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January 11, 2010

In Memory ~ Coco (1996- 2010)

2010 started out poorly for me not only medically but also emotionally. 

Coco (sitting up) and his sister Mokka
Coco was born August 14, 1996 and I was there to help him into the world as I also owned his mother Bubbles.  At 5 weeks of age, Coco was involved in an accident while playing with his father, resulting in an artificial cleft palate. This prevented him from being sold to his potential owners and instead he remained with my family his entire life which actually was a number of years longer than originally anticipated.

He was operated on at 9 months after getting his weight over 4lbs.  The vet attempted a closure of the palate, but by the time the surgery was performed, he had already learned to keep the opening between  his palate and his nose cleared. This meant that he also managed to clear the sutures that the vet had placed.  The end result was a reduction in the size, but a permanent hole remained in the roof of his mouth.

His disabilities didn't stop him though. Coco was a saucy and demanding little pup, earning himself the nickname "Little $hit".  If his food or water dish were empty and he wanted them filled, he would pick up his dish and toss it around until you filled it.  If he wanted attention and wasn't getting it immediately, he would make all kinds of noises, chattering and whining at you until you picked him up or made room on your lap.

Coco liked to steal things!
The soother belonged to a relatives son, picture taken in 1998

Coco and Rachel
When Rachel was born, he became her protector. If she was on a blanket on the floor, he was right there next to her. At times though, he did display a bit of jealousy. I remember a few times when Rachel would be snuggled up next to me and he would be standing on her pawing at the blankets trying to get in with us.  It was a good thing he never weighed over 5 lbs with the exception of preparing for his surgery.

In the picture here, he's actually a lot of fur, as he got older, it became more difficult to keep him trimmed down as it created additional stress on his breathing.  We believe the vibrations of the clippers created some problems with vibration in his palate.

On the morning of January 11th, 2010 we woke up to what we believed was Coco in the midst of a seizure.  Once again, we were faced with the difficult decision of having to say good-bye to a well loved family member.  He was also 14 years old.  Another loved boy gone but never forgotten. 

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