Coco photos

Almost one year ago …

Coco fulfilled her purpose

Coco fulfilled her purpose

We lost sweet Coco, the original Love Dog…

Kirby started aging and losing some of his senses …

Kirby has carried on her legacy

Kirby has carried on her legacy

Benny found us and came to live with Kirby and me …

It took longer for Benny to learn to trust ... but once he did...his purpose became clear

It took longer for Benny to learn to trust ... but once he did...his purpose became clear

These three facts sum up the year for our family. They also sum up how Love Dog Adventures has grown and progressed from one amazing fluffy white poodle fourteen years ago to many, many wonderful dogs (and cats) today – all sharing the most essential quality for a therapy animal — a huge capacity to love.

I just finished reading “A Dog’s Purpose” and it made me think about all of the pets we know and love and what their purpose is.

Coco started it all when at three months old she came to live with me and helped me through an incredibly difficult illness. Her purpose was to encourage me and to guide me and to love me unconditionally and then teach me how to share that love with thousands.

For fourteen years she gave and gave and gave. Her spirit was contagious and until she could no longer hold up her head, she smiled at and kissed and loved everyone.

Then my little man came along. Kirby shared Coco’s last year with me and came to be her eyes and ears. Kirby’s purpose was to watch over Coco in her last year and to be a friend and protector. He never left her side. He would sleep snuggled up against her, walk close enough so she could feel his body and follow him to a good spot, allow her to always come first and never be jealous.

He was able to signal her seizures at the end and alert me to help her get comfortable.

Kirby’s purpose was to not only help Coco through this difficult time, but to save me from total devastation. His little body puffed up and his heart was so full, I couldn’t be sad for too long. I now had to concentrate on Kirby as he too was aging quickly.

Then Benny was introduced to us. Oh Benny, my Monster Boy! This puppy was so incorrigible, so untrainable, so unworthy he was returned to the rescue several times in his first year. What could Benny’s purpose possibly be?

Maybe to humble me, to teach me to slow down and be patient, to teach me to open my heart again and never compare him with anyone other than his own little self.

Maybe his purpose is to guide Kirby through the aging process and be our inspiration to keep learning.

So we have come full circle. Coco watched over me, Kirby watched over Coco, Benny is now watching over Kirby.

We may never understand why the animals we have came to us – how they chose us – how their lives became intertwined with ours.

But the purpose of their lives, which will never be long enough, is always evident, if we just allow them to do their job.

Coco the Love Dog sees with her heart

Coco was feeling really yucky

Coco was feeling really yucky

“I feel really yucky” Coco said one day.”

“I am hungry all the time”

“I am thirsty all the time”

“I am sad all the time”

“I have to pee all the time”

“I am tired all the time”

“And I can’t see my Mommy’s red lipstick anymore”

“Maybe we should go to the Doctor,” said Mommy

I’m not afraid to go to the Doctor – she always makes me feel better.

I’m a brave dog.

My Mommy always wears red lipstick

My Mommy always wears red lipstick

The Doctor took a lot of tests. She squirted a little blood out of my paw.

She looked deep into my eyes.

She made me pee while she was looking.

That was embarrassing!

Then she said a word I had never heard before – Diabetes.

Yup – that’s what I have – diabetes.

What a strange word - diabetes

What a strange word - diabetes

I was a little bit scared but Mommy said “Don’t worry Coco. We will figure out how to make you better together.”

Mommy took good care of me and my smile came back

Mommy took good care of me and my smile came back

So Mom started giving me shots – something called insulin – twice a day.

They didn’t hurt.

I’m a brave dog.

And I did feel better.

I was not thirsty all the time.

I  was not hungry all the time.

I did not have to pee all the time.

But I still could not see my Mommy’s face. She looked all grey and blurry.

Everything looked grey and blurry.
All the bright colors I loved had gone away.
Coco sees with her heart

Coco sees with her heart

That’s when I learned I was blind.
But I didn’t have to see to know my Mommy was smiling.

And I didn’t have to see to know the children were laughing.

And I didn’t have to see to love with my heart.

Because I am a brave dog – I am Coco the Love Dog.

 

(This story is dedicated to Coco whose love lives on forever in all the Love Dogs)