Today, just a short while ago, I picked up the cremated ashes of Taylor, our family’s lovable 9-year-old female Chinese shar-pei. Although she had a few physical difficulties all her life, she had only begun seriously ailing for the past few months. We got the bad-news diagnosis of lymphoma on the 7th (my birthday and also the first anniversary of the death of Mark Levin’s dog, if I’m not mistaken). Ten days later, this past Monday, although we were hoping beyond hope that she would have a miraculous turnaround, our vet decided it was time to put her down. I had held Taylor, at that point a 40-pound dog that had rapidly lost 15 pounds, on my lap in the waiting room. I wrapped my body around her as she trembled in my arms, her heart pounding away. In the examining room, after the decision was made, I requested she be sedated first. After my wife gave a tearful hug and goodbye while Taylor fell into her fiinal slumber, she left the room with my 4-year-old son while I stayed with Taylor during euthanasia, and then I left the room too, quietly devastated.

Taylor, a fawn colored dog, and her littermate brother Pitch, who is a black bull of a dog and still going strong, were with us in Phoenix where we lived until we moved here four years ago. We called Taylor “the sunshine dog” because she would love to lay in the Phoenix sun, soaking it up until even she couldn’t bear it.

I’ve attached a picture of Taylor taken in our yard during the blizzard of February 2006.

I want to wish all the pet lovers out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, especially those of you who have had to lay their pets to rest, especially during the holiday season. God bless.

Michael from NJ