Our golden retriever Cory dies

We have lost our beloved golden retriever Cory to cancer. She was almost eleven years old. We are grief stricken to lose her, but also deeply grateful for the beautiful life she shared with us. Cory died peacefully this morning at the vet, with my wife Gail and me hugging her, telling her how much we loved her, and thanking her for sharing her exuberant and joyful life with us.

Cory was a totally loved and beloved member of our family. We all adored her and will miss her terribly. Her unstinting affection, love, and warmth brought us all enormous joy and happiness. All she ever knew was love. All she ever gave was love.

Ever since our youngest daughter Jenny was about five years old, she had lobbied for the family to get a dog. We had decided against it because the house was already cluttered and disorganized, and Gail, I, and the girls had schedules which were already stressfully jammed packed. Adding the responsibilities of a dog would have been unwise, even irresponsible.

We eventually changed our minds when Jenny was about 12. Her older sisters Kim and Tina went off to college leaving Jen with the ghastly prospect (at least, that’s how Gail and I imagined it) of being alone in a big house with her parents. We were worried that Jen would find our company so boring and the situation so detestable that she would be driven nuts. In fact, we were concerned that she would want to get out of the house and escape into the homes of school friends where there might be standards of behavior we weren’t comfortable with.

When we told Jenny that we had decided to get a dog, we thought she would be deliriously happy, but in fact she responded by saying she wasn’t sure she wanted a dog any more. When we asked her why she felt that way, Jen told us that she wasn’t sure she wanted to go through the pain and grief she knew she would experience when the dog died. Anyway, Jen finally decided it was OK for the family to get a dog.

Born on October 9, 2000, Cory arrived in our home about seven weeks old. She spent her first night crying piteously because she missed her family. Jenny stayed up with her all night and slept next to Cory to give her whatever comfort she could.

One of the first things I noticed about Cory was her eye lashes—soft, beautiful, and human-like. It made her seem like one of us rather than a dog.

I never saw Cory more utterly contented and deeply serene as when she sat on Jenny’s bed as Jenny was going to sleep while Jenny petted her. I swear I could see a smile on Cory’s face from the sheer pleasure of it!

I could put my hand in Cory’s mouth and she would never bite or hurt me in any way. While she had strong jaws, it was in her nature to be gentle and not hurt anyone. Affection poured out of her like sunrays pour out of the sun.

Cory was highly food motivated. One of our family traditions when celebrating birthdays is to hide single dollars around the house for the person being celebrated to search for and find (with the number of dollars equal to the birthday). We did this once, but made the mistake of hiding some of them on or near the floor and then leaving them there while we went out for a meal at a local restaurant. When we returned, we were baffled why some of the dollars were missing, but later realized that Cory had eaten them! They showed up the next day on our daily walk!

Cory was a really beautiful dog. Of course, she had no notion of this, but people were naturally drawn to her, and whenever we were out on walks, I would often receive compliments about her photogenic looks.

Thanks to Jenny, Cory was a therapy dog for about three years at the Carriage Hill Nursing Home. Jenny, Cory, and I would visit there on Sundays, and Cory brought her uninhibited playfulness, contagious high spirits, and loving joie de vivre to the residents.

Losing Cory leaves a huge hole in our lives. She was a devoted companion and friend. She was always in a good mood, always lived in the moment, and played at every opportunity. We all adored her and give profound thanks for her wonderful life.