The End of Something

I used to have a dog named Barney. He was named after the store, not the dinosaur.

Barney got sick when he was 9 years old. It was summer/2003. Cody and I were engaged at the time, but he was up at camp. The vet informed me that Barney had cancer and presented me with two choices: We can keep him alive for a few more months (for 5000.00) or he will die.

It was a test. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a test–and not from me, from Barney.

Barney was with me from the time I was 25 until I was 32. A girl can go through a lot of things in 7 years: 5 Cars, 2 cities, 9 homes, 539 pieces of cake, 4 jobs, 1 broken engagement, clothes, friends, boyfriends…and he was with me through all of it. It always came down to me and Barney. But now I was about to get married, in just three short months. M.A.R.R.I.E.D.

Barney needed to make sure Cody was the right guy.

Barney hung tough after he got cancer. During that time, we went back and forth downstate for frequent treatments and he enjoyed his last summer at camp. Barney was with me for all the wedding prep, the parties and the big move to the new house.  It wasn’t until the night of my rehearsal dinner that he decided to die.

I firmly believe that it was a conscious decision on Barney’s part to pick that night. Everything had been pretty much about him from the moment I rescued him, why wouldn’t he take a night that was supposed to be about me and Cody and make it about him? And it wasn’t like he waited until after we left–he fell to the floor as we were, LITERALLY, walking out the door.

Who does that??

It was bad.

Really bad.

I still remember it like it was yesterday and quite honestly, I’m crying right now as I write this.

Damn Dogs. I still can’t believe I got another one after him, but I did, and now he’s gone too.

And here I am again.

Crying and missing him terribly.

A month after Barney died, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was time for a new dog. We started the search. We went to Golden Retriever Rescue.

Golden Retriever Rescue of Michigan has a rule that you have to see three dogs before making a final decision. Floyd Coden was in the first foster home we went to. It was a yucky house. It smelled so bad. There were tons of dogs, all over the place. It was chaotic. And then, out of nowhere, Floyd Coden walked up to me with his big block head and his little stubby tail.

He was The Dog. His name wasn’t Floyd Coden at that time. No one actually knew his real name, or his history, outside of the fact that someone docked his tail and he had been to 3 or 4 homes before Golden Retriever Rescue got him. The foster lady was calling him “Bobbie” because of his tail. I thought that was really mean. I needed to get him out of there, but there was that rule, that three-dog-rule. I was scared if I wasted my time going to two more foster homes though, someone else would scoop him up.

Cody called Golden Retriever Rescue and explained in no uncertain terms that we would be more than happy to make a nice do-na-tion to their or-gan-i-zation if they could just bend the rules this one time.

And that was that.

Hi, Bobbie! Your new name is Floyd Coden. Welcome to the family. No, the couch is not for peeing. I really wish you wouldn’t do that. OK, well, we needed a new couch anyway. You are going to have a really great life. Hey, can you not eat that? You will come to work with me every day and you will spend your summers at camp. And check this out! Here’s a super comfy new bed for you. Oh, look at that…you’re humping the bed. That‘s certainly interesting. Oh, and this is Dakota (We had a Siberian Husky at the time– Cody‘s dog from before we got married.) Dakota is going to be your new brother. Try not to get in his way or he might rip your head off. Well, I think that’s it! Welcome to your new life!

Adopting a dog is interesting because instead of molding him from the very beginning, he will come to you with behaviors that may need modifying. You can either take the time to re-teach, or you can accept and accommodate. This is what we were told about Floyd Coden when we got him:

He is 2 years old. He loves car rides. He loves the water.

We soon found out that he was really 3 years old and “He loves car rides” was not exactly accurate: He was a flat- out maniac. It was like he thought he was in a video game or something. He would chase every car that went by while he was still IN THE CAR. He would thrash around like a fish out of water for entire car rides. He never sat down, except to recover for a moment here and there, and during recovery time he would land with his head right on my shoulder and just breathe. And that was so cute, for 20 seconds.

But after that time, his big head would get heavy and his tongue would get really long and it would touch me, and his dog breath would fog up my windows and I would start to get a little nauseous. That’s when I would yell “Back off!” which he would interpret as “Go crazy!” and the routine would start all over again.

Things got a little better after Sweet Pea joined our family because I got an SUV. That put a little distance between me and Floyd Coden but when he got tired of running around in circles, he would put his paws over the back seat and eventually end up doing the whole breathing thing next to Sweet Pea. That dog would go entire rides there and back to camp without lying down once. Those trips can last anywhere from 3-½ to 4 hours. He didn’t care.

 

As soon as we would get to camp, Floyd Coden would jump in the lake. Boom. Lake. And then he would roll around in whatever he could find that was dirty. Then he would knock over every garbage can looking for food, and then he would find me.

If I wasn’t walking around camp, I was probably in Cody’s office, working, and there is a swinging door right by where we sat. When Barney was going to camp, he usually hung with Dakota so he would either slide in when Dakota opened the door, or he would just bark until someone got up to let him in. Cody wasn’t interested in getting up a million times for Floyd Coden like he did for Barney, so he taught him early on how to open the door.

I still haven’t decided if that was a good idea or not.

You see, once Floyd Coden learned to open that swinging door, he put the same skill towards opening ALL the swinging doors at Camp Tanuga.

 

For 10 freakin’ summers I had kids coming up to me with a variety of complaints about Floyd Coden:

Camper: Floyd Coden broke into our cabin and ate all of my chocolate chip cookies! My grandma sent them!! There were like 2 dozen cookies in there!

Me: I don’t know what to tell you. You should have put them high, high up so he couldn’t get them.

Camper: I did put them up! He must have jumped up on the bed or something. I don’t know. And they were covered. He ate the cover too!

Or…

Different camper: Um…there is garbage all over our cabin and all over the front porch. Floyd Coden knocked everything over. Garbage is everywhere.

Me: Well, you must have had something in your garbage that he wanted.

Camper: Well, we did have a G’s pizza party with spears and stuff last night…

Me: Geez, looks like that mystery’s solved.

 

Floyd Coden had total freedom at camp, until he didn’t. He was placed on probation many, many times each day. Sometimes he would break probation and we would have to put him on Double Secret Probation. He was a bad guy.

 

 

But such a good boy.

When underprivileged, at-risk or special needs kids would come to camp through the Bear Hug Foundation, I can not tell you how many times kids would get off the bus scared stiff of Floyd Coden. “Is that your dog?? Does your dog bite?? Why‘s he so big? Where‘s his tail? Are you sure he doesn‘t bite?” And then 3 or 4 days later they would leave crying because Floyd Coden wasn’t allowed to stay on the bus and go home with them.

Never one to waste his free time before probation would set in, Floyd Coden used to love to leave camp and take a walk down Hidden Harbor Road (a road just outside of camp). We would get calls from the people who lived on that road that Floyd Coden was at their house. No, we didn’t have to come get him, they just wanted us to know that they had him and he was fine.

One morning, a little girl was sitting at her kitchen table, crying and upset because her own dog just died, and lo and behold– in walks Floyd Coden. He walked right into their house and right up to that little girl. Poor kid. She was so excited. She thought he was going to be their new dog, but he was just looking to see what they were having for breakfast.

Luckily for us, that family sent Floyd Coden back because we needed him for our own kids. When we left Floyd Coden to go to China for 17 days, he had no idea that we would be returning with a baby. When they saw each other, they were both like What the…?? What are you supposed to be? Sweet Pea was 11 months old and had never seen a dog before and Floyd Coden was more than a little confused when we walked in with an Asian baby.

He was so good to us during that crazy time of stress and transition. I will never forget how he would come with me every single time I had to go to Sweet Pea’s room–no matter what time or how many times–he came with me and he stayed with me. He stayed through all the freak-outs and all the tears, mine and hers.

 

Lovey was the one who was really close with him though. Floyd Coden was her guy. Even if she just walked out of a room and back in, it was like she hadn’t seen him for days. She was so excited. She loved to squeeze his head and give him her own made-up “Buji Buji’s.” “BUJI BUJI BUJI!!!“ She loved that dog so much. And he felt the same, especially if she was holding food.

 

I used to say that the day I crinkled something in the kitchen and Floyd Coden didn’t come running, that would be the day to say good-bye. Floyd Coden got sick in May, 2013 but we didn‘t see it coming. He wasn’t acting or eating any differently so we had no reason to believe there was anything wrong with him.

Cody tried to explain Floyd’s kidney disease but I couldn’t concentrate, so when the girls and I were up at camp visiting Cody over Memorial Day weekend, Floyd Coden and I went for a walk to one of the campsites and I called the vet. He explained that Floyd Coden’s condition was very serious and he had about two weeks to live.

Two weeks?

No, no, no. That’s unacceptable.

I looked at Floyd and he wagged his stub and we both decided that two weeks was just stupid.

We told the girls early on in his illness that we needed to appreciate each day with Floyd Coden because he was sick. We told them that he could die soon and they needed to be extra nice to him–all the time. They knew he was sick; they knew he was dying, but he seemed so healthy and he was still so handsome!

 

It was all very surreal. In fact, we all had trouble taking it seriously. If you had met Floyd Coden over the summer, you would never have known that he was sick. He was moving a little slower and his hearing was going, but you wouldn’t have known he was sick. Whenever someone would come up to him at camp and remark about how cute he was, Little Lovey would walk right up to them–hand on hip–and say “You know, he’s DYING. DY-ING.” It wasn’t funny, but it was— because of how she said it, and because he so wasn’t dying.

But he was.

Cody got the brunt of it. I will never forget all he did to keep our family together. He worked with a great vet up north who taught him how to give Floyd Coden IV’s every other day. In addition, he put Floyd on a very high maintenance diet that sent anyone coming up to camp on a quick trip to the vet to pick up the food he needed. It was a lot of work, but it kept Floyd Coden alive for an unbelievable 5-½ months more than what the doctor predicted.

Even when we got home from camp, Floyd Coden was hanging in there. His back legs were giving out more and more so he fell down a lot, but he still managed to come into the kitchen every time he heard something, he still rolled around and went crazy after a full meal, and he still put his leash in his mouth and walked himself to the bus stop every day.

But then one day, he was done. Cody knew it and I knew it. We could see it in his eyes. I didn’t want to let go but it wouldn’t have been fair not to.

It was time to say good-bye to our very handsome, dumpster-diving, stubby-tail guy. Little Lovey said it perfectly when she said “Saying good-bye is hard, mommy. I wish Floydie could come back to life like princesses, but this is real life.”

And now this is our life, life without Floyd Coden. And there is a hole. A huge, gaping hole. I feel it every morning when Cody and the girls leave and he’s not in the kitchen, hoping something is for him. I feel it every minute when I’m at my desk and he’s not next to me. I feel it every time I walk in the house and he’s not at the door.

I feel that he’s gone and it hurts. Bad.

But as any dog lover will tell you, the hardest part about loving a dog is losing him. It’s a pain like no other. You think you’ll never have another dog as smart or as funny or as perfect as this one, and though you know there will come a time when you will look back and smile instead of cry, that doesn’t ease the hurt you feel now.

I think it was Ernest Hemingway that said “The end of something is always the beginning of something else.” (Or something like that.) At this time, the end of Floyd Coden, I have also decided that I’m also going to close up shop with Dim Sum and Doughnuts, at least for awhile. This blog, for me, was about our life as a family, and Floyd Coden was as much a part of that life and this family as Cody or Sweet Pea or Lovey.

My first blog www.codenbaby.blogspot.com was all about adopting Sweet Pea. (Not a plug, just an explanation). Floyd Coden was a major player in our adoption adventures and clueless parenting. After that, www.dimsumanddoughnuts.com was born because I wanted to include Lovey in the fun and it was only natural to start a new blog that included her, as well as Floyd Coden, Sweet Pea and Cody.

Thank you so much to Will Porter at Porter One Design who made the awesome DS&D logo for me. Will does amazing logo and print work and he is hilarious. Ushka Shaknis, I love you for taking the “profile” photo of me when I wasn’t paying attention. To make me look good, you must be an amazing photographer. (I feel like I just won an award and this is my acceptance speech.) Also, to Demoree and Ellen at EPK Design: You made a beautiful site for me. I’m sorry I didn’t do more with it. I feel in some ways I wasted it, but I have a lot of memories for my girls and my husband. And to the people who “liked” my posts and left comments…you don’t know. Writing takes time and although I’m doing this for my family, the feedback was what kept me going. I can’t thank you enough for making me feel loved and validated.

Please don’t forget us.

In the meantime, go buy Eminem’s new CD, eat lots of cake and Go Buckeyes.

Thanks for everything.

I love you guys and I’ve loved these days.

~Robyn

 

 

 

 

 

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52 Comments

  1. Jeri on November 12, 2013 at 5:37 am

    No no no. I can’t believe you are stopping the blog. I have enjoyed every single forey into the Coden household. From our first with sweet pea to this one. I’ve always told you that you have a gift for writing. Maybe now it’s time to put pen to paper n write about Floyd the wonder dog?

    I will so miss this blog but hopefully when you return … In a new blog lol. We will all be able to catch up with “The Codens”

    Love you much missy!!

    Jeri



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Hi Jer! You loved Floyd Coden. I know. You’re amazing. I made the kids a smoothie and thought of you this morning. Don’t even try to tell me that the clean up isn’t a pain in the A$$ because it is!!! Thank you for all of your endless support over the years. You know me. I’ll be back, and probably soon. I have to get my stuff out or it will make me crazy. LOVE LOVE LOVE you, beautiful lady!!!



  2. Patti on November 12, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Robyn

    I’m sitting at my kids swim class crying and everyone is looking at me like I’m crazy! I’m so sad for your family! I’ve been thinking about you ever since I heard!

    xoxo

    Patti



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Oh no!!! I’m so sorry, Patti! But you are my “sister” so I’m kind of glad you feel my pain. Wish we could do the secret handshake and laugh right now. Love you!!! Thank you so much!!!!



  3. Sara on November 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I want your blogs in a book and can i get a signed copy? Never stop writing. Loved Floyd – we will miss him.



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

      He loved you too…you know that. He loved all of you guys. I am trying to figure out how to do a book like the ones Cody did from the other blog. I can’t figure it out. I’m so dumb.



  4. julie on November 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Beautifully shared Robyn. Much love directed your way from Huckland. xo



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Thanks, Malks. XOXO Love you.



  5. Ellen on November 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Sorry about sweet Floyd Robyn!
    Let us know when you are ready to start again.



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

      You know it, Ellen! Thank you so much!!!



  6. Ashby on November 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    So sorry to hear about Floyd. We all loved him – what a fine dog he was! I will miss your blog but I will NOT MISS the Go Buckeyes baloney!

    Love you, Ms. Coden and your whole fam!



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      You loved Floyd Coden, Ashby and YOU LOVE THE BUCKEYES. XOXOXO!!!! You know you do…way deep down. You do.



  7. ann Collins on November 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Dear Robyn it’s taken me most if the morning to read this blog because I was crying so hard..anyone that’s had a much loved pet just changes the name and remembers the ‘good times’ I know Floyd Coden was one lucky dog to be in your family and loved so much!! Over my lifetime I’ve had a number of pets,supposed to be for the family,but they were mine. Each special in their own way.



  8. ann Collins on November 12, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I wasn’t finished!! Must’ve hit the wrong button AGAIN ..To say I’m not a techie is the under statement of the year! Please don’t stop your Blog…I’ve enjoyed every single one,with tears & laughter..you have so much to share..so will look forward to your next chapter !! Hugs to your family ..be sure to let us know when you’re ready to start a new blog ..until then good times to you & your family L&P Granny Collins <3



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Granny Ann!! Hi! Thank you so much! I will absolutely let you know when I do something new. Thank you so much for the support. I’m happy that we found each other through my girl. XOXOXO. You’re the BEST!!!



  9. Demoree on November 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

    OH Robyn! I’m so sorry about Floyd Coden. It’s clear that he was truly a very special part of your family. I really can’t imagine losing our dog, just thinking about it hurts. Also thanks for making me ugly cry on a tuesday morning! 😉

    (PS- I loved designing your site and working with you. Your site did it’s job and as long as you loved it, it was a successful project for us. 🙂 )



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Demoree, you were so great to work with. I thought I’d have this site forever but life is weird like that, you know? Thank you for being a supporter. It makes me feel special that you read the posts because you didn’t know about the blog (or us) until we started working together. I would have never known if you didn’t and you certainly didn’t have to. Thank you. It really means a lot…XOXOXO and thank you for EVERYTHING.
      r



  10. Cleotis on November 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    WOW, tears in my eyes. You have many gifts and writing sure is one of them. You saved the best for last…love, love, love!



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Love, Love, Love YOU, Cle! Cody gave me a “HEW” when I called him about something yesterday. Made me think of you. I love my husband, but I think you do it better. Thank you for always being so supportive of this. I know that’s not easy for a Dream Crusher. XOXOXOXO!!! (Wish I could tag Cody in this comment).



  11. Camper on November 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    As I heard the news, a little piece of my heart broke. Floyd was a huge part of our Tanuga Family. I can’t imagine camp without him next summer. All campers loved Floyd, I missed my dog from home so so so much while at camp but Floyd stepped in as my comfort mechanism. As I read this I broke into tears. Thank you for bringing Floyd to camp each year, his adorableness and sweetness showed at camp. Rest in peace buddy, I’ll miss you Floyd xoxo. I hope you and your family are doing well. Hope to see you soon!



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Hold up. “Camper” is Cody, isn’t it? I think it is but if it’s not, I love this comment because you just summed up my guy. He was such a big part of camp in so many ways. He was a part of our family but I love that he meant so much to so many others. It makes me happy that he was a big part of camp for you…unless this is Cody, then forget it!! 🙂



  12. Hazel M. Wheeler on November 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Many, many tears, Robyn. What a beautiful tribute to Floyd Coden and a special time in your life. Thanks so much for your writing and for sharing your family with us. Please keep your ‘followers’ list and send us something whenever you are ready to start a new writing venture.

    May your family’s story continue to write itself with millions more laughs than you have already given us.

    Hugs to you,
    Hazel



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Hazel!! Thank you! Thank you so much!! Your writing is so good, it always means a lot when I hear from you. I don’t know what a “followers” list is…and I don’t think you’re on FB. I don’t know how I will find you if I start up again. I’m very sad right now. What can I do?
      r



  13. Shelly on November 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    You are so truly talented and I hope you don’t give
    This job up totally! Thanks for the humor and making us moms feel “normal” for not being perfect. Going to share on my page. Good luck with everything. Sitting at the hair salon with tears running down my face!!



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Shelly, thank you! Believe me, you validated me just as much. I am completely out of my mind but knowing I had you guys made me feel much better. 🙂 I’ll be back with Blog #3. I just don’t know what or when. I hope you come back when I do though. Please, I’m going to need you!!! XOXO



  14. Eric Leemon on November 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Bravo.



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      From you, Leemon, I’ll take that and run. I am truly humbled by it. Thank you. XOXO from D-town.



  15. Libby on November 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I never comment on your blog…I usually go right to you…but I feel as if I need to share my thoughts! Floyd was not only a member of your family or the Tanuga family…but you made him a member of anyone’s family that came into contact with him. He was an extension of you… You personally make people feel welcome & special & Floyd also had that gift. I know this sounds corny, but he brought light into everyone’s world. His little tail was always wagging and he made you feel so important. Yes, his breath was something to be desired…but his personality certainly made up for it!
    I am so sorry for all of you! You have lost a true family member! He brightened and changed so many lives!
    I am so proud of you for sharing him with all of us!
    I love you!



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Libby! His breath only got back when he got kidney disease!! We just thought it was from whatever he was eating (and I’m sure that played a part). Thank you. I know it wasn’t easy for you to comment. He loved you and so did I. I still can’t believe he got up when you came over two days before he died. I keep picturing that over and over in my head…he got up and walked really slowly over to you and his stub was going the whole time. I keep picturing that and I’m glad it was you. I love you.



  16. Jackie j on November 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear about Floyd, one of life’s most painful hurts.
    Xoxox
    Jackie J



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      You got that right, sister. It is a painful hurt. Love hearing from you and I wish I saw you more. I adore you to the moon and back. XOXOXO robs



  17. katie zack on November 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    oh Robyn~i am so very sorry about Floyd.My heart is breaking for all of you.I know it means nothing,but if ever you and the girls ever want to come play with my sweet lil Louie,you are always welcome.Please dont stop writitng,use your life to write more.We all love your blog.And you.You are so special,dont stop.(and btw,love that your other dog was named Barney.My parents have a dog named Barney.Inamed him after the store!!!).Again,i am sosososo sorry about Floyd.xoxoxxoxxoxoxox…Katie



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Katie! Of course you named him after the store!! We are so oddly connected in so many ways, it is bizarre!! I’m wearing your bracelet today too. It’s just a Katie kind of day. A month or so ago, my girls broke one of my HB snow globes. It was devastating but I just didn’t feel like spending the money to get a new one. One of my best girlfriends came by yesterday with a new one. Is there no better pick-me-up? I know you get it. Give that Louie big hugs from us and you never know…one day the Coden girls might end up on your door step. Thank you for your unwavering support. You were and are the best.



  18. Kelsey on November 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I have loved every single post. I can hear your voice as I’m reading it and it makes me feel like I’m sitting in the cabin at the end of the day going over everything that happened. I will miss your writing so much (almost as much as I miss you, Cody, and the girls…almost).



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      OMG, Kelsey. Your comment seriously brought tears to my eyes. Did you know that the girls still refer to you as their nanny? When I told them it was your birthday today, JJ was all “Kelsey, our nanny??” We miss you tremendously and have never gotten over you having to leave. I hope you had a day as special as you are. You are truly special and we all love you. XOXOXO forever, beautiful girl!!



  19. Shannon on November 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Robyn,
    I always look forward to seeing an email telling me there is an updated blog entry from you. Over the past several years you seem to pop up when I need a laugh or postive energy through this crazy adoption journey. Today as I sat getting antsy at the vet’s for my babies routine physical I started to read -and cry and sob (I am not a pretty or quiet crier)…….it is so obvious that you and your family loved Floyd Coden and he you. Weren’t you all fortunate to have found each other and loved each other! I wish my Angus and Mollie could have met Floyd – sounds like he was an awesome dog to know. I wish I knew you in “real life” and not in “cyber life” – I’d be over with a bottle or two of wine and some really fattening deserts to make the pain a little less.
    I know you set out to capture memories to share with the girls as they get older – you’ve done a remarkable job. Along the way you have inadvertently let us all into your life and I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled across this treasure trove you’ve created. Thank you Robyn for sharing so much with us all. I wish you and yours nothing but the best and hope that when you do decide to start writing or blogging again you let us all know.
    Best- Shannon



    • Robyn on November 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Shannon, who are you? You need to come over NOW. You don’t even have to bring fattening desserts or wine. I have both! This is one of the best comments I (or anyone in the whole wide world) has ever gotten. Thank you!! I can’t tell you what this means to me. I have to figure out a way to let everyone know when/if I come back. Of course I will…my brain will explode if I hold back all that I need to say. Every time I finish a post I say that I’m done, but I never am. This just seemed like a good time to stop and preserve Floyd at the same time. I love that you love us. You don’t know…you just don’t. Please don’t forget us. I’ll figure out a way to find you. Thank you for everything. I will treasure this comment forever. For real.
      XOXOXO,
      Your cyber friend for life.
      r



  20. Fish on November 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog. I’m so happy that we got to see him at brunch.
    I’ll be curious to see what your next writing adventure will be – obvious talent and although I’m sure it is a TON OF WORK, it seems like you enjoy it.



    • Robyn on November 13, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Hi Fish,
      I’m happy you guys got to see him. I’m not sure if I’m happier about you getting to say good-bye or the fact that my kid is running around pre-school with a bag that says EMINEM. Our love for the Fish family runs deep. Just like in our family albums, I’m sure whatever comes next will include you guys in some way. We love you forever. And ever. Love you!!



  21. Bill Cari on November 13, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Hi Robyn:

    I didn’t get to see Floyd much, but I could see he was a part of your lives. Dogs are like that. They take over. But there is no better companion to a family.

    Bill



    • Robyn on November 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Hi Bill!
      Floyd was very busy at J and A’s wedding. While you were busy being father-of-the-bride, he was making sure there were no crumbs anywhere. That was his job and as you look through the wedding photos, you will see that he did stellar work. Had he not been there, there would be food and crumbs all over the ground. That would have RUINED the photos! It’s a good thing he stayed for the wedding.
      XOXO Love hearing from you. I hope you miss me!
      R



  22. Paula on November 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Robyn-

    Remember me, NOT the dog lover?? I cried when I read this entry. Who knew?? I see a lot of dying people, and I know everyone has their OWN way of dealing with their loss. That’s just the thing, loss and grief are so very personal. It doesn’t matter what creature dies.

    When I told my kids that Floyd Coden had passed, here’s what they said:
    Brendan: Are you sure? Floyd Coden was a legend at camp. A staple.
    Mari: He wasn’t even OLD.

    And there you have it, words of comfort from my kids.

    This too, shall pass, Robyn. Every day gets a little better. And, one closed chapter DOES open another. I am so sorry for your loss, and for the loss of your Dim Sum and Doughnuts Blog. I will miss it, your funny anecdotes and delightful words of wisdom. This blog allowed me to see another piece of your life that we didn’t have time to cover on our lunch dates!

    I see a book in your future. You can do it, and it will be a fantastic read. And, of course, you better call me more often since we won’t be communicating here!

    Love 2 U!
    Paula



    • Robyn on November 13, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Oh, Paula…my favorite non-dog lover. You have never been into them. The thing about you is that for someone who has never been into dogs, you sure do understand the pain of loss. We will never forget what you did to help ease the pain of losing Floyd Coden. You are such a good friend to me and my family. I can’t tell you how much I love you and our time together. Lunch dates will never cover everything but I can tell you one thing…Embers is OTL!!!
      Love you!!



  23. Andrea on November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Well isn’t this nice???? I’m going to work with raccoon eyes. I didn’t see it coming usually your post are humorous and a little biting. I miss my dog Lily. We got her from the pound after she had been picked up as a stray. Our local newspaper at the time had a feature called the pet of the week. Lily had been featured 2 weeks in a row. My son called and they still had her so we drove over. We didn’t know if she was good with cats or kids but when we asked how much longer they were keeping her we were told another 3 days (gulp) so we made the decision to bring her home. Lil was with us from 1999 and two adoptions until her death from cancer in 2011. Lil wasn’t perfect. One of the first things the kids learned was if food fell on the floor it was Lil’s. Risk picking it up and you will get nipped. That was her flaw and the vet said it probably came from when she was living on the street and starving and if that was her only flaw just teach the kids to leave her be when she ate. Sarah liked her but preferred our cats but Avari after the shock and screams of their first meeting (Avari had never seen a dog or a cat) adored Lily and would rub Lily’s ears the first thing each morning and would sit with her arm around Lily’s shoulders while she drank her bottle. I miss her so much and your post was such a loving tribute to the truth that if you are a much loved pet it is heaven on earth. I’ll miss your blog and will check back occasionally to see if you’ve added anything.



    • Robyn on November 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Andrea! Your comment is CrAzY for 2 reasons:
      1. A friend of mine JUST called to tell me that he thinks something will happen at the right time and that’s when we’ll find our new dog. Something like what happened with your family and Lil. I swear. I just got off the phone with him! (Patrick, I’m totally talking about you if you’re reading this).
      2. I know what you mean about not being perfect. I still laugh at how we would feed Floyd and run because he would gobble it up in 2 seconds. It was like prison rules! I think it came from him being in so many foster homes. He never got super comfy with the food thing even though I reassured him a million times that none of us wanted it. (I should add that stuff in the post–my girls will need that memory one day).
      Thank you for your loyalty. I’ll be back. You know I will. I’m sorry for your eyes, I bet you’re still hot and I love hearing from you…especially this comment. 🙂
      XOXO R



  24. Lisa on November 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    This piece brought me to tears! It was so well written and a perfect tribute to Floyd. I will miss him running around camp getting into trouble and his beautiful smell in the office. He really was the cutest dog ever and I enjoyed spending every summer with him!

    Xoxo



    • Robyn on November 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. I know you loved Floyd Coden and his beautiful smell. It’s going to be very weird at camp without him. I hope I don’t have to say that about you too!! (Come back!!). I’m sorry that I never let Floyd sleep in bed with you after he rolled around in goose crap…just come back!
      We love you!!
      XOXOXO



  25. Eddie on November 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I bet Mr floyd is watching you from doggy heaven whilst rummaging through gods rubbish bins 🙂 a beautiful tribute.
    I am in denial that you will not be blogging anymore. Even though we have never met I feel a connection with you. From our shared sorrow marching towards the days when we will only be known as ‘ma’am’…sob…to the men in our lives hideous fashion sense, to trying to instill, or drill!, self esteem into our little ones to a post that allowed me to get real, really real with you has enriched my life.
    So I leave with with some words from Eminem…

    To feel your pain, you feel mine
    Go inside each others minds
    Just to see what we’d find
    Look at shit through each others eyes

    I’ll miss you Robyn. Come back soon…xxxxxx



    • Robyn on November 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Eddie!
      Best. Comment. EVAH. Who are you? I love you.
      There is just so much in that comment. I feel like we actually might have a weird connection! You remember so much about my posts. Our lives must be painfully similar. Your comment has enriched MY life!

      I’ll be back. For sure I won’t go long without opening my big mouth. I can’t. Even in school I was always in trouble for “side comments.” I have been like this forever. I can’t stop.

      Will you subscribe to the blog on the FB page? That way for sure I will be able to email you the new blog when I start. I don’t want to lose you. I am in love with you!! 🙂

      Thank you for everything, whoever the hell you are…
      “And don’t let them say you ain’t beautiful…”

      XOXO R



  26. Marci on November 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Robyn my love;
    The only words of solace are lost within the shock of having to move on. It’s a numbing time of life that holds a rock solid promise of a clearer, wiser tomorrow. When I lost our Max…I received a card from a neighbor reminding me that “tears are the price we pay for loving” and you were NEVER one for discount shopping. I almost feel sorry for all the parent-teacher associations that are about to get your unbridled enthusiasm, creativity, involvement and honesty but then again….they can never pay a dear enough price for having you in their lives….Cody, Lovey, Sweet Pea, Barney, Floyd and all the rest of us will pay the price for you ANYtime. My hugs are yours!
    All our love
    Marci and Larry



    • Robyn on November 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Oh, Marci!
      What a special comment from you. What you wrote is truly beautiful. “Tears are the price we pay for loving.” That is really so true…except for the million dollars we spent on vet stuff, like when Floyd Coden couldn’t stop foaming at the mouth and we spent a fortune to find out that he had eaten my friend’s kid’s DS game.
      And it’s also so funny what you say about the teachers because some love me and some hate me and I don’t blame the ones that hate me because they are just doing their job, but hey…so am I. These are my kids and I need to know that they are where they should be.
      You are my love, forever and ever. Thank you for always being so supportive of me and my family. We love you.
      XOXOXO



  27. Eddie on November 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Brendan or as he is more commonly known, Chippa, the red head from Sydney, Australia came to your camp as a counsellor a couple of years ago. Well I made him…he is my son with hideous fashion sense. He had been away for a few days and I hadn’t heard from him. It was the first time he had been away from home so the mum in me needed to hear his voice or contact him somehow…just to make sure he made it and didn’t take a wrong turn at Thailand. So late one night I was frantically typing tanuga into google and I found dimsum, forgot about my boy (just kidding) and kept reading.
    That’s the story…I like to think I was meant to find your blog. A connection across the world is kinda cool right? I will subscribe cause in a very non creepy way, I don’t want to lose you either.