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I am so sorry for your loss, Chris. My prayers and condolences to you and your family. I can't add anything better than what has already been said by the other posters. Our pets are such a huge part of your life and each time one goes, a piece of our hearts go with them. But rest assured, there is always enough heart left for just one more animal who needs you. There were times I didn't think so, but happily I have always been proven wrong. Scoop and Garp are watching over you and your family from above.
I was raised around animals, but I was never "close" to any of them. For the most part, I was scared of our dogs. In August of 1994, a month after having a miscarrage, and being very sad, my husband ok'd me getting a dog. I went through the ads and found a schnauzer puppy in Corpus. Thus, Boudreaux came into our lives. He was hell on wheels! But we had a wonderful time. A year after we got him, our son Sam was born. I was terrified that Boudreaux would be jealous and hurt the baby... oh no! From day one, Boudreaux instinctively knew Sam was now a family member and fell under Boudreaux's protection. Where Sam went, there was Boudreaux. One summer evening in 2005, I came home from work, exhausted and grumpy. I had dinner to cook and laundry to start. I knew Boudreaux was getting old and having problems. I was angry that he had pee'd on the floor and put him out on the porch with the other dogs, Pugsly, Jake, Taz & Abby. We kept a fan out there for their comfort, and as the Patriarch of the Dogs, Boudreaux's place was directly infront of it. After dinner, Samuel went outside to play in the backyard. He returned crying and telling me that Boudreaux wouldn't wake up. I went to check and sure enough he had laid in his "spot" and slipped into peace. We buried him in the back yard behind the shed. Puglsey joined him in October of 2006 and Barett the Ferret early this summer.
Chris: I am so sorry about the loss of your family member, for that is what a pet is....one of the family.
My grandmother used to quote a verse from the Bible which states that God gives us dominion over the animals of this world as He has dominion over us. My grandmother in her ultimate wisdom interpreted this to mean that we will be treated in this world as we treat the animals we have dominion over. She was most suspicious of people who were cruel or did not respect the animals in God's world and taught me to be the same.
I have buried too many pets to even count....One dalmation back in 1977....both my children got free rides in their walkers as babies by holding onto her back. Then I started raising boxers. They are not long lived dogs....10 years is about the limit; they tend to get cancer and heart disease easily. I have buried three sweet boxers and two of them were put to sleep. It is so hard....but such a peaceful way to go.
Right now I have a 12 year old boxer who has cancer. Can you say "spoiled". So far she has no symptoms but her lab work shows that she most likely has the disease. She loves to sleep with her head resting on me at night....I used to send her to the foot of the bed, but since she has the big "C" she sleeps with her head on my shoulder and I wake up with slobber in my hair.....but such sweet slobber.
The only way you will every be able to buy love is to buy a dog!.....and if you don't have the money; love is free at any animal shelter.
Again, sincere condolences.
I faced this situation several times and it hurts like hell to lose a pet. Especially one you have had for what seems like forever. Regardless, I'll accept the sad time again, in exchange for the love given without reservation. I consider myself lucky to have had such a loyal and wonderful friends. I saw a cartoon of the humorist, Lewis Gizzard. the illustration showed him being rejoined in heaven by his dog, a tail wagging Catfish for eternity. We can only hope all of those we love are waiting for us as well.Best Wishes