Family, Grief

Not Ready to Say Goodbye

His photos have been featured on numerous of my previous blog posts. His presence can be felt between the lines of most things that I have written. For so long, he has been intricately woven into my husband’s and my lives, and the lives of our family. Less than six weeks ago, when I could not possibly foresee the dark shadows heading our way, I became lost in nostalgia looking at his baby photos. That nostalgia inspired a post where I mentioned how much he has added to our lives. Countless adventures, endless stories, and unparalleled laughter topped the list. I quoted research on how he, and his kin, can “heal our pain, help us cope and improve our well-being.” Source: Bjerklie, David (Ed.). (July 2016). Animals & Your Health.

For my husband and me, he has long been our sage counselor, among other roles. He’s been there through so much and has provided calm when we have needed it the most. Last week, in Ties that Bind, I spoke around a devastating tragedy that recently took place in our family. I have not been able to give details publicly on social media in respect of the privacy of my loved ones. Just over a week has gone by since that painful loss, and we are now back at our home on Vancouver Island. Normally he would be snuggled up beside us easing our pain, but sorrowfully, he is not here.

Unexpectedly, barely a week before our family tragedy struck, our beloved Husky, Cody, became ill. We were at the vet’s instantly. Despite test after test, nothing was conclusive. We tried everything. The vets tried everything. But Cody became weaker. Something was malignantly growing in his lungs and just would not be stopped.

My husband and I have spent the past few days taking Cody to his favorite places, trying to feed him some of his favorite foods and desperately wanting to return the love that he has given to us so freely. When his lungs simply could not take any more, and I was saying goodbye, all that I could manage to say was ‘thank you,’ over and over again. I wanted him to know how immensely grateful I am for how deeply he has enriched our lives. I wanted to thank him for his unconditional love and for always being there. Selfishly I wanted to tell him that we still needed him, that our home would not be the same without him, that we weren’t ready to say goodbye and that now was not the right time. But thank you was all that came out.

Rest in peace beloved Cody. We love and miss you more than mere words can express.




26 thoughts on “Not Ready to Say Goodbye”

  1. Losing a member of your family leaves a hole that feels like it can never be filled again. Cody was such a beautiful and loving soul; it was easy to see even in the very short time I met him. I know how worried you were even then when he didn’t seem like his old self. My heart goes out to you and your family for your profound loss.


  2. Donna and Richard our thoughts are with you at this obviously difficult time. Cody was such a part of your family and will be missed immensely!
    Sending you positive thoughts and wishes as you move forward.
    Love ya,


  3. My heart goes out to you. There are tears in my eyes… they give us such unconditional love, don’t they. Give yourself time and space to grieve. Sending you prayers.


  4. Such sad, sad news, Donna. …….and know he was comforted by having you and your love wrapped around him in his final moments, and if we could read what he was thinking, it was most likely the same thing. Thank you for delivering me from what would most likely have been a short and brutal life, thank you for welcoming me into your lives and your hearts, thank you for making me a cherished member of your family, thank you for all the love and joy and fun and laughter we shared, and most of all thank you for being with me and being the last thing I saw ………….


  5. Coddddyyyyy! May you chase cats in the Elysian Fields and roll in leaves and smelly delights and paddle through puddles to your heart’s delight forever more…


  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for comfort and grace for you and your family. Your wonderful dog is not suffering anymore and has taken all of your love with him into the next realm. You loved and cared for him as he loved and cared for you. Love never dies.


  7. Sad, we are just getting to know our Luna. She has a ridiculous amount of energy, and love. Sorry four your loss and Donna and I share your grieving.

    John L.


  8. Donna – This was heart wrenchingly beautiful to read. I’m so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing you and Richard with Cody and Winston at Starbucks on many a weekend in Beijing. xxx


  9. Dear Donna and Richard. This has certainly been a very trying and sad time for you both, and I am sorry. I hope it makes it better to know that you gave him such a good and loving home, and now that he has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, no more suffering, no more pain.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  10. Dear Liz, Marty, Kelly, Andrew, John, Sharon, Randy, Kate, Helen, Gerry, Dawne, Pat, Anabel, Lynette, Janis, Joanne, Tom, Terri and Liesbet-

    Thank you so much for your kind words, warm thoughts, virtual hugs and prayers. Your heartfelt responses have been incredibly helpful to both of us at this painful time. We greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness in replying.

    Warmly, Donna and Richard


  11. Oh, I’m so sorry about your beloved Cody! Darn our fur babies for having short lives! I still feel such guilt after my Oreo, my springer mix died while I was away. I wrote several posts about him. writing about our animals is helpful and I’m sure this wil, be both difficult and cathartic for you. I recommend a great boom, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates. I believe we will see our fur babies again in etermity.


  12. I am so very sorry to read this, Donna. This is heart-breaking news and I hope that the fantastic memories of Cody and all the photos can produce a tiny smile through your tears. This is so hard. I know… And, usually, by the time our pups are diagnosed with cancer, it is too late. Unfair and nothing we can do about it, except saying goodbye (if there is a chance), offering gratitude and, if possible, spoiling them until they leave us. He had an amazing life full of love and appreciation from his people, his loved ones. I wish you strength in the days, weeks and months to come.


    1. Thanks, Barbara – I greatly appreciate your reply. The comments that we have received here, and elsewhere, have been comforting to both my husband and me. We are not sure if owning another dog is right for us, but we have signed up to volunteer at our local SPCA.
      Warmly, Donna


  13. Donna, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your beloved dog. We lost our Sophie dog three years ago, also to a chest tumour. I have written about it under “pets” on my blog. So very, very sad.



    1. Thanks, Jude – I just read your post on Sophie. She sounds like a fantastic dog. My husband and I are still finding it very hard to accept that Cody is no longer here. Our minds expect to see him in all ‘those old familiar places’. Very hard.


  14. Sorry to learn about your Cody. I feel for you and understand how it is to lose a beloved pet. Trudge on and keep his memories alive.

    Sharon DF


    1. Hi, Sharon – I am very touched that you have reached out across the miles. Thank you so much for your kindness.
      Warmly, Donna


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