1. Last night I found out that my parents are putting down Echo, our 15-year-old family dog.
  2. After a year or so of struggling and just generally going downhill, it was time.
  3. Her beautiful brown eyes got cloudy.
  4. Her soft dark ears began to turn grey.
  5. Her days of chasing after chipmunks for hours turned into lying on a sunny deck, without the energy to roam.
  6. What didn't end or falter was her love.
  7. The slight pep in her step that would appear when I'd come home.
  8. The endless snuggles she effortlessly provided and accepted in return.
  9. Her sighs of happiness when being hugged or petted.
  10. And as I sit here and cry and think about how strange it will be to go home without seeing her putz around, underneath my anguish I feel so thankful.
  11. Thankful for her, the first night we got her, when she let me hold her for hours because I couldn't believe that I finally had a dog.
  12. Thankful to her for sleeping with me when I was younger and would get spooked at night.
  13. Thankful to her for letting me dress her up in dolls clothes because she looked so stinking cute in them.
  14. Thankful to her for keeping all the secrets I've whispered to her.
  15. Thankful for her toughness and wanting to always protect her whole family. 13-pound Jack Russells are tough cookies.
  16. Thankful for her ability to always accept a hug.
  17. Thankful to her for being my best friend and the sister I was never given.
  18. This was a dog who loved cats, fought off porcupines, danced, wanted to play for hours, tried to herd the family's chickens, hated the snow, thought she was 100 pounds, loved cheese and carrots, and fought so hard to stay with us.
  19. If there's any sort of afterlife (or maybe she has reached Nirvana, she deserves it truthfully), I hope she will be somewhere where she is constantly bathed in sunlight.
  20. If not, I hope we cross paths in the next life in whatever forms we take.
  21. Rest in the sweetest peace, Echo. My golden girl, my sunny sweetie. I promise you that there will never, ever be a dog as good as you.
  22. Static
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  26. Static