My parents adopted a dog that nearby neighbors did not really want, about 3 years ago. He seemed to have been neglected, and didn't trust anyone, and was sometimes aggressive toward people. This was in 2009, I believe. He was roughly 1 year 3 months old. A beautiful brown lab/Vizsla mix.
I spent a lot of time in the next couple years at my parents' house, due to previously-discussed instances. I bonded with Poh in a great way. He was magnificent at playing fetch, he could do it for hours, if only I could stay interested long enough for him. He changed so much in less than two years, became a part of the family, and started to become, perhaps, a "favorite" dog of mine.
In 2011, we discovered he had a rare, fast-growing cancer that gave him a month to live. This was December 19 or so. Then on December 20, my dad called me to tell me that Poh wouldn't make it as long as they said he would. We were going to have to take him in the next day, and that would be that. I went and visited him that night, before the big day, then went back to Trent and my life in less-west Dallas suburbs. The next day, I called my dad, bawling, at work, telling him I needed to be there, I couldn't let Poh go through this without me, without all of his family beside him.
So I left work early that day, came home, talked to Poh while he panted and looked around uncertain as to why we looked so glum. But maybe he understood. My mom, tearfully, told me how Poh had, earlier that day, walked slowly outside, lain down on the grass in the early Texas winter, cool and windy, and had just watched the world, enjoyed his home one last time; and he got up a few times, and walked 10 yards or so, and would plop right back down and enjoy the look of his home from a slightly different angle. He knew. And it's not fair.
I was there when we took him to the vet. I was there when the doctor came in and we had to get Poh up on the table. I was there, I was the one holding Poh, my father let me and respected me enough to allow me the honor to see Poh off, I was there when Poh's eyes remained open but his body stilled and the life, in a way that I could never have previously explained, went out of his eyes.
It made me think of Harry Potter, of seeing death and how it can change you. Holding Poh while he died changed me. It was the bravest thing I have ever done. I did it to allow him to be near all of his people, his humans, his family, those that cared and loved for him and brought him a happiness he likely never thought he would know. And I'm glad I got to. Although I sit here bawling. Bawling.
I miss him so much.