We brought Cola home 13 years ago. He was a very lively little Lab/Collie cross male pup. Dominant nature and VERY intelligent with it. As a Family we were a bit clueless about having a pet dog. He was really meant to be our youngest son, Andrew's pet.  It took a lot of of mistakes and near parting of the ways before we finally knuckled down to accepting that We needed to change and become pack leaders.


As the years went by it was becoming obvious that Cola was my Wife and I's dog. Our Boy.


The Boys,Stephen,Christopher and Andrew were growing up anf fleeing the nest. We became so routined and dependant. Cola was our warm welcome. We were his pack leaders but he was shown much love and respect. We had a happy co-existance.


Sometime late last year he developed a hacking cough. Other than that he seemed absolutely fine. A few weeks passed and we decided to get his infrequent cough checked out.  He had a few tests and our Vets were relatively satisfied that his heart and other vital organs appeared normal for a dog of his age. Cola was prescribed steroids which made a lot of difference. He seemed to pick up and became very hungry and thirsty.


He was never a foody type dog. He was always sure of food when he needed it.


We got into a routine of watching how much water he was drinking so that we could make sure he got out enough to relieve himself. We just accepted that as he was getting older this might just be how his life would be. He was still a happy and contented dog.

On Feb 21st things changed dramatically for the worse. I had taken Cola for quite a long walk. It was a lovely day and I felt he needed a good day out. I'm so glad i did that. That night he seemed a bit stiff and tired. We decided not to give him an evening walk but to just let him out in the back garden.


We went to bed not thinking that he was in any way ill. At 3am my Wife,Anne, was wakened when she heard Cola hacking. She got up and saw that he was being sick. Not altogether unusual. She thought it might be because we had been cutting down his steroids a bit. Anyway, she took him down stairs and let him out to the garden.  He just wouldn't come back into the house. Eventually about half an hour later he came back in but he seemed very stiff and unhappy.


Anne came back to bed and I knew nothing of this episode.

At 9am I got up and was shocked to see and smell sickness and diarrhorea all over the house!


I went down stairs and couldn't see Cola anywhere (in his usual places)  I looked across the kitchen and saw the pitiful sight of him curled up near the cooker covered in vomit!


I went straight upstairs and told Anne we needed to get the emergency vet out (It was Sunday morning) We called them and they asked us to bring him to the surgery.  The poor little soul couldn't walk. He was so weak and ill. The vet gave him anti biotics and a couple of other things to combat a possible virus and dehydration. She said we should take him home and make sure to give him small doses of solution to keep him hydrated and to get back to her if we were concerned.


The thing is, it's hard to know just how poorly your dog is when they can't speak to you.  We could see he was very unwell but expected he'd come round with the medication and close care.


He never did.  He died on the kitchen floor on Anne's lap.


We miss him so much. :¬(


Cola is now buried in his garden. There are flowers in his treat jar over his grave. Anne and i are heartbroken. I never expected to feel such grief. Walk times are especially difficult to cope with. Waking up to his enthusiastic welcom. Coming home to his manic welcome. All gone. He was our boy. I regret not spending more time that he craved for. If only I could just walk him again. Play in the garden with his tug toys. Enjoy his happy expression when he was getting the attention he needed.


Goodbye Cola, faithful pet.



Tartancollar Tartancollar
19 Responses Mar 3, 2009

I am so sorry

To all pet owners just be thankful you outlived your pet!

You sound like great parents! Hope you get another dog - they deserve being cared for by you!

Your both great dog parents! I hope you get another dog someday, as a great dog deserves great parents...Best!

Its terrible when a loved pet dies. Ive lost three dogs over the years and the grief is unbearable. Ive got another 9 year old Bichon. I dread the day when she wiil leave me. You,ll never forget your friends, but why not give another helpless dog a chance. I know theyll love you for it. Lol.

My cocker spaniel - mix Sandie had to be euthanized at the age of 14. That was some years ago, & tho I now have another canine companion whom I cherish, I still miss Sandie, & look forward to the time when we'll be together again.

I have the same mixed breed and she is the most wonderful, special being in my Universe. I only hope I can improve her life as much as she's improved mine.

you are so brave and strong to share. i could never share about my dog. she died today. :'''''(

My mom had a mini pin named stormy, she lived to be 13 years old. my mom, and all of us, loved that dog. She had diabeties and had even had a liver transplant but one morning she just didn't want to get up anymore, the next day she died in her sleep at the vet hospital. we had her cremated and set up a little urn in my mom's room. <br />
<br />
Sorry for your loss.

Funny... did you know "cola" is Spanish for "tail?" It's also a dog park acronym (Canine Off Leash Area). <br />
<br />
I lost my beloved, little dog of 13 years in May to cancer (it was a surprise diagnosis). I know how you must feel.

iknow how you felt i lost my best friend pateley in 2009 he went everywhere with me we had lost one a few months earlier she was 14half thought id have pateley for a few more yrs he was only 10 fit as a fiddle but deterated so quickly he had kidney failure have a little coffin buried in garden with his name on speak to him god bless my boy

I understand your grief. To lose the little ones that you love. My little Scarlet was the love of my 'golden years'. I was only able to keep her around for seven months. The sorrow is great but the memories are full. Find peace, fellow dog-lovers.

It's small consolation, I know. But at least you were spared with having to make the decision to end Cola's life and he died with the people he loved in the home he loved. The day we had to put our Samoyed/Collie down due to the pain he was experiencing was possibly the worst of my life. I was with him at the end but I so wished it had happened at home. We swore we'd never get another dog, there couldn't be another one like Dief. 3 months on and we had a puppy bouncing around the house. Archie is now 3 and a completely different dog. Vastly different character to Dief who we'll never forget but we love him like we loved Dief but with *so* many lessons learned. Our home is not a home without four feet and a swishing tail causing chaos. <br />
<br />
It'll take time to get over Cola but remember to smile over the mischief and love he brought to your world.

I know how you feel, I just had my beloved dog put to sleep 2 days ago. I've been crying off and on. I really didn't want her put to sleep but she was in so much pain..she puked up blood and wasn't eating for days and was so skinny. It broke my heart so much, and I still miss her so bad. She lived to the great age of 19.

Our pets are truly well travelled Spirits. <br />
They are here to both give and receive love.<br />
Their presence in our lives is strong .<br />
They love us unconditionally, they dont judge us,pure unconditional love.<br />
But their lives are short compared to ours <br />
..Love these bright Spirits while they are with you.<br />
They will wait faithfully for you ..on the other side.<br />
<br />

Dear Tartancollar and Anne, <br />
<br />
I really mean the phrase in all of its sense when I say "I'm so sorry for your loss." I think we all know how painful it is to lose a pet. They become part of the family, our babies. It's a pain that never goes away. I have had many dogs and each time that it is time to say goodbye, it is a heartache and sorrow you just can't explain. One of my dogs recently passed away on May 1st. We had him cremated and his ashes are sitting in his usual spot where he liked to sleep. We know that is where he would have wanted to be. Your story made me tear up because I know how every pet has their special place in our lives and in our hearts. This is why we have to cherish every single moment we spend with them and most of all, always, always show them how much you love them. I'm so sorry for your loss.

We have very similar stories. My Toby was put on steroids because of arthritis. He was fine for 1 1/2 months, until he started drinking lots of water and peeing everywhere. As you know it's a common side affect of the steroids and I didn't worry for a little bit. Then I called the vet and she told me to lower the steroids. When that didn't help, she scheduled me for an appointment for the coming Monday (this was a Saturday), but 12 hours later, he started a vomiting fest, so i rushed him to the hospital. They admited him and told me once they got him steady that I could transfer him to my reg vet for another day of care. That transfer never happened because we found he had developed diabetes from the steroids and that caused him to get pancreatitis. His little body couldn't hold on any longer and he died in my arms that Sunday night. It's just the worst thing that's happened to me so far. I never read this type of scenario before putting him on the steroids. I bet this happens more than not. It's sad that I'm not alone in this story. I bet our kids are at the rainbow bridge and playing with each other.

Pets become our children and family. It is always sad to loose someone/something we love. Your story made me cry. I grew up animals but then my body desided to become allergic to lots of things inclueding animals. I remember we ended up giving away our dogs because of me. I was heartbroken. My children always wanted animals, but I can't have them. All of our loses. I ma now alone and would love to have an animal to share my time with but can't. Charish those memories you have of Cola and maybe consider getting another dog. I know Cola can not be replaced, but it could help. Or maybe volunteer at an animal shelter so you can show the love you have for Cola.

I feel your grief, We had a Border Collie at one time he was our life. We had him for 12 yrs and he got sick from heart worms. He died in my arms and it was like losing a family member. He went every where with us and on Sundays he always got to go for icecream, It's hard for me to eat icecream to this day and he has been gone for 15 yrs. The pain is still there but it does get better in time. So just keep Cola's memories in your heart and God Bless your Family.