Six months ago, in March of 2010, we made the decision to have Cory undergo spinal surgery to repair herniated discs in his lower back for what is called “cauda equina syndrome,” which is apparently quite common in older dogs. We made the decision with the hope that we could spend just one more camping season with him. I am so grateful that we got our wish, and we took every opportunity to get out of town with Cory this past summer, camping at the edges of some of our State’s most beautiful lakes and rivers.
But Cory’s body continued to decline and I saw such pity in the faces of strangers as we tried to go for walks through the campgrounds. Eventually he could no longer go with me at all. With every camping experience I would stare at the place where Cory was lying, usually on the grass near the lake or river we were staying at, trying to burn the memory of exactly how he looked and exactly where he was, so that when we return to those places next year without him I’ll be able to still feel his presence by closing my eyes and imagining that he is still there. The last time I headed out on a walk by myself I looked back at the campfire that Cory was lying by and I was startled to see something in his eyes as he watched me go. After a moment I recognized what it was – Cory was trying to burn the memory of me into the fiber of his being, to remember every detail of me the same way I had been trying to remember every detail of him. I continued on that walk alone, my heart heavy with the sadness of knowing that there would not be any more walks for us together.
As autumn came to the State of Washington and our camping season slipped behind us, Cory’s body continued to give up on him. Although we purchased a pool for our back yard, and Cory did enjoy his swims at first, it too eventually became something Cory did without any joy; he just swam in obligatory circles for the 25 or 30 minutes he was in it. Then his poor body would start trembling uncontrollably, not from cold but from fatigue, and we’d dry him off and he would collapse, all of his energy used up.
Cory’s tail never wagged anymore and he kept it tucked tightly between his legs. He could no longer stand up by himself, nor could he even stay up without assistance. His favorite toys no longer got even a spark of his interest.
As a family we made the painful decision that it was time to let him go. Cory had a great life with us, and every moment with him was treasured. Ironically, within weeks of the release of “Cory’s Story” we had to release Cory. I promised no sad endings in the book, but I can’t control what happens in life. I believe Cory would be very happy to know that because of him and what we learned together, another dog or two may be helped to live a better life. Every creature lives for something, and sometimes the purpose of a life is to have information to share that can positively affect other living beings. In Cory’s case, it is about our journey through canine epilepsy, how a dog with that condition can still live a fully vibrant life, and how we were able to stop his seizures without anti epileptic drugs. I have been promised by my publisher that the book will be shipped out no later than the end of this month.
May God abundantly bless you and your animal companions, as much as we were blessed to share our lives with our wonderful Cory.
Sandra DeMers – September, 2010
Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Understanding & Living with Canine Seizures
This guide will help you and your canine companion deal with canine epilepsy. You'll learn how to detect symptoms of an upcoming seizure, treat during and after a seizure, and prevent future seizures.
Ready to read Cory's Story? Read Chapter 1 Now.