RIP Kuma

My sister’s dog, Kuma, had to be put down the other day after a rather aggressive cancer. She’s just devastated, and I thought I would share some pictures. I only met him a few times (she lives in Connecticut), but he was a sweet boy although he hogged the god damned couch and drooled like no one’s business.

I asked Annie for some action pics, but the simple fact is there are none- he lived to sleep. AND I AM NOT JUDGING.

Every time my mother visited Annie, when she came home her back hurt for several days because Kuma insisted on sleeping with her. Big galoot. RIP, Kuma.

91 replies
  1. 1
    zhena gogolia says:

    I’m so sorry — what a lovely dog.

  2. 2
    Chet Murthy says:

    John, when I die, I hope some even half as kind as you writes my obit.

  3. 3
    Catherine D. says:

    So sorry! Sweet drooly face.

  4. 4
    JMG says:

    Please pass on my best wishes and deep condolences to your sister.

  5. 5
    kindness says:

    Mastiff? What is he, breedwise I mean. Looked like a nice guy. My condolences to your sister & her family.

  6. 6
    Barbara says:

    There are many times when I only wish I could live to sleep. Having the companonship of a dog who lives to sleep seems like the next best thing. So sorry for your sis.

  7. 7
    Chad says:


    Thank you for commemorating Kuma, his heart may have belonged to Annie, but he got me thru some very difficult times.. Rest In Peace my good friend, I hope you to see you again, when it’s my turn..

  8. 8
    Nicole says:

    I am so sorry. I had to put down my horse two weeks ago (the same one Anne Laurie was so kind to run a piece on here 8 years ago, when I adopted him) and even when you know it’s the best thing, to take them out of pain, it’s really hard. Much love and sympathy to your sister.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:

    I’m so sorry. RIP Kuma.

  10. 10
    Shell says:

    Im so sorry. He looks like one big sweetie.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    RIP Kuma 😥😥😥

  12. 12

    Dear Annie, I don’t know you, but as a fellow person who shares a home with large dogs, I send you my deepest condolences. He was beautiful.

    And that’s all I can write because I can no longer see the screen.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    What a lovely dog, and sweet tribute. Please give my condolences to Annie.

    Out of curiosity, among all of you (John, Seth. Annie, Devin, and your parents), how many animal companions are part of the Cole Family Menagerie these days? By the way, we are much overdue for a Ginny and Guesley video. Just hintin’.

  14. 14
    Anne Cole says:

    @kindness: bull mastiff

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    Oh man. What a great name. ご愁傷様です

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @Nicole: My condolences on your horse. That would be hard. They have a lot of personality.

    RIP Kuma. Lived to sleep, and got to do so. Not a shabby life. Pets are the best.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    So sorry about Kuma and @Nicole: ‘s horse.

    It is tough.

  18. 18
    Washburn says:

    Beautiful dog. Sorry.

  19. 19
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Anne Cole: Welcome to the blog. I wish it would have been under happier circumstances. My deepest condolences.

    P.S. fuck cancer

  20. 20
    raven says:

    For Anne

    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan.
    — Irving Townsend

  21. 21
    Anne Laurie says:

    My condolences, Anne — and Nicole.

    As Joe Biden says, May the day soon come when the thought of them brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.

  22. 22
    eclare says:

    So sorry to hear about Kuma and Nicole’s horse.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    We are trying to enjoy every day with Lil Bit and Bohdi. At 13 Bohdi is doing great but we can see him change rapidly. Lil Bit is facing a summer with Laryngeal Paralysis to go along with her menu of maladies. They are both such great dogs and, who knows, they could hang in there for a couple more years. No one knows so we just have to love em all the time.

  24. 24
    Davey C says:

    He looks like he must have been a wonderful friend. Rest well, Kuma.

  25. 25
    Immanentize says:


    No one knows so we just have to love em all the time.

    True about the people in your life as well.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Lapassionara says:

    @raven: beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    It’s been a tough couple of weeks for people I know — my BFF’s mom died and my brother-in-law’s boyfriend’s dad died, and now a co-worker’s brother died on Saturday.

    (Fix’d — BIL’s boyfriend’s dad, not BIL’s dad. He died in 2012.)

    I’d better call my mom and check in with her. (She lives with my brother, so I would know by now if something really bad was happening, but I should still check in.)

  29. 29
    Nicole says:

    @Anne Laurie: I had grand plans, last week, to send you the news about Cosmo, along with a very cute photo of him during his retirement at my uncle’s, but I couldn’t figure out how to attach a photo in the “contact a front pager” function and then I gave up, because that’s how I roll when I’m sad. But VP Biden is right; grief fades; it just takes time.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:


    Interesting thing I read one time: psychologists say that the intensity of the initial grief is the same whether it’s for a human or a pet, but it tends to fade more quickly with a pet because our relationships with them are usually less complicated than with another human.

  31. 31
    Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “insisted on sleeping with her” oh my heart, I love those furry types.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    aw, dang. big dogs are the best dogs. RIP

  33. 33
    Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.) says:

    There’s no way to put into words how hard it is to lose a friend, and pets are our best friends. I’m going to go give Smedley some love now, in Kuma’s memory.

  34. 34
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Nicole: RIP, your beloved steed, and of course my condolences to you.

    RIP Kuma, who was clearly a wonderful doggie, gone much too soon.

  35. 35
    Nicole says:

    @Mnemosyne: That sounds right- very interesting, too. I think it’s one of the many gifts our pets give us- an uncomplicated relationship. And so the grief is uncomplicated, too, and can pass more easily. Not to mention we go into it knowing they don’t live as long as humans do. Cosmo was no spring chicken when I took him; he actually lasted a few more years than I expected he would. The vet guessed him as at least 28 when I had to make the decision. Not a bad run for a horse.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    RIP to Kuma. He looks like he was a sweet boy. My thoughts go out to Anne.

    My John’s daughter just had to put down her little chihuahua, Lulu. She was 17 and had been with Kaitlind since her college days. Kaitlind had a baby just almost a year ago and Lulu, who was never known for her sweet disposition, was baby Caroline’s greatest pal and protector. The family is devastated. I do hope, for Caroline’s sake, that they get another pup.

  37. 37
    eclare says:

    @Immanentize: My thought exactly: just love on them while you can.

  38. 38
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Anne Cole: My deepest condolences. They leave such big paw prints on our hearts.

  39. 39
    Nicole says:

    @Anne Cole: I love bull mastiffs. Truly the epitome of gentle giants. Kuma was very lucky to have you for his person. What a beauty he was.

  40. 40
    SectionH says:

    @Anne Cole: I’m so sorry, Anne. It’s such a hard decision, even when you know in your head you’re doing the best thing left to do for them. Hearts are another matter.

    @Nicole: So sorry about your horse as well. My mare spared me that decision. One evening she was fine, cropping grass with the rest of them. The next morning she was gone. Looked like she’d just dropped. She was 29, though, so hardly before her time. It still hurt a lot.

    If you’re up to it, I’d like to read the post AL put up back then if you have a link.

  41. 41
    Rob Lll says:

    So sorry for your sister’s loss, R.I.P, Kuma. :(

  42. 42
    hedgehog mobile says:

    I’m so sorry. Hugs to all.

  43. 43
    jackmac says:

    So sorry for your sister’s loss. We’re hoping to avoid a similar fate as Daisy, our 8-year-old mini Aussie mix (and pictured in the 2018 Balloon Juice calendar) is going in for x-rays on Wednesday. A growth was discovered in her colon last week. We have our fingers crossed that it’s a cyst or something benign and can be treated. If it’s cancer — especially an aggressive form — we’ll have to deal with the possibility of losing her. She’s a sweet, sweet dog who has brought much joy to our family. We’ll try to think happy thoughts.

  44. 44
    Aleta says:

    @Chad: Sending sympathy for your loss of a good friend.

  45. 45
    danielx says:

    Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge…

  46. 46
    lollipopguild says:

    Animals-dogs,cats,horses help make us human and help keep us human.

  47. 47
    Aleta says:

    @Anne Cole: My sympathy. What a beautiful dog. So hard.

  48. 48
    kindness says:

    @Anne Cole: Thanks. Sweet boy there. It’s like losing a child. Our pets become our children but they only live 10, 15 – 20 years. So you get the heartache of losing a kid. It’s worth it but tough on ya. Calling him a big galoot seems right.

  49. 49
    MoxieM says:

    Ah, so hard. I’m very very sorry. My favorite comforting words for losing a dog soul love are from Lord Byron, when he lost his beloved dog Boatswain. I always felt this way about my giant goofballs. I hope it gives some comfort.

    “Near this Spot
    are deposited the Remains of one
    who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

    This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    if inscribed over human Ashes,
    is but a just tribute to the Memory of
    Boatswain, a Dog
    who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
    and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808

    When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
    Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
    The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
    And storied urns record who rests below.
    When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
    Not what he was, but what he should have been.
    But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
    The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
    Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
    Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
    Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
    Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
    While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
    And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

    Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
    Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
    Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
    Degraded mass of animated dust!
    Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
    Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
    By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
    Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
    Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
    Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
    To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
    I never knew but one — and here he lies.”

  50. 50

    @Anne Cole:
    So very sorry. His personality is obvious from just the photos. R.I.P. good Sir Kuma.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Cole: My condolences.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    @Nicole: That must be incredibly difficult, and I’m so sorry for your loss. Deep sympathy.

  53. 53

    Anne, I’m so sorry. R.I.P., lovely Kuma.

  54. 54
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Sorry to hear of your sister’s loss. Kuma looked like a lovely dog — kind of like my full Boxer.

  55. 55
    laura says:

    Good dog Kuma, good dog! Blessings of grace and peace to all you knew, all who knew you, and all of those you drooled upon.
    Rest gently across the Rainbow Bridge.

  56. 56
    Aleta says:

    Surely this describes dogs and the transformative power of their hearts:

    Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. RW Emerson

    RIP Kuma

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s their endearing, loving souls that make them so dear to us, and why we miss them so much when they go. RIP, Kuma.

  58. 58
    Mary G says:

    @Anne Cole: So sorry for your loss. Kuma looks like a loveable big lug.

  59. 59
    Mary G says:

    @Nicole: So sorry for your loss of Cosmo. I always go back and forth about whether knowing it’s going to happen is better or worse than just being surprised, but it’s really all the same either way.

  60. 60
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @raven: Heartwarming.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    satby says:

    @Anne Cole: Deepest condolences Anne. A life of love, snuggles, food and play is a dog’s heaven on earth, and you gave Kuma that. May that bring you comfort.

  63. 63
    Mike J says:

    Sorry to be OT, but does anyone think the French called up the Russians and asked them what they could bomb without damaging anything? Why are the Americans such pussies compared to the French?

  64. 64
    satby says:

    @Nicole: Condolences to you too Nicole, on your Cosmo’s passing. It’s never easy.

  65. 65

    @Mike J: Yeah, THERE’S a question that just haunts me continuously…………….

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @Anne Cole: So very sorry for your loss. Kuma looked like a big ol’ sweetie.

  67. 67
    donnah says:

    Good boy, Kuma.

  68. 68
    cain says:

    Deepest condolences, Ann. I’m sorry for your loss. I know though he’ll always dwell in your heart. Farewell, Kuma.

  69. 69
    CaseyL says:

    What a lovely boy. Condolences, Annie.

    Condolences to Nicole as well. Horses are the sweetest creatures, so powerful and so fragile at the same time.

  70. 70
    Mike in NC says:

    Sorry for their loss.

  71. 71
    Chet Murthy says:

    Damn! Watchin’ Avenatti on 11th hour, and I get the -strong- feeling that he & Stormy Daniels are about to get paid BIG TIME. I just get this -feeling-, listening to him ….

  72. 72
    seaboogie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I love how the Cole family – one and all – are soft touches for animals – good people, these Coles. @Anne Cole – so sorry for your loss. Big hug to you!

  73. 73
    Libraryguy says:

    So sorry for your loss, Anne and John.

  74. 74

    @Anne Cole:

    Deepest sympathy. What a beautiful dog.

  75. 75

    @Anne Cole:
    My condolences, RIP Kuma.

  76. 76
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    @Mary G:

    From personal experience I think the most distressing part of losing a pet is deciding when their pain has become too much to bear:(

    So sorry about Kuma’s passing; he looks like a very staunch character!

  77. 77
    gammyjill says:

    @Anne Cole: beautiful dog, Anne. God speed, Kuma

  78. 78
    some guy says:

    condolences. we have lost 2 dogs in the last 3 years, so I know how tough this is. My son’s dog was shot down and murdered by one of our neighbors on Halloween night. He finally admitted to it in front of our City Commission when he was asking for a exemption to City Codes to breed rabbits. fucker. he lost,

    I promised Big Dude when the dust settled we would find another dog. We rescued a 4 month old lab/bulldog mix last week. Boo is now a cherished member of the clan, and the pre-existing dog/cat/guinea pig have taken well to Boo’s energy. My son is now smiling again, after 5 moths of pain. there is joy in our house again.

  79. 79
    PST says:

    @Anne Cole: My condolences. My favorite spot for a burger and beer here in Chicago is Kuma’s Corner, named after another good dog.

  80. 80
    Cat48 says:

    So sad. They steal your hearts and you never get over them really. Their always lurking in your mind when you see something they would have enjoy. Tell your Sis I gets better and Bless them.

    My last kitty had lost a lot of weight and kidneys not cooperating, Jeffrey, RIP, Mothers Day 2014. I’m still not over it, I can’t bring myself to adopt again bc I’m older.

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    Aww, he was clearly a sweet boy. Condolences to your sister.

  82. 82
    woodrowfan says:

    I am so sorry…………………..

  83. 83
    J R in WV says:

    Great photos of a great puppy. They are so precious.

    Condolences to all his people for their loss. We had a big WV Brown Dog named Boomer, 95 pounds of drooling love. He’s been gone several years now, and we still miss him. Big dogs are the best!

    Good boy, Kuma. Good Boy!

    Ta’Mara was right…sometimes it does get hard to see the screen.

  84. 84
    Nicole says:

    @SectionH: Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment until Wednesday morning. I wrote him a eulogy for my horse on FB; I’ll paste it below (figuring since the thread is old, if you see it, great, and if you don’t , it’s far enough downthread not to be annoying to other commenters. :) ) Thanks for your kind thoughts; he was a good boy, for sure.

    Eight years ago in January, my heart broke when I found out the stable in Forest Hills I went to ever week for a trail ride was closing. In a panic, I told the owner to let me know if they were unable to find a home for Cosmo, the old gelding with a flashy appaloosa coat and a body that looked like it was put together from spare horse parts. I wasn’t even riding him regularly anymore; I’d moved on to fancier, younger horses. But I knew the fancier, younger horses would find homes and I worried Cosmo wouldn’t. It was a dumb offer to make; I was pregnant, settled in NYC and hardly in a financial position to take on a horse, but love is seldom rational. And in mid-February, with another homeless leftover from the stable, that my friend took, he travelled from Queens to Pennsylvania to take up residence at my aunt’s and uncle’s. The moment Cosmo was turned loose in a paddock (the first time, I think, he’d been free of a lead shank or a bridle in a long time), he dropped to the ground and rolled, which he would do almost every day for the next eight years.

    This weekend my heart broke again when I had to make the decision that every pet owner dreads; to set him free from the infirmities of old age. And he was old; the vet guessed him to be about 28, although if anything, that was probably younger than he really was. He was blind; he was eating less and less. A hind leg had been giving him more and more trouble and finally, sometime late Friday or early Saturday he went down and couldn’t get back up. When I got to him, his breathing was fast and shallow, and his teeth were pulled back from his gums and I knew it was time. But he was kind and gallant and sociable to the end, accepting treats and pats from family who came to say goodbye, calling out every so often to his stablemate, and when the effort of sitting up got to be too much and he had to lie back on his side again, he would adjust so that his head would be in my lap, not on the ground. When the vet came, she tried one last time to get him onto his feet, and when he couldn’t, she talked cheerfully and sweetly to him as I fed him apple slices right up to the moment we let him go. After it was over, my uncle said gruffly, “He was an easy keeper. Never gave me any trouble,” which, as horse people know, is high praise indeed.

    He was my first pet since a goldfish in college, and as sad as I am now, I am also so glad and grateful for eight years of memories- of hours and hours out in the barn with my aunt and uncle, mucking stalls and talking about everything under the sun. Of endless laps Cosmo patiently took around the barn, carrying children of all ages, and occasionally, his owner. I’m grateful for the big box stall that replaced the tiny, dark straight stall he lived in before. For the paddock he grazed in almost every day, and occasionally escaped from, wandering free for up to fifteen minutes before he’d get worried and let himself back into his stall. For the clumps of white hair that littered the yard every spring, to which the tree swallows would help themselves (I hope to see one last generation of furry white nests when I visit this summer). I am grateful for trail rides in the spring and summer and autumn and winter out in Forest Hills, for the sweetest, easiest canter I ever felt (his trot was another story), for dozens of granola bars and apples we shared and for the occasional love bite from the horse that the stable owner’s son insisted to me really didn’t like women (my aunt and my nieces and I would, I think, all disagree). I am so grateful to my husband, for not saying, “Are you out of your mind?” when I called to say the stable couldn’t find anyone to take Cosmo and could we take him? More than words can ever express, grateful to my aunt and uncle for opening their hearts (and a stall) to an old horse, and doing most of the work giving him eight years of peace and security, never again to worry about losing his home. And I’m grateful he lived long enough for my son to remember him, the first horse he ever sat on, and the first one he ever loved. Goodbye Cosmo. You were the best dumb decision I ever made.

  85. 85
    Dog Mom says:

    @Anne Cole – Such a soulful look on your handsome Kuma – I am sure it is etched in your heart and hoping that all the memories with it can edge out the grief. Peace to you and all who held Kuma dear.

    @Nicole – So sorry – I can’t imagine a horse sized hole in your heart – I hope you find peace too!

  86. 86
    sherparick says:

    @Anne Cole: Sorry for your loss Anne. Per John, Kuma was a good dog and may his memory always keep you warm.

  87. 87
    sherparick says:

    @Nicole: What a wonderful story Nicole. You may have rescued Cosmo, but he appears to have assumed the role of an “ol’ grandpa” to your whole family. Like Ta’mara and JR of WV say, sometimes the screen gets blurry.

  88. 88
    SWMBO says:

    Dead Thread but I keep wanting to post this on an RIP pet thread. It still brings a tear to my eyes.

  89. 89
    Mary G says:

    @Nicole: Catching up this morning, so glad I did because I got to read your lovely tribute to Cosmo. Thanks for sharing him with us; I can just see him rolling around on his back in joy, and the thought of him letting himself back in after escaping was hilarious.

  90. 90
    Nicole says:

    @Mary G: Oh, thank you so much. He really was a character. The first time he rolled, my uncle commented, “My father always said every time a horse rolls, that’s 50 dollars,” meaning that a horse able to roll over was worth more money because they were more athletic. My uncle’s fancy Tennessee Walker, with his papers, is unable to roll. He has to lie on one side, ooch around, and then get up, lie down on the other side and ooch around. My uncle says he thinks this is why the Tennessee Walker always resented Cosmo. Though they were sighted more than once in the summer, standing head-to-tail, to keep the flies off each other’s faces. :)

  91. 91
    Mel says:

    @kindness: That was my first thought, too. Bull Mastiff?
    What a beautiful pup, and what a kind, gentle expression. RIP, sweet Kuma.@Anne Cole: Anne, I’m so sorry. He sounds like he was a good soul and a fine, fine friend.

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