Patient Wonderful Copper

by greg
(reno, nv)

My first boy died yesterday. His name is Copper

He was 12 years old. My wife and I got him from the vet. He and his sister were found as a lost litter. They are wonderful.

My wife sort of tricked me into going to see them. I have had dogs before (two wonderful boxers, Jenny and Dotty, mother and daughter) and when they died I didn't think I could make it. Then that day came and they brought Copper out to us. So small and warm and helpless. And perfect.

I couldn't say anything. They asked if we wanted him and I nodded yes. Then they made it worse and said "He's got a sister...". We went in back and there was Summit, dainty little angle.

You have to know some things about my kids before I go on. They have been the same perfectly defined individuals from the moment I laid eyes on them.

Summit looked right at me (the both of us) right in the eye and just knew, well, everything. It's like she knew we were coming, that she and her brother were going home, and that I was broken.

Now Copper, what a lug! If Summit was lean, angular, and psychically attuned to every thought, Copper was a lump of gentle love. Not the jump on you and nip and slobber slow explosion, but everyday, every time trot over and sit by you and press his head on your leg. Every time, just to let you know he was happy he got to be with you. Everywhere, inside and out, no matter how mundane the task, he was there to help out (or at least let you know he was there for you).

I can't think of how many times I stupidly gruffed at him for being in a doorway. I would trade my life to be able to look behind me now and see him napping on the office floor!

As the end approached, I found myself stopping to check and see where he was at. His mind was still razor sharp, but his back legs were giving out. After Jenny and Dotty were gone, I would hear them in the house, or turn a corner and catch just the briefest glimpse of them laying in the sun. That's when I figured out what ghosts are, and that's the haunting. I would feel "normal", and there would be the shadow and remind me that I couldn't be with them for real. I'm scared now because this morning I'm racing around corners AND HE'S NOT THERE! WHERE IS MY BOY!!

And I remember the night before. He had been trying soooo hard to make it outside to go potty. Most times he would make it. We had been trying to help him out if for no other reason that he was so embarrassed if he had an accident in the house. That night, that god damned night I carried him out and tried to help him stand, but he just couldn't.

He was just to tired.

I carried him inside and put us to bed. And I lay there and told myself that the time had come.

My wife and I were so very mature. We had made arrangements before hand with the vet. We had found a crematorium before hand and made those arrangements, because on that day it would make everything easier. We sat our son down and told him as best we could what would happen. We all cried together, and made our breakfast and cried. As the time approached my mom came over to watch our son and we cried. We loaded Copper in the car and started on our way, and we cried. I sat in the back and we turned the corners and I thought, "This is the last time you'll be this way my son", and I prayed for a flat tire or a traffic accident.

We arrived at the hospital.

My wife went in to get the doc. I sat with Copper and we looked at the hills and I wished the doc would not come out. And she did.

She was so gentle, and I felt my baby die in my arms. I could feel it happen and I want to go with him. I don't want to sit here and type this and know that I made the decision that my little boy should die. I know that if I made another decision he could be sitting by me right now and we could be watching TV. I want to stop breathing and not be.

That's why I couldn't speak the day I met him. I knew I would love him and he would be perfect and I would have to kill him. I know his beautiful smart loving sister probably isn't too far behind, and I will have to hire a good and professional person, with problems of her own, to kill my baby girl.

It's not fair, and I don't want to do it. I want to stop breathing and not be.

I love my sweet, beautiful, kind, giving wife and my smart, loving, kind son so much. I want them to be safe and happy and healthy. I want them to have the things they want and need them to have the things they need. I know I am Father/Husband to two of the most wonderful people in the world. With that joy and gift comes a solemn and grave responsibility to provide for my family. I dedicate every fiber of my being to the opportunity making this gift grow and thrive.

If you've managed read this far into whatever this is, I thank you for letting me share my story with you. If you're here reading this, it is most likely that you have suffered your own loss, and for that I am so, so very sorry. May God bless you and grant you peace. The song goes, "The love you get is the love you give". If you feel like I do right now, your person must love you an awful lot. That makes them incredibly special.

Please remember they thought that way about you.


Comments for Patient Wonderful Copper

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Dec 07, 2013
The way it was
by: Claire

My heart goes out to you as I lost my baby two days ago, very suddenly. Zwee was my retirement dog, the one who would console me through children moving away, parents failing health, spouse home all day and that goes with the golden years. She was just 8 years old, a loving, sweet cockapoo. In some ways I regret giving her all of my heart. My grief is inescapable, massive and so heavy I cannot walk through simple tasks like vacuuming without stopping to heave giant tears and wish she was following me around, getting in the way. Everything I did was important to her from eating a bowl of cereal to making a phone call. Any of these activities could end up in a walk in the woods or on the beach, a daily ritual for us. I knew from the start I was giving her more of my love than I had ever given anyone or anything and I'm regretting it because this is so painful and my life is changed so much. I have a great life, wonderful family and friends. But life without her is so less joyful. My confidence is ebbing as she always agreed with me. My impulsive playfulness is leaving me as there is no one who understands a midnight romp on the beach catching crabs scuttling on the shoreline. My jokes aren't funny, my vacation plans, all my future plans to have her with me to comfort me through sorrow and share my joy is just
shattered into a million pieces. I want her back and I feel a strong desire to go get a dog exactly like her but I read that this is a bad idea. I know it won't be her but maybe it will lessen my grief just a bit if the new dog will be as excited to see me, to walk on the beach and cuddle on the couch. That may well be enough.

Nov 13, 2013
Animal Lover Myself
by: Anonymous

Well I have had 2 dogs, one special one named Rocky who lived for 24 yrs., and when my parents took him to put him down. Same reason his hind legs gave up. I was working at the time. I remember just crying in tears. Then came a cat name Wyner Long-Pants, and adopted me, when I lived out there in that cottage, I never thought I will love that cat, but I did, then came, another cat tom cat name Happy, and he was murdered, by a ugly neighbor who my husband and I knew she killed him, but Happy is buried in our back yard, and my other cat is in Napa buried with Niner, another cat who is so loveable, well now I have a Jack Russel who is name Lulu, and well she is with my cat Blacky who also adopted me, and my husband passed away 1 yr. 8 months ago, and Lulu was a gift from my husband, and Lulu knew he was the Alpha, so what am I trying to say here, that an animal love is just like your own family. The are better, because they love unconditionally. If I didn't have Lulu and Blacky. I really be a basket case, even though I miss my husband so much, who died of Leukemia, and well, his spirit is always around me too. I know what you mean. Animals teach us so much in life. Well just wanted to say I know what it feels like. I know copper is with my husband, and my dogs, and cats in heaven now.

Nov 12, 2013
thank you
by: greg

Roxanne and Diane, thank you. A few days along now, trying to stay busy with family and work. We're all spoiling Summit as much as she'll put up with. I find myself laughing at something someone says, then I get mad at myself for forgetting how much I miss him. I want my boy back.

Nov 12, 2013
Beautiful Copper
by: Diane

Believe me, on this site we have all been there in your shoes. I too have guilt and tremendous sorrow in my heart over my sweet Chrissy and how she died. It's true, we hurt so bad because we loved so much. Please take with you the fact that if you can write such a beautiful heartrending tribute to Copper,that dog knew you loved him very much, so much in fact you saved him from horrible pain, and yes, embarrassment,even though it broke your heart to do so. He loved you very much in return and trusted you to help him over to the Rainbow Bridge where he will be waiting for you. You did the right thing, the unselfish thing. It would have been in YOUR self interest to keep him alive, not his.Please accept my sincere condolences, I'm so very sorry another human has to go through this agony. God bless, and may you find peace. RIP beautiful Copper!

Nov 11, 2013
my soul
by: Roxanne

You have touched my soul. I will remember you ,and your baby's in my prayers.

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