My boy, Beorn, was a literal dream come true. I can still remember the first time I held him in my arms, and he just felt perfect. For 8 happy years, he was my constant companion, traveling buddy, and I remember always asking ‘Can I bring my dog?’ to anything I attended or was invited to. And he was always the best, gentlest, happiest friend to men, women, children, infants, and other dogs. He was the best boy.

His lymphoma diagnosis was heartbreaking, and even though it was a bad case, we opted for chemotherapy, which gave us 4 great months, including a happy holiday season and a very special birthday.

But the chemo stopped working, and his condition worsened rapidly. In less than a week he went from being happy and walking to being so sick he could barely breathe. We took him to my oncologist, and they confirmed what I already knew – he was very sick, and he was not going to get better this time.

They recommended Caring Pathways, and they were able to come that same night. I had thought about the moment my boy would die for months, and after seeing him deteriorate so far in just a week, it was so hard to schedule the appointment, and to know for certain the hour my boy was going to die.

We made the most of our last day, even though he had no energy or appetite. I spent his final hours by his side, watching him struggle to be comfortable or breathe. Dr. Kellie was very soft with the process, and gentle with him. And though I had dreaded the moment of his death, when it finally came, it was actually a kind of relief. To know he was no longer suffering, and struggling, or in pain. And that what had been done was a kindness.

The final touch that I appreciated was we loaded him onto a stretcher and clipped him in with soft blankets. Dr. Kellie even put a little one under his head.

So, while making the appointment was one of the hardest and saddest things I have ever done, they were very professional, caring, responsive, and gentle. And they allowed my boy to pass at home, surrounded by loved ones.

I will always love you Beorn. You were my heart.