I read Rescuing Sprite over the summer and I knew we would face this situation someday but wasn’t quite ready for it when it happened.

Yesterday, we said good-by to our family dog, Cole. We had Cole since he was about 8 weeks old and he was 12 and a half when passed.

Like many other stories told here, Cole was a loving loyal friend who was with us through good times and hard times. My three daughters grew up alongside Cole and it was a pure joy to watch them play.

Cole was very frisky for a 12 and a half year old dog and he still thought he was a puppy. He loved to run in the woods and be in the middle of all family gatherings. He appears in countless pictures over the years.

Around Thanksgiving we noticed he had lost some of his pep but he showed no pain and didn’t complain. Then on Christmas Eve, I noticed he did not go to the door when the doorbell rang, which was very unusual for him. He also stopped eating his dog food about then but he kept eating holiday goodies which peole slipped him.

On Saturday, I took him out for a walk and noticed that he was real sluggish. Normally he would always lead the way and run ahead of me as we walked through the woods. This time, he just walked alongside me. I decided I would take him to the vet on Monday. Unfortunately, though, when I came home from church on Sunday, he had trouble even walking. I immediately took him to the anilmal hospital but they couldn’t help him. The vet said that it was probably an agressive cancer. My daughters came and we quickly decided to let him go. Painful as that decision was, we all understood that Cole had to be feeling terrible and we needed to end his suffering.

The vet was amazing in how she helped us through this process.

Now, the house seems strangely silent. Whenever I open the door I expect to be greeted by Cole but he is isn’t there.

Our family will always remember our friend Cole and we will smile as we think about the good times we had.

I thank God for the gift of animals who are so loving and loyal.

Xavier from MD