Shared by, Shannon Hodges
I got my forever dog Eddie was he was just a 12 week old ball of fluff. He was a gift to myself after returning from Iraq in 2004 and we have been out painting towns ever since.
After 12 amazing years of sharing our lives together around the world, I took my Eddie out for one last adventure. Just me and him, just how he always loved it.
If we were going to have just one day left, we were going to make it a good one. It was a hard day... To KNOW with each stop, each treat, each picture that it would be our last shared moment like this was heartbreaking... Everyone wanted to say hello to Eddie and ask about him, but I couldn't bring myself to tell them. I wanted Eddie's last day to be his best day ever, doing all the things he loved most with me, the person who has kissed his nose every day since he was my fluffy little puppy. I wanted it to be a celebration and I spent all day trying not to let my tears get in the way of his joy in the little things.
We enjoyed a fresh bag full of tennis balls at his favorite park. We did a photoshoot, because Eddie has always been my most handsome and willing model. He knows how good he looks... He rode shot gun through the drive-thru at McDonald's making sure they didn't skimp on his french fries and that his cheeseburger was the freshest (the freshest McDonald's can be anyway). He got a brand new inflatable ball as big as he was and chased it around the yard till it popped. We stopped for ice cream with a special treat on top. He was having a magical day.
By his 4pm appointment, he was exhausted. I was exhausted. I was questioning if I could go through with it. If I was doing the right thing. If he would ever forgive me. If I could ever forgive myself.
Nothing prepared me to walk in to that room and see the large blanket on the floor. Nothing prepared me for the information the vet gave me covering what was about to happen. I cried. I sobbed. But I sat down on that blanket, and I held him on my lap. I talked to him. I told him I loved him. I thanked him for being my forever dog. And I asked him to forgive me and to find a way to let me know he was at peace somehow. I cried some more. I kissed his nose. And then he was gone. I sat with him on my lap for sometime, petting his soft fur for the last time. I wished I hadn’t shaved him only two weeks before, but I know he was much more comfortable that way. The vet came back in because she understood I didn’t want to leave him alone in the room. I gave him his tennis ball to keep with him. And I left alone and heartbroken but took solace in the fact he would always be in heart and was no longer in pain.
I have always heard people talk about pets crossing over the rainbow bridge. And that night, on my way through town, there were three different rainbows in the sky in any direction I looked. It wasn’t even rainy out. We also had the most beautiful and colorful sunset I’ve ever seen. Thank you Eddie for making your mama’s heart a little bit lighter just one more time.
If you'd like to read Eddie's full story you can do so at http://shannonhodgesphotography.com/my-last-day-with-my-best-friend-eddie/
Thank you for sharing Eddie's story, Shannon! Remember, anyone can share stories and photos of their favorite pets on our Share Your Story page.