Fantz
Fantz

Dear Abby,

Our big, beautiful beast, I'm so sad we have to lay you to rest.

Heartbreak doesn't describe the pain. I feel like somebody threw my heart into traffic to have it smashed by oncoming vehicles. It's like a high-powered vacuum has been sucking every drip of moisture from my eye sockets. I'm emotionally exhausted. I've been sleeping off depression. I have no energy to complete mundane tasks.

But enough of my selfishness. You can barely walk without assistance. It's a chore for you to get to the water bowl. You've shrunk to half of your healthy size. I'm sure getting picked up from the yard after you fall while going potty is rough. Here I am concerned about my own misery while you've been staving off pain with a smile on your face for months.

Remember when we took you home? Our life became complete almost exactly five years ago when we found you, our pretty Great Pyrenees, and your brother Clyde, the Saint Bernard mix, as a pair at Denver Dumb Friends League. You poor pups were stuck in jail for months because nobody wanted two giant, elderly pals. But the minute you walked into the room to meet us, you buried your gorgeous face into Husband's lap and that sealed the deal. We wanted you and Clyde to have a cozy bed for your last few years. From May 18, 2012, you'd go on to hog 75 percent of our California king. When your agility declined and you couldn't reach the bed anymore, we never hesitated to boot guests off of your couch throne.


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You were a feisty mother. Any food left on the counter would end up in your belly in a matter of seconds. Remember when Daddy slow-cooked that lamb roast on the smoker all day? We turned our backs for two minutes, and you inhaled the entire 5-pound roast, string mesh and all.

Remember when you learned how to open the fridge? Ripe with a baby, I was headed home to pack my bag for the hospital to spit out a human (the scientific term), when I walked into the house to find the refrigerator door wide open. Hurricanes of leftovers, empty Tupperware, butter wrappers, cracked raw eggs and condiments littered our white carpet. And there you stood, my pretty girl, with ketchup drenching your fur, wagging your tail, excited to see me. (The 65 hours I was in labor was punishment enough for you, though. Your belly went through another kind of hell.)

Nonetheless, sorry we had to get a lock for the fridge door, girl. Hopefully your digestion understood.

Abby, my statuesque baby girl, my heart is crying. But your majestic prestige, to the envy of dogs and owners, will soon be pain-free. As selfish as I wish I could be and keep you around, it's not fair to you.

After a big, juicy steak and some ice cream, we'll send you off to where you can run again without suffering. We'll take care of your best friend, Clydey, who will be in a world of hurt, losing his partner in crime. You've been a best friend to all of us, and we'll see you again one day. But for now, go chase some lamb roasts and bark at the leaves. I'll be here, habitually locking the fridge, grabbing two treats out of the box, filling two food bowls and calling for you to come inside. Your wolf-like howl will forever live in my heart. We love you, baby girl.

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