I lost my two beloved Boston Terriers, Petey and Ben, within four months of each other last year.  Petey died at 15 ½ after his dementia signs escalated, in one night, into acute symptoms of a brain tumor.  Immediately after Petey’s passing, we discovered that Ben, age 13, had cancer.  I thank God every day for the long lives they had.  Still, I never expected to lose the two of them so close together.  I shared these events with my family members and close friends and, in less detail, posted about them on my Facebook page.  It’s taken me a while to blog about them, though, because I was honestly so overwhelmed when they happened that I didn’t even know where to begin.

After a year of grieving and taking steps to heal, I realize the importance of writing not only about my dogs’ deaths, but about their lives and how they enriched mine.   I got both Petey and Ben in my mid-twenties, before I even met my husband, and they stood by me as I essentially grew up and added new members to our family and chapters to our lives.  For that alone, they deserve to be celebrated.

As Petey and Ben got older and entered their lives’ final stages, reading about others’ experiences with their pets really helped me.  I could understand my dogs’ symptoms, predict what the vet was going to say, and decide on the most humane course of action.  It helped me recognize when I’d done all I could to improve their quality of life and when the time had come, as my vet put it, to let them move on.   I have to share my story so I can help others facing similar circumstances.

I’m not going to pretend that my heart no longer hurts.  I still cry about my losses, wonder what I could have done differently, and then feel ungrateful for thinking that way when so many people have lost much more.  The past year, however, has brought me some acceptance, understanding, and hope.  At the end of 2013, my husband and I even adopted two more dogs who needed a good home.

I cannot sum up Petey and Ben’s lives, deaths, and legacies in just a few posts.  So I will start from the beginning, but I will break up our journey according to the various stages of their lives and significant events after their passing.  Please take from it what you wish.  Thank you for visiting.  God bless.

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