Some of you who know me on Facebook or follow my page may already know that our beagle Kobi passed away on Thursday early morning. I had written about his illness and the unfortunate blood test results which let us know that his organs were failing and there was nothing to be done. In just over a week his health failed, we really couldn’t believe how quickly it happened. We took him to the vet because his appetite hadn’t been good and he’d been throwing up off and on, and just over a week later he was gone.
The last time he ate or drank anything was Sunday morning. When the blood test results came back on Monday, we knew we probably wouldn’t have him through the end of the week. We thought we would have to make the decision of when it was time to let him go, but Kobi had other ideas.
He was weak and slept a lot, but he would still get up and go outside on his own, and sometimes go down the stairs before we could get to him to help him. Kobi was a tough old guy and fought to keep his dignity right up until the end. We knew it was close to time but every so often he would pop his head up and give us a bright eyed look that made us feel he wasn’t ready to go yet. When I got home from work on Wednesday afternoon, he didn’t get up right away, but eventually he wanted to come outside where I was playing ball with the other dogs. He stood on the deck for a bit, but when he seemed like he wanted to come down into the yard, I carried him. He sat there for a while just watching us play, and when I thought he might be cold I carried him back into the house.
He slept peacefully for the rest of the afternoon/evening, occasionally moving from one bed or location to another, all his different favorite spots. It wasn’t until we were going up to bed that I realized he hadn’t wanted to go outside again which was unusual. We almost left him sleeping soundly in the office, but then my hubby decided to bring him up to bed with us. He moved around a bit as we were trying to fall asleep and I thought he seemed weaker. I had a bad feeling, and felt in the pit of my stomach that we would probably be calling the vet in the morning.
About 1:30am I was awoken by a sound….a groan or a grunt and I sat up and asked my hubby if that was Kobi. He confirmed it was and we turned on the light and knew that he was dying. He took a few shallow breaths as we stroked him and whispered to him, and then he was gone. My hubby had been awake for a while. Kobi had moved right up next to him and he had been petting him and keeping him close. He had noticed changes in his breathing, but never did he feel Kobi was suffering in any way.
We can only feel blessed that he died at home with us and with his siblings nearby on the bed also. I know he wanted it that way; to be home with his family.
Before the End
Only a year ago, at 12 years old, Kobi was extremely healthy. Last Winter we did the Idita-Walk together, almost 1049 minutes of walking (he missed some of it because of surgery to have some lumps removed). We really had a great year….we walked a lot. He did some long walks with my sisters and I and some of the other dogs in the spring. He started to slow down in the hot summer, and that’s really when he started showing his age more. We had a great trip apple picking in the fall, and I’m so glad we took him for that.
He and I just had a wonderful walk together the weekend before he went to the vet. He was a bit slow, but was still enjoying himself. A week later my hubby and I took him for a nice drive. He loves riding in the car, but the three times he was in there that week ended at the vet’s office. Sunday we just took him a few towns over, and stopped at a grocery store to pick up some foods we hoped he would eat. He snuggled on my lap, which is pretty good for a dog who has never really been a snuggler or a lap dog. He had the sun on his face, and in between dozing off, he was grunting away. Kobi has always been one to grunt when he’s content….whether getting his ears or chest rubbed, or lying in front of the warm woodstove, he would grunt. I’ve always thought of it as his “purr”. When we first started out on that drive I couldn’t stop the thoughts tumbling through my head…..this could be the last ride we took him for (and it was). I tried to hide the tears slipping down my cheek from my husband. Eventually I pulled myself together and tried to just focus on enjoying the togetherness we were all sharing. My hubby constantly reached over to pat Kobi or just to check on him to see if he was sleeping.
When the bad news had come that Monday evening, I got off my computer, poured myself a glass of wine and sat between the dog beds where Kobi and Cricket were sleeping in front of the wood stove, and Luke soon joined us.
I think we made the best of our last days together.
Kobi was the best dog. When thinking back, I don’t remember a time he was ever a problem, even as a puppy. He was around 6 months old when he came to live with us (you can read that story here), and he became best friends with our dog Maggie instantly. I don’t remember him ever chewing up or destroying anything. The reputation that beagles have for being barkers is unwarranted. Yes, Kobi barked, but so do a lot of dogs. If he was told to be quiet and come in the house, he did (that goes for his beagle sister Cricket also). Yes, he had the beagle traits of stubbornness and independence, but that was part of his charm.
We hiked, we camped, and we took rides in our boat in those days. When Maggie tragically died a lot of things changed. We sold our camper and eventually the boat. That was when the other 3 dogs joined our family, and we stayed home a lot more. Kobi was easygoing and other than being devastated at the loss of his sister, he adjusted to all the changes that eventually came along. We still took lots of walks and he always loved those. He enjoyed our drives to walk the local rail trail, our trips to the bank, and the rides he took with Dad to the dump on the weekends.
We always called Kobi the serious and quiet one; he wasn’t one for playing games or chasing things. He loved every single person and animal that he met. He was my constant companion. If I was in my office working, he was lying next to me. He followed me everywhere I went around the house. He loved to be in the kitchen with me, always somehow managing to be lying in front of whatever cabinet I needed to get into next. If I was outside working in my garden or greenhouse he wanted to be with me. He was content in his life as long as he was at our sides.
There is now an empty place next to me wherever I am, and a piece of my heart went with him. I know he is now happily reunited with his sister Maggie and his brother Moses who we lost last summer. I hope he met his sister Shelby who came and went before him. Wherever he is, I hope there are lots of treats and lots of warm beds to lie on…..he loved to lay in front our woodstove and soak up the heat.
Kobi couldn’t have been more loved by us, and he returned that love tenfold. Not only did he live a good life, he was a good life.
Thank you to everyone who expressed their care, concern, and sympathies on my other blog posts, and on Facebook. Your words, thoughts, and prayers truly are helping. It is comforting to know that so many of you understand the pain of losing a beloved pet.
Donna O. says
I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad that he was home with you when his time came. That truly is a blessing.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to him. It sounds like you gave him the best life possible, and he in turn gave you all of his love.
Rest in peace sweet Kobi.
Thank you so much, Donna. Thank you for coming by and reading about him, and for caring most of all.
What a wonderful life he led! It’s what every dog hopes for. I know that doesn’t make you miss him less, but I hope it helps you to remember the good times with smiles eventually. As Lilac got older, I kept hoping that she would make it easy on me and pass away peacefully at home like Kobi did, but she was stubborn to the end. I loved reading all the memories you shared of him! You were so very lucky to find each other.
Thank you….it does make me feel a bit better to know that we did give him a good life, we were very lucky to have each other.
I never really thought he would pass away at home like I hoped for him (I was really afraid he would when I was at work), it was such a blessing for all of us that he did.
2 brown dawgs says
What a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss. Kobi was a wonderful soul. We will miss him.
Thank you so much for saying that….it is comforting for me to know that others will miss seeing his sweet face also.
Golden Woofs: Sugar says
So sorry to read this. He had a pawsome good life. Precious and will be remembered forever. Sending you Lots of Golden LOVE.
Thank you very much, Sugar, I appreciate your thoughts, sympathy, and golden love.
Jan, I was so sorry to read about Kobi last week on your FB. There are no magic words to make it better. I feel your pain and know it never gets easier no matter how many leave us. It sounds like you had a good last few days with Kobi and he got to say his goodbyes to his hometown, his yard, his siblings and you. That’s the way to go. I’m so glad you have Luke – not as a replacement cause I know you can never replace one you’ve lost, but as a welcome distraction.
Thank you so much. We did have a good last few days, and I’m so happy Kobi got to see and do all the things he loved one more time.
You are right about Luke, and that’s exactly what I wrote about in my next post….thank you for providing some of my inspiration to write that.
What a lovely tribute to Kobi and your life together. There’s just not ever anything that feels right (to me) to say… except that I feel your pain and am sending you hugs and my deepest sympathy.
Thank you, Sue. What you said was perfect….I appreciate it very much.
What a beautiful post Jan, truly a wonderful tribute to a wonderful dog.
I know words won’t really help at this stage, but I hope knowing others care and share some of your grief with you does. I’m so glad you were there with him to give him comfort as he went from this journey to the next, I think that is really a blessing.
Thank you so much, Jodi. Yes, knowing others care and share my grief really does help….a lot. I feel much less alone and that is a huge comfort.
And you are right, it was a blessing that we were there with him when he passed on….I hold that thought close.
Oz the Terrier says
Oh Miss Jan, from the sounds of this post, Kobi led an amazing and full life. I bet he loved his outdoor adventures with you! We dogs love exploring new places with our pack, you know. You should always remember that you gave him the best life…and he gave you his best right back. Though I am so very sorry he is gone, I am happy to know he was at your side until the end – warm and snuggled in bed soaking up every last ounce of your love.
Oz (and Gina)
Thank you, Oz and Gina. I like to think that he did have a full and amazing life. I am glad for him that he was able to stay active and get out and enjoy things right up until very close to the end. He loved to be out sniffing and exploring and we enjoyed our times together so much.
Ann Staub says
This is such a nice tribute to him Jan 🙂 I think he left this world the most perfect way. At home, in bed with his pawrents nearby to comfort him. I think most pet parents can only hope for such a way to let their pets go at the end. RIP Kobi. You definitely had the good life.
Thank you, Ann. I’m glad I could share his story, and I am so glad he had a peaceful ending….if only they could all be that way. We’ll take this one and cherish it.
So awesome the wonderful life you gave Kobi-and of course how he enriched yours is priceless. Thinking of you all and loving you all- he will be so missed by everyone who knew him. RIP, Mr Kobi Keefe…
Thank you, Lynn. I know his loss is felt by our whole family. It won’t be the same without him here when you come visit. But we did have a good life and his aunties were an important part of that.
Oh, Jan. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful boy. I hope all the wonderful memories of your life together give you comfort during this difficult time. Sending you hugs and wishes for peace.
Thank you, Maggie. The memories do give me comfort, along with knowing that you and others care and are thinking of us.
Dolly the Doxie says
So, so sorry for your loss. Thanks so much for sharing your life with him, since we haven’t had a chance to get to know him. I would love for you to share this on #ThrowbackThursday when you are ready. Love Dolly
Thank you so much, Dolly. I love the idea and I will share it on Throwback Thursday at some point….maybe his original story of how he came to live with us.
Oh I am so very sorry. He went surrounded by love, what more could anyone ask for. Thank you for sharing his story, from beginning to end. It is not really good bye, but see you later. Run free Kobi.
Thank you, Rebekah, for coming by and reading about him. Sharing his story has really helped me, and knowing others care enough to read about him really does ease my pain.
Jackie Bouchard says
What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. You were lucky to have each other. He had a wonderful life with, and I’m happy he want peacefully at home with you all there. Isn’t that what we all hope for? There can never be enough time with our wonderful pups, but he will always be with you in your heart.
Thank you, Jackie. He had a good long life….even though we would have liked more, we couldn’t have asked for the end to be any better.
We should all be so Blessed to be able to die peacefully, with dignity, at home in the loving arms of our family and friends. Thank You for sharing Kobi,s journey with us. Sincerely, Sasha and Bingo. Woofs, Meows, and Barks.
And thank you so much for coming by and reading about him. We couldn’t have asked for a better end to his wonderful life than to have him at home with all of us.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
That was a beautiful tribute to your best friend. I again am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad he was home with you and that you were there to hold him in the end. I think it is a great idea that you share more photos and stories. I love writing and showing off Normans life. It’s mainly for me to feel better and if others want to read then that is wonderful. The days and weeks ahead will get easier. Peace.
Thank you so much. I used to think it was easier to get over my grief by not talking about it a lot. But I feel more now that I just want to keep Kobi’s memory alive by sharing more about him. It doesn’t have to always be sad to celebrate his life and I love the way you’ve been doing it with Norman.
The Island Cats says
We are so very sorry to hear about Kobi. We send you comforting purrs and headbutts….
It is greatly appreciated, and those purrs and headbutts are very comforting!
I’m in tears too, thinking of Kobi. I’m going to miss him terribly. You and Tom gave him a beautiful life…the best any dog could ask for. Love, S
Thank you, Sheryl. He was so easy to love, wasn’t he?
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
……oh my goodness….the last I read your blog just a few short days back, I had read that his organs were failing, and have been thinking of him.
I have not been to much on fb in the last few days so i hadn’t read this yet.
I am so so so sorry for your loss…I am not even sure what to say because I am all teary right now…
You wrote a beautiful story to honor him today.
You gave him such a wonderful life. And when you heard the bad news, like you said you made the best out of his last few days.
He was and is such a beautiful boy and it makes me happy to know that he passed at home with you.
I am so sorry again…
Rest easy Kobi
husky hugz to you all
Thank you so much for your kind words, Jenna, and for thinking of us and caring. It means so much to me, and it helps so much to know that you care and understand.
Ruckus the Eskie says
I am devastated for Kobi’s loss. My sapiens and I send their love and support during this hard time. I am glad he was able to go apple picking and share such wonderful moments with his family. *hugs*
Ruckus, thank you all so much for your love, hugs, and support. It is greatly appreciated.
Oh wow, I am so sorry to hear about Kobi. I know exactly how you feel. They take a piece of our hearts and stay there forever. I hope you will find comfort in the memories, and in knowing you gave Kobi a wonderful home and family. Sorry for your loss.
Thank you so much. We will find comfort in our happy memories….I am so grateful we were able to give him a loving home.
Chill Out Spartacus says
So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog he was. He sounds like he lived a great life and passed in comfort surrounded by love. It’s a cruel set up that humans and their best friends have such different life spans. Kobi was a lucky dog to have a devoted family.
Thank you so much. I think he did have a great life, we certainly tried to give him the best one we could. And it worked both ways, we were so lucky to have the time we did with him.
I don’t know if I don’t get your facebook posts or what, but I will check into that. We are so sorry for your loss. We are, although, so happy that he could go on his own with those he loved. You didn’t have to make the decision which is a wonderful thing. Mom always hopes that we would go on our own at home in peace. It will take a long time to deal with him being gone, but remember the other pups will miss him too, and they make great shoulders to cry on and talk to. Hugs from all of us to all of you! We will miss you friend!
Thank you so much, Emma. I am so grateful also that he could be at home with us and we didn’t have to make that decision for him. I feel like he went on his own terms and that’s what I wanted for him. The other dogs are such a great help, being able to hug them and snuggle them makes it that much easier. They can’t take his place but they can help ease the pain of missing him.
M. K. Clinton says
There are no words to lessen your pain but please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Heaven has a new shining Beagle Star twinkling just for you. <3
Thank you. Knowing that you are thinking of us does help, and I really appreciate it. I love the thought of a Beagle Star. 🙂
Karen Cantlin says
OK, so I’m trying to type through my tears. Kobi is the reason my husband and I have loved 3 beagles of our own. If I remember correctly, my sister Jan and her husband Tom got Kobi around the time my husband Rusty and I were getting together. After meeting Kobi, Rusty told me he wanted a beagle and I remember telling Jan and Tom that if Kobi ever disappeared they should look at Rusty’s place first, because every time we would see him Rusty would want to take him home. After we moved in together, he got more insistent on getting a beagle and I finally gave in. Brandy was going to be his dog, but that lasted about a minute until I picked her up. But that is another story. My favorite Kobi moment is on one of our visits to his house, I had brought Brandy and our newer beagle, Trixie. Although Brandy was more his age and size, he took an immediate liking to Trixie. I just keep picturing her running across the deck and Kobi right behind her, around and around. They each take a piece of your heart when they go, and they leave a piece of theirs behind. But I truly believe we will see them all again, someday we will all be together.
Karen, thank you so much for sharing all that. it makes me happy to know Kobi started it all for beagles not just with us but with you and Rusty too. I remember him following Trixie around too….it was just so cute.
Even though he favored Trixie, I bet he and Brandy are running around now, having fun while they wait for us.
So sorry. At least you had him a long time and he had a happy and loving family. Nothing more a dog could ask for so be proud of being a wonderful dog owner.
Thank you, Jim. He actually lived longer than any of our previous dogs, and even though we would have liked longer, 13 years is pretty good I think.