Hope was a Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. She was a wonderful, gentle, and loving friend to me for 15 years.

Today, Friday June 21, 2002 at 12 noon I watched the life of my baby girl slip away as she went to meet her maker. I pray that the Lord sees it fit to reunite owners with their pets in Heaven. The thought of never seeing my sweet girl's face again is just about more than I could take.

Hope loved all people and all animals. She used to wrestle with our neighbor's raccoon, our tom cat Sam, my new cat Samantha,named after Sam. I am so grateful to Hope for the time I was given with this gentle, sweet dog who walked me to the school bus and watched until I was out of sight only to be there to meet me when I came home.

She would lay by the door at night when I would get scared being home alone so that I could relax and go to sleep. When she would find me working in the yard or something and she wanted me to play with her, she would come grab something that I was working with and take off so I would chase her. I loved her for all these things and so much more. I feel like the Lord gave her to me when he knew I needed her most and he left her until he knew I could make it on my own.

Hope was getting in bad shape with arthritis in her hind quarters and then later in her front legs as well. She was totally deaf and almost totally blind. She didn't ever cry out in pain but I really believed that that would be the next step and I just wasn't willing to watch her go down suffering.

I built a rose garden out in the back corner of our yard, specifically to bury her in when the time came. It is called "Our Garden of Hope" and she was laid to rest there this afternoon. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my life but I know I made the right decision.

The worst so far was walking outside to say goodnight to her, like so many times before and remembering she's not there. I miss her so much and I wish there had been more I could have done to make her life last longer and be of good quality.

Wherever you are tonight, my sweet little girl, I am thinking of you and I miss you and love you sooooooo much.

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