The King of Hearts

Once upon a time, there lived a dog that was so full of love, he had a heart on his head! His name was Cooper and he was a very special part of our family!

We always wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.We found Cooper, eight years ago, when he was nine months old. He lived with  two very eccentric old ladies who bred and raised Cavaliers. When he joined our family, he wasn’t a tiny puppy. He had also picked up some pretty interesting habits in the first 9 months of his life!

The young prince in his normal pose

When we brought him home, he immediately took to his new family! All he needed was a soft spot to curl up. He even liked Zoe, although I’m sure he had never seen a cat before and wasn’t quite sure what to do with her!

Cooper was the perfect little puppy! Never chewed on anything, potty trained perfectly. Laid back and gentle, we could not have asked for a better dog! But he DID have one little ‘flaw’ that was a bit annoying, although funny as hell! He refused to eat out of a dog dish…I had to feed him with a fork! I kid you not!!! And he didn’t just lick the food off of the fork, like a normal dog would. He opened his mouth, closed his lips and pulled the food off of the fork. Just like a furry little human!  (I wish I had gotten pictures of that!)

It wasn’t until after we got his brother, Baily, that Cooper started eating like a normal dog. But, there was still nothing quite normal about Cooper! He had the most enormous capacity for love, patience and humor, that I have ever seen in another living creature.

One of Cooper’s greatest loves was his little brother!

Cooper and Bailey were inseparable!

Cooper and Baily both received the royal treatment!….

They got to share dinner with us on special occasions. This, however,  only lasted until we added little sister Lulu to the mix. Her ‘uncivilized’ behavior was not conducive to relaxing family meals.

Cooper and the little hellion, Lulu

The 3 ‘kids’ still had lots of fun! One of their favorite pastimes was napping together on their comfy chair…

That chair was the ‘it’ spot to hang out… it always looked like this….

When he wasn’t hanging out on his comfy chair, Cooper was hanging out on the porch.

Spending many hours on porch, lounging in the sun, he became a comfortable presence for all of the backyard wildlife!

He liked to check in on Gerti from time to time!

And even had a few civilized conversations with Jairy (the Javelina).

But quite possibly, the most extraordinary relationship Cooper developed, was the one he had with the quail… his Wootoos!

Coop enjoying a relaxing scratch ‘n’ massage from his quail friend.  (See the post, A Quail Tale, for that story!)

Cooper enjoyed life to the fullest,even though we realized several years ago that he had gone completely deaf. He always kept eye contact with us and could read lips/body language/hand signals perfectly.He was such a well behaved boy!  And as such, received  lots and lots of treats and love! He truly enjoyed the finer and simpler things in life! All he needed was a comfy chair, a bit ‘o’ sun, family and  friends, a glass of fine wine and possibly a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats OR vanilla ice cream OR even better said cereal ON vanilla icecream….Oh, and a massage from anyone who would comply….and lots of kisses!

We know that Cooper is enjoying all of this and much more in Heaven! We had to say goodbye to him last week. It has left a huge hole in our hearts and our lives. But, we can consider ourselves the luckiest family for being blessed with such a special  gift!

Long live the King!…in our hearts!

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Jactus Fest 2010…Possibly the Most Awesome Blossom!

The Jactus popped last night…the first blossom of the season! We celebrated with our neighbors, George and Eileen and Todd’s mom Donna, as the gigantic cactus flower came to life!  The Jactus is an Argentinian Giant (night blooming cactus) that Todd bought in memory of his late father Jack. Three months after he planted it in a pot, it put on a flowery show that we had never expected. Last year, we only got 1 blossom. But last fall, Todd planted the Jactus in the ground… And it took off….

When Todd planted it, it was just 1 stalk about 20″ tall.  In one year, it has grown 4 arms and the main stalk is about 36″ tall!

It put out 14 fuzzy blossom buds. Here is a little example of how it grew in just the last 2 weeks!

The fragrance of the Jactus blossoms, smell just like an Easter Lily… We thought it was going to pop on Easter..But hey, 2 days later?…Just extends the  seasonal celebration!

“Jactus Fest 2010”

We felt we had to celebrate the moment, because the Jactus only blossoms at dusk, comes  full bloom at night,  and then, the  flower dies the next day.

And…..Amazingly, the awesome blossom lasted throughout the day to wait for it’s partner!

Now, we get to wait for the next 12 buds to come! Happy Jactus Fest!