This is the Archive for the ‘Updates on Cory’ Category. It contains all blog posts related to Updates on Cory.

Columbia’s Shining Son, “Cory” CGC, May 21, 1997 to September 17, 2010

September 17th, 2010 3 comments

Six months ago, in March of 2010, we made the decision to have Cory undergo spinal surgery to repair herniated discs in his lower back for what is called “cauda equina syndrome,” which is apparently quite common in older dogs.  We made the decision with the hope that we could spend just one more camping season with him.  I am so grateful that we got our wish, and we took every opportunity to get out of town with Cory this past summer, camping at the edges of some of our State’s most beautiful lakes and rivers.

But Cory’s body continued to decline and I saw such pity in the faces of strangers as we tried to go for walks through the campgrounds.  Eventually he could no longer go with me at all.  With every camping experience I would stare at the place where Cory was lying, usually on the grass near the lake or river we were staying at, trying to burn the memory of exactly how he looked and exactly where he was, so that when we return to those places next year without him I’ll be able to still feel his presence by closing my eyes and imagining that he is still there.  The last time I headed out on a walk by myself I looked back at the campfire that Cory was lying by and I was startled to see something in his eyes as he watched me go.  After a moment I recognized what it was – Cory was trying to burn the memory of me into the fiber of his being, to remember every detail of me the same way I had been trying to remember every detail of him.  I continued on that walk alone, my heart heavy with the sadness of knowing that there would not be any more walks for us together.

As autumn came to the State of Washington and our camping season slipped behind us, Cory’s body continued to give up on him.  Although we purchased a pool for our back yard, and Cory did enjoy his swims at first, it too eventually became something Cory did without any joy; he just swam in obligatory circles for the 25 or 30 minutes he was in it.  Then his poor body would start trembling uncontrollably, not from cold but from fatigue, and we’d dry him off and he would collapse, all of his energy used up.

Cory’s tail never wagged anymore and he kept it tucked tightly between his legs.  He could no longer stand up by himself, nor could he even stay up without assistance.  His favorite toys no longer got even a spark of his interest.

As a family we made the painful decision that it was time to let him go.  Cory had a great life with us, and every moment with him was treasured.  Ironically, within weeks of the release of “Cory’s Story” we had to release Cory.  I promised no sad endings in the book, but I can’t control what happens in life.  I believe Cory would be very happy to know that because of him and what we learned together, another dog or two may be helped to live a better life.  Every creature lives for something, and sometimes the purpose of a life is to have information to share that can positively affect other living beings.  In Cory’s case, it is about our journey through canine epilepsy, how a dog with that condition can still live a fully vibrant life, and how we were able to stop his seizures without anti epileptic drugs.  I have been promised by my publisher that the book will be shipped out no later than the end of this month.

May God abundantly bless you and your animal companions, as much as we were blessed to share our lives with our wonderful Cory.

Sandra DeMers – September, 2010

Cory and his kitty in his final resting place

Cory and his kitty in his final resting place. This is shortly before the vets arrived to assist Cory's passing. He seemed completely at peace.

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Tomorrow at 3pm

September 16th, 2010 2 comments

It’s been an extremely difficult 24 hours, and we have about another 24 hours of time left with Cory. I’d just like to thank the huge outpouring of support from so many of you via personal emails, Twitter, and Facebook.

We have read many of your comments to Cory so he absolutely knows how much love and support is out there for him. We have received well-wishes from across the globe, from South Africa to Sweden, the US and the UK.

All your support has really helped strengthen our family as we prepare to say goodbye for our longtime friend.

Nikki Brown, the Canine Angel has provided especially touching support through this process and I would like to extend a personal thank-you to you, Nikki.

I’d like to share an email I received from her today which was really insightful and very touching. I think it should be read by anyone going through this difficult process:

Hi Jayson

Yes I read your latest blog post and was thinking of you all through the night.

I have pointed many people to this link when they are facing the decision you are all facing.

Please read through it all, It has helped many people through the transition we call death.

What ever you, your mom and Cory choose together will be right. What ever decision you make make it with love in your heart.

I know that most pet owners who have left their animal friend to die naturally have been left with less guilty feelings after and have felt a sense of freedom and Peace.

Some pet owners cannot bear to watch their pet suffer at the end of the time and make the decision to ease their friends pain.

The above link helps you to know what the signs are when your dog is nearing death and how natural these signs are. It will help you to understand the dying process and what is happening to Cory.

The body shuts down before the mind, If you can let Cory go naturally then he will have a better transition into his next stage of his journey.

It all depends what your spiritual beliefs are, Just remember whatever decision you make will be right and please don’t attach any guilt to that decision. Feel the love for Cory and his life, This is the last miracle he has to share with you all.

And Please get everyone to say these 4 phrases to Cory. Whisper them in his ear.

I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you.

These 4 phrases clean any negativity from the soul.

I am sending Cory light and Love, he is an amazing dog. One that has touched my heart in so many ways and I thank him so dearly for the miracles he has shared with me.

Please keep me posted and pass this mail to your mom right away.

I love you all.
Nikki xxxx

Categories: old dogs, Updates on Cory Tags:

Cory is not doing well

September 15th, 2010 3 comments

Hey guys, I know nobody likes bad news. And I struggled with whether or not to post this update because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day who has been following Cory. But I decided that it would be untrue to this blog, Cory, and his fans to hide the truth.

Cory’s last days are probably upon us.

Cory’s miracle at the lake was truly a miracle but we’re beginning to see that it was really Cory’s last stand; his last hurrah at the things in life that he loves so much.

We plan to have a family meeting tonight to determine Cory’s fate but we are all pretty sure of what needs to happen next. We have consulted with Cory’s surgeon, his vet, and Gary, founder of Cory’s favorite food (Darwin’s Natural Pet Food).

I don’t want to give anyone any false illusions about Cory’s health, so here’s the scoop:

The pool isn’t helping him. We have been giving him 30 minutes of pool-time each night in the hopes that we could rehab his hind legs and soothe his arthritis pain. Unfortunately, he seems to be on a slippery slope that just isn’t getting better.

He’s unable to stand on his own, so he lays idle all day waiting for us to get home from work. He favors his right hind leg to the point that he’s trying to walk on only three legs, and he just doesn’t have the strength to do so. His left hind leg is atrophying badly and he doesn’t even use it while swimming, as we had hoped.

His senses are sharp and his mind is clear but he is giving us signs that he can’t take much more of this. At some point we need to decide whether we compassionately help him end his suffering. And that’s what we will discuss tonight.

When Cory’s time comes, we will continue to run this blog, and Cory’s Story will live on. Only weeks away from publishing, we had hoped that Cory would make it to the launch of his book but it’s looking unlikely that he will.

This blog will live on to serve as a resource to dogs suffering from canine epilepsy and cauda equina syndrome, because Cory showed that they can be overcome. We will vigorously promote Cory’s Story to help all dogs live longer, happier, healthier lives. At 13.5 years old, Cory has already well outlived his expected lifespan for a Labrador Retriever, especially one suffering from epilepsy and cauda equina syndrome.

We’ll keep you all updated as we move through this difficult process. We appreciate all your love and support so far and Cory knows you are thinking of him.

I’m going to share a poem that we read for the first time on the wall of Cory’s veterinarian clinic years ago. At the time, we couldn’t imagine this ever applying to Cory:


Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for not heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.


(Author Unknown)

The pet we loved will remain with us forever, and cherished memories will abide within our hearts reminding us that the love we shared together is eternal.

Categories: old dogs, Updates on Cory Tags:

Cory’s New Pool: Arthritis Relief?

September 7th, 2010 2 comments

After Cory’s miracle at the lake, we discussed what may have been the cause for his unbelievable recovery. We decided that it was probably a combination of the fluid movement of his joints in the water, helping to lube up and loosen his joints, coupled with the cold water which may have had a soothing effect on the pain.

Determined to help Cory feel that sense of freedom again (and hopefully regain his ability to walk unassisted), we bought a pool for him last weekend (we got it on craigslist for $50). Unfortunately, the pool is not quite deep enough for him to swim, but with his life jacket on his buoyancy is enough to keep almost all pressure off his legs, allowing him to move freely in the water.

Watch as his eyes just lighten up as he gets to play with his ball. We think this must be a very freeing experience for him since he gets to move about in the water wherever he wants. He’s still unable to stand up or walk on his own outside of the water, and improvement has been evident but slow since we bought the pool. We are hoping that with 2 swim-sessions a day, his atrophied muscles will strengthen enough to allow him to at least stand and walk on his own.

If you have any suggestions for arthritis relief for dogs, please tell us in the comments!


Cory’s Miracle at the Lake

August 17th, 2010 No comments

If you read Sandy’s last blog post, you’re aware that Cory’s health is declining. For the last month or so, he has lost the ability to stand up on his own, and he can’t take more than a few steps without his hind end collapsing.

But to our complete shock and amazement, this weekend Cory stunned us. Apparently driven by his undying love for water, he swam for the first time in months. But the fact that he could swim wasn’t what really shocked us. It was when he actually exited the water and began walking with a little spring in his step. He proceeded to grab a tennis ball and demand that we throw it for him, fetching it numerous times and bringing tears to our eyes as we witnessed the sparkle and life returning to his. Take a look… we would have never expected this to happen.


And here’s Cory walking on his own for the first time in months.


Update on Cory (8/11/2010)

August 11th, 2010 6 comments

First off, let me assure you that the book, Cory’s Story, will not have a sad ending.  It is about the life of our dog, Cory, and his success in conquering canine epilepsy. I don’t like books that make me cry at the end, and I believe in the power of positive energy.  But I can’t continue this blog without being honest with you, many of whom have contacted me both publicly and privately expressing such kind wishes for Cory’s well-being.  The truth is, the surgery which Cory had on his spine last March (see the Cauda Equina section of this blog) did not bring him the cure we were so hopeful for.  Cory’s hind end has completely failed, and his shoulders are so full of arthritis he cannot walk without assistance.  He cannot get up by himself once he is lying down. With tears choking my words I called the woman who owns the place where Cory has been getting hydrotherapy and cancelled the rest of his hydrotherapy sessions. Her response was to inquire how he is doing otherwise.  (You mean other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)  So I told her that his mind is still sharp and clear.  He has no problem with his hearing or with seeing.  He sleeps peacefully by my side of the bed every night without any signs of discomfort. He wants very badly to be with us and he responds with pleasure to hearing us talk about him and having us hug and pet him.  She listened intently and then told me that she has a “doggie wheelchair” which she will lend to us. I don’t know that that is, but I can’t wait to pick it up this evening. I will let you know how it works for him.  We are remaining guardedly optimistic. I will keep you all posted on how it goes.

Categories: Cauda Equina, old dogs, Updates on Cory Tags:

Cauda Equina Syndrome: Cory’s Incision After 15 Weeks

July 16th, 2010 1 comment

I just wanted to give an update on Cory’s back. This photo was taken about 15 weeks after he had surgery for Cauda Equina syndrome. As you’ll recall from an earlier post, we started using DERMagic skin care lotion to help speed the healing and hair regrowth process.

It’s definitely working. Take a look and you’ll notice a light layer of hair growing back almost all over the shaved area. Interestingly, you can also see some small patches of hair that seem to be growing faster than other areas. We’re hoping he gets his entire coat back soon!

cauda equina hair growing back

Cory Went Camping

July 8th, 2010 2 comments

We went camping over the 4th of July weekend.  Cory got to swim in a lake and dry himself off by the campfire.  He was delighted to be strong enough to do the things he loves to do the most!

Categories: Pictures of Cory, Updates on Cory Tags:

A recent photo of Cory

June 13th, 2010 2 comments

Cory is starting to enjoy his toys again!

Cory with a toy

Cory with a toy

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Cory 9 Weeks after Cauda Equina Syndrome

May 28th, 2010 2 comments

Just a quick update to show you a picture of Cory’s back, taken on May 27th, 2010 (about 9 weeks after surgery for cauda equina syndrome). His scar is showing tremendous improvement, and the DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion appears to be starting to work some of its magic as well. It’s hard to see in the photo, but hairs are sprouting up all over the bare area. We’re staying hopeful he’ll get his shiny coat back soon!

Cory 9 weeks after cauda equina syndrome surgery

Cory 9 weeks after cauda equina syndrome surgery