Friday, May 27, 2016

Emma & Cookie

I’m back from a very long blogging hiatus, with a post I’m not happy to write. We had to say goodbye to Emma and Cookie in April.

Emma was expected. She was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease almost a year ago, then it got much worse in October, and we were told that hard decisions were coming soon. As the Cushing’s progressed it interfered with the appetite center of her brain and caused some neurological problems. Basically a steady decline that really picked up speed at the end.

We made the decision to have Emma put to sleep. She wasn’t eating much, and she was starting to get lost in the house, and very confused in general.

It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. A lot of people told me there would be a sense of relief and peace once the decision was made. I haven’t had that. I know it was the right thing to do. I know she wouldn’t have wanted to go on the way she was, I know Nick would never have agreed to it if it wasn’t the right thing, and I trust our vet enough to believe he wouldn’t have done it if it hadn’t been the right thing. I still didn’t get the sense of relief.

As far as last days go, I think Emma’s (April 16th) was really good. She seemed to feel pretty good that day. Nick and I took her together; I rode in the backseat and held her. I had managed to convince myself the vet was going to find something easily fixable was wrong with her, take care of it, and send us on our merry way. So I was actually halfway cheerful on the drive. I think it might have been a coping mechanism.

We stopped and got her a McDonald’s cheeseburger on the way, which she seemed to enjoy. My mom met us at the vet’s office, and Emma’s favorite vet tech was there. We had a long talk with the vet, and agreed that letting her go was the right thing to do, and definitely the best thing for her.

Nick and I both stayed with her the entire time. The whole process was very, very peaceful. She basically just drifted off to sleep with the people she loved most petting her and telling how good and sweet she was, and how very much she was loved.

A week later (April 22nd), Cookie went in for a biopsy of a mass in her mouth. She’d had trouble with her mouth the entire time we’d had her. Most of her teeth had been pulled when she was at the shelter, and there were periods of time when her mouth became really inflamed, but treating it with antibiotics and steroids had been working.

Then the usual treatments just didn’t seem to help. The vet put her on different medications, even antibiotic shots (so as not to hurt her mouth trying to give her a pill) that we gave her at home. Nothing seemed to help, and the inflamed area started to get bigger.

Our vet suggested a biopsy, so we scheduled it. I wasn’t truly expecting bad results, and I thought even it was bad, they would be able to remove it, (I’m really beginning to think denial may be my preferred coping mechanism), so I was surprised when the vet called and said we needed to come in and talk before she proceeded with the biopsy.

They had taken x-rays before the biopsy to make sure there weren’t any bone/root fragments left from when her teeth had been pulled, and the x-rays showed a very large mass pressing on her eye and basically beginning to distort the entire side of her face.

After a very long talk with the vet, and determining that there was just no good way of treating it, we made the decision to say goodbye to Cookie. Again, the process was very, very peaceful. We were both able to be with her, and pet her, and tell her how much she was loved right up to the very end.

Losing two of our fur babies in a week was really, really hard. Feeding time still seems way too fast and easy since we aren’t coming up with special food to entice Emma and Cookie to eat. I had Emma for almost 13 years, and Nick had her for almost nine. We only had Cookie for about a year, but she just fit in perfectly from the very beginning. We’re still finding our new normal without them.

Fortunately, we still have six other fur babies; our dog Duke, and the five cats, Howard, Milo, Frankie, Tara, and Joey. There’s still lots of petting and cuddling going on. It helps.

I promise my next post will be a much happier one, and I’m looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs.


  1. I am so very sorry to hear of Emma and Cookie. It's always hard to lose them, but losing two over the course of a week sounds almost unbearable. Oral cancers are just really hard - they are very aggressive and go from undetectable to horrible over the course of a few days - that's what happened to my Princess.

    I hope that with time you'll come to feel more peaceful about your decisions. I would never say that it gets any easier the more times you've been through it, because a loss is still a loss, but the more pets I've lost, the more I've come to recognize "the end" when it presents itself, and the less I've been plagued by those horrible "what if" scenarios.

    Please know that you made their little lives happy and full of love, and that decisions made out of love are never wrong. I'm sending you a great big hug.


  2. I am so sorry. How sad to lose Emma and Cookie so close together, especially the events of Cookie's illness. I knew it was the right thing with Koda, I was just so sorry we had to do it. They both will live in your nemories and hearts always and you will never forget them. In the meantime allow yourself to grieve. I am still grieving Koda 17 months later. When you get a great pet, its hard to not have them part of your life anymore. Wgain I am so sorry.


  3. Oh Danielle. What a horrible time. I bet this was really hard to write as well. Emma and Cookie were so lucky to have you as a Mum. I teared up at the cheeseburger. My dogs are getting older too and I know that I won't have them forever. It's heart-breaking. Hugs to you x

  4. Dear Danielle,

    I am deeply saddened by your heart wrenching post, my lovely friend.

    Such an emotionally painful time for Nick and your good self. Decisions such as those you both had to make in regards to Emma and Cookie, are some of the most painful decisions anybody could make.

    Our animals are our children, precious, adored family members. Bless their memories. Emma and Cookie, always loved, never forgotten.

    In peace and sincere condolences,

    Gary x

  5. oh dear so sorry to hear that ,but glad that you have your other children with you

  6. I am so sorry. It might not feel like it, but it was the right thing to do. Of course you miss them and will continue to do so. Take care.

  7. This is sad news indeed. It happened to us many years ago so I understand your mindset. The memories of your years together help you through. Take care.

  8. Oh, Danielle. We are so incredibly sorry to read this sad news. Thank you for loving Emma and Cookie enough to make this loving but terribly difficult decision, and thank you for loving them both so well. Hugs, purrs and prayers to you from all of us.

  9. Oh damn. I'm sorry to see this Danielle. It's horrible losing one but multiples so quickly is terrible. We lost four earlier this year within about 6 weeks of each other (plus a human friend) and I was just...done. I'm glad you were able to be there for the end and helped them pass peacefully. I can't say I felt relief either but I know it was the right thing. Lots of snuggles for the rest of the herd babes. They do make it easier.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! Please leave your link so I can visit you as well.