When an animal falls ill beyond hope...the last thing that feels right is keeping them alive. When we left for San Diego, our lab, black as night whose name is Cole, got very sick. When we returned, there was almost nothing left of him. Except. His happy black face. And, his will to want to please the kids and Kory. And of course, his appetite for strawberries. He seemed fine, until you looked at him sideways. And saw that he was nothing but skin and dog bones.
Years back Cole ran away from home one day, chasing the smell of things beyond our green grass. We looked for him for days. High and low. Far and wide. It seemed the dog was gone forever. We all cried, and felt so sad that his reddish brown collar did not have his name around his neck, so someone would find him and bring him back to us.
In a last ditch effort, Emma and I went to the pound one last time, after several days of looking. We walked into the barking carnival, and down at the far end we could see a dog, as black as railroad coal, jumping for the sky. "It's ME, It's ME!" He must have said in dog language! Emma and I could not believe our eyes. It really WAS him!! He jumped so high that day he nearly cleared the dog kennel they had him in. Never has there been a happier dog. Or a happier little girl. My Emma and I shared a few tears that day, and when we called Kory, his voice cracked when we told him we had found our dog at long last.
And so. On Wed when Cole collapsed. With no strength. We knew. That his life was nearly over. Hayden cried so hard it broke my heart. Emma's tears fell fast, and Kory and I sat there with our eyes filled to the brim. For a brief moment Cole lifted his head long enough for me to snap a picture. And Hayden said, "I had some hope right then Mom that Cole was going to be ok." But Hayden knew. And we all knew. That Cole's happy tail, his shiny black coat, and his appetite for strawberries, would have to wag on in heaven.
That'll do Cole. That'll do.
The kids say goodbye to Cole.