We said goodbye to Joey on Saturday, March 12th. He was at home, in our arms, with my forehead pressed up against his, kissing his nose and his ear, telling him how much I loved him and how important he was in my life. It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

I am devastated.

It was time. I've known it for awhile, and I knew it in an immediate sense a little over 2 weeks ago. I've been crying for weeks. Months, actually. I feel total despair.

We spent his last week showering him with affection, attention, and love. We home-cooked all his favorite foods. I sat with him for hours every day, just sitting. I never really left his side. I didn't leave the house for almost two weeks. We even camped downstairs and slept with him, where he was most comfortable. He took naps next to all my paintings. I talked to him endlessly about what I was feeling. I told him how fully, how deeply I adored him.  I kissed him a million times.

He was very, very sleepy.

The silence is the worst part. I'd give anything to hear him softly snoring in the background. I feel sick every time I pass by an area he should be in. We haven't yet picked up his floor mats and bowls. I've been carrying his bed around the house with me. It doesn't replace him for the hugs I crave, or the feeling of my face buried in the soft fur of his neck.

Absolutely everything reminds me of him. I'm 31 now. I brought him home as a puppy when I was 16. It's been a very long time we've spent together. It feels like he has always been with me.

Joey turned 15 on January 3rd of this year. He had a long, happy life. I named him Joey because he reminded me of a baby kangaroo as a puppy. He liked to jump around. He was the most awesome dog I could ever have wanted. He learned every trick I could think of to teach him. He knew how to bring me the TV remote. He was first in his Agility class. He was an athlete. He loved playing ball. I didn't teach him to play fetch, he just knew. I also didn't have to housetrain him. Somehow, even at 8 weeks old, he just knew what to do. He never barked, unless we told him to. When we asked him if he "needed to go out," he answered with a soft bark or a sneeze-like horse neigh. If he didn't have to go out, he was silent. It was amazing. It made you forget you were dealing with a dog.

He was perfect.

I spent my childhood praying for him, wishing for him, dreaming him up, and the last 15 years enjoying him more than I ever thought possible.

To know me at all is to know how much I loved Joey. He saved me. He was my guardian angel.

We were inseparable. I don't feel ready to go on without him. I know he was waiting for me to grant permission. It was the right thing to do, and I couldn't have asked for a better situation, or a more perfect ending to Joey's life.

Ours was truly a love story. 

My heart is broken.