Dogs remind us of our own mortality. We see them go from baby puppy, running, playing, and learning about life to old dogs loving nothing more than a soft place to sleep and to be by our sides in just over a decade. It is so hard to watch them age, and yet I don't know that I would miss it for the world. Sure, they may start to look a little different, maybe not be able to go on long walks anymore, but they continue to look to us for love and affection.
When the end comes, we owe it to them to be there, by their side. Letting them die when it is their time, not prolonging pain and suffering because we cannot bear to let go. It is so hard to say goodbye and yet it teaches us so much. Below is a picture of Sparky, one of our 14 year dachshunds. I have grown up with them and hope to have many more years with Missy and Sparky, but when their time comes I will try to remember the happy times and focus on how blessed I was to have them in my life. Each new companion, whether it is a dog or cat or other animal, leaves a special mark in our hearts. If we are too afraid of loosing them to take that first step, then we miss out on the wonderful moments that make each companion unique.