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Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 11:07 AM

Yesterday we had to have our Sunshine put to sleep. She was a 13 year old border collie/blue heeler mix. The girls grandparents had given her to them for a Christmas present years ago. I went to pick her out as a 'surprise' for the girls. When I went out to the Critter Lady's place, Sunshine was the one I picked out. Dad got to go pick her up to bring her home. Sunshine reminded me a lot of my dog, Fritzi, so I guess it was a karma thing. I loved her tri-color and the fact her white 'collar' didn't go all the way around her neck.

She was born to be a cow dog but she never chased a cow or chicken. She had to be a town dog. She chased birds for awhile and had a dislike for squirrels. As she aged, they didn't bother her so much. She more or less tolerated them at that point.

Sunshine was our alarm clock and door bell. She was also a barometer. She had survived a near miss by the tornado that had passed over Indianola during her first summer with us. She never liked thunderstorms at all after that. We could tell when the storms were going to be worse simply by how she reacted.

It was only fitting that since I was the one to pick her out, that I took her to the vet. My face was the first and last one she saw. She had struggled over the last couple of months and that was confirmed with the professional diagnosis a while ago. We knew she had didn't need to suffer any longer because her quality of life wasn't there. The vet techs and the vet were all very nice to Sunshine and they were compassionate to me as well.

We didn't have a place to bury her. We have to rent now so I had to take her to a place and hour away where they cremate pets. It was actually a mortuary with a pet service. They were all very nice even if I was a blubbering, puffy faced mess.

The head knows that it was her time to cross over and get back to chasing birds and growling at those dang gone squirrels but the heart breaks none-the-less. We will miss our Sunshine.

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I'm so sorry you lost your friend. It's amazing how close we can get to our 4 legged pals... the house will sure seem empty for a while. I dread the day when our dog Casey has to make the step over too.

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 12:26 PM

It is amazing how our four-legged friends end up being so dear to our hearts. Mark Levine, a constitutional scholar and talk show host, recently wrote a book called, Rescuing Sprite. Their dog Sprite had died recently, and Mark was devastated, and he wrote a great book about it.

Like Brian, I am not eager for the day when my dogs, have to make that trip. Sorry for your loss. Check out Mark's book.

-- Posted by sameldridge on Sat, Feb 7, 2009, at 5:36 PM

Thanks for all the sympathy and kind words from my fellow bloggers. To all my email buddies and family, thanks for your support.

We were able to bring Sunshine home - in a little plastic box. But I am grateful the pet service was available.

I also went to www.petloss.com and added her to the list of pets lost. They have an on-line service each Monday evening at 9 p.m. Central time to support those grieving pet owners and for those with ill pets as well.

That might not be everyone's cup of tea but it is comforting to know that there are others grieving the loss of their pets and it is okay to be sad.

-- Posted by coolidge on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 11:50 AM

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