A year ago today the saddest event of my life took place. My 8 year old Australian shepherd, Cody, succumbed to lymphoma, just a month after his diagnosis and after one round of chemo. His weight had dropped down from 40lbs to 25lbs in just a few months. He went from a happy, lively deer and chicken chaser to unable to walk in just a few months. It was a terrible thing to watch this terrible disease defeat this poor innocent little boy, and we couldn't explain to him why he had to go to the vet so often and why he had to take so much medicine that just made him feel worse. It didn't take Cody long to find out that the cancer medicine made him even more nauseous and tired, so he refused to take it.
Cody was ambitious when he chose his stick for playing fetch
Checking on his chickens
A couple of weeks after his death I joined up with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and ran a marathon in order to raise over $5,000 for cancer research. Many of you reached out with encouraging words and donations and I cannot possibly express my gratitude.
Cody loved vacationing at the Outer Banks with us. He made them the most fun vacations ever.
This year I've donated and asked my family in lieu of gifts for me to instead make donations in Cody's memory to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Campaign. I also want to remind everyone to stop and be grateful for the family, friends, and pets that make their life what it is, and the past friends, family, and pets who may no longer be around in body but whose memory comforts us in tough times. Reconnecting with family and friends is what the holidays are all about.
What I love about Christmas is that my parents and all of my sisters and I are all together again in the same house, just like we were as kids. The yummy baked goods my mom makes are great too, but it's my family that I couldn't live without. Wow, I've really rambled on here! I guess I'll just end by saying that maybe today, in memory of Cody and all the loved ones we've lost, to remember how important friends, family, and pets are - not new clothes or shoes or electronic gadgets - but the people and animals who love you. Because I cannot remember the material gifts I received 9 years ago, but boy do I remember the day we brought baby Cody home and he joined our family.
I truly wish you all a very, very happy holiday.
The day we brought him home.