Astra & Cosmo

Friday the 22nd of April, we just put our beloved dog, Astra to sleep. 11 years ago, friends found her on the street. A 30 pound (underweight) chow mix whose mouth could not close (black tongue falling out), 6 teeth and scrappy. After not finding her owners, we took her in. Our vet said she was about 6 years old and she was already neutered. We already had a 1 year old black lab from a shelter, Cosmo. They two never got along as playmates but they would sleep together on beds in the house (we have beds everywhere!). Astra wasnt as needy as Cosmo the lab but she was always there, wagging her cute tail, lookking for food, going between our legs for comfort and purring when you massaged her head and neck. Over the last 5 years, she got cushings disease, became close to blind, mostly deaf, no teeth and other liver and stomach maladies. Yet she was a survivor, even when the cushings slowly made her lose the feelings in her back legs and had her lose control of bowel movements. She still had a love of life and food! Now at 17, she can’t get up by herself and can only walk short distances and then falls and has other issues. We had a vet come to our house last friday April 17th and put her to sleep. While doing this, we fed her her favorite treats, dog treats that look like real cookies. She was eating these as fast as she could until she fell asleep.

Cosmo the lab is 12 now and i don’t know how much time I have with him as he as bad arthritis and other issues but is okay for now. He is very needy and I always have to spend more time with him than I did with Astra. After Astra was put to sleep, it finally hit me that my steady, scrappy friend for all these years is gone. I thought that diapering, hand feeding, giving medicines, helping Astra up and all the care for her was a lot of work when I was doing it these last 3 years. But, now I know I was wrong. I miss it! I am really going to miss my 17 year old friend. She has taught me to be tough, lover life and be independent. Most of all , she has taught me more about the meaning of love.

— Ken from Chicago, IL