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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Losing a cherished pet ...

On Friday evening, we lost a cherished family pet. Our Abby was 16 years old in April (that's 112 in human years!!) and she was a big, patient, sweet-natured family dog that our daughters had known all their lives.

Her gait had become slow these past years, her face developed a distinguished white mask, and she was content to sleep most of the day in a sunny spot on the floor. We knew this day was coming ... and we were dreading it. What a difficult decision to make.

On Thursday, she stumbled many times throughout the day, and she was noticeably becoming weaker as the day wore on. She winced more often, and whimpered when we touched her.

The kids went to school on Friday, and called home several times to check on her. Knowing that she was in pain and uncomfortable, we made that very difficult decision to have her put to sleep.

The kids were unconsolable when we left the house. The vet was very compassionate and explained what to expect - that she would become very tired and fall asleep ... forever. We held her face, and looked into her eyes, and tried to soothe her tremors and her fear. She relaxed into our hands, looked into our eyes, and took one last deep breath. And then ... oh how we cried.

The house just isn't the same without her. This morning, I woke up and instinctively listened for her to stamp her feet at the front door, before I realized she wasn't here anymore. We are all missing her.


Karla said...

My heart is so heavy with all of you! Words can't say - so sorry for you! Love you all - Karla

Go Irish said...

So Sorry! I lived through that once about the girls age. It was such a lonely feeling! Abby was a sweet, funny dog :) with a great thump and woodtick! I'll never forget the EXPLOSION. New kitties next door looking for a home......!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Karen,
I'm visiting from Tom Davis' blog and just had to tell you that your golden looks identical to our "Ginger", who died at the age of 15 (3 years ago). Our entire family sobbed.

A kind family friend sent us the charming, sweet book "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant. I highly recommend it for you and your family.