Thursday, April 25, 2019

The loss of a friend


An old song* says that 525,600 minutes make up a year. The math checks out: 60 minutes an hour x 24 hours a day  x 365 days a year = 525,600 minutes.

The best I can figure, our sweet Cocoa lived about 7,264,800 minutes.


A much-wanted 12th birthday gift for my son Preston, Cocoa lived an exuberant, energy-filled life.
This photo was taken in the summer of 2018; Cocoa had just turned 13 years old. 13 in "human years" supposedly equates to 91 "dog years." She looks awfully good for a senior citizen, doesn't she?

We adopted Cocoa from the local humane society just after we moved into this house, and it's hard to imagine living here without her. If you’ve ever rung our doorbell, you’ve been greeted by her barking. If you’ve ever placed your food close to the edge of our countertop, you’ve had to fend off her stealthy snitching. If you’ve ever sat in one of our living room chairs, you’ve had to brush her hairs off your clothes. If you’ve ever tried to pet her “sister” Snickers, you’ve felt her nosing her way into your caress. 

Sometimes Cocoa would get so absorbed in licking your hand or your face that, when you tried to stop her, she'd continue licking the air around you. 

This photo is of Cocoa and Snickers, side by side in one of our living room chairs:


 Occasionally they'd share a chair, but more often you'd see them like this:

See how the throw pillow is on the floor beside Cocoa's chair? It never failed that Cocoa would jump into a chair and throw the pillow to the ground. 


Every now and then we caught our pups in a pose, like these:





But most of life was like this:



Or even this:



As you can see, Cocoa was no saint. Truth is, she could be awfully aggravating. She could make me so mad that sometimes I almost wanted to kill her.

But I never wanted her to die.

Cocoa ran and jumped and licked her way through millions of minutes until Monday night, when she obviously had a tummy ache. Tuesday morning she seemed a little better, but then on Tuesday afternoon she stopped eating and drinking. Deeply concerned, I made a pallet on the floor beside my bed so that I could keep an eye on her. I checked on her throughout the night. 

Sometime between 4:00 and 6:00 Wednesday morning, Cocoa took her last breath. 

I am deeply grateful that she did not suffer long. And I am grateful that I did not have to make a decision to end her life. I know this is a mercy. 

But my heart is broken. There's no other way to put it.

I think that old song is right. The only way to measure a year in a life is love. Cocoa lived more than 7 million minutes of pure, unconditional, unforgettable love.

I will remember the love.





Cocoa Parham
June 27, 2005 - April 24, 2019

*"Seasons of Love" by Jonathan D. Larson

26 comments:

  1. I am so very sorry Richella. It is so very hard to lose a fur baby. ❤️

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    1. Thank you, Pam. Yes, it really is hard. She was a member of our family!

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  2. My heart breaks for you. Godspeed Cocoa.

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  3. Oh, Richella. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Trusting for healing and restoration for your broken heart.

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    1. Thank you so much, Michele. I appreciate your kind words. Our hearts will heal, I know.

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  4. My heart is aching for you right now. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my first fur baby a couple years ago. She was a birthday gift from my husband and was part of our family for 16 years. They really do become part of the family, and when they leave us it feels like we have lost a part of our family. Just know that you gave Cocoa a wonderful happy life!

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    1. Thank you so much! They really do become part of the family, don't they?

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  5. Oh, Richella! I am SO sorry to hear this. What a precious friend you had, and I know your sweet memories will last forever. You have my deepest sympathy.

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl! We are finding comfort in the memories. And expressions of sympathy really do help, so I appreciate your taking the time to extend yours. Bless you.

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  6. I am so very sorry for your loss of Cocoa. Oh it is one of the most heartbreaking situations to lose one of our precious fur friends. She sounds like she was quite a girl who left wonderful memories for your family to comfort you. The Rainbow Bridge has another colorful member.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pam. Yes, she was quite a girl.

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  7. I am so sorry, Richella. I don't know why our fur friends can't live longer.

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    1. I know, Paula--it seems so unfair! But she did have a good life. I keep looking back at photos and smiling. Give Sherman an extra hug tonight!

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  8. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Cocoa. My heart breaks for you...so unfair that dogs don't live longer.
    Hugs,
    Shelley

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    1. You're right, Shelley--it does seem so unfair! But they are precious companions, aren't they?

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  9. Awe. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet pup. They are such a very special part of our lives.

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  10. It is so sad to lose a pet - Cocoa looks like he was loved. Sorry for your loss

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  11. Richella,
    I am deeply saddened by your loss. . .
    pets enrich our lives in amazingly wonderful ways.
    Cocoa was more than your pet, she was extended family.
    Praying that God sends you His comfort and His peace
    as you face difficult days ahead adjusting to life without Cocoa.
    Pat

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    1. Thank you so much, Pat. I appreciate your prayers more than I can say! Bless you.

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  12. I'm so sorry about Cocoa, what a sweet face. We are such dog lovers over here and having lost two precious family dogs, one that was with our boys when they were just little guys, I know your heartbreak. Sending love and healing to you and your family.
    xo
    Leslie

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    1. You are so kind! Thank you very much. I appreciate your words more than I can say.

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