Every February, we are all inundated with messages encouraging us to give a gift of love to that one special person in our lives. And yes, there are heart-shaped dog toys I could get for Coco. But this year, I wondered: What if I were to actually sit down and write a real love letter to Coco? Miss Co has been such a constant source of love and joy in my life, for the past 19 months. She has shared in all of the happiness and excitement, and has been a reliably calming presence in times when life gets tough.

There are massive amounts of resources for how to get through the grieving process when a pet passes. But nobody prepares you for the loss of a pet through the end of a relationship. If you’re hoping I’ll have advice about this topic, unfortunately I don’t. I’m deep in the doodoo on this one, without a pooper scooper. Typically, in times of turmoil or grief, pets are the “people” you can always turn to for comfort and healing. But what do you do when your pet is no longer your pet? I’m partly thinking out loud, and partly genuinely hoping someone has an answer for me. I think it’s going to be a long road to finding peace with this deep sense of loss. And while I have no answers to the hard question of what all of this means for us, I do have so many wonderful memories with Coco to cherish and call upon in my saddest times.

 It’s about time I really sat down to put in words the real love that exists between Coco and I. And as I enter a period of intense change and challenges, I would like to express my love and gratitude for her in a less conventional way.

woman in swimming pool with dog

Unconditional friendship and companionship

Coco, you have been a constant source of companionship and joy for me. I arrived unexpectedly into your life. And before you knew it, I was taking your spot on the bed and a whole bunch of your dad’s attention. But you handled it with grace, and a sense of excitement to get to know this new person in your world. You welcomed my crazy play style and weirdness, which fortunately matched quite well with your seemingly-unending amount of quirks. You seemed to find something in me that fit incredibly well into your doggy world. And I am so grateful for that. Our bond has continued to grow, and I so looked forward to always being your buddy and your mom.


Furry support system

You are my silent but alert confidant, adept at sensing my moods and offering comfort without the need for words. When we met, I had recently lost one of my elderly pups, and was just weeks away from losing another. After the loss of my sweet Lillian, I wasn’t sure how to fulfill my role as weekend Coco companion. But you made it easy. Though you may not have known exactly what I was going through, you have an innate sense for recognizing and understanding human emotion. Through life's highs and lows, you stood by me, a source of solace when normal life stress sometimes seemed like chaos and anxiety was all around me.


Easing into changes

How do I explain how much I will miss you? How do I tell you, in a way you’ll understand, that I wish I could stay with you and your dad? I may not find the correct answer to this. So I will just continue to show you all the love I can, while I can, in hopes that you never once doubt that I love you.

I know you can sense the changes happening, and it is uncomfortable for you. I see it in the way you look at me. I see it when you camp out by my desk to watch me work. I see it when you stand by my bedside at night, as though you’re waiting to escort me back to our room. And I see the disappointment, when I can’t follow you there.


Until we meet again.

I love you, silly girl. I always will. Every time I pop some bubbly, I’ll miss the sound of you running to chase the cork. I’ll miss you making me chase you with your leash, every time I attempted a potty break. I’ll miss our photoshoots and making silly videos with you. I’ll miss you taking up the bottom 1/3 of the bed, and keeping my legs warm. I’ll miss you putting your sloppy wet mouth on me, immediately after drinking water. And you’re right, Coco. That IS a hilarious joke. This list could go on and on. You’re an incredibly special friend to me, and I’m so lucky to have had you in my life.

Coco, you are my friend, my snuggle buddy, my play partner, and so much more. You are my family, and will always be my big baby.


Carrie (Mom)


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