In our very expansive backyard, we have a section of lawn that has been designated a pet cemetary. We own two acres and have lived here for 22 years, so not only do we have the space, but over the years, we have accumulated quite a few plots for family pets.
I’ve meant to write this story for several days now, but today’s the first day I’ve had the courage to sit down and write it. Last Sunday we added another pet to the group.
Cooper was my dog. We rescued him 13 years ago from the Animal Shelter, where he and his sister where puppies growing up together. He was said to be a border collie mixed breed, and he definitely was a herder. When children, or pets or people were in the yard, he made sure everyone was taken care of and that they stayed together. He was a supervisor.
He wasn’t the most energetic of dogs: he loved to sleep. I often said that when he died I would stuff him and leave him sleeping on the floor and no one would be able to tell the difference. But he was also a very loyal dog, and was never happier than when he was with me, especially when I took him for a ride in my truck.
He grew up with a brother dog, Connor, who died three years ago. In the past six years, Juno, a dachshund-terrier mix joined him as his little sister. Together they went everywhere together.
Cooper had a lot of health problems, as many big dogs do. He had an ACL blow out on him a few years ago, which led to knee surgery. A year later, the other one went out. As time went on, it became harder and harder for Cooper to get around.
In the past few weeks, Cooper stopped eating, then stopped drinking water. We worked with the vet to try to determine what the problem was. After several visits, we discovered that he had a stomach tumor that was preventing him from eating or drinking. We had to have him put down.
It’s never an easy decision to make to have your pet put to sleep. I struggled with it, wondering if there were any other options. But in the end, I know it was the right thing to do, and at the end, I could tell that he was ready.
We have a plot of land in our backyard called a pet cemetary. It’s not there because it’s convenient. In this day and age, veterinarians will take care of your pet’s remains if you want them to. But we won’t have it any other way. Cooper loved our backyard, just as did Conner and all the other pets that are buried out there. It’s where they would want to be.
It’s where I want them to be.