sunshyne2504
I had 17 long and wonderful years with my Westie, Toby.  He was perfect in every way.  I saw him in a window and had to have him.  He loved to chase his toy cow and squirrels, jump on the furniture, cuddle in blankets, and of course, eat food.  He's been with our family through many moves, on an airplane, car rides, the pool, camping, and more.  He watched our kids grow.  Three days ago we put him down.  He had been diagnosed with kidney disease, was anemic, and had arthritis.  He lived in comfort for a couple of years as we did what we could to slow down the process of these.  My husband and I always told ourselves we wouldn't let him suffer or put him through things to cause him pain or anxiety. He suffered a seizure Monday night.  His mobility was poor, he stumbled as he walked, he was going blind and deaf, and had lost a lot of weight.  We thought it was the right time so I made the call.  Ever since then I have been crying and hated the decision I made, always second guessing myself.  Maybe I should have done more blood tests to see how he was.  Maybe I should have tried more supplements or vitamins.  Maybe he had more time.  I can't get over him not being here and I feel like I let him down.  I keep asking myself, did I truly do the right thing?  I'm crying as I type this.  I just miss him so much.  I never thought it would be this hard without him.  I hope he forgives me, my fluffy Toby bear.  
Shannon Sherman
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Dear Shannon,

I send you my sincerest condolences  on the loss of your beloved dog "Toby."

All it takes is reading your words to come to the understanding of just how much your boy had a long and very full life: Playing, jumping, cuddling, eating, flying on an airplane, riding in cars, swimming in a pool, going on camping trips, watching your children grow etc. You gave Toby a family. which he was an important part of. He mattered. He had a real "life" during his lifetime. 

Dogs as you may know, only live on average 10 years (in the wild.) That is all they are biologically designed to live for. We extend their lives through providing them shelter (from the elements and natural predators), regular food and fresh water, trips to the Vet's (for treatment and medication at times) and love (which is important for their wellbeing.) And if they are very blessed - PURPOSE. You aced all of these areas and you gave your boy purpose by him being a vital and much cherished part of your family. To live to the ripe age of 17 years old is a testament to how much you cared for your boy and how much he was truly blessed even more. All dogs should be so fortunate.

When the time came, you stepped up to the plate and did what needed to be done. You put his needs over yours. You sacrified his companionship to protect him from pain, suffering and anxiety. You were his Mom and helped him to depart while he was still "him". Before he further detoriated. You helped him with his transition from this World. 

I like the thought that "the measure of the love our lost beloved's felt during their lives from us, is the measure of the grief we feel once they depart from us." So how much love did Toby experience during his life from you and your family? A great love. A true love. A devoted love. What he Toby and experienced during his time with you, all of those wonderous years, is at the complete opposite spectrum of the grief you are currently feeling. What he felt was PURE LOVE.

I hope you and your family continue to heal. May God bless and keep you for all the good years you provided your Toby.

Kind regards,
James
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LaylaForeverinmyHeart
I am so sorry for your loss. That is truly devastating. I just recently lost my baby girl of almost 15 years and had to make that decision myself. I too haven’t stopped crying, feeling guilty and second guessing myself thinking what if. It’s the toughest thing I ever had to do. I hope that you find strength during this difficult time. Again I am so sorry for your loss.
Yana 
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sunshyne2504
Thank you both so much for taking the time to write kind words to me.  It brings me more peace as I'm reminded about how much we love our furry family members.  Today is a little better, but still hard.  I've decided to find a special frame to put his picture in.  And once we receive his ashes, we will plant a tree and bury him there.  I have to remind myself of all the joy he brought to our lives and I will always cherish that.  
Shannon Sherman
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