I lost my best friend Joy on Christmas Eve.  She would have been 16 years old January 14th.  She was a beautfiul Cocker Spaniel who gave me unconditional love and joy all these years.  She was one of the loves of my life.  She was an important member of my family.  She was sitting on my lap eating her dinner and happy as could be, licking me at times while she ate.  She got done and within minutes I realized something was very wrong – she was having a hard time breathing.  We almost didn’t make it to the ER in time.  But I ran her in there and they got her stablized and before I left she was off the oxygen and breathing on her own.  I called at 12:40am and she was doing fine.  The doctor was telling me what time to pick her up in the morning.  We thought she aspirated some food and the crisis had passed.  Then just a few hours later at 4am the doctor called to tell me she had a bad turn.  They re-xrayed her and found that her stomach had turned.  This is very unusal in little dogs like her.  She would need emergency surgery and the doctor thought it would be too difficult on her and then she might not make it through it anyway.  So I had to make the second hardest decsion of my life to have my best friend put to sleep.  They had put her under along with a tube for breathing to keep her comfortable and alive til I got there.  So Christmas Eve morning I held her in my arms for the last time.  Thankfully they gave me as much time as I needed before and after the shot to hold her.  It was so hard to let go.  I am in shock still.  I can’t believe she is gone.  It had nothing to do with her age or other physcial gereatric ailments – but waas a freak thing.  I have another Cocker who is 15 1/2.  But the house is still so silent without Joy there and her very comforting presence.  I am broken hearted beyond words.  It has been the hardest Christmas I have ever had.  Now Christmas Eve will forever remind me of the sweet little girl I lost on that day.  I miss everything about her.  She gave more to me than I gave to her.  She is precious beyond words.  My only hope is that God will allow me to see her once again on the other side of heaven.  Thank you for this forum to tell my story about Joy.  Words are inadequate to express what a wonderful friend she was.  And words are inadequate to express the pain of her loss.

— Carol from Lenexa, KS