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I write this with a heavy heart, my eyes glazed and swollen yet again today.

How paradoxical, that my last post announced a new life, and this one mourns the loss of another. Such is the circle of life.

It is only two weeks since we had our worst fears confirmed, but yesterday Buddy started going downhill fast.

There have been many tears over the last two weeks and I am filled with admiration for Janine and the boys, in the way that they pulled together to make a very hard decision.

At our evening meal last night, with Buddy at our feet, we toasted his life and we each said our final goodbyes before we went to bed. We weren’t sure whether he would last the night.

Here lies a shining light

Here lies a shining light

This morning, he was still with us but it was clear that he was struggling. On my way back from the gym, Janine rang and asked me if I could postpone my morning meeting so we could take our best friend to the vet, to put him out of his pain.

Deciding when to euthanase is one of the hardest decisions a person can make, especially when it involves one so close to our hearts.

We owe a special thanks to a lovely vet, who told us exactly what signs to look for so that we would know when was the right time.

Buddy made one last effort to stand up; he turned and looked into my eyes. I placed my hand on his head and we shared a silent moment. I sensed that he knew it was his time. He did another half circle and flopped into a comfortable position; his breathing was short and strained.

At 10:50 this morning, Buddy slipped quietly from this life in the arms of those who loved him most.

This afternoon, Janine took the boys to a nursery and chose a lovely plant. Later, we laid him to rest in a spot in the lawn and planted the little Conifer on his final resting place.

Buddy was a guide dog – a shining light that will be missed by all.