I wouldn't trade all the fun times we had for the world. I'm gonna remember the days when we used to let you in after being gone all day, and you'd get so excited you'd run around the house for a full five minutes. The days we didn't have anything to lose.
I held your toy bone today. It still squeaks. I pressed it close to my heart, feeling it beat in time with my breathing. Remain calm, I kept thinking. Don't cry. Not now.
I cried. Just one last time, I'll cry.
I'll never forget the path we took every time we let you out for a walk. We'd saddle you up in your pink harness and leash, and we'd go down the street, past the park, around the recreation center once, sometimes twice when you didn't have arthritus, and we'd take the exact same path home. We would get home, and you'd go straight to your water bowl after I unhitched your harness. Then you'd drool all over the place. At least we won't have wet floors anymore due to your giant tongue flopping around everywhere.
Just one last time, I said goodbye. I walked in, and while nobody else was around I took the chance before it was gone. I stroked your head, gave you a hug, kissed your nose and whispered "I love you" as your sweet brown eyes gazed back at me.
Mom and I pulled out of the driveway ten minutes later. Dad took you out front, just one last time. We pulled out, and I watched you as we drove by until the fence got in the way. I thought to myself, This is the last time I'll ever see my baby again.
We're having you cremated. We'll spread your ashes in the back yard. You'll be home. You always will be.