19 June 2006

In Memoriam: Our Beloved Koba

01.13.1993 - 06.19.2006

He died peacefully (we hope) this morning at home just before I woke up. He was a wonderful dog, and I will miss him immeasurably. He was my baby. I had him before I met my husband, and he has been with me through so much. I honestly feel that he hung on during the time that my husband was gone because he wanted to help me, and once my husband moved back in, he felt it was ok for him to let go. I think this because it was shortly after my husband moved back in that he began not eating as well as he always had. I'm struggling with this loss so much. I've been crying so much today; I think that this may be harder than when my husband left because I know Koba can't come back. He'll always be with me, though. I will never forget his smile, his bark, even the way he panted. He was my first dog, and I know he won't be my last. But, he will always have a very special place in my heart, my sweet boy.

Last Sunday, the day before I was scheduled to leave for Chicago, he became very ill. He wasn't able to walk or stand, and when we tried to get him to stand he would immediately fall over. We took him to the vet, and they began IV fluids and antibiotics. I struggled with my decision to go to Chicago, but the next morning when we went to the vet's to see him and how he was doing, the vet felt he was doing better. He was more alert, his temperature was down slightly, he was willing to walk to go outside and he ate a little. So, I decided to go. On Tuesday, I learned that in the past month he lost 13 pounds, a lot of weight for a human in one month! We decided to keep him in the hospital for the week, and each day, the vet (and my husband because he went to see him each day) saw small marks of improvement. Even so, I knew he wasn't going to fully recover. So, on Friday upon returning from Chicago, we decided to bring him home with us, to continue monitoring his temperature and his weight, to make him as comfortable as possible and to spend as much time with him as we could. He seemed pretty good to me on Saturday (well, as good as could be expected), but he was worse yesterday. My parents came up to see him for what I told them was likely the last time, so I'm thankful they were able to come up. Then, after they left and before going to bed, my husband and I laid down with him for at least an hour just petting him, kissing him and being with him. It was a hot night, and earlier we'd considered going to Starbucks to get something cool, but something inside me told me not to go. I'm really glad we didn't. We went to bed about midnight, and at 3am he woke me by coming into the room. He was breathing rather heavily but was still able to walk on his own, so I tried to see if he wanted to go outside. He got as far as the mudroom and then decided he didn't want to go out. So, I laid down next to him on his bed and spent about an hour petting him until his breathing calmed and he was asleep then went back to bed. I decided not to get up at my normal time but to go into work late, but when my husband woke me up at 7:30am and I saw the look on his face, I knew. I've probably already given too many details, so I won't go into what all happened next. But, I had to tell his story; he was such a special dog. We've decided to have him cremated and to have his ashes kept in a wooden, memorial box so that he'll be with us forever. It was so horribly difficult leaving him at the vet's today, petting him, kissing him and saying goodbye for the last time. But, I know he's in a better place now, and he's watching over us telling us to go on. I just hope he wasn't in too much pain when it happened and that he knew we loved him with all our hearts. Life will not be the same without him, but I know I can do it.


Jill said...

I was emotional enough today and I have officially lost it! Especially when you said how Koba hung on until your hubby returned! Jenn, I am so sorry, but you are very blessed to have such a wonderful dog in your life!

Much Love,

Jen, Former Fat One said...

Jenn, I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost such a special friend and companion. I hope you find comfort in the fact that you helped ease his final hours and that he died feeling your love.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your site for about nine months and have found much encouragement from your strength. I cried when I read about your husband leaving and really felt your pain...your dog passing away is a whole different level of heartache. I am sorry to hear about this loss and too believe he stayed to be of some comfort to you during a time in your life you needed him. . . just as you had always been there for him even in his last hours.

Mrs. KC said...

Jenn... I too have been reading your blog (via "She Shrinks" - my sister, Jenn)... Sorry about your baby. You did all you could to make him comfy. My thoughts are with you. - Miss K

Marla said...

I am so sorry about your loss of Koba. I will keep you in my thoghts. I know you will find the strength to get through this. Here for ya if you need me.

Claire said...

I am so sorry for you loss. True friends and companions are missed the most.

Sandi said...

Jenn, I'm very sorry to hear the news. I've had my fingers crossed for your little doggie all these months, hoping that he was just upset about your situation and that with the husband's return he'd perk back up. When I saw the title today, my heart gave a lurch, and I'm sad to see that this was the outcome.

It is very moving and touching that he waited for things to be better for you. What a true friend all the way to the end! And how beautiful to think of him somewhere better, waiting and watching.

Your life WILL never be the same, but isn't it so much better for the long, sweet relationship you shared with this doggie with the huge heart? As far as him knowing that you loved him, dogs are much, much wiser than we humans about giving and recieving love. To them, love is just a way of being...he knew, he knew.

Melissa said...

Aloha Jenn,
So sorry about Koba, such a beautiful picture of your baby. I am so glad that your hubby is there to comfort you. Your story of these last moments with Koba is very touching.
Hugs of aloha sent your way.

ceecee said...

*hugs* Jenn.. thanks for sharing this post with us. what a special friend Koba was..