02 September 2011

Death by Doxie: The Dachshund Free Edition

"How can you have a death by doxie post without a dachshund?" I hear you ask, horrified. It's my blog so deal with it, I reply.

This is Coco.  She was my dog before Ferdi and Elfi.  She was a gorgeous chocolate brown kelpie x lab.  I'm writing about her because even though she hasn't been around for a bit over five years the other night I woke at about 3.30 am, thought of her and shed a tear or two.  And that's not the first time it's happened.  It doesn't happen often, but a few times a year I will think about my old hound and I will feel a bit sad.

I got Coco as a young pup from the RSPCA.  She was a pretty special dog.  She was unbelievably loyal and super smart.  She saw me through so much - my first 'serious' relationship, a broken engagement, several broken hearts, a move to Sydney which took me away from family and friends.  When I was feeling sad and lonely she used to sit next to me on the couch, right up close, and put all her weight against me like a big comforting presence.  She forgave me for being out all night and forgetting to feed her.  She was calm and gentle on a lazy Sunday morning, she was jumpy and happy on a lively Saturday afternoon.  She really was a true friend.

The problem was that Coco liked other dogs, but she did not like other people.  Around strangers she was nervous and aggressive.  Even around people that she knew well (like my parents) she could be unpredictable.  In these situations, she could be dangerous.  Coco needed extra special care and attention to ensure she didn't hurt anyone.  

And so, when I was about to move in with my now husband, and I knew his step sons would frequently be around, I had a long hard chat to my vet.  After 10 years together, I had to put my beautiful hound down (gawd writing this is harder than I thought...).  It was  heart wrenching taking her to the vet that one last time, her face still so full of trust.  Ughhh, it really was horrible.  But I know that I made the right decision - dogs like Coco and children do not mix.

Here she is when she was just a cute little puppy (on her first day home actually) - a little nervous and hermit-like maybe, but before she had jaws to do serious damage.

Do you have a special dog from your past that you still think about?


  1. Emily, this story truly broke my heart. So sorry you had to go through such a painful experience. We have a two and half year old chocolate lab and she is just as amazing in the same ways you described Coco to be. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do if I were ever to have to put her down or if something happened to her. Amazing how animals can be our best friends, know when something is wrong, and be there for us in that way just like family. Here's to wishing you many more years with Ferdi and Elfi!

  2. beautiful post.
    I had a doxie as a pet when I was a kid. he was a wanderer and a bit naughty. and one day my parents got rid of him while I was at school. I came home and he was gone.
    I miss him to this day.
    I assume they had him put down. I never asked.
    because I still couldnt bear it if that is what they did.

    hugs to you,

  3. so sad, but you did the right, responsible - but incredibly difficult- thing to do.

    i have a kind of similar story. we had a cocker spaniel, but after my mum died i didn't know where i was going to live, or how i could afford to care for myself - let along a doggie. while mum was in hospital our dog had been staying with my step father's parents. she was so well cared for - walked twice a day on the beach, fed and loved etc so i had to let them keep her. i cut off contact with my stepfather and by default his family so i don't know how my doggie is going. by now she's probably died, but i missed her so much and i still feel awful for just giving her up. responsible choices stink!

  4. Thanks all for your lovely comments...

    And pilgrim - yikes, what a mess you must have been in, I can't imagine...it sounds like your doggie lived a wonderful happy life with your stepfather so you shouldn't feel bad x

  5. Em that is a truly beautiful post to a truly beautiful dog (with a few little idiosincracies like terrifying people), I was so reminded of her when we went to see Red Dog, love Mum


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