For all of you pet lovers out there, you know what it means to lose a member of your family; it tears your heart right out of your chest.

I rescued Iggy when he was five years old, his life started out hard, when I got him he had heartworms, and his joints, especially his hips, were not in the best condition. So the beginning of our time together was me taking care of him, making sure he finished the heartworm treatments, teaching him things like how walk on a leash like a gentleman and the rules of my home. One rule for instance, was “you cannot pull a plate of Thanksgiving turkey off the counter and run around the house with a piece of turkey in your mouth”. My friend Victor and his kids will always remember that incident. To them it’s still hilarious. Iggy was so smart and eager to please, he never did that again!

As our time together went on, he would always be there to give comfort and watch over me. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, he went through all my ups and downs with me, always by my side from diagnosis to my healing.

But I didn’t get Iggy as a pup and he was now showing signs of getting older. The worst was going blind, I knew he was losing his sight but didn’t know how bad until one early morning he walked off a three foot wall and injured his right leg. I felt like the worst mom in the world, just days before he could go right up to the same wall and jump down, to play with the little dog from next door. Now it was my time again to be by his side and protect him from things he could not see and to keep his stress as low as possible. For a dog, especially a working dog, (Iggy was a Blue Heeler), bred to herd sheep and cattle; losing their eyesight is a very hard adjustment.

In October of 2013 I moved us out of our home, which Iggy was accustomed, and into a new place for a little over a year. In February of 2015 I packed us up and we took a road trip and stayed out on ten acres for me to rest and recuperate from a long six months. Everything was going great until one day I didn’t get to my Iggy fast enough and he fell off some old wooden stairs into a hole and injured the same right leg. The worst part of the accident was the fall scared him so badly he was traumatized and went into shock. Once again I didn’t get to him fast enough and he got injured; I still beat myself up over this, his screams still play in my head if I let them.

I nursed him and thought he was getting better, but within 24 hours he went downhill fast, I knew he was tired and losing his will to live. Now was the time to pack up the car and get him back to Austin, I knew what had to be done and I wanted him with his Vet Rebecca Davies, because they know each other and she is such a kind and compassionate woman.

Getting him to the car was very tricky because he had lost his ability to walk; my big strong dog was now unable to walk and was frightened and hurting. I got him to the car as best I could but I know I hurt him and for that I am so sorry. The whole three hours back to Austin I kept telling him how much I loved him, what an amazing dog he was, but most importantly I kept thanking him for picking me as his mom.

Once we got to the vets office it was as if he was saying I’m so ready I could never make the trip to Florida and it was OK now to say “Goodbye”

It was a very peaceful ending. I know I made the right decision, it’s one all pet owners have to make sooner or later it seems. It is the hardest and most loving decision you can make; to not let a beautiful creature of God suffer anymore.

I want to Thank Rebecca Davies and the staff at Arbor animal hospital for their gentle touch and kindness they always showed my beloved Iggy.

Iggy you will forever be my soul dog and we will see each other again!