I had to put my dog to sleep yesterday.

Losing a dog is like losing a family member. Truly heartbreaking experience. But I guess that's the cost of all the happiness and love they bring us over the years.

Turns out we all know that it's going to happen some day. We just don't think about it. Why would we, anyway?

When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.
W. Bruce Cameron

She's been with me for over half of my life. I still pretty much remember the day I got her. She was so small and fragile. We'd quickly become friends. She's been there for me in my ups and downs, the good and the bad days. I've seen her almost every day for over 11 years. It's crazy when you realize how much happened in your life during that time and that I've actually grown with her.

Kama, 11 years ago (2008)

I loved this little cutie with all of my heart. We did many things together. She brought so much smile to my face that I wouldn't even be able to count it. She gave me so much happiness with her loving eyes that I feel like I wouldn't be able to ever give back.

You have no idea how much you are used to these four paws until you have to let go, when you finally realize there's nothing more you can do and that's the ultimate decision. Is it easy? No, not at all, by any means. Was it right? Absolutely.

I'm trying to sort everything out in my mind. I think it's still too early to completely process that. It still feels kind of surreal to me. I still have my habits, like thinking about when it's the time for a walk or if the barking won't wake up anyone when I come home late. The home feels so lonely that I almost don't want to come back there for now. There's an empty space in the corner and in my heart. I wish I could get that out of my system already and only remember and think about the good memories. She gave me so much happiness, and I will never forget her.

I wanted to write how I feel, but it's like an explosion of emotions. But I will be forever thankful for having her in my life and for making me happy. Without her, my life wouldn't be the same. It would suck miserably. We can learn so much from dogs. I wish I could be that kind, happy and always live in the moment to the fullest.

You know, there's something to that unconditional love that comes from your dog. He'll always love you and care for you, no matter the things you say or what you do. And I think that when the day comes and your good friends are sick and old, it's our responsibility to let them go, not to let them suffer anymore. Not because it's easier — because it isn't. But because it's a way of saying "thank you" for all those wonderful years and happy moments you've had together. It's an act of respect. It's like a final test you need to take to prove that you've understood at least a bit of that unconditional love, that you can put their welfare above your desire to have them in your life for just a bit more. It was heartbreaking to see her struggling with pain. It was making me hurt. I couldn't take it anymore. And it was so hard to let her go. I stayed with her until the end. It was an act of love, even if it brought me pain. Even though it left a huge void in my world, I felt a little bit of relief. I'm happy that her pain is over, no matter if mine is just ahead. I think that if she could speak, she would want that. She taught me many things, but it's the final lesson that will stick with me the most: the art of letting go of the ones that you love so much, no matter what it takes.

It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever made in my life. It's one of the toughest experiences I've encountered. Yet, I'm trying to think about the amazing moments we've had and all the years we've spent together. Despite having sodium hydroxide corroding my heart. I will heal. I will be okay. Just not right now. Someday.

If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?

Shantideva

I know it's true, but it's also too hard to incorporate into my life right now.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
Will Rogers