I bought Nana, a beautiful Sheltie pup, for my beloved Susan almost 15 years ago. Nana quickly became a source of unconditional love for each member of our family and, over the years, all of the many guest we’ve had in our home joined us in our equal love foe her. To us, Nana was not an animal but a member of our immediate family. Nana suffered from severe hip dysplasia for the last few years, but we were able to keep her reasonably comfortable and active for a dog her age via pain meds until this past week, at which time her legs could no longer support her weight. Mark, during our last few hours with Nana I believe I finally came to understand the pain you endured as you lost your dear friends, one by one. I remember crying during one of your broadcasts as you shared your story with us over the air, thinking at the time that I knew how you must feel. Last night, as Nana was put to sleep while her head was cradle in my wife’s hands, I felt as if the very will to live was sucked right out of me. Though Nana fell gently to sleep after being sedated and the vet assured us that she was not going to suffer any pain, the pain in our hearts wrought from having to make such a horrible decision only seems to have grown over the past 22 hours. Today, I returned home from work to find only three babies, rather than the four who usually greet me at the front door. I made my way to the kitchen cupboard and, by habit, proceeded to draw four Beggin’ Strips from the bag, only realizing what I’d done when I turned to see only three jumping for their snacks. I’d always given Nana her treat first….. my heart is broken. So, I have a few questions, my friend. How can a 54 year old man be strong for his family when he’s lost one of the best friends he’s ever had? Does the pain ever end? Do you think Nana will forgive us for putting her to sleep?

— Danny from Houston, TX