Six months ago, I euthanized my best friend, Ruby.

She was a beautiful black Labrador with bone cancer. Her pain was insufferable, yet I agonized over ending her life.

The Vet said it was the kindest thing I could do. But I kept asking myself, “Will Ruby ever forgive me?”

For sixteen years, Ruby chased balls with my son, comforted his tears, licked his scraped knees and kept all our family secrets. She loved us, unconditionally. Ruby was our four-legged gem.
How could I betray her like that?

I cried for days after leaving the Vet. We all did. Our hearts felt broken. Guilt kept me awake at night. Doubt tortured me. Could I have done more for Ruby?

One night, my release from guilt came unexpectedly.

In a dream, Ruby bounded up to me, licked my face, chased her tail and barked three times. I felt her affection wash over me like slipping into a warm bath. Ruby was free of pain and full of energy. In that instant, I forgave myself.

Ruby was okay and happy in pet heaven.

Editor’s note: Janice submitted her pet grief story by email. We’ve edited and condensed her words, and changed the names of people and places to protect her privacy.