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Last Updated:
8/15/2022 12:55 PM


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Dr. Burden said: “He’s gone” at 9:13 am on June 16, 2011. Thus ended the life of Fuzzy Cornell. Memories abound. Life is symmetric, reflecting beginning and ending elements. It starts: “Hello world” as a new active life emerges; helplessly getting its first breath; wiggling, crawling to obtain his first nourishment and then taking tentative steps that quickly become a gleeful gate as eyes open to sense his newfound world. Fuzzy was found bedazzled, shaking and possibly epileptic, wondering in a Kansas City shopping center - that no longer exists. A kind soul delivered him to TARA, a no kill shelter, who posted his picture (I can hear Fuzzy yell “I’m famous!”) and short story on the Internet. Attached is that picture that captured my heart plus three photos of his first mountain trip. Boy, could he ham for photos no matter what role you wanted. I drove to KC and adopted him on a bright Saturday May 16, 2007 just prior to 10 am. Our agreement was that I could return him within a couple weeks following a Memorial Day trip to Iowa. Fuzzy never saw Kansas City again. Looking back on the video of that morning, I see a playful exploring future friend and companion almost shouting: “I’m Fuzzy. Let’s have fun. What can I do?” Meanwhile Peaches was uncertain what life-changing event was occurring. Peaches assumed an unexpected brother role. Every few weeks, he alerted me that Fuzzy needed more food or had to go outdoors. A month ago, Fuzzy still accompanied Peaches and me on walks a couple blocks to the woods. Fuzz always trailed behind –smelling each blade of grass marked by other dogs. He never seemed to sense the idea of a chase, whether it was a rabbit or squirrel. He’d join in barking as I restrained Peachy on leash. Fuzzy also never understood that you don’t challenge much larger dogs. It’s termed the Napoleon complex. Fortunately, those dogs did understand that a 13 pound Tibetan Spaniel really isn’t much of a threat. Two years ago the vet advised me that Fuzzy was in kidney failure but he never developed symptoms. April 2010, I was advised to expect death in July. That didn’t bother Fuzzy who simply lived his normal life through the fall, winter and spring. Seven weeks ago blood test revealed a significant deterioration in his ability to provide oxygen to his body. It was simply weeks, possibly months. Ten days ago I foresaw his demise. The bedtime three-block walks became two blocks, then one block and finally ended Sunday. A week ago he still jumped into the car but I had to lift him into and out for our Saturday trip to my parent’s grave. I wanted a photo of him sitting there. He ate normally Saturday and Sunday but refused food Monday and significantly cut back on his water intake – a frightening sign for a kidney distressed creature. Monday he climbed down stairs, relieved himself and fought to climb back into the house late night. The last three mornings he lay next to me for hours on the sofa. It was nice feeling his body warming me as if a blanket. Peach was distressed; his low moans indicated knowledge that something was very wrong and that I should help. Out family was sharing more love. Tuesday and Wednesday heroics of daylong IV flushes could not cleanse his system. His quality of life was gone. I cried all Tuesday. Thursday was closure and relief knowing Almighty God had cut his suffering, added 11 months and let him accept me as his final caregiver. I had been here before with Pete in August 1998. Pete injured himself and spent his last night in obvious pain before easing off to a restless daze about 4 am. It was if he induced sufficient doses of painkillers to ward off what distressed him. I carefully picked him up and placed him in the car for what to me was a most painful final trip to the vet. I could see in Pete’s eyes a plea for mercy and dignity. Meanwhile, tears filled my eyes. I watched the vet carry him away for his final minutes on this Earth. Until Peachy’s emergence as a special brother these last four years, I’d considered Pete my most precious and special dog. Symmetric elements of life have their ultimate ending. There is the last meal, the last elimination of body waste, difficulty in moving, a final closing of the eyes, that clutching of breath, a final beating of heart and passage of neural signals before the body surrenders; giving up the ghost. What a stellar performance. Time to bring down the curtain and say Good-bye. Announcing the best award for a Tibetan Spaniel in a supporting role. Applause!! Go in Peace. Sleep well my faithful and precious friend. I loved and treasure every minute. A place next to Heaven is called Rainbow Bridge. When owner and special furry friends spot each other they run free; healed of earth’s ailments. They meet with hugs and kisses, never to part. Written on my checks is “Joy is Reunion at Rainbow Bridge“ Folks speak of pets during a near death experience. If Heaven allows pets, I look forward to seeing Fuzzy along with my other furry friends as we cross the Bridge. I will never forget you.

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