My Sweet Boy
April 15, 2007-June 13, 2019
Our journey started with an email I received of a beautiful 1 year and 7 months old Yellow Lab needing a home. I saw your picture and fell in love. I had a soft spot in my heart for Yellow Labs because I grew up with one named Max. We had him from the time I was in 2nd grade until I was a senior in high school when cancer took him. I was a bit apprehensive as a single woman working full time and going to school part time. I wanted to make sure I had the time you’d need. I decided to call the number and meet you. I knew then there was no turning back and my heart would be yours.
I’ll never forget the first night we met. You got the zoomies and ran around like a crazy pup up on the couch and down again. I just watched you in awe. I wanted to take you that night, but your current owner wanted a few more days with you, understandably so. You had many people that wanted you, even people from out of state, but I was the lucky one who got you. God knew we needed each other.
A few days later on November 26, 2008, Thanksgiving Eve I came to pick you up in my tiny VW Golf. We fit all of your things in the trunk somehow and you jumped in the backseat. Off we went to begin our life together. Thor you saved me. Before you I was alone and partying too much, making bad choices. Once you moved in, I only wanted to be with you. You were my reason to stay home, you were my home. I remember sitting on our couch and you in front of me, looking up at me and barking. At first, I was scared. Our lab never did anything like that. Then I came to know that was your way of saying, “Come on, let’s play!” Your bossy bark! You felt comfortable with me and we became best friends instantly.
You absolutely loved to swim. On Memorial Day of 2010 we were at Pappy’s for a cookout. You saw the neighbors had an above ground pool where people were splashing and playing. You couldn’t resist and drug mommy across the yard as I held on tightly to your leash. Everyone screaming, “let go, let go!” but I didn’t want to let you go. Eventually I couldn’t hold on anymore and you took off and leaped above the bushes and over the side of the pool and in you went! Swimming in circles in pure delight. Pappy had to lift you out. You came back and we had to put you inside for a bit. As soon as you came out again back you went. Even a few days later you jumped out of my car and ran straight to the pool again! No one was home this time and the gate was locked. Mommy freaked out, but Pappy jumped the fence and got you out again, you silly boy!
A year or so later Mommy started dating Daddy and you fell in love with him and he with you. You loved your Grammie and Papa’s pool, too. You’d run and jump in the pool until your feet were bloody. You didn’t care you just wanted in that pool.
You moved with me 4 times in our years together, even across state lines. You were my baby through thick and thin. My comfort through countless heartbreaks. You joined me on ladies nights and at family meals. You were my everything. When we moved to VA I’ll never forget the downpour of rain and you in the back of the Golf coming between the seats barking and trying to bite the windshield wipers. You always made me smile no matter how I was feeling. As long as I had you I was okay.
You loved strawberries, bananas, carrots, treats and basically any food except lettuce and spinach. You loved to go on W’s, chew bones, play tug, get big sticks, jump through the snow and chase balls but I think swimming was your favorite. You loved squeaky toys, too. Every time you heard the fridge open or your cookie jar make noise you came to check it out. Even when you were very weak and sore you STILL came to check it out up until the day you left me. You loved to grill with daddy outside and you loved to help mommy load the dishwasher and do laundry. You laid in the bathroom in the morning with me while I got ready up until the day before we had to say goodbye. You always did your “dinner dance” before you ate. You’d circle around the table, through the living room and back through the kitchen and around the table again to your food bowls. Sometimes you did this several times. Mommy and daddy would say, “go ahead buddy, eat your dinner.” You’d look up at us and then begin to eat. This went on until we had to start hand feeding you after your tieback surgery.
As you got older you became the boss man of the house, telling us when it was time for dinner, time for a W, time to potty, time for bed and time to get up in the morning. Sometimes you’d even make us move our seat on the couch because that’s where you wanted to sit and that was okay because we’d move for you. When you could no longer get up on the couch mommy and daddy made a “floor couch” out of your bed you’d never use, just so we could be closer to you.
We all loved snuggle Saturday and snuggle Sunday. Mommy always wanted you on her side of the bed, but most times you went to daddy. You always gave mommy your butt when snuggling and daddy your heady. On lucky days you’d get in the middle between us. Those were my favorite moments. When everything was right in the world. Snuggling with you and daddy in bed on a weekend morning.
You loved belly rubs and ear rubs. Mommy did the best ear rubs but daddy tried. You hated to get baths and didn’t like pottying in the rain. You loved to be dried off after getting wet, though. Daddy did that best. Anytime you heard a crinkle or the fridge open you were there to investigate. You always sat beside Mommy when we ate dinner and I’d always sneak you some food. I even stole your kisses during dinner since you weren’t a big kisser. You used to “shake” for food but as you got older it was harder for you to sit and do that and that was okay.
Mommy and daddy tried to do everything we could to keep you healthy and comfortable. You came through your tie-back surgery like a champ. Even begging for walks several times a day. That surgery gave us a few more good months with you. Then you started panting at night again and mommy worried. Your paws began to knuckle a little more frequently, you started to have trouble getting up and you didn’t even ask for W’s anymore. You began to slip on the wood floors so mommy got throw rugs and yoga mats to make it easier for you to get around. Right after your 12th birthday you were diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, then Calcinosis Cutis because of Cushings. Your hair began to fall out and your skin became hard. You had trouble making it outside and trouble making it back in. Your body was shutting down but your spirit was there.
Mommy and daddy had to make the hardest decision ever on June 13, 2019. It wasn’t fair to you, the vet said you were struggling and your skin was really bothering you. You were weak and your hind-end was wasting away. You were a champ, Thor Michael Coon. At 1:00 the Dr came to our home. You greeted her with your tail wagging and even stuck your head in her bag, just like you normally would. I went to the kitchen to get you a treat from your jar. You managed to get up and follow me when you heard it. Then she had to give you a shot to make you sleepy so daddy gave you carrots so you wouldn’t feel the sting. Eventually you laid your precious head down and went to sleep. Mommy and daddy tried to be strong, but it was so hard. We had a few moments with you after you passed and we just held you and cried. They put you on a stretcher and carried you out in to their truck. I went to the back and kissed you one last time and fixed your paw that was bent under.
My life will never be the same without you. Ten years, 6 months and 18 days with you was not enough time, but I’m grateful for every moment we shared. You were a very special soul and touched everyone you met and people who never even met you. I still want to say, “good morning sonshine” when I wake up and sing to you as I feed you, give you goodnight kisses, but you’re gone. I hate how empty our home is without you. There’s no one to watch us through the window as we pull up or to run to us with a present when we come in the door. I never knew a heartache quite like this. Usually you’re here to ease my pain, now I’m just empty. You’ll always be my sonshine, my heart, my baby, my joy. I love you, Thor Michael Coon aka Boo, Booie, Shmoo, Shmoogles, Big Guy, Buddy, Bud, Baby Boy, Mama’s Baby. Meet me at the rainbow bridge when it’s mommy’s time. Till we meet again my love, my soul dog.