I am not really an animal lover. I am not necessarily a kid lover either. The animals and kids I know well enough to love I love fiercely, loyally, and forever.
  1. Today I had the bittersweet experience of putting down our dog.
  2. I have been dreading it since she nearly died in August. She has been on meds that have kept her alive.
  3. She has been ours for more than 10 years.
    Here's a list I made about her. MY DOG'S GLORY DAYS
  4. The night, more than 8 years ago, I went into labor with our son, I kept picking Sophie up like a baby and cradling her.
    (This picture is from before we had kids and she was still our "baby.")
  5. I said over and over, "How can I love anyone more than I love you?!?"
    Don't judge me. I was in for a really long, hard labor. I was super hormonal.
  6. I didn't want to put her down. I kept picking her up like that, much to her bewilderment.
  7. Our son was born and our daughter followed, and Sophie went from being our baby to being our dog.
  8. She has been my long-suffering shadow, my cozy lap-warmer, and my biggest fan.
  9. I am going to miss her excitement when I come home.
  10. I am going to miss the tinkling of her tags as she follows me around the house.
  11. I am going to miss how her nose gets scrunchy when I give her peanut butter.
  12. I am going to miss her bumping my hand with her head or grabbing my hand with her paw to show she wasn't ready for me to stop petting her.
  13. I took her to the vet alone and petted her the whole way.
  14. (I love my friends who love me and my kids and say yes to inconvenient requests and hug really hard when I need to cry.)
  15. Since August, I hoped I wouldn't have to decide to put an end to her life. I hoped she would slip away with no pain or incident.
  16. In the end, the kindest thing I could do for my loyal puppy was to help her slip out of this life rather than struggle to the end of it.
  17. She was loved every single day of her life. Sadly so many animals—and people!—cannot say that.
  18. I am grateful for the empathy of the women at the vet's office who said they had been where I was just weeks ago and they knew how hard it was.
  19. I am grateful they weren't uncomfortable with my sobbing.
  20. I am grateful they reassured me I was doing the right thing—the kind thing.
  21. I held my Sophie in my arms while the vet sedated her.
  22. I held her in my arms when the vet whispered "I'm sorry" and stopped her heart.
  23. I cradled her like a baby and told her I would never put her down.
  24. And she slept in my arms.