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We said our final goodbye to dear, sweet Sophie on Monday.  She had stopped standing or walking completely and several times got off her pillow and was able to use her front legs to push herself into corners where she got trapped under furniture or spent the night on a hard wood floor.  I felt it was no longer safe to leave her home alone.  This was my line in the sand I had been waiting for.  She was still happy-ish and still had an appetite, but I knew it was time.  We had a very nice last day together and the vet's office handled our final goodbye with much sensitivity.  I chose to take her to the office because she actually liked the people there and wasn't stressed out by going there.  They had a special light on the counter and a sign asking people to be silent as someone was saying goodbye to their pet.  I held Sophie while they gave her a sedative.  I tried very hard not to act upset in front of her, but I had a complete meltdown, my body shaking uncontrollably and I was sobbing hysterically.  I couldn't believe this was happening.  She was asleep for most of that.   She was so blissfully relaxed, snoring like a horse, that it actually made me happy to see her finally completely comfortable in her broken body.  I did not stay for the final injection because I wanted that image of her snoring happily to be the final image in my head and at that point she was, hopefully, unaware of my presence.  

All along, the stress and agony has been making the final decision, the doubt as to whether it was the right time.  Ignorantly, I never saw past that.  I thought I would be relieved that I had made the right decision at the right time and she would no longer suffer.  I never imagined how painful the grief that was coming would be.  I won't dwell on that because I know you are all aware.  I have never cried so much in my life.   The pain in my heart is intense and physical.  I feet sick to my stomach.  The second my eyes opened in the morning, the tears came.  Everything reminds me of her, and I miss her incredibly.  There are ghosts everywhere she is not.

I'm going to be 65.  This is my last dog.  I've already signed up at the local animal shelter to walk dogs because I need to keep them in my life somehow.  The bond between human and pet is really amazing to me.  But here is my question to all of you.....why do we put ourselves through this?  I look at people walking their dogs and I think, you have no idea of the heartbreak you are going to go through.   Maybe it's just part of American culture, but Sophie became my child, my baby.   Saying goodbye to a child is horrific.  I don't mean to compare the two, obviously, but there are similarities.   There is also the guilt.  I chose to spend $7000 on back surgery because I knew I could not handle the guilt of seeing her lose the use of her back legs.  Some people would have no choice - they don't have the money.  We had the money in savings, but it was still a huge amount.   And of course that was just the beginning of what we would spend.    Then there was the worry every time we went away.  Things always seemed to go wrong right before we left on a trip or during our trip.  So at this stage of my life, I know I shouldn't make that kind of commitment anymore.  But I so so so miss the love.  She made this house a home.  Thank you again for all your support and guidance.  I wish for you all pets that live long, happy lives and then peace when the time comes to say goodbye.

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Laurie, I am so sorry. I recommend both the chat area here for real time conversation as well as they have a 24/7 hotline
I am really sorry for your loss. I do t think you are too old for another dog. Many older dogs need homes. Obviously it is too soon to worry about that.
I will pray for solace for you tonight. Your dog would t want you suffering, but we all grieve anyway, don’t we?
Again, I’m sorry for the pain you are feeling.
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Thank you so much for your kind words.  I'm staying busy and I'm feeling a bit better.  I am picturing sweet Sophie released from her body and running happily again.  The problem with getting an older dog is I will have even less years to enjoy their company and will too soon have to say goodbye.  But I may look into brief, temporary fostering at the shelter where I'll be volunteering.  We shall see....
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