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5:16 a.m. - 2003-02-18

IT'S TIME

Be prepared...I'm not feeling funny this morning.

I took Andrew to Kindermusik last night and came home an hour later than normal.

We got home and Andrew ran to let Maggie out of her cage.

The stench assaulted my nostrils as soon as I opened the door.

I still don't know what happened yesterday. But there were puddles of dried dark vomit all over her cage.

And she had apparently urinated so much blood that it seeped out of her cage and soaked the carpet around the cage.

I looked at her. I wasn't angry. She was embarrassed. And we both knew.

It's time.

I spent the evening showering her with as much affection as possible. I remembered the good times when she was a tiny 6 week-old puppy and scared of the dark and I slept with her on the kitchen floor the first night we brought her home.

I remembered when she was my only baby.

I know that there will never be another soul on this earth that has shown me the love that dog has shown me. She adores me and has adored me every day of her life. She has loved me to the point where it becomes annoying after a while ... she's always there by my side.

It was her way of showing her love and devotion. It's the only thing she could offer me after 13 years of being together.

She peed two more bloody puddles on the carpet last night.

I didn't lose my temper. I just got the cleaning machine and followed behind her, trying to suck up as much blood as I could.

When Susie came home, I told her that today I was taking her in.

She's having a great deal of trouble walking. She's nearly deaf. Her insides are failing her.

And it's her look. She just looks miserable.

I know that what I'm going to do this morning is going to be THE hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I tried to think of any decision that I've ever had to make that was harder and I'm drawing a blank.

And please ... I fully understand that there are a large number of you out there that feel what I'm going to do today is wrong and that a dog should be able to live out their lives to their last dying breath.

But please ... please ... I know I try to paint some stupid picture here that I'm an uncaring bastard who would gleefully watch my dog be put to sleep.

But I'm not.

And the very last thing I want right now is for people to send me emails, messages and notes telling me how horrible I am for doing this.

You're not in my shoes.

You don't know my dog and haven't seen and experienced what she's going through.

I just ask for this one time for you people to bite your tongues and go about your business and realize that this is a very difficult thing to do.

If I had my way, my dog would have never matured past the age of 4 and would spend her days running around the back yard, fetching sticks and chasing squirrels.

But those days are long behind us and it's time I came to the realization that she's old, broken down and in some serious pain.

I can't believe how incredibly hard this is.

And as she lays here next to me ... she has no idea that she has about two hours left on this earth.

It kills me.

It positively tears at my soul.

But for her sake ... it has to be done.

Goodbye Mags.

You've been a good girl.

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