Our Cody Bear :: Karen Stone Photography
I think God sent the rain yesterday and the cold today just for me. Had to reschedule over 20 sessions, but I’ve been backed up on editing, and am finally getting caught up.
My family and I knew that Cody (our sweet black lab) didn’t have long (he was diagnosed with lymphoma at the beginning of October). Steve and I took turns crying about what was coming. My VERY FIRST THOUGHT was, “We have GOT to get some pictures of him and with him.” – Of course that was my first thought…I’m a photographer, I’m pretty sure I’m ADD, and I have a terrible memory (or just really scatter-brained), so I am always determined to take photos as a way to remember sweetness in my life.
Cody has been with Steve since he was about 4 or 5 months old, and he was 8 years old this year. Way too short of a puppy life! We had 3 dogs all together…and of all 3, Cody was the absolute most loving to our kids! He let our little girl sit on him, pull his ears, lie down on him, and he loved getting sticks that our little boy threw in the back yard. He ate a lot of the kids’ plastic toys, and more of their food than I care to know. He loved helping lick the dishes as they were going in the dishwasher, and squealed (yes…squealed!) with excitement at the mention of going on a walk, or going to “Granma’s house”, where he was sure to get some special treat every hour, on the hour! He (and the rest of our pups) would have been happy to spend a week at home, and a week at Granma’s all the time. Even though he was the biggest of all our pups, he thought he was a lap dog! The snuggliest of the bunch. We affectionately called him “Cody Bear”. One of the hardest parts? Our kids still don’t really understand what happened. We told them that Cody was sick, wasn’t going to get better, and that Jesus was going to take good care of him. We’re pretty sure Jesus is throwing sticks for Cody, giving him all the peanut butter kongs in the world, and we know He took away his pain.
This past Wednesday, Cody took a turn for the worse. I called the vet, who looked at his leg, and suspected that the swelling we saw was from the lymphoma causing an infection and filling up with fluid. Cody was noticeably not feeling as well as he had been (he had been on prednisone to help him feel better). And while Steve was at a conference for work, one of the vet doctors informed me it was probably “time”. I called Steve, and asked if he could come home early. Cody is his baby…his 90 lb puppy. He came home that night, and an appointment was made for the next day. I had pretty well held it together until that day, when it just hit me hard. Granma (Steve’s mom) came over to see Cody one last time, and also came with us to the appointment. I wanted to make sure we got some really special pictures with her also. I also wanted to get some pictures with Cody’s favorite neighbor, “Mr. David” – they took a liking to each other almost immediately, and Mr. David always had treats ready to give all the pups through the fence. Sweetest neighbor ever!
After we took pictures, it was time. That was the longest short drive ever. I won’t go into detail, but I’ve never been in the room when “it” happened, but that might be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to watch. But we didn’t want him to be alone for one second. We all hugged him, gave him extra treats, saved some kilbasa sausage for him, and kissed him like crazy.
I know some people don’t understand loving dogs this much, but they just become part of your family, and there’s just nothing like it. Steve always says it’s so hard to lose a dog because they do nothing but LOVE. That is the perfect picture of Cody. But if the words didn’t do it justice, here are some photos from the past few weeks with him:
*Please pardon the ugly crying at the end…*