A year ago on Feb. 2, 2007 our 8 year old Beagle named Buddy died in my arms. He lived only 2 weeks after we found out he had tumors in his lungs, on his heart and around his trachea and esophagus. After he was gone the vet said she could feel that his abdomen was full of tumors, also. I guess I should have let her put him to sleep the day she showed me the X-Rays. But I couldn’t and she never even suggested it saying that Buddy would let us know when he was ready to go such as by stopping eating completely. He really went downhill fast afterward. Sometimes he’d eat and sometimes he wouldn’t for a whole day and if you know Beagles, they love to eat. You see, he had always been such a gobbler even stealing our other dog’s food and we thought he was overweight as a result. Of course, it wasn’t fat. Tumors were growing everywhere inside of him. I have felt so guilty for thinking he was fat. Anyway, he still wagged his tale and would lay his head in my lap to be petted. But he got to the point that he couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep at night and would keep changing positions and move around the room trying to find a more comfortable spot. He also had a couple of times when he had a really hard time breathing and one night I was afraid that he might die while we were asleep so I slept on the floor beside him because i didn’t want him to die alone. But he kept hanging on. And, youu know, Mark when I think back now i know he hung on for me because he knew I wasn’t ready to let him go. But eventually he couldn’t hang on for me anymore. He had gotten to where he coudn’t come up the front porch steps after doing his business. I had to help him up the step slowly one at a time because it hurt because the tumors were around his hips, too. That was the day I KNEW. I decided to call the vet the next morning and when I got up, I knew Buddy was telling me he couldn’t do it any longer because, Mark, he couldn’t take but a couple of steps and then he’d sit down and just look at me. I still cry when I talk about him. He was such a sweet, sweet dog. I called him Baby Beagle those last 2 weeks because that’s what my daughter called him when we brought him home at 7 wks. I’ve always loved Beagles. Those big brown eyes and those soft, floppy ears and their soft, soft fur. I buried in the backyard and am still looking for a stone to place on his grave, one I can put his name on so nobody will ever accidentally disturb his eternal rest. Thank you for reminding us how very important these special friends are in our lives. I know in my heart that God gave us these precious creatures to show us love when we can’t even love ourselves. Nobody can ever tell me that our dogs and cats won’t be in heaven waiting for us with Jesus.

Elaine from IA