Back in 2000, we drove an hour out of town to look at what was left of a liter of Golden Retriever puppies. The mother’s name was Sweetie.  When we arrived, all four of the puppies ran to us but only one remained focused on us for the duration of our stay.  I told the family that we should come back the next day to observe the puppies again.  The next day when we came back, again the same puppy was the only one to stay focused on and plays with us.  For smell association,  the owners cut a piece of cloth cut off of the larger cloth from where the mother always would lay with the puppies and sent it with Andy for the trip home with us.
Andy, now 12 year old was put to sleep yesterday afternoon (8/10/2012) at around 5:00 – 5:10pm  as my wife, youngest son and myself stood around him looking into his eyes and petting him. I know that my oldest son who was away at college wanted to be there too.
This has been one of the hardest things to go through.  No words really describe watching my wife Pam and my youngest son Evan cry at Andy’s side after the decision was made to put him to sleep. Pam once said that it would just kill her if anything happened to Andy.  Andy was always her safe place when the world seemed to not like her.  I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder to see if Andy is looking at me as he always was, only to see an empty place.  When we all had come back from the Avalon Animal Clinic where Andy was put to sleep, I immediately cleaned up and packed away Andy’s dog dishes, leftover food and toys because it was too painful to see them. Through the night I would keep opening my eyes and roll over to look at and sometimes pet Andy.  Again, he is not there anymore.  Looking at this and the empty corner where all of Andy’s stuff would sit makes me tear up.  Andy was a very interactive dog that had a real personality.  I love dogs but Andy was really one in a million.  He seemed very different than any dog that I have ever known.
My wife could let out the slightest cry (not even audible from the next room) and Andy would leap off of a bed occupied by noisy teenagers from the other side of a second story house, run downstairs, up to my Wife’s lap and anxiously try to comfort her.
My wife and I would take Andy to the park where sometimes we walked with him. Andy would get distracted with something on the ground and just to see Andy’s reaction; we would hide around the back side of a big tree and watch to see what he would do when he looked up.  When Andy looked up, he would franticly start looking around for us and we would step out with our arms open and he would come running wagging his tail and bury his head into us. This park was our favorite place to go because of Andy.  We
Andy had a few toys that would usually lie around the house untouched for very long periods of time.  When someone would come by for a visit, he would look around and quickly locate the toy so that he could run up to the visitor and show them the toy.
Andy would play Hide and Seek and he always got excited when he would find the person who was doing the hiding.
Andy displayed many amazing things that I never knew a dog was capable of.  I could never mention them all.
I looked forward to coming home every night because Andy would always be right there wagging his tail in anticipation.  I would drop to one knee and Andy would bury his head in between my shoulder and cheek. I would rub him and his tail would never stop wagging. He would stay until I would stand back up.
We never thought this day would come.  We all love and miss Andy so much.  Things will never be the same without Andy at our sides.
This last part is being added very unexpectedly.  My wife read what I had written so far and reminded me of how she had asked me to carefully seal up the blanket in which Andy had been laying on for the last few weeks of his life because we could still smell Andy on the blanket. This is an ironic twist because much like the beginning of Andy’s journey with us; his owners gave him a piece of the blanket that his mother and siblings had laid on for the same comforting reason!

— Jeff from Indianapolis, IN