Friday, July 30, 2010

Cosmo, June 15, 1997 - July 29, 2010

Cosmo on July 17, 2010

I'm sad to report that our beloved Cosmo passed away yesterday after suffering a massive seizure. When the seizure didn't abate, I spoke with the vet and E. and I made the decision to have him put to sleep. This was done gently and humanely. E. and I were able to hold him while he fell into his final slumber.

In a subsequent post, I'll talk about the agonizing decision to end Cosmo's life, but today I want to share some thoughts about the love that my pet brought into my life.

Cosmo was my constant companion. At home, he followed me everywhere and would gladly have accompanied me to restaurants and other venues, if only he'd been allowed. He stayed next to my desk while I worked. Aside from an occasional bark if he heard an airplane or spied a bird through the window, he was content to lie by my side. If I worked too long without taking a break to play with him, he'd let me know by carrying a squeaky toy over and reminding me.

The house feels empty without him. Although he weighed a scant 7½ pounds, his presence was all around. Returning home to quietude instead of his invariably-happy greeting will be hard to bear. Reading or watching TV without being able to hold him on my lap won't feel the same. And I'll miss our riotous play periods, with Cosmo chasing a toy I'd thrown and ferociously pouncing on it, then joyously carrying it back to me so he could triumphantly go "through the tunnel," that is, through my bent legs.

Cosmo loved E. and our two sons. Each had his own special relationship with him. And Cosmo made all of us better people. We loved him and, by extension, grew to love other animals. We felt a kinship to other pet owners, having learned firsthand about the profound bond that can arise between people and their pets.

Cosmo trusted us. Tiny though he was, he never seemed to fear that we'd step on him or inadvertently kick him. Miraculously, we never did. Well, almost never.

We tried to give Cosmo a life filled with only good things—kindness, attention, plenty of food and water, a warm comfortable environment, long walks with his pack (our family), and countless opportunities for play.

I believe the seizures he suffered for many years must have scared him, since he never lost consciousness during them, but I also believe that he felt comforted when E. or I held him while they lasted.

We also held him during that last awful, unending seizure. I fervently want to believe that in his final wakeful moments, as the sedative that would put him to sleep also allowed his seized-up muscles to relax, Cosmo felt that we had helped him feel better one more time.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.


  1. Barbara, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much you loved Cosmo.

  3. Oh, Barbara, how hard this must be for you. Our thoughts are with you, Love, John & Jeanie

  4. I was so sorry to hear about Cosmos. We have dogs who are 10 and 11 years old, and I dread the time we have to face losing them. With deepest sympathy, Bonnie

  5. So sorry to hear about Cosmo's "transition" (a friend who is fading is using this word). When we had to put our first dog asleep we held him also. Then we walked outside and saw a cloud that was dog shaped rise from the vet's building to the sky. Take care!