My heart is breaking still as I write this, and there is a part of me that still can't believe he's gone, and another part of my mind that keeps replaying the memory of his broken little body lying on the ground, and still another part of me that is remembering all the wonderful times that we shared together. Cosmo was closer to me than any other animal I've ever had, and I just feel like a part of me died with him Saturday.
We can't quite understand exactly how it happened. Our whole family has gone over the event many times, and have arrived at the conclusion that we just don't know, and won't ever know why he didn't get out from under the truck when it started. My son was driving, and my husband was riding in the passenger seat. They had gotten in the 4x4 diesel truck to head over to the property. I had just put out the dogs, as we had just finished lunch, and I was cleaning up the dishes, when I heard the truck start up, and then a few seconds later, a yelp from Cosmo. It sounded like a yelp as if his foot had been stepped on. Many times in the kitchen as I would be preparing dinner, he would be right under my feet, and often got stepped on, and it was just a yelp like that, and I ran outside because I thought maybe he got too close to the tires of the pickup. I saw my husband wave back at me, and holler at our son to back the truck up. My heart stopped. I could tell by the look on my husband's face that it wasn't good. I couldn't see the tires of the truck from where I stood. My husband looked down and shook his head. As I came around the other vehicle in the driveway, I could see Cosmo's little still body lying there on the ground. I was just in disbelief. My son came running over to me, and we both burst into tears. He felt so bad as he was the one driving. He was telling me he was sorry, but I consoled him, and told him it wasn't his fault, and I was just crying because my little white furry friend was gone. Our daughter came outside and we all just huddled around little Cosmo's body crying and sobbing. I still can't get that scene out of my mind, because just a moment ago, I had just fed him a piece of my lunch, and now - he was gone. Just like that. I think that was the hardest part, wrapping my mind around the fact that life can change to death so instantly. And then I thought of different stories that I've heard of someone backing over their child. I couldn't even imagine how the pain could be worse than what I was feeling at that moment. Our pain was so deep and so intense that our little sweet guy was gone - just in a split second!
Thankfully, he didn't suffer. He went instantly. For that I was so grateful. I thanked the Lord for that at the time. I couldn't have bore it to have to watch him suffer. And I was thankful too, that we could pet him, and say goodbye to him, and he wasn't mangled in such a way that we couldn't say goodbyes. He looked as if he was peacefully sleeping, and that was comforting to me. I knew he went quickly, but the pain of losing him is still so deep, I don't even know how to describe it.
Every routine, every part of my day involved him. He was closer to me in many ways than any other human being. He knew every move I made, and we shared every meal together. I always saved him a bit of something, and he patiently would wait until the last bite of my sandwich or meal to receive his share.
So in sharing these memories of Cosmo, I know that my heart will begin to heal someday. But today, the pain is still very raw and very real. It hits me worst at the quiet times of the day when Cosmo was always there with me. Whether reading my Bible and drinking my coffee in the morning, or late nights working, he was always by my feet. I just feel very lost and sad, and know that there will never be another Cosmo.
Annie is a sweet dog and I love her so much. She has a very special place in my heart too. But no one will ever take the special place that Cosmo had in my heart. He was my little boy who loved me always, and was so glad to see me whenever we came home.
I will miss his little white furry body running out to greet us, and his funny little yelp and holler as he would run before me, climb the stairs to the house, and announce to the world in his funny little way that I was home. I will miss his love that was endless and boundless, and constant. No, there will never, ever be another Cosmo.
And, when I went to my camera to get pictures to post today of him, how fitting it was that the very last picture in my camera was of Cosmo, and his happy face. I had just taken him and Annie Tuesday to the groomers for a bath, and they were so fluffy and beautiful when they came home.
I know that it is a chance that you take to love an animal, and invite him into your heart and your life. The fact that their life spans are so much shorter than ours, makes it a given that you will suffer the loss of an animal in your lifetime. Even so... the thought came to me that it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. And there is comfort for me in that. I have a host of wonderful memories of this little sweet boy to last me a lifetime, and I will never forget how precious he was to me.
After Cosmo's death, I found a nice warm blanket that had fall leaves and colors on it, and we gently wrapped him up in this blanket, and carried him over to our land to bury him. We found a nice spot under a young fir tree with gentle branches waving over the area we buried him. As the hole was dug, we allowed Annie to smell Cosmo, and be with us as we put him in his little grave with his warm fall blanket, and then covered him with the soft dirt. We piled his grave with rocks to keep the wild animals from digging the grave up. I had bought two irises from a local iris grower, and had been undecided where to plant them. So their new home was Cosmo's grave. We also plan to plant Cosmos flowers in the spring.
After Cosmo was buried, as a family we gathered around together with a group hug, and just cried together. I prayed and asked the Lord to bless our family with the wonderful memories of Cosmo's little life, and that if there be such a thing as a doggy heaven, to allow Cosmo to have a big piece of cheese, a nice long walk through the woods, and a warm safe place to sleep at night. My husband mentioned that he would not like being left alone out in the forest at night, but we know his little body may be there, but God's design for pets, while we may never know for sure, is a good one.
Now, when I walk back to his grave every day to check on it (because we know the fear of wild animals digging it up is a real one), there is a gentle sweet presence there in the midst of the forest with the beauty of the forest. Today after I watered my garden, and then watered the iris on Cosmo's grave, I sat down beside his grave, and the words to a song came to "He gives and takes away, Blessed be the name of our Lord." Yes, the Lord generously gave me Cosmo, and it was his time, and he has been taken away, and I will bless the name of the Lord. I cannot presume to understand why his little life left me so soon, but the Lord giveth, and taketh away, and I will bless the name of the Lord.