Don’t Read This without Your Kleenex Nearby

Two weeks ago, our five-year-old yellow lab Azure went from being a healthy, normal, energetic dog to acting like a very old, old dog.

We took her to the vet, trying to run the ordinary tests to see what might be going on. He started her on antiobiotics but, day after day, there was no improvement. Azure didn’t seem to be in any pain, but she just seemed old. Moving slow, not alert, sleeping heavily. Still liked to eat, though, and normal relieving, no vomiting.

Every few days, we tried more tests at the vets–blood, urine, X-rays…trying to get a diagnosis so that there could be treatment.

Last Saturday evening, Azure collapsed and couldn’t get up. We took her to the emergency vet clinic. This time, there was no option. She was dying. The vet said her eyes were moving in such a way that her brain was affected.

So we loved her best by letting her go.

The last two weeks have been so hard–Azure was only 5 1/2 years old and the epitome of good health up until two weeks ago. What’s funny is that I just knew. Something seemed seriously wrong. I felt like I had a shadow following me. The vets kept telling me I was getting ahead of myself…but I just knew.

These first few days are the worst…I’m so in the habit of thinking about her that I feel a jolt when I remember she’s gone. I keep finding a leash or a toy or a dog bowl. I just miss her.

We all take comfort in the fact that Azure had a wonderful, happy life. Not a day went by that she wasn’t walked, fed, and loved. She gave us joy and received it in turn.

Please hug your dog today!

(Azure had five puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Two are currently guides.)

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Several years ago, our family moved overseas. Unfortunately, our 14 year old dog could not make the trip. She stayed behind with my dad. Eventually, we became used to having a “no dog” home and went about our daily routine. She died several months later and we grieved again.
    An entire year after her death, we moved back to the states and I headed to the grocery store to stock the house. Once again in a familiar setting, out of habit, I reached for dog food.
    I lost it. Right there in the grocery store. I had to leave a full cart and go home.

    God promises love and we receive it from the most unexpected places.
    “Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love”
    1Corinthians 13:13

  2. Mocha with Linda says:

    So sorry about your dog.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Suzanne.

    “The final cause of dogs having such short lives…. is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?” – Sir Walter Scott

    And now the tears are pouring down my face, as I remember our dear Samoyed. I am not sure about the theology of this, but I think that our Alta was probably there to greet Azure and show her the best places to run through the fields of heaven.

    -Lisa S.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Thank you, Lisa for that lovely quote and comment. I really appreciate that others have felt the same way about a pet. Somehow, it helps so much to share the grief!

  5. Joanna says:

    I am very sorry for your loss Suzanne-she was a beautiful dog.

  6. Lily Ann says:

    So sorry for all of you. I know how difficult this was and still is.

  7. Andy and Ana says:

    Suzanne dear, so sorry about Azure, what a blessing to share such joy. Precious memories comfort. The five puppies will be a joyful precious legacy.
    Sincerely, Ana Harshaw