My family flew back to BC last night from western Ontario where we went to my cousin's grad and visited relatives. When my mum listened to the messages on the answering machine at home, I breathed a sigh of relief when the messages ended without one from the kennel owners where our dog, Pepper, stays while we're traveling. Just before our trip we found out the results of her latest visit to the vet. She had diabetes, liver disease and arthritis in her back legs. The vet suggested what we had all assumed; we should put Pepper down. We decided to wait to put her to sleep until after our trip when we could say good-bye properly. I, in particular, felt that it would be rather crude to put her to sleep in a rushed and last-minute decision just for our convienience. The kennel owners understood and said they'd take care of her while we were gone. Before leaving for Ontario, I said good-bye to Pep, just in case, and now I'm glad I took the extra time. I told her to hang on until I got home, but she didn't quite make it. She waited until yesterday.
One second before my dad broke the news to my siblings and me at work today, I knew what he was going to say. And when I heard the words "Pepper died" I was surprised at the relief I felt. I knew that she was in pain, but had secretly (and selfishly) wondered if I would be strong enough to let her go when we came home. She was a great dog and a loyal friend. I'm glad Pep chose her own time to go and isn't suffering anymore. Even so, she was my best non-human friend and will be missed terribly by our whole family.
Just a few of the memories we shared with Pepper