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.)

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