They are always there, and they creep up when you least expect it. 

Twelve years ago, we got a puppy.  A chocolate lab puppy.  A big, hairy, floppy eared, clumsy, slobbering fool of a puppy.  He was awesome.  We named him Coco.  I fell head over heels for that silly old dog. 

One day while I was at work, Coco took it upon himself to rearrange all of my cookbooks, and give them a fresh new look.  He tore most of the covers to shreds, and scattered them about the living room.  I came home to a carpet littered with quarter-sized shreds of cardboard.  And a dog that was mysteriously absent from the cookbook carnage. 


Well, I LOVED my cookbooks and we couldn’t afford to replace them at the time, so I kept them.  The recipes weren’t damaged, just the covers.  There are recipes in the books that I go to every holiday, or special occasion, but other than that, I don’t open them much throughout the year anymore. 

It’s always kind of a surprise when I do pull them out, and they cause me to stop and remember that dog.  And that always makes me smile, but it also leaves me with a little bit of sadness.  He wasn’t here with us nearly long enough. 

Part of me really wants another dog.  And part of me is afraid that no dog is ever going to measure up to that Coco.        


Cookbooks, slobber, dog hair and all.


Miss You Coco

Three years ago today, we lost our Chocolate Lab, Coco, after a brief illness.  I still miss him deeply, every single day.  After this long, I thought I would have been mended, but I still can’t look at his scrapbook without melting into a puddle of tears, without that ache in my heart that only surfaces when I think too much or too long about him.  I have his picture on my fridge as if he is still around, under my feet or snoozing on the couch.  There are other constant reminders of him…the hardwood floors that bear scratches from his nails, his collar that I keep in my top drawer, even my cookbooks that he shredded one day when he was a puppy.   

The Man and I have for years had a (nearly) nightly ritual of eating ice cream before bed.  Back when Coco was still around, we would clink our spoons on the bowl when we were finished eating, as a signal to Coco that it was his turn to lick the bowl.  Even now, I find myself clinking, and then realizing.  Perhaps that is the hardest part–the forgetting and then the remembering. 

I miss you something awful Coco.  I’m afraid I always will.

Miss You Coco