In April of 2006 I lived where I was not allowed to have a large dog. On April 26th, I was online and came across the German Shepherd Rescue of Sacramento Valley (GSRSV) and saw this face. It was love at first sight. That was a Wednesday.

I called the GSRSV and asked to come see this dog, known at that time as Grover. The following Saturday I took a friend with me and went to meet Grover. Grover and I went for a long walk down by the river and when we came back I put a deposit on this beautiful dog. The plan was to come back in two weeks and pick him up to give me time to hopefully find a new place to live where he would be welcome.

As the next week progressed and I had yet to find a new place, I just couldn’t stand it. I was in love, you see, so rules or not the next Saturday I was back to pick up my new partner, friend and companion. That was May 6th, 2006. I had found Doggy Day Care where Grover happily went and played all day while I was at work. I had wonderful neighbors who agreed not to “rat me out” as I searched for a home where both of us were welcome.

When I finally found a house I bought it for the backyard. For Cooper. That’s the honest to God truth.

I changed Grover's name to Cooper and we became a two-being pack for many years. I loved just looking at him regally lying in the sun in the backyard, like a male lion. I always called him my Handsome Boy.

In April of 2016 I noticed unusual body language--the best way I can explain it. I took him in for an X-ray and a large mass the size of an egg plant was found under his rear spine, along with severe arthritis in the same area. He was put on an anti-inflamatory and seemed to be doing well until October when he started exhibiting what appeared to me to be painful episodes. I took him in for an ultrasound in November, the first appointment available with the preferred veterinary doctor. The mass, while not changed in size, was biopsied and diagnosed as a carcinoma. My boy had cancer. Another drug for nerve pain was added and it appeared to help--for awhile. Then at night his pain seemed to intensify so he was given another X-ray showing the spine had attached itself to the tumor, or visa-versa. He was put on a pain medicine in place of the anti-inflammatory. For about a week it seemed to be managing his pain.

I felt it was time. I couldn't stand to see him suffer. I made an appointment but in the end just couldn't follow through. Then he stopped wanting to eat (his favorite past time all of his life) or being able to go on a walk without lying down to rest. I could see it in his eyes that it really was time.

On January 14th we went for a drive, took a walk and drove to the vet's clinic. I sat in the back of my SUV with Cooper (and his friend Chloe who I had adopted about 5 years ago) with the hatch open. He was sedated and laid there with his head on my lap, slowly getting sleepy and when he was asleep the kind people at CV Veterinary Hospital came out, climbed into the side doors and gently freed my boy of pain while he laid with his head in my lap.

They put him on a stretcher and respectfully carried him away. I did not know I was capable of sobbing as I did but I know in my heart he was ready.

Love, CJ
February 4, 2017



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