Love. Death. Fitness

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There were more tears and lots of tissues at the vet’s office. As we said our final good-bye to Abby, we knew we were doing the right thing. Part of loving Abby was letting her go.

The decision was wrenching for us. But it was comforting to know we could prevent any further pain, suffering or—equally important—deterioration in the quality of her life. When the time comes, I hope we will be able to do for each other what we did for Abby—ensure a loving death with dignity, devoid of unnecessary suffering.


At one point during Abby’s final days, when we were using the special harness to carry her outside, my husband remarked, “It’s a good thing we go to the gym.” We each had a handle and shared the load, but it was a bulky, clumsy process getting her outside several times a day.

He had a good point. We work out regularly, eat well and keep ourselves in good shape. Were we not fit, we would not have been able to care for Abby as we did at the end. Equally important, we would not be able to take good care of ourselves and each other in our retirement years.

“Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” Tina Turner asked in her song about love. The answer is clear. We all do, so we can love our pets, ourselves and one another. A broken heart, after all, is far better than no heart at all.

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  1. My chocolate lab Buddy was the only dog I have had from puppy to old age, others have died by accidents or disease. I made a deal with him when he was aging..if you can’t take care of yourself then it is time to go because you are no longer enjoying life…a dogs best attribute. He was finally unable to make it up the pasture trying to relieve himself so I took him to the Vets but had them come to the car to inject him because I wanted it to be personal. A profound decision but I felt right about it. The next day I swear..I walked out the door in the morning and he ran around the corner of the house saying a final goodbye.

  2. So sorry to hear that Abby has passed on. I always enjoyed seeing you two walking around the neighborhood. You made the right decisions for her at the end of her life and yes, it is absolutely awful to let them go, I have to believe that they are in a much better place…..I only hope to be reunited with all of our deceased pets one day!

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