Last Tuesday (Oct 3oth) Erika and I had to put our beloved Copper to sleep. He lived a good life, a full life, and gave so much joy to all those he encountered — humans as well as dogs. But the last couple days of his life he lost his hearing and sight. So we did the right thing, the humane thing, but it was very difficult and it hurt . . . badly, profoundly and comprehensively.
Copper (or Copperboy, as we affectionately called him) was with us nearly our entire married life. We adopted him from the Humane Society around our first anniversary, and we think he was a little more than two years old at the time. As such, he was probably about 14 when he died; so God blessed us with his presence for all these years.
Copper was always his own sort of man (dog?) – from the moment we took him home — he lived life on his own terms. Not patient enough to wait for his stitches (from his neutering) to be removed the next week, he just ripped them out the first week. I taught him how to catch a Frisbee, which he loved very much. But when he was tired he would just refuse to bring it back, and trot off to some other part of the yard.
So it was fitting that for his last hurrah, he wanted to go outside and trot around the yard one last time. He must have made the rounds largely by memory, as his eyesight had failed. But he seemed to enjoy himself, and after 20 minutes or so he just flopped down into the fallen leaves.
We miss him terribly, and I’ve never so much hated the quietness of my own home. Each day as I arrive from work he was there to greet me and play with me for a bit. I miss that. And Erika misses him getting up and down from the bed throughout the night. We miss him scruffling in where ever he wanted.
Copper was a fan of taking a ride in the car, any sort of drive-thru (bank, restaurant, whatever) and catching his Frisbee. He knew the names of all his toys and would bring the requested one by name. A sweet and loving companion, and a protective one at that. One time he nearly took the hand off a visiting mom who gave her misbehaving child a swat on the butt. After checking over the child he watched over her for the remainder of the visit — and glared at the mom to boot.
Thank you God, for bringing such a wonderful pet into our lives. We love him and miss him, and are so grateful you brought us together.
I’m sure we will get another dog sometime (maybe even soon), but we’ll never forget Copperboy. We’ll never replace him, because he is irreplaceable. The joy he brought to our family is immeasurable; and I want to forever cherish the small hole in my heart that was made when he drifted to sleep for the final time.
Rest in peace, our darling Copperboy. We will always love you.