October 23, 2022
Our very good boy Cosmo crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday. I miss him a lot. From the age of 3, when we brought him home from the rescue group, to the age of 14, he brought joy and entertainment and comfort to our lives.
Cosmo was a sweet, excitable, eager to please, 3-year-old puppy described as a Bichon Frize mix when we adopted him from a rescue group. He quickly settled into our lives and our hearts. A squeaky hedgehog and a snake toy were his favorite playthings, and he delighted in kneeling down to pad the neighborhood and let us chase him. He avoided us by easily beating people, playing with us. But if we ever manage to snag a toy, he’ll freeze, watch intently and wait for us to throw it, and then he’ll run after it. Another time he casually watches the stolen toy skip down the hall. Game over!
Cosmo was my constant companion in the garden— if The weather was cold, the hot weather unacceptable to him—one of the many bonds of sympathy between us—and he would cry and scratch at the door, though I could not busily dig in the dirt, my nose dripping with sweat. He was no fool.
When I built seat walls in the back garden, he delighted in jumping on them and sitting like the king of the castle. I didn’t see him do it in later years, as his hips and back began to give him trouble.
Cosmo was solidly built with soft and curly white fur and was often seen smiling.
He enjoyed being off-leash at dog-friendly parks and going to check the mailbox with me, and he never ran away. If he wandered too far, he would stop and look at me as I called, and then return to rejoin me—slowly, perhaps with an air of reluctance. But if I slapped my knee and encouraged him loudly, “Come on, boy!” He would wiggle and smile and run to me.
Also come onHe obeyed sitting, to stayAnd down, the training that some previous owners have been given. I had always hoped that she had loved us well in her life before, and that she was a rescue because her person had reluctantly given her up – maybe going into assisted living, I imagined, or maybe it was someone who had died. He was happy and well behaved and even had vet records from his puppy years when we adopted him, so of course he was loved as a little guy. He just needed someone new to love him and we did.
Cosmo was a champion napper, but always crowed with one ear to open the fridge door. The sound of sandwiches being made would bring him trotting into the kitchen, but not for a bite of ham or cheese. He lived for lettuce leaves above all other foods. He also ate raw carrots, broccoli and green peppers – anything with a good crunch. But he turned up his nose at an apple or a piece of zucchini. The kale, arugula and spinach were also bruised disappointments, left limp and soggy on the tile floor.
Although he disliked the heat of the Death Star, he would often lie by the fireplace, especially if someone else was lying there.
He adored his grandmother, who put him up at her place with her own dog, Lola, when we traveled. The drive was great fun, the arrival was fun, and especially funny that Grandma didn’t mind the dog on the couch or bed. He is such a lucky puppy to have a doting grandma.
While “let’s check the mail” and “let’s go for a ride” were fun phrases, Cosmo’s absolute favorite was “let’s go for a walk!” He eagerly wanders around the block or around Lady Bird Lake on especially happy occasions. Squirrels, deer and rabbits were invisible to him. I have never seen him show any interest in common neighborhood critters, even when I pointed them out. I tried to push him over the rock squirrels in the back yard when they showed up, to no avail. Only saw him once rrrrrrrr And charging at an animal—just last month, actually: an armadillo squirming around Mexican honeysuckle one night as I carried him to bed. How strange, I thought, looking surprised. He lost interest, however, as soon as ‘Dillo fell under the bush.
Towards the end he begins to lose his balance and falls in and out of the stairs. His back legs were shaking at times. A ramp helped for a while, as did other compensatory measures for old age problems
This fall he experienced a rapid decline and finally had to say goodbye to us. It was so hard. I look for her face in the window when I’m outside, hear her shrill bark when the UPS delivery arrives, wait for her tip-toe in the kitchen when I open the lettuce bin, when I feel her warm fur step next to the bed in the morning. . I look at the clock while I’m running errands and think, “How long has Cosmo been waiting for me to get home?” And then I remember that he’s not waiting anymore.
I want to remember him like this, in his prime, happy and healthy. I know it will get easier eventually. He was a good dog, and he was ours. And we were his.
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