My good friend lost her 14 year old lab yesterday. After a fall, she had the choice of putting her down or risking losing her in surgery. Tough one.
Another sweet friend lost her golden retriever last year who was older than her almost teenage child. She was her first "baby".
I had to put my 12 year old Sadie-pup down two years ago and it was indeed, the worst day of my life. We had put my husband's college dog, a Brazilian mastiff down 8 years earlier and THAT was the worst day of my life up until I had to make the decision to end my dog's life.
Dogs are the best of us. They love us no matter what we look like, no matter what we say to them, and often, no matter what we do to them. Sadie was my "single girl" dog and with her I buried my years before marriage. Before kids. Before what will define me for the rest of my life as who I am. She knew me "before". For people who don't love dogs, it is hard to understand the attachment that those of us who do have for them. They are our companions, but we also the truly want to be the person that is reflected back at us in the eyes of our dogs.
I cried every day for about two months. Then I cried only when I thought of her, which was every other day. Now I only cry once in a blue moon. My daughter has an 8 month old schnauzer who we all love. She has made my heart ache a little less for my Sadie. But I know, down the road, my daughter will cry when she has to bury her little dog.
We buried Sadie under the oak tree in our front yard that she stared at for 8 hours a day because she happened to catch and kill a squirrel there. For thirteen months, she stared at that tree. That is some serious dedication.
That my friend, is a dog.