My turn

Today has been a hard day.

For my fellow pet parents out there – you know the most difficult part of having a pet is knowing when it’s time to let that part of your family go.

Today was that day for me.

15 years ago – a dog followed me home as I went for a run. He didn’t have any tags and was cute as can be – probably a year old or so.

I brought him home and asked my parents what we should do. We walked around the neighborhood – this new dog in tow – and asked if anyone knew who he belonged to. No one claimed him – so I did…

I decided to name him Baby. He seemed to like the name. I fed him, gave him water, and tried to get him to sleep inside with me. Of course – my mom wasn’t having it! No dog would be allowed inside their house. So I did what any normal person would do – I piled on jackets, scarves and gloves – and made a pallet out in my backyard with my new found friend.

I left for college and the dog took over as Baby of the family. By this point – he was sleeping with my parents…in their bed. He was a good dog – would run away any time the door would be left open, he counter surfed for food, peed in the house – all those things that dogs do.

He was diagnosed with Addison’s disease a few years later. Most families would put a pet down then – but not my parents. People thought they were crazy for keeping a dog alive who needed 15 pills – a day. But nope, not them, it wasn’t his time.

Baby would be the first to greet me, the last to go to bed, he licked away tears, danced when anyone would be excited – he’s been through 3 weddings of all his human sisters, been the guardian of all his human grand kids…he gave us his best because we gave him our hearts.

He’s led a good life.

So today – when I got the call that my dad was going to the vet because he had lost control of bowels and couldn’t walk – I knew then I needed to go with him.

I didn’t say anything when I walked into the room with my Dad. I could see it in his eyes that hew knew it was time for us to let him go. My Mom couldn’t watch it – so she stayed at home. The vet came in and confirmed our greatest fears – there was nothing more they could do – it was to time let him go.

I made phone calls to family to let them know the hard decision we had to make. Got a call from my Mom that she was on her way – she may not have said it – but she knew it she needed to say goodbye.

He was the final child to leave home for them. I knew that this would be much harder on them than I could ever imagine.

All of their lives – my mom and dad – they’ve been my strength, my support, held me tight during moments of pain, and dried my tears when my heart overflowed with grief – but today – it was my turn.

My turn to fight back tears and be the voice of reason for them, reassure them that this was the best decision, volunteer to be with Baby til the end if it was too painful for them to watch, hold them tight, wipe away their tears.

Today it was my turn.

In a moment, it was done. He lay there asleep in the arms of my Dad. We sent him to Heaven where all dogs go – because all dogs are good dogs. We loved him as he loved us until his very last breath.

He’ll be missed.


  1. Ashley Coleman says:

    well i am not holding back the tears. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of baby. I still remember when you got baby…it seems like ages ago. What a wonderful life baby had with the best human parents possible:)

  2. The Donaho's says:

    I'm so so sorry to hear this. It sounds like Baby hit the jackpot when he followed you home 15 years ago – he must have had a great life. What would this world be if we didn't have our puppies!!

  3. again, we needed a mascara alert!
    being a fellow dog lover, it never gets easier. my husband knows he can't let me go to a shelter or pet store, because we would walk out with a dog or two.
    just this weekend, it hit me that our first baby is almost 8 years old. well he's been with us for 8 years. who knows how old he was when we rescued him. it's perfect how your described Baby. she was their last baby to leave home.
    my heart aches for you and your family's loss.
    all dogs do go to heaven. how could God not allow these "pets" who look you in the eyes, and comfort you…not get into heaven.
    sending love ya'lls way!

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and your family. Sending you big hugs !