Lalla I think you have stated it perfectly and beautifully. XxIt’s a truly punishing heartache, Karen. I know there must be so many people here on the forum who have been through this and who know just how painful it is. My little boy. He died in my arms and I can still feel that moment when he went limp. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I’ll certainly never forget him. He saw me through great upheavals in my life; that kind of loyal devotion is something entirely special to our canine companions and, for me has elicited a love as important as any I have ever felt for any human. I don’t have children, so perhaps that is a factor; dogs are not a substitute, in my opinion, they are something utterly different and hugely important, but perhaps one’s own focus is different when it isn’t directed at children? I don’t know. I only know that a part of me is now missing and the pain of it overwhelming at times. Time, of course, will work its usual healing powers. Fourteen years is, as you say, a good long life but certainly not enough, and I’d hoped for another one or two, but there we are. At least I know we had no choice but to let him go, and that makes living with the decision more bearable.