Saying Good-Bye

** If you will be in Southern California on March 11th, and you're interested in attending the Plastic Surgery Party, you can click here for details. **

A little over ten years ago, my good friend, Nike, was looking to buy a puppy for her two young boys.  She wanted a Golden Retriever.  I owned an older Golden at the time.  She asked if I'd mind helping her pick out a puppy since I was familiar with the breed.  I gladly agreed.

A funny thing happened when Nike and I went to look at a litter of Golden Retriever puppies.  I helped her pick out a robust, bouncing, male puppy … and somehow, I ended up coming home with one of my own too.

She and I have owned the two brother puppies for ten years now.

In December, Nike was informed her dog, Cosmo, had cancer and only a few months to live.  Nike was devastated, of course, but Cosmo was still feeling great.  She asked if I would do a photo shoot of her now adult boys, with the much loved dog they grew up with.  

I gladly agreed.

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And their entire family:

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Cosmo was only too happy to romp with his family that day.  I shot over one hundred photos of a very happy Golden Retriever playing.

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This week, on Tuesday afternoon, Nike called me.

"He's not doing well, can you come?" she asked.

I did.

Nike wanted a few final, good-bye, photos of Cosmo.

It was a difficult photo shoot.  

Cosmo was clearly not feeling well.  

Nike was crying.  

I was crying.  

At the same time, it was a beautiful moment filled with love.

Yesterday, on Thursday morning, Cosmo died.

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Good-bye, dear, sweet Cosmo.

You've been a much loved friend.

© Twenty Four At Heart

117 Responses to “Saying Good-Bye”

  1. allyson/HBMomof2

    My dog died a year ago last week and I still weep for my sweet Zoee. We took photos of the kids with her on her last day and although the photos are bittersweet they are treasured. You are a good friend and your photos are beautiful. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  2. allyson/HBMomof2

    My dog died a year ago last week and I still weep for my sweet Zoee. We took photos of the kids with her on her last day and although the photos are bittersweet they are treasured. You are a good friend and your photos are beautiful. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  3. allyson/HBMomof2

    My dog died a year ago last week and I still weep for my sweet Zoee. We took photos of the kids with her on her last day and although the photos are bittersweet they are treasured. You are a good friend and your photos are beautiful. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  4. Joanne

    I am a lifetime dog owner…. I have had this occasion arise so many times. Right now I have TWO old gals that are 14, so it will be coming around for me again very soon

  5. Joanne

    I am a lifetime dog owner…. I have had this occasion arise so many times. Right now I have TWO old gals that are 14, so it will be coming around for me again very soon

  6. Joanne

    I am a lifetime dog owner…. I have had this occasion arise so many times. Right now I have TWO old gals that are 14, so it will be coming around for me again very soon

  7. Mo

    Awwwww. Never owned a dog but my wife’s family all own them and I’ve seen the sadness when a canine friend passes away.

  8. Mo

    Awwwww. Never owned a dog but my wife’s family all own them and I’ve seen the sadness when a canine friend passes away.

  9. Mo

    Awwwww. Never owned a dog but my wife’s family all own them and I’ve seen the sadness when a canine friend passes away.

  10. Jan

    24, you’ve done something that is hard to do. You made me cry.

  11. Jan

    24, you’ve done something that is hard to do. You made me cry.

  12. Jan

    24, you’ve done something that is hard to do. You made me cry.

  13. Kelly

    Sniff, sniff! So sad. Your photos are beautiful. You are such a good friend to do this for Nike and her family. My heart breaks for all of you.

  14. Kelly

    Sniff, sniff! So sad. Your photos are beautiful. You are such a good friend to do this for Nike and her family. My heart breaks for all of you.

  15. Kelly

    Sniff, sniff! So sad. Your photos are beautiful. You are such a good friend to do this for Nike and her family. My heart breaks for all of you.

  16. Pam

    I’m so sorry for their family. What a gift you’ve given them to take all of the pictures.

  17. Pam

    I’m so sorry for their family. What a gift you’ve given them to take all of the pictures.

  18. Pam

    I’m so sorry for their family. What a gift you’ve given them to take all of the pictures.

  19. Debrabby

    Cosmo’s gift was love, a gift received, and one that the whole family had the courage to accept. They had the courage to give their hearts away knowing that it might get broken. But the good news is love is eternal, it transcends even death. Although Cosmo is gone, the love isn’t. Nothing can take away the love that has been shared, ever. And nothing can take away the love you continue to feel. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it quite beautifully:
    in this universe
    nothing is ever wholly lost
    that which is excellent
    remains forever a part of this universe
    human hearts are dust
    but the love which moves the human heart
    abides to bless
    the last generation
    peace to Nike and her family…they lost a very dear family member.

  20. Debrabby

    Cosmo’s gift was love, a gift received, and one that the whole family had the courage to accept. They had the courage to give their hearts away knowing that it might get broken. But the good news is love is eternal, it transcends even death. Although Cosmo is gone, the love isn’t. Nothing can take away the love that has been shared, ever. And nothing can take away the love you continue to feel. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it quite beautifully:
    in this universe
    nothing is ever wholly lost
    that which is excellent
    remains forever a part of this universe
    human hearts are dust
    but the love which moves the human heart
    abides to bless
    the last generation
    peace to Nike and her family…they lost a very dear family member.

  21. Debrabby

    Cosmo’s gift was love, a gift received, and one that the whole family had the courage to accept. They had the courage to give their hearts away knowing that it might get broken. But the good news is love is eternal, it transcends even death. Although Cosmo is gone, the love isn’t. Nothing can take away the love that has been shared, ever. And nothing can take away the love you continue to feel. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it quite beautifully:
    in this universe
    nothing is ever wholly lost
    that which is excellent
    remains forever a part of this universe
    human hearts are dust
    but the love which moves the human heart
    abides to bless
    the last generation
    peace to Nike and her family…they lost a very dear family member.

  22. Liz Tee

    OMG – that last pic made the tears come. What a wonderful thing you were able to do for them. Must go find tissue.

  23. Liz Tee

    OMG – that last pic made the tears come. What a wonderful thing you were able to do for them. Must go find tissue.

  24. Liz Tee

    OMG – that last pic made the tears come. What a wonderful thing you were able to do for them. Must go find tissue.

  25. Kristan

    Oh geez, crying now… At Panera, which isn’t embarrassing AT ALL.
    But whatever. Dogs are the best. I’m so sorry for Nike’s loss, but I’m glad Cosmo had a lovely long life with a family that loved him so dearly.

  26. Kristan

    Oh geez, crying now… At Panera, which isn’t embarrassing AT ALL.
    But whatever. Dogs are the best. I’m so sorry for Nike’s loss, but I’m glad Cosmo had a lovely long life with a family that loved him so dearly.

  27. Kristan

    Oh geez, crying now… At Panera, which isn’t embarrassing AT ALL.
    But whatever. Dogs are the best. I’m so sorry for Nike’s loss, but I’m glad Cosmo had a lovely long life with a family that loved him so dearly.

  28. Café Love So Much

    What an endearing story…how precious of you to share it. I lost my baby doll nine years ago and I haven’t gotten another pet-child yet…she was twenty years old when she passed!

  29. Café Love So Much

    What an endearing story…how precious of you to share it. I lost my baby doll nine years ago and I haven’t gotten another pet-child yet…she was twenty years old when she passed!

  30. Café Love So Much

    What an endearing story…how precious of you to share it. I lost my baby doll nine years ago and I haven’t gotten another pet-child yet…she was twenty years old when she passed!

  31. Sandi

    The pictures are gorgeous! The story is heart breaking….. You made me cry. Hugs to all of you.

  32. Sandi

    The pictures are gorgeous! The story is heart breaking….. You made me cry. Hugs to all of you.

  33. Sandi

    The pictures are gorgeous! The story is heart breaking….. You made me cry. Hugs to all of you.

  34. Danielle [Left of Lost]

    I am so sorry for Nike’s loss. Such a wonderful idea to do a photo shoot. How I wish I’d done that with my old man dog. Tell Nike that time really does ease the pain, but her sweet Cosmo will always be RIGHT.THERE. It’s heartwrenching for me, after a year, but I know he was my doggie soulmate, and I was his person. <3

  35. Danielle [Left of Lost]

    I am so sorry for Nike’s loss. Such a wonderful idea to do a photo shoot. How I wish I’d done that with my old man dog. Tell Nike that time really does ease the pain, but her sweet Cosmo will always be RIGHT.THERE. It’s heartwrenching for me, after a year, but I know he was my doggie soulmate, and I was his person. <3

  36. Danielle [Left of Lost]

    I am so sorry for Nike’s loss. Such a wonderful idea to do a photo shoot. How I wish I’d done that with my old man dog. Tell Nike that time really does ease the pain, but her sweet Cosmo will always be RIGHT.THERE. It’s heartwrenching for me, after a year, but I know he was my doggie soulmate, and I was his person. <3

  37. Tami

    Nike and her family have lost a dear friend. At the same time I know she must realize how lucky she is to have a friend like you still by her side. Send hugs to her family from me!

  38. Tami

    Nike and her family have lost a dear friend. At the same time I know she must realize how lucky she is to have a friend like you still by her side. Send hugs to her family from me!

  39. Tami

    Nike and her family have lost a dear friend. At the same time I know she must realize how lucky she is to have a friend like you still by her side. Send hugs to her family from me!

  40. Denise

    Pictures are the BEST. They record snippets of time that are sooo important and enhance our memories. You did a great job.
    Denise 😉

  41. Denise

    Pictures are the BEST. They record snippets of time that are sooo important and enhance our memories. You did a great job.
    Denise 😉

  42. Denise

    Pictures are the BEST. They record snippets of time that are sooo important and enhance our memories. You did a great job.
    Denise 😉

  43. Café Love So Much

    I stopped by earlier and posted a comment and just had to stop by again to say what a beautiful looking family who all have that same beautiful smile.
    But my real intentions are to also say what an absolute adorable cutie pie Nike’s son is in the white t-shirt! Wew, took my breath away! Well done 24@Heart on the photos 🙂

  44. Café Love So Much

    I stopped by earlier and posted a comment and just had to stop by again to say what a beautiful looking family who all have that same beautiful smile.
    But my real intentions are to also say what an absolute adorable cutie pie Nike’s son is in the white t-shirt! Wew, took my breath away! Well done 24@Heart on the photos 🙂

  45. Café Love So Much

    I stopped by earlier and posted a comment and just had to stop by again to say what a beautiful looking family who all have that same beautiful smile.
    But my real intentions are to also say what an absolute adorable cutie pie Nike’s son is in the white t-shirt! Wew, took my breath away! Well done 24@Heart on the photos 🙂

  46. Jordan

    Tears for Cosmo’s wonderful family. What a special friend you are to do that. Cosmo was a very handsome boy!

  47. Jordan

    Tears for Cosmo’s wonderful family. What a special friend you are to do that. Cosmo was a very handsome boy!

  48. Jordan

    Tears for Cosmo’s wonderful family. What a special friend you are to do that. Cosmo was a very handsome boy!

  49. Andrea (@shutterbitch)

    It’s so hard that our beloved pets are with us for such a short time. I’ve lost 2 in the last 3 years and have a new 2 year old lab to start the adventure again. I have also started doing pet photo shoots so I have something to cherish when the inevitable happens. Your photos are gorgeous.
    Last, please pass on my condolences to your friend and her family and maybe share with her this poem about lost pets. http://rainbowbridge.com/Poem.htm

  50. Andrea (@shutterbitch)

    It’s so hard that our beloved pets are with us for such a short time. I’ve lost 2 in the last 3 years and have a new 2 year old lab to start the adventure again. I have also started doing pet photo shoots so I have something to cherish when the inevitable happens. Your photos are gorgeous.
    Last, please pass on my condolences to your friend and her family and maybe share with her this poem about lost pets. http://rainbowbridge.com/Poem.htm

  51. Andrea (@shutterbitch)

    It’s so hard that our beloved pets are with us for such a short time. I’ve lost 2 in the last 3 years and have a new 2 year old lab to start the adventure again. I have also started doing pet photo shoots so I have something to cherish when the inevitable happens. Your photos are gorgeous.
    Last, please pass on my condolences to your friend and her family and maybe share with her this poem about lost pets. http://rainbowbridge.com/Poem.htm

  52. di

    This made me cry. Lost a rottweiler to bone cancer summer of 2008. Just makes me cry.
    Di

  53. di

    This made me cry. Lost a rottweiler to bone cancer summer of 2008. Just makes me cry.
    Di

  54. di

    This made me cry. Lost a rottweiler to bone cancer summer of 2008. Just makes me cry.
    Di

  55. Shannon

    Oh my goodness how sad!! Cosmo was beautiful! Great photos!!

  56. Shannon

    Oh my goodness how sad!! Cosmo was beautiful! Great photos!!

  57. Shannon

    Oh my goodness how sad!! Cosmo was beautiful! Great photos!!

  58. missy

    For all of us who have experienced the loss of a beloved pet these photos are an instant reminder of what we have gone through. Like Andrea I immediately thought of the lovely poem “Rainbow Bridge” and the tears just kept flowing. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  59. missy

    For all of us who have experienced the loss of a beloved pet these photos are an instant reminder of what we have gone through. Like Andrea I immediately thought of the lovely poem “Rainbow Bridge” and the tears just kept flowing. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  60. missy

    For all of us who have experienced the loss of a beloved pet these photos are an instant reminder of what we have gone through. Like Andrea I immediately thought of the lovely poem “Rainbow Bridge” and the tears just kept flowing. Condolences to Nike and her family.

  61. Cathy B.

    So great that you were able to give this to your friend and her family. And to do that last shoot through tears, I don’t know if I could have made it through that. Just thinking about it made the tears start all over again. You’re a good friend.

  62. Cathy B.

    So great that you were able to give this to your friend and her family. And to do that last shoot through tears, I don’t know if I could have made it through that. Just thinking about it made the tears start all over again. You’re a good friend.

  63. Cathy B.

    So great that you were able to give this to your friend and her family. And to do that last shoot through tears, I don’t know if I could have made it through that. Just thinking about it made the tears start all over again. You’re a good friend.

  64. Lex (@laprimera)

    Wow… can not see… so sad… TEARS. I did not head the warning, and have no tissue nearby.
    So awesome you got to take those photos.

  65. Lex (@laprimera)

    Wow… can not see… so sad… TEARS. I did not head the warning, and have no tissue nearby.
    So awesome you got to take those photos.

  66. Lex (@laprimera)

    Wow… can not see… so sad… TEARS. I did not head the warning, and have no tissue nearby.
    So awesome you got to take those photos.

  67. stacy

    Bwaahhhhh. Having lost pets before and being in love with our dogs now, Bwaahhh. I’m still crying.
    On a different note, I feel like a traitor but the hand surgeon is sending me to pt starting on Monday at, drum roll, you guessed it the torturers. Sorry. I wanted to do a silent protest and go elsewhere but it did not work out.

  68. stacy

    Bwaahhhhh. Having lost pets before and being in love with our dogs now, Bwaahhh. I’m still crying.
    On a different note, I feel like a traitor but the hand surgeon is sending me to pt starting on Monday at, drum roll, you guessed it the torturers. Sorry. I wanted to do a silent protest and go elsewhere but it did not work out.

  69. stacy

    Bwaahhhhh. Having lost pets before and being in love with our dogs now, Bwaahhh. I’m still crying.
    On a different note, I feel like a traitor but the hand surgeon is sending me to pt starting on Monday at, drum roll, you guessed it the torturers. Sorry. I wanted to do a silent protest and go elsewhere but it did not work out.

  70. nike

    Hi everyone this is Nike and I want to thank you so much for your comments, they truly helped me and my family. i thought I might share something with you about rainbow bridge. Twenyfour told me about rainbow bridge, on tuesday, I read it. on Thursday after Cosmo passed away I was laying on my bed crying, I could barely move, I was hugging my pillow, with my left hand right by my face, my wedding ring right by my eye. I was trying to ask cosmo where he was, was he with me? At that moment the sun broke through the clouds and hit my ring, all I could see out of my tear filled eyes were RAINBOWS!!!! I did not move a muscle I just looked into this beautiful world. I want to believe that was cosmo telling me he had arrived at rainbow bridge. love to you all, Nike

  71. nike

    Hi everyone this is Nike and I want to thank you so much for your comments, they truly helped me and my family. i thought I might share something with you about rainbow bridge. Twenyfour told me about rainbow bridge, on tuesday, I read it. on Thursday after Cosmo passed away I was laying on my bed crying, I could barely move, I was hugging my pillow, with my left hand right by my face, my wedding ring right by my eye. I was trying to ask cosmo where he was, was he with me? At that moment the sun broke through the clouds and hit my ring, all I could see out of my tear filled eyes were RAINBOWS!!!! I did not move a muscle I just looked into this beautiful world. I want to believe that was cosmo telling me he had arrived at rainbow bridge. love to you all, Nike

  72. nike

    Hi everyone this is Nike and I want to thank you so much for your comments, they truly helped me and my family. i thought I might share something with you about rainbow bridge. Twenyfour told me about rainbow bridge, on tuesday, I read it. on Thursday after Cosmo passed away I was laying on my bed crying, I could barely move, I was hugging my pillow, with my left hand right by my face, my wedding ring right by my eye. I was trying to ask cosmo where he was, was he with me? At that moment the sun broke through the clouds and hit my ring, all I could see out of my tear filled eyes were RAINBOWS!!!! I did not move a muscle I just looked into this beautiful world. I want to believe that was cosmo telling me he had arrived at rainbow bridge. love to you all, Nike

  73. jessica

    our new pup is half golden half corgi and I hope he lives forever. I remember having to put my dog down many years ago, it’s heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. Phoebe and I just wanted to say how much we love Cosmo too and know that he’s in an awesome dog park in the sky

  74. jessica

    our new pup is half golden half corgi and I hope he lives forever. I remember having to put my dog down many years ago, it’s heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. Phoebe and I just wanted to say how much we love Cosmo too and know that he’s in an awesome dog park in the sky

  75. jessica

    our new pup is half golden half corgi and I hope he lives forever. I remember having to put my dog down many years ago, it’s heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. Phoebe and I just wanted to say how much we love Cosmo too and know that he’s in an awesome dog park in the sky

  76. Linda Tustin

    My dad bought a golden when I was pregnant with Zeff. They named her Zelda and the two Z’s grew up together. I’ll never forgot when Zeff was about 18 months old he realized that Humans were the “higher species’ and the concept that he could tell her what to was was born. He loved telling her “No Zelda”.
    She too died of Cancer when my Zeff was 9 years old. We all cried for days. Good post- it made me cry again for our Zelda.
    When my two shelities go this time around I am going to need medication! LOL

  77. Linda Tustin

    My dad bought a golden when I was pregnant with Zeff. They named her Zelda and the two Z’s grew up together. I’ll never forgot when Zeff was about 18 months old he realized that Humans were the “higher species’ and the concept that he could tell her what to was was born. He loved telling her “No Zelda”.
    She too died of Cancer when my Zeff was 9 years old. We all cried for days. Good post- it made me cry again for our Zelda.
    When my two shelities go this time around I am going to need medication! LOL

  78. Linda Tustin

    My dad bought a golden when I was pregnant with Zeff. They named her Zelda and the two Z’s grew up together. I’ll never forgot when Zeff was about 18 months old he realized that Humans were the “higher species’ and the concept that he could tell her what to was was born. He loved telling her “No Zelda”.
    She too died of Cancer when my Zeff was 9 years old. We all cried for days. Good post- it made me cry again for our Zelda.
    When my two shelities go this time around I am going to need medication! LOL

  79. VetLovingPetsHB

    Ugh, how horribly sad but what a people tribute to a gorgeous dog and his loving family and a great friend willing to shed a few tears to help them out!

  80. VetLovingPetsHB

    Ugh, how horribly sad but what a people tribute to a gorgeous dog and his loving family and a great friend willing to shed a few tears to help them out!

  81. VetLovingPetsHB

    Ugh, how horribly sad but what a people tribute to a gorgeous dog and his loving family and a great friend willing to shed a few tears to help them out!

  82. Deidre

    Oh, 24 – did you have to, you *knew* this would make me cry.
    One of our passed away last week. I’m (pathetically) still crying myself to sleep every night.

  83. Deidre

    Oh, 24 – did you have to, you *knew* this would make me cry.
    One of our passed away last week. I’m (pathetically) still crying myself to sleep every night.

  84. Deidre

    Oh, 24 – did you have to, you *knew* this would make me cry.
    One of our passed away last week. I’m (pathetically) still crying myself to sleep every night.

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