This is my story about our faithful family member, Lucky. We put our baby boy to sleep only a month ago, so our pain is still fresh in our hearts. He was an 11-year-old Maltese when he died and had been a part of our family since he was a puppy. And boy was he a handful from the beginning. I swear puppies are worse than kids. He was terrible with all the chewing, biting and getting into boyish mischief, I thought I was going to pull my hair out of my head. He was a little 10-pound dog who thought he was a German Sheppard. Always ready to take on whatever dog dared step paw into our front yard. And Lucky was a pampered pooch. My mother babysat our kids while my husband and I worked and as such, Lucky would head over to grandmas as well each day. He was as much her dog as he was ours. Lucky loved us all, but worshipped my husband and mother.

Up until the end of July, he was his usual puppy playfulness. Then my husband and I noticed a change in him the beginning of August. He wasn’t eating that much and he was acting lethargic. I thought it was due to the weather as the Texas sun was really starting to heat up. One day I was on the floor rubbing his head and around his jaw when I noticed a lump on the right side. My husband got down and felt it and was immediately inconsolable. He said it was his lymph node and knew it was cancer even before we took him to the vet. The vet did a biopsy on the area, and the results were just as predicted….cancer. The vet gave him 2 months, told us to take him home and that we would know when the time was right to put him to sleep. My mother was devastated. During the middle of September he started bleeding out of his mouth and making a snoring-like noise when he breathed. The vet said these were contributed to the growth pushing into his mouth and nasal cavity, and that the bleeding would get worse. It was pure torture listening to him make that horrible noise and bleeding more and more each day.

On the morning of October 9th he came out from underneath our bed (where he slept) with so much blood on the side of his face. I knew today was the day. My mother had been out of town that weekend and had not been able to see Lucky. I asked her if she wanted one more day with him, and she said “yes”. We agreed I would leave work early and meet her and our teenage daughter at the vet. My husband would stay home with the younger kids. That was the longest day of my life. I was sick to my stomach. I kept looking at the clock doing a mental countdown of how many hours he had left. I kept thinking I was going to an execution. When they tell you euthanasia is quick, they are not kidding. The vet shaved his little paw, injected the needle and he was gone within 30 seconds. It was over. We stayed in the room with him for 15 minutes. I cut a piece of hair off of his tail to keep. As heartbreaking as it was, it was like a brick had been lifted from my shoulders. He was no longer suffering. He was at peace. The picture I have attached was taken 2 weeks prior to his death. He is sitting next to our sleeping son. Looking into his eyes, you can see he understands his time is coming to an end. We had him cremated and he is now back with his family.

When the time is right, we will welcome another pet into our household to love. But right now, we must grieve and appreciate the little buddy we had for almost 11 years. We will never forget him nor any of the other dogs and cats we have had in our lives. But life will go on and one day we will see him once again.

Margaret from Texas