My strongest memories usually involve "firsts" or "lasts;" I wonder if that is a universal truth. Last Saturday I spent a bittersweet afternoon reading on my front porch with our dog, Stella, cuddling at my feet. It was my last cuddle with her, and I treasured each moment, aware of her warm heft against my ankles, mindful every time she'd lift her head or emanate a low, soft growl as someone would enter or exit the park across the street. I knew we made the right decision. She deserved to be loved, played with and exercised by a young family; she deserved being with children who shared her youthful energy and she'd welcome the constant companionship. But, oh, how we would cry and miss her snuggled between us at night - my first night without her - my last dog.
caccy46, author of Dying, is 60 years old, a mother of two, and has been married for 32 years.