In Memory of Prince

The picture above was taken December 23rd, the last moment I had with our dog Prince before we had to put him down. 

We knew it had been coming for a while. It started a few months ago. He was becoming an old man, struggling to rise to his feet in  the mornings and often losing his footing on the hardwood floors. However, it didn't seem detrimental at the time. As the months progressed, there was a slow decrease in his ability to move around. Soon, he started yelping in pain when nothing that we could see was hurting him. There would literally be nothing within a 20 foot radius of him, and he'd yelp like someone had just stepped on his paws. Finally, in the past couple weeks, he really started struggling to stand, until he could no longer get to his feet at all. 

When I arrived home, December 22nd, dad was just letting Prince out to go to the bathroom, and he lay awkwardly on the porch step, like his feet were deformed and he couldn't use them. As I parked my car and hopped out, I instinctively crouched down to call him over, expecting to be greeted with a barrage of excited yips and doggy kisses. However, I was horrified and stunned to find my dog so helpless. We had to carry him down to the grass and steady him as he tried to go potty. 

Dad seemed somber as I carried Prince back inside, and he warned me: "I don't know, Linda. We're taking him to the vet tomorrow. Just...don't expect good news."

We knew. We all knew what was coming. 

When I carried him into the vet's that next evening, I knew in my heart I would be leaving without him. 
It was brief examination, and he gave us a good hunch as to what was causing our dog so much pain. It was probably a tumor in the brain. All the signs added up correctly, and the effects matched up to all of his odd symptoms we'd noticed. This whole time, our dog had silently been struggling through this. 

In the end, we knew we'd only be acting selfishly if we fought to prolong his life - it would only be to keep him with us longer, no matter the pain and struggle he would have to go through to stay alive. He was 13 years old, and we'd at least had 8 years of it with him. 

As the vet stepped outside to give us a moment, I let the tears I'd been fighting back slip out. 
"You did good, Prince. You did real good," I told him. 
Those trusting, big brown eyes gazed up at me, worried. He could tell I was hurting, and even in his own pain, he struggled to rise to his feet to lick my tears away, like he had so many times in years past. 

 Why is it that animals become so deeply engrained in our families? Something about them makes us fall in love with them. We open up our hearts more readily with them than with most humans. And in return, they give us everything they have. They are there for us in a way uniquely their own. They give an example of pure love - despite our flaws and many shortcomings, they still love us.  

This post is for Prince, and all of the memories, laughs, tears, and kisses he gave us. 

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Samantha said...

Gosh darn, Linda! Way to make a gal cry. Those pictures too, what a cutie! You and your family are in my thoughts, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. When I was a child we moved around Canada a lot and I was really close to the family dog (a beagle). We got him when I was in grade two and he died when I was 16. I cry more about Charlie than I do about my absentee father. Silly, I know, but there's something about their everlasting unconditional love that just melts your heart. Stay strong, love :)

Nieszka said...

:( so sorry for your loss. looks like an amazing dog and friend. beautiful story! glad you have these wonderful memories and photos to keep him around forever!

Mouna said...

your dog looks so precious and darling... so sorry for your loss.. I know how important pets are, I've lost my darling dog before and it really hurts especially since they unconditionally loved u. Stay strong, I'll keep you in my prayers xx

Kym said...

I am so sorry to hear about Prince, Linda. He sounds like he was a wonderful friend, and I bet he was so grateful to you and your family for giving him the best life a doggy could ask for :)
Having lost pets myself I know how heart wrenching it is. I'll have you and your family in my thoughts during this terrible time.

Lily Fang said...

Oh, Linda. I wondered what the grief was you mentioned in your last post. While I've never really had a close pet of my own, I can definitely tell how much Prince meant to you. Your words never cease to touch. You definitely had your dog's best interests in mind and I'm glad you were able to make this post a beautiful tribute to him. These are beautiful photos and I can tell that Prince was both a cute and caring companion. Stay strong, Linda. You and your family will be in my prayers!

Jessi said...

Oh Linda I'm going to cry!! :( I know exactly how you feel. We lost our family dog my senior year of highschool to cancerous tumors. We had scheduled to have him put down because he was suffering so badly but he passed in our home earlier in the day before the appointment. It was so so hard to let him go since He'd been with us for 12 years ever since he was a tiny puppy. I thought of him like a furry little brother. Praying for you girl! At least he had an awesome family to love him while he was alive.

Halima - Fashionicide said...

RIP Prince!

I am so sorry for your loss, Linda. My husband had to put his dog down a couple of years ago. He was an alsation, he was getting old and was diagnosed with arthiritis. In his last few weeks he too couldn't walk and couldn't go potty himself. It is heartbreaking.

There's some truly beautiful photos there. He looks like he had a happy family and awesome company :')


Jodie said...

I cried all through this- rip Prince :( I can't even think about my dif not being there- he's the sole reason I'm still living at home

Stephanie Timmins said...

I'm so sorry for your loss dear, I know how difficult it is to lose a pet, but he looks adorable and had a good life filled with love from you and your family. God bless his soul!

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Elle said...

Linda, I am sorry about the loss of your beautiful dog, but you did the right thing!
I know this must be hard...
sending hugs!
XX, Elle

Pop Champagne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog, pets become such a big part of the family... RIP Prince

Ali Hval said...

Oh my sweet Linda, I am so so sorry to hear this. I'm offering you all my hugs and love and good vibes. You did the right thing--I hate to mention myself when you're going through this, but I know this exact feeling, for we had to put down my dog for a similar cancer, and noticed the same effects that you mentioned. It was really uncanny reading that for me. Things will get better so keep chugging along, you strong, beautiful lady, you. Your pup is out of pain now and ever so thankful to be in a happier place now. He'll never forget you, and you him. <3

Kim Alston said...

Linda, this post was beautiful. I had two dogs at the same time. I went through this with both of them within a few months of one another. This brought back so many memories. Our home was very sad. Prince is in a better place. I hate to see dogs in pain or suffering. We hate to see them go, but rather it than see them suffer. This was a lovely tribute and Prince will always be with you. I never did get anymore dogs after experiencing such an ordeal. They're like family.

czarianonuevo said...

I'm sorry for your loss Linda. Prince surely had the best years of his life with you and your family.

czarina :)

czarianonuevo said...
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czarianonuevo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

awww this so so sad linda :( went throught the same with my pet bird this year, heart goes out to you!


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Jessica Mattioli said...

I'm so sorry for your loss dear :((
RIP Prince...

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Tr3nDyGiRL Fashion Blog said...

the dogs are a goods friends :( i'm sorry for your loss :(

Sam said...

Awww< i had tears in my eyes reading this, because I am the biggest animal lover. So sad and sorry to hear about dear Prince, I am glad you and your family got to spend that many years with him and have created wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Rest in Peace Prince.

Marlen said...

Oh honey, I'm so so sorry about your poor dog. I can't even imagine how you must feel like- it's like losing a family member. I'm sending you big big hugs.

xo marlen
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Ashley said...

Oh Linda:( I am so sorry. We lost our dog to cancer in November. I know how difficult it is and I'm sending hugs and prayer your way! Remember...all dogs go to heaven:)

Sharon Taylor said...

I'm really sorry to hear that. It's always hard to lose a member of your family, pets included. I agree that you did the right thing though, It's hard to choose to go down that route but it is always for the best, the right decisions are usually the hardest to make.

Laura Whitman said...

So sorry to hear about Prince, Linda. That definitely is one of the hardest things to do, say goodbye to a beloved pet. *hugs*


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