Monday, October 26, 2009

A Tribute

Okay . . . so, my plan for today's post was to share some pics of our super-fun, grown-up costume party this past Saturday night. Instead, I've had to switch gears and come up with something else.

Let me explain . . . When hosting any kind of event/party, what's one of your biggest fears - natural disaster, death, running out of wine . . . or . . . how 'bout a power outage? Yes. Literally minutes before our guests dressed in their most creative creations were to arrive, the lights began to flicker and dim, buzz, than gone. Nothing. Darkness. Well, almost darkness. Bad enough we were having a torrential downpour outside - but no power as well! Needless to say, I had quite a few candles burning, but nothing that would illuminate the house enough to host a soiree with 16 of our closest friends. I had to scramble, pulling out every candle and tea light that I owned. Than . . . blasted! My long lighter ran out of fluid. Thank goodness Mary, our neighbor and good friend who was on her way over, called to see if I had enough candles. She brought her lighter, which might have been a scary thing since she was coming as The Scarecrow! Luckily, I had the chafing dishes already going keeping the food warm, and we had the chargeable Ipod player with tunes. So, all the extra candle light really just added to the ambiance of the "spooky evening".

Unfortunately, it didn't work out so well for getting pictures. You see, I have a pretty decent camera (Sony Cyber-Shot), but I'm limited with it's capabilities. Not to mention I really . . . well, putting it bluntly . . . suck at snapping pics! So, with all the darkness and having to use the flash, most of the pictures turned out washed-out and pale.

After 2-1/2 hours, the power was restored along with cheers - mainly from the girls - and the festivities continued on without skipping a beat. By that time however, I was more focused on mingling and having a fun with my bestest friends and kind of forgot about the camera.

So, I have decided to do a little tribute to a member of our family we lost suddenly this past February. Coco, our sweet Boxer. Those of you that know dogs, know what wonderful, gentle, playful dogs Boxers can be. She was the best. You know how they say when you go to get a dog, let the dog "pick" you. Well, she truly did. When we went to the breeder to pick a pup, she was one of two left. She was tiny. Half the size of her last remaining sister. She came up to Son No. 3 and nuzzled right in. It was a quick choice.

She stayed small. Never any more than around 52 pounds. That was fine by me. I never wanted a monstrously big dog running around our not-so-big house. After her death, we wondered if she was always so small because of an unrealized medical condition. She always seemed healthy. Always received good reports at her regular vet visits. But, she was always so small, and would get winded when we'd let her run outside.

One afternoon this past February, exactly a week before her fifth birthday, Coco was outside playing in a newly fallen snow with Son No. 3. She was running around him playing "catch me if you can" like she always used to do. I was standing at the door watching them having so much fun. Suddenly she went down right in front of Son. I'd thought she'd slipped in the wet snow. She didn't get back up. A little quick convulsion told me something was not right. I yelled for Son to check her as I ran out the door. I scooped her up and carried her in the house. There was no breathing, and just a faint heart beat. Within minutes, she was gone. It was so surreal. She was fine not 10 minutes prior. Standing at the door, waiting for Son to walk home from the bus stop, eager to get out there and run around in the snow.

Without doing an autopsy, it was speculated she died from cardiomyopathy. We found out that heart condition claims the lives of Boxers more than any other breed. Maybe her small size was because of the this congenital heart ailment that was never detected. Needless to say, her death hit our family hard - espcially hubby. She was his "girl". Coco received greetings from him upon his return home from work before I would! It was just too soon to loose her. Thinking about her now, it seems way less than the five years she was with us.

She's still with us in spirit, though. We had her cremated, and her ashes are in a beautifully carved box on our family room bookshelf along with her favorite toy, a puppy snapshot and a clay model that Son No. 3 made of her after she passed.

The boys are ready for another dog, but Hubby can't get around the idea. He says no pup would be as good as Coco, and he just can't bear the inevitable heartbreak of loosing another beloved pet. Maybe he just needs more time.


june said...

your story of you beloved pup brought tears to my eyes.. so sorry:( we lost out lab (sam) at age 13 which is a long life in dog years but its still not easy. my husband at the time (now divorced from him) never wanted another dog as no other dog could be as good as the 1st one.. well, we got another one.. i put my foot down and said we are getting one for the kids ! she is now 8 years old (hari) and is wonderful in her own special way. our first love (sam) was the greatest lab.. my husband got another lab (butters) age 1, and when we divorced he got custody of Hari and i bought the kids another lab (bailey) age 2. so, we are a family of 3 labs (they dont all live together, but my kids get to see all of kids want another one.. trying to talk my "new" husband into another dog. wish me luck.. heehee ... a home is not a happy home without a puppy...

Hopemore Studio said...

Such a sweet tribute to Coco, I have no doubt you and your family miss her.

I'm glad your party went on even with electrical issues, sounds like you dealt with it the best way possible!

Anonymous said...

OMG not one picuture? It truly sucked, we were all so cute!!! Kisses to COCO she was a doll.

Anonymous said...

that stinks that the power went out-it didn't go out here and I'm what like 5 minutes away from you.

Seeing little Coco brought a tear to my eye-I loved her little underbite. I totally love our little Maxie and would be heartbroken if/when something happens to her.


Heather Bullard said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. The story of your beloved Coco is so touching. We had a Boxer named Sam for 14 years and still think of him nearly every day. Maybe someday you'll be able to get another pup that will bless your family as much as she did. Warm Regards, Heather

Carla said...

June, thanks so much for stopping by, reading and commenting on my new blog. I appreciate you sharing your story of your lab, Sam. Sounds like your kids have lots of loving doggies in both their families! I agree, pups of all ages do add a little friendly something to a home!

Good luck on your efforts in adding to your four-legged family!

Carla said...

Lisa, you got a dog? I had no idea. I can't wait to meet Maxie. Haven't seen you in so long - we have some catching up to do. Maybe a little bit of scrapbooking . . . ?

Carla said...

Heather, thank you so much for stopping by at commenting. I've been a big fan of your blog for quite a while - yours was one of the first I ever started reading. You're like a blog "rock star" to me!!! No kidding!

Thanks for you kind words as well about our Coco. Boxers are great dogs, aren't they? I think I would like a new one some day. We'll have to wait for Hubby to be ready.

marie said...

What a sweet tribute to a special pet ~ and I loved all her photos. The one with the red pillow is my favorite.

Glad your party was a success, but I'm sorry you didn't get any pictures. Although I'm sure the candlelight set the mood perfectly!

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