Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hasta Mañana!

I am smiling from ear to ear. Yesterday's 10 mile trail run was flawless. I felt strong with no pain and I’m hoping/guessing I just needed a couple of days off. I am learning more and more about my limitations and taking care of myself.

What is not to like about Picture Rock Trail in Lyons, Colorado? 1,000 feet of climbing through peaceful mountain trails.

I didn’t balk when I had to stop three, yes three, times on the side of the trail to do some business (no picture available).

Joie, my running partner:  “What did you have for dinner last night?”

Me: “PB &J. Seriously. How potent can that really be? It’s my new colon cleanser. Peanut butter and smelly.”

My socks were loving me by the end of it all (yes, this is mud not blood or poop).

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Tomorrow we leave for Mexico. It is much needed rest. We are coming off of a year of Ken being laid off and the tragic death of my cousin, Sherry. It is time to heal, drink margs (that’s what cool people call them) and just be together – the four of us.

The only tough thing about leaving is Lucky. My little energizer dog. He is sick. And, not just sick with the barfs. He has a huge mass in his lungs, pushing on his windpipe making him cough and gag. He does this a few times a day. I know he will likely be fine in my parent’s care for a few days, but I worry about the little guy.

I dread what our next few months might look like as his condition deteriorates. I know I will have to make the decision when the time comes to not let him suffer anymore. I hate that for him. I hate that for me. And, I hate that for my kids. He has been with us for nine years, our little one eyed tripod.

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But, as the vet pointed out – our pets look to their owners to take care of them and to make them comfortable. Dogs are not afraid to die. When they can no longer do the things they love to do like eat, run, hump and (in Lucky’s case) BREATHE, the time has come.

It is a larger lesson about the cycle of life and loving who we have with us, when we have them with us. This, of course, applies to pets as well as to humans. So, I love him up as much as I can. I appreciate every second. I try not to miss him too much before he is already gone. And, my heart hurts. Loving a dog is simple, uncomplicated and true.

Have you lost a pet in the recent past?

Did you have to make the decision to end their life?

Hasta mañana, my friends. Pretty sure I will not be blogging from Mexico, so see you next week.

SUAR

58 comments:

  1. Have a great trip! It's been nearly 20 years since I lost my last pet. My dad took it really hard and refused to get another. Have never owned one as an adult, but have experienced so much loss of loved ones in the last few years that I don't need to add more loss. I know it will be awful when the time comes for you - prayers for peace in making that tough final decision.

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  2. Totally understand. Running: I have some bizarre leg ailment that continues to bother me...but not enough to completely stop running. I'm a bit stubborn. However, I'm heading to Florida for vacation on Wednesday and am going to rest more than I run. Pets: My husband and I adopted to cats one 13 years ago and one 12 years ago when they were kittens. We ended up having to put both of them down in the span of 7 months. :( It just got to the point where they were so miserable...they weren't enjoying their little lives at all. It's so hard and sad...and yet I knew we were making the right decision.

    Enjoy Mexico!

    Melanie

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  3. I had to put my 12 year old dog down last year and my 16 year old cat down in December. It is really hard, but you will know when the time is right. Your heart will just feel it. I'm glad you had such an awesome run and have a great time in Mexico!

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  4. Have a great trip - your parents took good care of you -- and they will do the same for your Lucky.

    "Mostly Bob" is an awesome dog book, but wait until after vacation to check it out...

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  5. I'm so sorry about your little Lucky. He is a lucky pup to have you and your family! Enjoy your trip! You deserve it!! Relax and drink many margs!

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  6. I hope you have an awesome trip! Sorry to hear about your dog. It totally sucks to watch them go downhill. I had to put my beagle down who was with me for 10 years. She was my best friend and I cried for days. I can't bring myself to get another dog because I don't want to go through that again.

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  7. I'm so sorry for the pain that you feel with Lucky. Our dogs have souls that are so easy to connect with. We lost our lab and the pain we felt was for one of our family. Have a great trip.

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  8. We lost two of our dogs in recent years. We had to put our sweet Bear down just a couple of months ago. It was terribly difficult and I was sure that I couldn't ever get another dog because I was so sad. BUT, some how I ended up on a dog rescue website and now we have Pippi. She's 3 lbs of spaztic dog love. She is the great cure for my sad heart. As far as running goes, I've been nursing my knees since RNR Vegas. Only short runs for me which will incude a trail run in two weeks. I'm so excited to get back with nature! Have a great vacay and love up on that sweet dog while you have him!

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  9. Yay for a great run! Now go enjoy your vacation.

    As far as pets, I've lived with a pet (or two) for my entire life, except for about 18 months. At the age of 19 I had to carry my 16 year old dog to the vet after she had a stroke. About 6 years ago I had to take one of my cats. Now I have an old man cat who will be 18 next week. I watch him pretty close for any signs of suffering and dread the day I have to make the decision. It's never easy with any animal you love, but I think it just means they've been more than an animal to you.

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  10. Yay for a great run! Now go enjoy your vacation.

    As far as pets, I've lived with a pet (or two) for my entire life, except for about 18 months. At the age of 19 I had to carry my 16 year old dog to the vet after she had a stroke. About 6 years ago I had to take one of my cats. Now I have an old man cat who will be 18 next week. I watch him pretty close for any signs of suffering and dread the day I have to make the decision. It's never easy with any animal you love, but I think it just means they've been more than an animal to you.

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  11. The dog we've had for 12 yrs is sick as well, and we aren't sure how long he'll be around. He's still full of life and energy, and wouldn't ever "let" us know if he was hurting. Dogs are such amazing family members.

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  12. In May 2010... .My first dog that I picked out (with my daughter age 1 so yes, I did the picking b/c she liked them all!) She was a mutt about 4 years old....when she died last year she was 14. Hubby took her in to have a lump checked...she had cataracts, she was deaf, and breathing funny. Other than that she was GREAT!!

    He called us about 20 minutes later from the Vet office..saying her lungs were collapsing and they (the doc) recommends putting her down. I about died....I thought it would be a check up not a good bye appt!!!! Then, he asked me if the kids and I wanted to come down to say our last good byes. I was a basket....I couldn't do it...I didn't want the office girls seeing me babble on, I didn't know how I could actually leave her knowing I was pulling the plug (so to speak).

    I told him to say Good bye and that would do it....I cried for days...and still cry at the thought of her...I think I have tried to replace her with our current dog but, its not working. (And the fact that our current dog is now almost 2 and eats her poop HEY MAYBE YOU SHOULD ADOPT HER!!!! SHE WOULD FIT IN GREAT WITH THE POOP TALK...and the BLOG POSTS WOULD BE AWESOME! Anyway, I can't love on a poop eating dog so she may be going back to the adoption place we got her from.)

    The up side of a poop eating dog....less yard clean up...we only have to pick up about 30% of her stools since she prefers to recycle the other 70%!

    The down side......Farts are killer!!! Burps are even worse....they smell like her farts....."Come here pooch let me kiss that fart mouth" It's attractive huh?

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  13. Really sad to hear about Lucky, but really glad to hear your run went so well.

    In the past few years, we've had to say good-bye to a few pets. It is hard...and I did have to make that difficult decision. When I could tell that living was not enjoyable for them and the vet corroborated that, I knew it was the right decision. I didn't want any of them to wander away and die alone or continue to live as the pain of living became more and more oppressive and excruciating. Two of them I went in with alone, I think...may have had a baby sleeping in a stroller. The third, the kids asked to come. They were very glad to see that it was a peaceful passing and got to say "good-bye."

    Giving you even more (((hugs))) as you shepherd Lucky through this hard transition.

    Here's hoping you have a great time sipping (or chugging) margs by the pool :) May the weather gods be sunshiny and glorious!

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  14. Sadly, we have had to put a pet down. It was horrible, so you have my sympathy and prayers. Gonzo was with me through 3 horrible pregnancies and some serious depressions issues after each.
    In the meantime, enjoy your vacation and all the time you can with your doggie!

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  15. I'm sorry Lucky's body is wearing down. Have you read "The Art Of Racing In The Rain"? It's a book that must be accompanied by a box of tissues but I love the perspective it gives to the circle of life.

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    1. No, have not yet read that, but sounds like it may be a good time for me to do so!

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  16. Yes and yes. But now we have our 4 yr old yellow lab Bella. At some point, I know "that time" will come for her, but like you said, I try not to miss her too early or miss out on all the lovin' she has to offer. Dogs really rock :)

    Enjoy Mexico! We just spent a week laying on our butts. Not sure what area you're heading, but if you have a chance to visit Tulum & Koba, highly recommend them!

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  18. It has been about 12 years since we had to make the decision to end the suffering for our 14 year old dog. I kept hoping she would go naturally. It was really tough, even though she was old and very uncomfortable. My heart goes out to you, for when you need to make that decision. I have 2 dogs now, who are 8 years old and I dread the day they are no longer here. But on a brighter note, sure hope you have a wonderful vacation and things start looking up for you and your family.

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  19. yay for your pain-free 10-miler!!

    we had to end our 14-yr old beagle's suffering last year in memorial day weekend, of all days. it was very dufficult, so my heart breaks for you and your family. love him lots while you can!

    have a safe and relaxing trip.

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  20. I just lost both of my cats within 2 weeks of each other this summer. Both were my long-time (10 and 12 years) babies, and I still miss them every single day. I had to choose to euthanize one of them, and it was the hardest decision that I've had to make. With the help of a wonderful compassionate vet staff, I did come to realize that I had made the best decision for my girl and that it was a decision made out of deep love for her. I held my cat as she took her last breath, and she knew she was loved up until her last minute. You will know the right thing to do when the time comes.

    Have a relaxing time with your family on vacation.

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  21. All of my animals are aging... One twelve year old cat, two eleven year old cats, two ten year old cats, and a 12 year old dog (I promise I'm not a hoarder, but Boyfriend and I are like the Brady bunch but with animals). Of course, my last two cats lived to be 19, so I might have these old fogie pets for another 10 years, you never know.

    It is a hard hard thing, but in the end, it really is about the quality of life.

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  22. I’m so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your family <3
    I unfortunately have been through this. When I was 16 I adopted a dog on my own- I rescued a retired greyhound. He had led such a hard and sad life and finally at the age of 6 was coming to live in a home and have people love and cuddle him. He was so different than any other dog I had in my life- didn’t know what stairs were, never barked, never played, never gave kisses- but he had an amazing soul and from the moment I saw him, he attached himself to my hip- and that was it- I was in love.. Unfortunately within the first 2 months he lived with me- it was clear something was wrong. He was urinating and pooping blood, dropping weight (even though he was so skinny already) after taking him to the vet multiple times over the next few months- it was determined that it was something wrong internally- and they would need to do exploratory surgery to figure out exactly what- but that he would likely not survive. I was so heart broken and so sad that he led such an awful life- and now after finding a loving home, was near death. I decided that I would just let him tell me when he was suffering.. It didn’t take long- and I knew when it was time. I can’t explain exactly what it was that confirmed it though and after only 8 months of being in my life, I had to let Dess go.
    It was the hardest thing I have ever been through- especially at 17- I choose to stay in the room with him while they gave him the injection. I didn’t want him to be alone, not after everything he had been through. I held my arms around him tight and whispered in his ear over and over.. “I love you, your such a good boy, thank you for picking me” It was instant- he didn’t have to suffer anymore.. I on the other hand was a sloppy mess and had to be dragged off of him and carried out by my dad.

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  23. I lost a dog when I was a teen, I don't remember being devastated but when my Gloria goes, I'm gonna be a WRECK!

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  24. I mountain bike Picture Rock a lot-- it's beautiful!

    I had employee who just put his dog down this week and I've been looking at Tally differently ever since. Dogs bring so much joy into your life and they truly are one of the family-- it even brings tears to my eyes now to think of losing my girl.

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  25. Have fun!!! Having a dog is having another family member. I certainly feel your pain. We had our dog in diapers before we decided it was a little too much. We'll do anything for the little guys <3! Enjoy and love him like you are.

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  26. I'm sorry to hear about Lucky. We lost our most recent dog in the spring of 2010 and my heart still aches for her. She had a type of cancer that grows very quickly and silently and usually by the time you know they have it it's too late. She was fine one day and then next it was obvious it was her time. We've, sadly, had to make the decision to put down all three of the dogs we've had over the years. Sometimes the decision is obvious and sometimes it's not. But, regardless, it's never easy.

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  27. Enjoy Mexico. Have a Marg (or three) for me!

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  28. You are so deserving of a good vaca in Mexico. Enjoy those margaritas.
    As for Lucky, he IS lucky to have a good home and the love and attention you've given him.

    We've always had dogs so consequently, have lost them with age or other trama. It hurts. In fact, the last German Shepherd I had, Frisko, meant the world to me. I didn't have to make a choice, nature did that for us. He suffered kidney failure. It took me 8 years before I could consider another puppy. Now I have Shane. He's the best running partner a runner could have. Energetic, eager, always willing to go when or where ever. I hate the thought of him getting older and one day being without him.
    God bless Lucky. Keep him as comfortable as possible.

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  29. Aw, it's never easy losing a pet. My dog is 8 now and has hip issues, and limps after long walks.It makes me sad. But, all we can do is love and comfort them until the end. Have a great trip, you deserve it!

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  30. I'm so sorry to hear about Lucky's condition. But I'm heartened to see how much it does effect you. Nothing is better than knowing that a pet truly is a part of the family, not just a pet. I wish you all the best of luck, especially Lucky (pun intended).

    I went through multiple 'decisions' as a kid with our dogs and it was never easy, but there comes a time for us all.

    Enjoy Mexico and hopefully the time will help to heal both yourselves and Lucky.

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  31. I've had two close friends have to make that hard decision for their pets in the last couple of weeks. My dalmatian is 14 and his hips are shot. He's covered with tumours but he isn't in pain, he still loves to eat and comes when he hears me scraping the baking bowl so I know it's not his time yet. But it will be a very sad day when it is.

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  32. Oh Beth, I so emphasize with you. I had a cat that was the most amazing girl, I was her step mom for three years (after her mom, my friend, passed away) but she had my heart from the moment I met her. At only 11 or 12 years old (we guessed at her age as my friend adopted her) she had a growth in her throat that eventually caused her great trouble breathing. The only solution to keep her with us when it became unbearable for her was a surgery that would have made her life even more complicated. So on September 10, 2010 we made the heart wrenching decision to end her suffering, my boyfriend and I were both with her as she moved on to kitty heaven - we cried for three days. Her name was Porsche Girl and I will forever love her.

    In the days that followed I asked her to guide me to the right cat when I was ready and in April 2011 she helped me find Enzo. He was 11 months old and I'm certain he picked me when I visited the Humane Society. He is as wonderful as Porsche Girl was but completely different.

    Love every moment with your precious Lucky - he will be fine while you are away - he is a lucky little guy to have you for a mom.

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  33. I lost my pug Shelby when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. She had been having seizures and the last one actually turned out to be a stroke. Poor thing. Ever see Marley and Me? It's more about just the dog but how our lives grow around the central being in it.

    Have a good trip and good thoughts for Lucky.

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  34. Our family had a great Manx cat named Bob. I mean really, what else do you name a Manx? She had been through a lot although I believe Lucky is still way ahead in that category.

    When her time came she let me know by completely ceasing to eat and literally sitting in my lap every moment I was home while staring at me as though telling me it was time to let her go. Of course, I agonized over the decision for several days but her insistent staring and lap sitting as though she was spending as much time as possible with me until I had the courage to do the right thing finally helped me make the decision. She had accepted her fate and helped me to get to the same place.

    She was and still is a one of the greatest cats I've ever had the privilege to share my life with.

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  35. Your trail run looked so lovely, and I'm so glad that it was pain free. I find running a journey of self-discovery sometimes...don't always like what it tells me but it's pretty cool.

    I'm sorry about Lucky, I'm sure Lucky will be very happy and comfortable with your parents' care. We haven't lost any pets recently, thank goodness, but it doesn't make the pain or sadness any less over the years...we just try to keep good memories of them, when they were at their best. We lost a cat at 18 years old, lived a good full life, and she grew up with hubby. We lost another cat at 4 years old, she was skittish with everyone but so devoted to me. It's so hard, but you know what? It was worth it in the end, to love and be loved, to have shared a life together.

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  36. I am sorry about your doggie, I lost my dog Phillip when he was 11 years old and he was my boy all 11 years, saying goodbye to him was the worst thing I've ever had to do and the coming days afterward were some of the worst of my life. I know so dramatic right?! It was hard, he has gotten cancer in his bones which I wasn't aware of and didn't find out till he fell out of the back of my SUV while trying to jump in and broke his leg. I was informed at the vet and had to make the decision that day to let him go. We did it at home (while my husband was away ugh) but we couldn't wait because he was in so much pain. My mom, my brother and my best friend all came to say good bye to such a sweet boy and it was a beautiful moment. I know he still lives in my heart and we speak about him often so he's not really gone :) I love the memories with him, I mean he was in my wedding! LOL, so he's in those pictures so special, enjoy your time and you'll know when its right. You know what an amazing life he had and remember that you were part of it :)

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  37. I am so glad the run went well! Now go relax and enjoy your time in Mexico, and try not to worry about Lucky. We have had to say goodbye to too many special pets, and it is never easy. I cried like everything when we had to have our Malamute put to sleep, but we knew it was the right thing to do for her. Our pets are family, that's all there is to it.

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  38. Have a wonderful vacation!

    Thankfully, I haven't lost a pet recently. I made the decision to put my sweet Sassy down when I was a new college grad in 1996. Broke my heart even though it was the right decision. In hindsight, I probably was selfish and waited too long. You would think after 16 years I would be over it...but I am not. Tears flowing as I type.

    We now have our 10 year old wonderful Denver Dumb Friends Leagues mutt named Marley. She is the most loving and gentle soul. She has let my babies crawl all over her, using her as a step stool to get up on the couch. The other day she blew out her ACL and has been slowly healing. It isn't life threatening, but it did make it very clear to me that she is getting older. The thought of her last day eventually coming is hard. And even harder since my elementary school children have always had her in their lives.

    It isn't easy to say goodbye to our fuzzy family members. But worth it when we think of all they bring to our lives. I am sorry Lucky is not doing well. He knows you love him.

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  39. Oh my. We are having to put our 11 year old golden down tomorrow. He has rapidly spreading cancer. My heart goes out to you and the road ahead for you guys.

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  40. Oh, man, I feel your pain on this one. We had to make the decision to put our dog down a month ago. She would have turned fourteen tomorrow! Two years ago she was disgnosed with diabetes and we have been cooking food for her, and giving her insulin twice a day since then. She had numerous masses all over her body and could barely see, or hear (although she still had the uncanny ability to hear a piece of food drop from 100 feet). I got the call from my hubby one the first morning of a girls' weekend at the coast. Thank goodness for good friends. My bff didn't hesitate for a moment, she drove me an hour and a half home, then took my kids for the afternoon! It was the hardest decision we had made for Cayenne (who, by the way my huby got for me on my birthday when we had been together for one year), but it was time. All I can tell you is that I would not have missed it for the world, even though that sounds mean. I was her mom, the one who fed her, shot her up, cleaned up after her, loved on her and disciplined her, throught thick and thin. I am an emotional wreck when people, or animals, close to me pass away, but I had to be there with her. I couldn't bear to have her by herself, and I am thankful that I got to have her with me for 14 years. It is hard, and it shouldn't be any other way, 'cause that's how you know it's love.
    Ok, enough of me bawling over the keyboard...don't worry about Lucky for the next week. Go get your groove on, and drink a few margs for me (and slap that cabana boy on the booty :))

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  41. We had to make that awful decision to put our cat down just three weeks after our other cat, my baby before my babies, was hit by a car. The other one's health deteriorated so fast we coudn't believe our eyes. She went from vibrant to unable to move her legs within a week. It's gut wrenching to lose a pet, and sadly when it does happen people usually don't offer the same kind of support as when you've lost a human family member. I love what your vet said about pet's needs, and how you love Lucky! waaah! Now I'm getting all teary! Have a great trip! You all deserve the R & R!

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  42. We had to make the decision to put one of our sweet kitties to sleep in November. She was 9 years old. She was Mommy's girl...no doubt. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. My heart is still broken completely in two over it. But I KNOW it was the right decision. And I got to be with her and hold her as she comfortably slipped away to sleep. All she knew was that Mommy was with her and was taking care of her. You'll know if that times come. And he'll know that Mommy loves him and is taking care of him. But you have an awesome vacation and try not to worry because Lucky is just that...lucky....and he'll get to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa...which is always fun!

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  43. We had to put one of our sweet kitties down in November. Just a month prior she started acting funny. Turns out she had an aggressive form of skin cancer (inside her head) and a tumor started growing and causing her head to double in size. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but we knew it was time to let her go. My hubby and I got to be with her (she was a Mommy's girl through and through, but still loved her Daddy too) and hold her. All she knew was that she was with Mommy and Mommy was taking care of things as she comfortably slipped to sleep. But you go on vacation and have a great trip! Lucky is a lucky dog for sure and is going to have fun hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa!

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    1. ooppppss....double post. It told me my first one didn't post. And then I couldn't remember exactly what I'd say....LOL!

      I need a nap.

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  44. Ahhh, that makes me wanna cry! Dogs are so loving and great companions!

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  45. We lost both of our cats this past August, 2 weeks apart. We'd had them 16 years.

    Ernie went into severe renal failure when we were out of town, visiting husband's grandmother before she died. My neighbors took him to the vet and he somehow held on until I got home to say goodbye. Driving the 12 hours home knowing what was coming the next day was awful.

    Swift was diagnosed with pancreatitis and lymphoma in June 2010 and she managed to hold on for 15 months. She was diagnosed right after I signed up for Ironman Texas. She was my nap buddy and I NEEDED her for my training. I held her, looked into her eyes and made her promise to hang on. Somehow she kept her end of the deal (even with add'l diagnoses of high blood pressure and high thyroid). The day I got back from IMTX, she started declining. Shortly after Ernie died, she was having a terrible time breathing. I checked her gums/tongue and they were purple, telling me that it was her time to go. Absolutely awful decision, but we couldn't let her suffer.

    I still don't know how I got through August.

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  46. Have a wonderful trip!

    I hope there are no difficult decisions to be made any time soon. I can't imagine.

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  47. I had to send my beloved yellow lab of nearly 14 years to the Rainbow Bridge just this past Friday....by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Your words hit home with me today; thanks for them! have a great time in Mexico! Becki from Michigan

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  48. Oh gosh Beth. I can so relate with the importance of pets in our lives and how selfless their love for their owners is. This brings me to tears.

    Enjoy your trip with your family--such precious time. Glad you got in a stellar run prior to. Unplug and unwind. Hugs.

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  49. Peanut Butter and Smelly......I am all over that and let GOMI tell me something different.

    Enjoy your time in Mex (that's what the illiterates call it) as you have been through a lot and this is well-deserved.

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  50. We lost our cat. I'm not a big fan of cats but I was sad to see her go. It was her time and she didn't seem to be afraid. She died peacefully at home. It was a rough day :-(.

    Enjoy your time away. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trail run but when I saw the pic, my first thought was of Sherry and "Please be careful Beth!" Glad you had a friend with you to watch your back while you pooped.

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  51. Hope you get to decompress and relax on your trip, girl. ::hugs::

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  52. aw man, so sorry to hear about lucky :( I love him too from reading your blog. I wish peace for your heart Beth. Your families too.

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  53. Crying as I type this because I know how hard it is to lose a pet. My 12 year old beagle was diagnosed with cancer and 6 weeks later we had to put her to sleep. Hardest thing I've ever done. Almost 3 years later I cry everytime I think about her. We went out of town in August for a night and our 13 year old Boston had a stroke. We made it back in time to place our hands on her at the vet and she passed away. Thinking of you guys:)

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  55. I am a bit behind in my blog reading, so I'm just getting to this now. This post brought me to tears. We are struggling to make this decision now about my beloved 14 1/2-year-old Australian Shepherd, Molly. She's having some trouble walking, due to surgery last year to remove a large cyst that was wrapped around her leg muscle (she never regained full use of that leg and the other is tiring out from overcompensating), but is otherwise pretty damn healthy. She goes to the vet tomorrow for an evaluation. She is technically my parents' dog (we got her when I was in high school), but she is very much my baby and I am devastated at the thought of losing her. I am so sorry you are going through this with your dog as well. Hugs to you and Lucky.

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  56. Like Jen, I, too, am catching up on past blog posts. We had to put our first golden, Bailey, down three years ago after an on-again, off-again, then on-again cancer diagnosis. And just a year ago, we helped Doc, the golden we rescued (or was it that he rescued us?) six months after losing Bailey, cross the Rainbow Bridge after he battled cancer for eight months. Reaching that point when you know it's time to call the vet is certainly tough. With us, we were even able to have Doc be outside for his last breaths with views of the mountains all around him. Having to make "the decision" to help our furry loved ones is never easy; I truly believe, though, that it really is the best gift we can give them when they have given us so much over their lifetimes.

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