Saturday, December 29, 2012

RIP Sweet Cosmo Havanese: 9/10/2002 - 12/23/2012


When Cosmo was diagnosed with cancer about four months ago, one of the hardest things to come to grips with was not knowing how the story would end. I did so much research and also read about other dogs with cancer, and so I knew what their stories were, from beginning to end.  I was convinced our story would go on much longer than it did.

Last Sunday, Cosmo's four-month journey with cancer came to an end. The average survival time for a dog with his type of cancer -- a metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinoma -- is nine to 12 months. But Cosmo had responded so well to surgery and then to his chemo treatments that his future was looking pretty bright.


In mid-October, six weeks after surgery and after two of five scheduled chemo treatments, Cosmo looked like he felt great, zooming around and chasing squirrels, above.


I took Cosmo to do all the things he loves, like the lure course he got to run near the end of October, above.

By mid-November, Cosmo seemed a little off but blood work came back normal and chest x-rays showed no sign of lung tumors. Still, we already knew that some of the cancer had metastasized to his lymph nodes. And there was no telling if the Carboplatin chemo treatments were getting rid of all the cancer. He was cleared to travel to Chicago with me for Thanksgiving, and while he was just a bit subdued, he did fine with the trip and seemed to enjoy it.


Above, Cosmo enjoyed some reflection time at the Chicago lakefront.

Cosmo lived every day to the fullest up until his last week in mid-December when he declined rapidly.  I had wondered how I'd know when the end was close, but Cosmo made it perfectly clear by his actions. He had trouble moving and the pain seemed to be too much. We tried every kind of treatment to help manage the pain but it kept getting worse. Cosmo let me know he had lived a full and wonderful life and now it was time to go. His body was failing him, and the Cosmo we all knew had already left us.

Cosmo went to the Rainbow Bridge on December 23, but his life was not about cancer. He was the life of the party -- a sporty, fluffy, handsome fellow who greeted everyone he met with kisses and wags before he asked for belly rubs. He attended every BlogPaws and BarkWorld Expo social media conference, traveled to Italy twice and all over the U.S.

He used social media to help raise money for animal rescue groups across the world. He loved to zoom,  catch discs, play agility, run a lure course, herd sheep and he had started to learn nose works. He just liked to come along, whether it was shopping or to a restaurant.

He'll be missed greatly by both me and young pup Rocco, who came to live us with just four weeks before Cosmo passed on.


I had expected them to have a least a year together and I secretly hoped for a few more, but even in the short time together Cosmo seemed to have an impact on Rocco, teaching him all about toys and treats and how to enjoy a good chew.


And while I miss Cosmo so much, I have absolutely no regrets for the life we led together or the attempt to save him from cancer. I wouldn't do a thing differently, and in that I can find a lot of comfort.


I never really thought about how many folks both Cosmo and I met, through agility, social media and other outings we took. The support of everyone -- from the time Cosmo was diagnosed, up until the end -- has meant a great deal to me and I can't thank you all enough.  I'm so grateful to have Rocco now, and what's ironic is that I started the process of getting another pup even before Cosmo was diagnosed with cancer.


These last few photos are some of the last action shots I took of Cosmo, when he was feeling great in October. He was always ready for a great adventure.



RIP sweet Cosmo Havanese. You may be gone, but you'll live in our hearts forever. ♥


61 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. It was a shock to read this post as Cosmo looked amazing in previous posts and seemed to be responding well to treatment. Glad he had some time with little Rocco.

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    1. Yes, I'm glad Cosmo got to spend some time with Rocco too. It happened very quickly, which I suppose is a good thing. It was just very, very sad but I'm glad he didn't feel too much pain for too long.
      Diane

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  2. I can't begin to express my heartfelt sorrow for your loss. For I have experienced the same just a while back. Please accept our deapest sympathy. He was truly a beautiful pet from the pics. I am Loretta...my blog is She Spoke to Me. You can find me in the google search, should you want to visit.

    My Love to You and Your Family,
    Loretta Miss Kitty and our Family

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts, and congrats on your new blog! I took a little visit...

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    2. Great wise words from the voice of experience! I just started my blog (for fructose free recipes), and have already decided to switch from blogspot to wordpress (the site isn’t live yet though). I have forwarded your suggestions to my website guy… :) Truth questions best fake email generator would you rather questions funny things to ask siri instagram quotes best google gravity tricks

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  3. I loved the shot of Cosmo on Chicago's lakefront that is where Dolly and I live it meant a lot to see him there. Thanks for sharing your story. Dolly and Sandra xoxox

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    1. Cosmo loved visiting Chicago and he especially loved the beach. I hope to bring Rocco there next year. I grew up near that spot. Maybe we can meet up next time we visit.
      Diane

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  4. Cosmo was an incredible pup and even though I never officially "met" him, he was the life of the party on Twitter, Facebook, and here in Blogville!! It was a pleasure reading so many of your amazing adventures together and he constantly inspired me to be a better, more active, and socially aware dog! My heart is with both you and Rocco! :-D Licks and love!!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind thoughts. Rocco and I plan to continue the adventures in the spirit of Cosmo. I'm so glad Rocco got to spend just a little time with him.

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  5. What an uplifting tribute post. We're sorry for the loss of your Cosmo. He sounds like he was a terrific guy. purrs and pawhugs

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  6. I am so sorry about your loss. I followed the link from Rumpy Dog on twitter to the blog for something's wagging to here. Cancer is a horrible disease and I am so sorry it had taken your sweet Cosmo.

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  7. Diane - I'm so sorry that Cosmo's health declined suddenly, but you did the most loving thing by freeing him from the pain. He lived life to the fullest - whether running full out at agility, sitting contemplatively by the lake, or asking for belly rubs at BlogPaws! He was a little dog who touched a lot of hearts, and he will be greatly missed. xo

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  8. Oh no!!!! We are so so sorry. Run free sweetheart
    Benny & Lily

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss! I wish I had found your blog a year ago so I could have gotten to know Cosmo better. I am happy though that you have your new baby to help heal your heart :)

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  10. I was so sad when I heard about your dear sweet Cosmo. It was a thrill for my Dad to meet him at Barkworld and Cosmo made the world smile. Thanks for sharing him with all. of us Diane. Hugs from all of us.

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  11. I love that pic of Cosmo in Chicago. Just looks like a very soulful being pondering the universe. : )

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  12. So very sorry for your loss. It's a loss for all the world really - he touched so many lives in so many positive ways. RIP Cosmo, run those fields!

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  13. Cosmo will never be forgotten - always loved by all of his anipal friends. We miss him and our hearts ache for you. But we are so very thankful that you can say you have no regrets! We know - truly - how much that means, for oru mommy was able to say the very same thing about Ryker.

    All our purrs to you at this time - and Rocco, give mommy much lovin', 'k?

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  14. RIP Cosmo, you touched many lives and have made an impact here...enjoy your new life in the sky. XX

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  15. What a beautiful post about Cosmo. As sad as his loss is, the fact that you have no regrets is inspiring. Cosmo was a fun dog and I'm glad I got to meet him. I hope to meet Rocco soon!

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  16. Gulp.
    You've really captured the spirit of Cosmo's journey's end.
    And Rocco's beginning.
    Actually you've conveyed your incredible hope and perseverance--a spirit you inspired in Cosmo---
    and maybe a little in us.

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear about Cosmo's passing. I did get a chance to briefly meet Cosmo at BarkWorld in October and have a picture of him drinking out of a glass on the table during one of the keynote presentations. This was a beautiful tribute to Cosmo. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Cosmo lived a great life up until the very end and this post really reflects that. I'm sure he is out there somewhere thanking you for the life you gave him. My thoughts are with you at this time.

    Sam and MargeDog

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  19. RIP Cosmo. It's not about the end, it's about the journey. You had a great journey and you were really loved.

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  20. I am so sorry, RIP Cosmo. Wait for me in heaven, sweet boy <3
    Cotton

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  21. I love what Jana said: it's about the journey. This past year we lost three of our dogs - all seniors. No matter how much time we have with our dogs, it is never enough. My sincere sympathy.

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  22. The best any of us can do is live every day to the fullest. Cosmo certainly did that and should be an example to all of us.

    Blessings to you.

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  23. What a beautiful post this is. Cosmo will be missed by many but he had a truly great life and that's all any of us can ask. We'll all be following along to see what adventures Rocco has

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  24. A Dog's Prayer

    Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

    When it is cold and wet, please take me inside... for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements... and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth... though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land... for you are my god... and I am your devoted worshiper.

    Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

    And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest...and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

    --Beth Norman Harris

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  25. I love the pictures of him in October. He looked so joyous. I will always remember him like that. Our thoughts are with you and Rocco.

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  26. A friend like none. My heart still pitter-patters whenever I hear his name.

    Fluffs, Niqqi

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  27. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm not good with words for times like these.

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  28. Diane, I am so very sorry to hear about Cosmo. I was hoping the two of you would have more time together. ~Alasandra

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  29. Diane, I am so sorry about your loss it is never easy. Cosmo had a good life and he will always have a place in your heart forever. Enjoy all the memories of Cosmo and he is no longer suffering. Cosmo was able to teach Rocco. Rocco will never be able to replace Cosmo but Rocco will be their to comfort you.
    Cosmo has crossed over to the Rainbow bridge and I am sure he is running and playing with my 3 dogs Mitsy, Sasha and Murphy.

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  30. I am so sorry to hear about Cosmo. I really glad I joined your blog and got know you and Cosmo. My prayers are with you.

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  31. i'm so terribly sorry for your loss. my heart aches for you. we'll be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as you move through these first difficult days and learn to live this new reality without your precious Cosmo.

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  32. diane I can't stop crying. I am so deeply sorry but this peace is exquisite. You mourned Cosmo's death but you have celebrated his life. He was equally as blessed to have had YOU as you were to have HIM. Thank you for sharing him with all of us
    xoxoxo

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  33. Such a beautiful tribute to a little dog who stole a lot of hearts... Seeing the photos, watching him on the lure course (better than SQUIRRELS!), his antics at the paw pawties.... brought smiles along with the leaky eyes. So hard when everything is pointing toward recovery, then a downward spiral. Your love freed him from his pain... may his love for you ease your pain. Snowy and Mackenzie look forward to meeting Cosmo's little bro Rocco. I'm sure Cosmo shared all his tips about zooming and getting treats. He'll live in the hearts of the many, many people he met--in person and "virtually."

    Laura & Snowy

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  34. We're visiting from Alasandra's blog. So sad to hear about Cosmo. He was obviously a happy little dog and enjoyed his life to the fullest.

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  35. I'm teary-eyed as I finished reading this, and I'm not sure if it's because of Cosmo or if I'm still missing Xena. I suppose a little of both. This was a very nice farewell Diane. Cosmo is playing tag with Xena right now, I'm sure of it!

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  36. It's not Good Bye, it's just that instead of watching life from your lap, Cosmo will be watching from the stars. He was such a special dog and I feel lucky that you shared him with us!

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  37. Oh bless your heart - I am so sorry to hear about Cosmo. One day we will surely be reunited with our beloved pets.

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  38. I had a hard time reading this, not because it wasn't beautiful or a loving tribute, or that Cosmo didn't live a full life, (because he did), but because I wish you could have had more time with him.

    I wrote on FB, but I will say it again, Cosmo lived a full and rich life with you Diane. He did more in his short time with you than most dogs ever get to do. I am glad you have all those happy memories to comfort you now. I am also glad you have little Mr. Rocco. I know he has big paws to fill, but I have no doubt that in your care he will succeed.

    God bless Cosmo Havanese. He was a great dog.

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  39. Oh, choke. :( I have to confess that I secretly marveled at how polite Cosmo was (especially in contrast to my two bozos) at the Virginia BlogPaws conference. What a fine dog and great dog person. :) My condolences.

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  40. I have never read about your dog before. This is my first time and I couldn't help but cry. I am so sorry for the lost of your sweet dog, but I'm glad to know he lived his life with such a loving and caring owner.

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  41. Wif *leaky eyes* me just read my buddy Vosmo went OTRB. me so sorry for your loss. Cosmo waz such a great pal & great doggie example for us. Fur flying as he did his courses made me smile. Me sure he secretly told Rocco all his secrets & told Jim what he needed to know to be mamdoggie of da house. My luv to u Ms diane & fambly. May u haf da peace knowing he had great life full of Lyv & his memories comfort u when u need it most as he speak quietly to u mow from his star at RB. Luv u & send {{{ComfortingHugs}}}

    Luv Duchess & momma xxxx

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  42. Diane, I am so sad to hear about your Cosmo. I hope time gives you peace of knowing you are the best Havanese mommy!! The hole in your heart will mend in time with the precious memories you shared together. Perhaps, Cosmo will meet my havanese Willow in the stars above. They are watching us now and surely will be waiting for us! God Bless!!!

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  43. Me sorry for big paw little type pad for all my typos above but for sure u knows my heart when wif *leaky eyes* me say how sorry me is for your loss Ms Diane & so grateful to haf known Cosmo *paw to heart* Til wez meet again buddy. Luv & pawprayers to ur fambly

    @Duchesscrabtree xxxx

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  44. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to Cosmo so quickly. I will always remember him as the spunky, fun-loving athlete he was. He has changed many lives through his experiences and made a huge difference in the world. Thank you so much for sharing a part of his life with us.

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  45. Dat Cosmo sure wuz a pawsum pup. I gonna miss he sumfin awful.

    (me & h2 did hab to stop & cry a coupla times readin dis)

    HUGS & LUBS

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  46. I am so very sorry for your loss and was shocked to read Cosmo's time had ended so soon. I hope your memories and moments will bring you peace. Thank you for sharing his journey with us.

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  47. Diane, the world will be a little less bright without Cosmo but we will be a little safer with him to watch over us. We're all thinking of you during this difficult time. We're so glad you have Rocco with you, and so grateful to have met sweet Cosmo before his journey over the rainbow bridge. Thank you for sharing your life with us at To Dog With Love.

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  48. What a beautiful post. As I've mentioned to you previously, you and Cosmo were one of the first people we met at the first BlogPaws and on Twitter, and you both will always hold a special place in our world. I remember Toby "tweeting" with Cosmo on our respective ways to Ohio. It was just so fun! When Toby didn't come with me to other social media conferences, I always felt comfort knowing Cosmo was around for a quick snuggle -- or to grab treats out of my purse. :)

    You gave him such an awesome life. Hugs to you, and Rocco. xo
    Michelle

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  49. I know that Cosmo will be with us always and those who knew him loved him and will miss his always pleasant and happi greeting

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  50. Cosmo was a real sweetheart. I'm so glad to have met you both at BarkWorld. Big hugs!

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  51. Wish I'd met Cosmo. My 13-y.o. Havanese, Darrow, was just diagnosed with cancer. A large tumor removed from his throat came up malignant. He's had lots of health problems in the past (thyroid) and is not the healthiest dog. How sick is the chemo going to make him? Is it painful or awful? Just trying to figure things out for my best bud.
    Thanks!
    Will

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  52. The most wonderful thing about the Havanese is their passion for life and fun. My fiancee and I have a wonderful little boy named Davis who is the light of our lives. It is my second Hav. Each of them have their own peculiar personalities, but they are all very loving, comedic dogs. And although Cosmo is gone, I believe you will be able to find another canine companion who you will love just as much. I am so sorry for you loss. :(

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  53. We just lost our Havanese last week to Melanoma. We had two tumours removed, but two more had grown back and were now inoperable. Our deepest condolences to you.

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