Saying good-bye to my beloved Cooper

From Hal McCoy — To  All Dog Lovers

I have grieved and shed many tears over the tragedies that our great city has endured this year.

I shed tears when I saw the devastation of the tornadoes and I shed tears as I watched reports of the shootings in the Oregon District.

My heart broke for those people who lost their homes. My heart breaks for the families and friends of the Oregon District victims.

Those are devastating tragedies for the city I love so much, a city that has done so much for me.

So what I am about to write about is very small in the grand scheme of things. But for Nadine and me, it is a personal event that has caused us to empty our tear ducts since late Sunday afternoon.

Our beloved dog, Cooper, suffered a heart seizure Sunday afternoon and he is gone, gone at 9-years-old.

Everybody believes their dog is the best ever and, yes, we believed he was the best, a very special member of our family.

On Sunday morning, my friend and driver, Ray Snedegar, picked me up to take me to the Reds game. As always, Cooper grabbed one of his stuffed animals and with his friend in his mouth, he howled his special greeting. He ran back-and-forth, as happy as he always was.

Every time a friend or a stranger showed up, Cooper grabbed one of his stuffed friends and howled. He never met a stranger. He loved everybody. Kids in the neighborhood, sometimes five or six at a time, came to our house to ask, “Can Cooper come out and play.” And he always did.

Cooper and his sister, Paige, loved the UPS driver. They recognized the brown truck, even if it went by without stopping they ran to end of the driveway, hoping he’d stop. If he did, he gave them pats on the head and a treat.

Like Nadine and me, Paige already misses her constant companion. They were inseparable and she senses something is wrong and wonders, “Where is Cooper?”

Nadine works hard on her flower garden and Cooper loved flowers. He would stop in the yard and smell them. Nadine asked me this morning, “Who is going to smell my flowers?”

They let me hold him at MedVet before he left us. He was not responsive, just lay still in my arms. But before he departed, he said good-bye. He lifted his beautfiul white head, looked me in the eyes and gave me four or five kisses. It was his last act.

Every night, when I went to bed, he jumped up beside me and rolled on his back for his nightly stomach rub. He loved that.

Like all dogs, he loved riding in the car and loved his walks through the neighborhood. I took Paige for a walk last night, her first time without Cooper. She loves walks as much as he did. But she wasn’t the same. She knew.

Cooper was a schnoodle, a schnauzer-poodle mix and he was a beautiful with bright brown eyes. We named him Cooper, in honor of Cooperstown. Strangely, he didn’t like to play ball. His stuffed animals were everything. Paige, the female, loves to play ball, three and four times a day. Cooper watched, stuffed animal between his feet.

For all of you who have dogs, the best friends you’ll ever have, give them a hug for me. I can’t give Cooper a hug. I wish I could.

He is up there now, entertaining everybody with a stuffed animal in his mouth, howling in delight, and I know I’ll see him again. He’ll want to go for a walk, ride in the car, roll on his back for a rub and invite me to smell the roses.

18 thoughts on “Saying good-bye to my beloved Cooper”

  1. Hal, Nadine and Page;

    The best bumper sticker I ever saw read “THE MORE PEOPLE I MEET, THE BETTER I LOVE MY DOG”


    We went through the similar agonizing goodbye May 30th, for our 5th beloved English Bulldog. Just rips your heart out.

    Probably against better judgement, Queen City Bulldog Rescue saved us with our newest family member, a 2-year boy Old English bully. Re-named AyeJay after A.J. Foyt.

    Coincidentally, we were working to adopt a boy named “Cooper” from QCBR. Another forever family beat us to him.

    1. Dogs are not just dogs. They have a soul and heart. Unconditional love. They take a huge piece of your heart. Something you never get over. I lost my Charley a year ago. I still think about and miss more than words can say. I’m so sad and sorry for your loss. Cooper is watching over both of you. It’s weird a lot of times I will look up in the sky and see a cloud in the shape of a dog. I know it’s Charley telling me I’m Ok. ?❤️

  2. We have been rescuing animals for many years and have found many of them a forever home and of course we have made many our forever family members.When the sad times come we are not as strong as we used to be.It is heart wrenching and takes all our energy each time.We are sorry for your loss.

  3. as a dog lover, my heart breaks for you and Nadine. I lost my Jasper in November and I am still not over losing him. Our fur babies are our kids. They are part of the family. Why can’t they live as long as humans do? Cooper is at the Rainbow Bridge, with his stuffed animal of course, running around and greeting all the new comers. RIP Cooper <3

  4. Hal — I just wanted to drop you a quick note of condolences to you and Nadine. I know how you are feeling as we have lost family dogs in the past. Your comments were so poignant and clearly from your heart. In that way, you shared a part of Cooper with us all. What a great dog!!! I have to say that your words also rang true with me because I was just thinking that it would be an event that I’ll be dealing with at some point soon. Our cocker spaniel, Millie, is 11 years old now and she’s slowing down. But as you said, she’s the best dog in the world. She has been at my side through so many things — the death of my first wife, health issues, my remarriage and of course every Reds game.

    I want to also say that I appreciate you so much. I live in Chicago but am a lifelong Reds fan. I’ve actually met you before — in Sarasota during spring training (the day they acquired Bronson Arroyo) and in Cincinnati.

    I’m glad you have another dog to help get you through this tough time.

  5. When a dog dies – it is so hard. Words do not come easily. I have had two dogs in my life. One name Pixie and the other Zoie. I still think of them both and the times we shared. Pixie came to me when I was in third grade and left my senior year of high school. Zoie came into my life because of our daughter. Her favorite was time was riding in our Model A Ford pickup. Dogs are a joy – I am sorry for you and Nadine’s loss. My thoughts are with you.

  6. So sorry Hal. I had the same experience this past weekend. My 18 year old poodle had to be put down. Ditto on all the things you shared. I live pretty close to you, so we probably passed Cooper a few times over the years. So glad my Nikki has a neighborhood friend to cross over with….

  7. So sorry for your loss! I’ve shed a tear for your Cooper and my “Nappy” who passed a few years ago.

  8. I shed tears for your family. Dogs are the indispensable companions. We love our dog and he so much a part of our family. I am sorry that you lost him. He is in heaven meeting all the others animals who were loved. Take care.

  9. Hal and Nadine,

    I’m sorry to hear about Cooper. I’ll have my boys – Brendan and Chip – keep an eye out for him and take care of him.

    Take Care.

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    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine. Our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals that had been ill and were old have been restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by. The animals are happy except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had been left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent.

    Suddenly she begins to run from the group, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted and when you and your special friend meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart……………


    Author Unknown

    Very sorry for the loss of Cooper. My heart aches with you.

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