I adopted Popcorn at a shelter in January 1996. He is a dauschaund mix. They told me he was approximately 5 years old then.

About two months ago (approximately 11 years old), he was diagnosed with kidney failure, liver disease, diabetes and Cushing's Disease. He was hospitalized for 2 weeks. I went to visit him twice a day for an hour each time. I prayed to God that if I could just take him home and take care of him, even if it was just for a short time, I would treasure that time and do all the things I could to give him a great life.

Well, my prayers were answered because I was able to take him home two weeks ago with alot of medication, and he was doing so well (although the vets said even with all the meds, he might only live between 3-6 months, but I didn't care. Just as long as he was not suffering at home with me, I was going to give him the best life I could). I made good of my promises to him: I slept with him in the garage and held him all night (he was not allowed in the house because of the new carpet and he was not potty trained), I walked him and Shmoo all the time around the neighborhood and let them smell all the grass and bushes they wanted for as long as they wanted (I used to rush them when they would smell grass for a long period of time), I'd bring them to the park all the time, I brought them to a professional photographer to get photographed together etc.

I was giving him 5 difference pills at home twice a day, injecting insulin twice a day and also administering subcutaneous fluids in his neck twice a day as well. I was willing to do everything and anything to make his life better. He was very tolerant of all the meds and injections, as if he knew it was making him better. I felt like he "willed" himself to get out of the vet those two weeks to be with me to make me happy and also to make himself happy.

Just yesterday, he woke up and started stubling around, lost his balance and was disoriented. I took him to the vet and they noticed he also was seizuring. They kept him overnight and this morning, I received a call from the vet that it was not looking good. The vet suggested I come visit him and see if I thought he was worse than yesterday, and that I might have to make a "decision". I made the trip to the vet and he actually was worse. He could not stand up, and when I would carry him, he became stiff and his eyes were shifting rapidly up and down with a terrified look, as if he was going to fall off a cliff. The doctors said the pituitary gland tumor from the Cushing's disease probably became enlarged which caused pressure on the brain and was causing his seizures. There was nothing they could do to help him.

I sat in a room with him for three hours knowing that I would have to put him to sleep. Shmoo sat next to us the whole time; she knew it was going to happen (usually, she was mean to Popcorn and would bark at him when he'd walk pass her, but this time, she was the sweetest dog to him; I was so proud of her).

I held Popcorn as the vet gave him the injection. I know he is in a better place now, but I can't get over the fact that he is actually gone. I love him so much and wish there was something that could have been done to get rid of his brain tumor. I couldn't stop crying when the vet finally told me "his heart has stopped". It was so quick. I couldn't believe he was actually gone. As I was holding him, I kept apologizing to him because I felt so guilty for putting him to sleep. The vet told me that I shouldn't apologize to him because it was the best thing to do for Popcorn at this time. She told me I made the right decision and asked "Do you want Popcorn to live his life like "this", disoriented, doesn't know "up" from "down", can't stand up etc." Of course I knew she was right and I said "No, I don't want his life to be like that".

I knew this was going to happen because of all the issues he had, but I didn't want it to happen. The only thing I take comfort in right now is the fact that God answered my prayers and that Popcorn willed himself to get better those two weeks to come home to me. I was able to take good care of him at home and make the last days of his life better.

Thank you God, and thank you Popcorn. Thank you Popcorn for bring such joy in my life and for always giving me your unconditional love. I will never forget you. I will never forget all the great time we had: When you'd chase bubbles, you'd get so excited when I'd open the musical can of dog biscuits, how you loved when I would hold you like a baby and cuddle you, when I dress you up in those doggy sweaters you hated, when we went on the dog-a-thon and had so much fun.

My life is brighter because you gave me all these great memories.

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