
I am so sorry that this was so sudden for you guys, but dogs do try to hide problems.  That is their nature.  It will be easy for you to feel guilty, it will be easy for you to say "what if"  but that will not change what happened.  You did the best that you could with what you knew. 
Take time to be together with Sue and morn your loss, cry, be angry, shout, laugh about the good time and find a way to memorialize your friend.

Posts: 4

It has been so hard these past couple of days. Sue is a baseball (well most sports) fanatic. She always get into the games yelling, clapping and all. Koko used to play off of this.When the Red Sox won the World Series in 1004 Sue and Koko ran up and down the street have a ball, yelling and carrying on with the neighbors. 

Koko knew what baseball was, what football was, homes runs and especially touch downs. Often times she would come running from the hall (where her 2 toy boxes were. She never ruined her toys on purpose. We still have her very first one, but anyways I digress) with the Right ball to play with.
She would sit in front of Sue and chatter to her waiting for Sue to say something. When she did Koko would throw the ball into her lap and wait for Sue to throw it to her. She would back up, crouch and tap her feet, like saying throw it, throw it.
Sue would throw the ball and Koko would catch it in  midair and back flip, running back and throwing the ball to Sue to do it again. This would go on throughout the game, every game, every night.
Oft time Koko would bring me a ball and back up crouching behind the coffee table "hiding" waiting for me to throw it. I fake and she'd back up. I taught her to back up back up "Go Deep" as in a football pass. She would go into the hallway and peek around the corner waiting for her pass. If I missed and hit the wall she'd stand and look at me like "what was that?"
With all the sports this weekend and me working nights,  Sue just didn't have it in her to sit "alone" and watch her favorite TV. Both nights she crawled into bed along side me by 8:00 p.m.
I grieve as much for Sue's loss of a sports partner as I do for Koko. As each day goes by I hope for it to get better, but for now, we are still teary eyed and lonely in a quiet and too clean house.
Thank you all for your kind words. Remembering Koko's odd behaviors and fun times seems to help me through.



Posts: 2,719

Dear Wayne,  She was/is beautiful.  Diane


Posts: 116
Thanks for sharing Kokos love of sports Wayne, it brought a smile to my face. What a beautiful dog, she looks like a firecracker! full of energy.

Its good to see your thinking of fond memories of Koko. Please tell us more.



Posts: 1

Hi all, I just signed Sue up for this support group. I hope it helps her too. This is obviously her new name - kokosmommy. Thanks for all your kindness!


Posts: 282

Welcome Koko's mom.  We all know how you feel and we're here for you!


Posts: 596
Wayne, I lost my Rottie Bubba on 07/17/10. Not a day goes by when it doesn't feel like the loss was yesterday. I cry for him alot because he was my soul dog. I can say it gets better in that I don't break down in front of anyone anymore, but I have to have my quiet times when I can let it go.

We just got our new puppy on Sunday, an 8 week old Rottie named Warlock. Does he take Bubba's place? Absolutely not! Do I still grieve for Bubba. Yes. But I now have an opportunity to love another little boy and bond with him.

People will say just get another dog, like they're interchangable, or replaceable. They don't get it. But when your heart is right, maybe you'll give another Border a chance. I also have a BC, and Sweetie is so intelligent, it scares me. She's a person in fur clothes, with all the emotion and understanding in a small package.

I'm sorry for your loss. But I believe they never really leave us. We just have to work harder to see them. The love they give stays with us, and maybe we can learn from that love. I hope I'm worthy of my dog's opinion of me.

Posts: 21

Wayne & Sue,

I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. Koko is beautiful, and she looks like a happy girl. I lost my Sadie (9 years old) three weeks ago, and I understand too well how raw the pain is.

Did you do the right thing? Absolutely. Koko gave you much happiness, and you couldn't allow her to suffer. And I think it's wonderful that you were with her when she closed her eyes.

Allow yourselves to grieve and cry. Everything you're feeling is completely normal. Our furbabies are members of our family; they rely on us to care for them for everything. And their presence is such a part of our day. I'm still surprised how many things remind me of Sadie. She did everything with my husband and me--even went to work with us.

You are in my thoughts during this difficult time. I hope you find much comfort in the wonderful people here.




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