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My grandparents always had dogs when I was growing up one or two at a time. They got a boston terrier named Maggie in the late 90s from a backyard breeder, she was completely deaf and then during spay surgery nearly died and lost nearly all of her sight. They were contemplating another small dog to keep her from being lonely while they worked when I started volunteering with a local rescue. I was 14 in 2001 when my mom was picking me up at the end of the day. A lady came in, desperate for our group to take in this adorable 12 week old pug puppy. Her 19 year old daughter had spent $1500 on him at the pet store and then locked him in a crate for 20 hours a day while she partied. She was desperate to save the puppy from her daughter, but our rescue group had been hit hard by parvo at the time and there was just no place for a 12 week old puppy to be safe. My mom saw him and instantly knew he'd be perfect for my grandparents. The director of our group agreed and we took him straight to their house.

My grandmother fell in love and named him Otis (from the movie Milo and Otis). He instantly began acting as Maggie's very own seeing-eye dog and personal companion, as well as being beloved by my grandparents. They lost Maggie only 4 years later at the age of seven, her troubled little body not able to handle any more from this life. I'm sure she was waiting there when my grandmother passed away 5 years ago.

Well yesterday, we finally convinced my grandfather it was time for Otis to cross too. I know it was hard on him to lose Otis, but the poor sweet dog really couldn't move around any more and wasn't eating most days. He had a good 14 years but this last 6 months he really went downhill. My mom met my grandfather at the vet and together they stood by and held him as he crossed over into my Nana's arms.

It was hard on my family to lose her so suddenly as we did, and now hard to watch her beloved Otis go too, but it's nice that they are together again. I remember she struggled so much with any technology, she would have me over to take pictures of the dogs, both by themselves and all together with her and my grandfather. I swear when we cleaned out her desk at work, she had just as many pictures of the dogs as she did the grandkids. They were her pride and joy.

Thanks for anyone that actually continued reading my rambling.

And to you Otis, may you rest in peace with your Mama again.

(In this picture, the boston terrier is Roscoe. He was adopted as an adult several years after Maggie died. It's nice to know my grandfather isn't alone this morning, I'm sure they are grieving for Otis together)
 

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What a lovely family portrait! Yes, sometimes you just have to PTS - and even if you don't *believe* in Rainbow Bridge there's always this niggling feeling that there's more than we know, and hope springs eternal... It's good your grandfather is not alone today.
 

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Maggie, Otis, and your Grandmother, are all together again...
I hope and pray, your Grandfather is at peace, knowing this, it is so hard losing those we love...whether four legged, or two...
HUGS,
Sharon
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It is never easy to make the decision to PTS but it can sometimes be the kindest gift of love that can be given. I am among those who believe that animals have an eternally (and eternally innocent) spirit. With God's blessing , those who have been loved and are now gone, are together elsewhere in Paradise and there is no reason why you won't see them again. That does nothing to ease the immediate grief but it is a hope for the future.
 

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Samantha, that was absolutely beautiful. thank you so much for sharing your story with us. it warmed my heart. the love between us and our animals is so strong and unconditional. I, too, am happy to know that your grandfather and roscoe have each other today. they can take comfort in each other and that will help heal the pain of loss.
 

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Thank you all for the sweet words. I'm glad that Otis got 14 wonderful years on the planet with an incredible, dog-loving family. The vet believes he was in end stage lung cancer by his breathing and rapid weight loss, so I'm sure his pain was even greater than he let on. He's running free tonight.
 

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I am so sorry for the loss of Otis. What a wonderful photo of your grandparents and their furry family - I'm sure you'll cherish that photo forever.
 

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I am so sorry for your losses Samantha. That was such a moving tribute. It brought me to tears. Hugs to you and your family.
 

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SO very sorry for you losses. Thank you for sharing with us their wonderful story.

It's hard to have to let go of our furry ones, but one of the most kindest, most unselfish gifts of love we can every give them is to not ask them to suffer.

ITS" SO HARD THOUGH because our hearts just bleed so

Praying for your grandfather's bleeding and very sad heart...
 
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