Teddy was a 13-year-old Maltese who came to join our family of five dogs in January 2002. His little friend Mitzie, a 10-year-old Poodle, came with him. We adopted Teddy and Mitzie from a lady who was moving to Australia to follow love. Although I was eight months pregnant at the time, we felt so very fortunate to be able to welcome Teddy and Mitzie into our hearts and home.

Teddy had his 14th birthday with us in June. A couple months prior to that, we learned he had sinus cancer. Later the cancer spread to his lungs. Because of his age and overall condition, we decided against putting Teddy through the trauma of chemotherapy. Instead, our vet offered us medications to help manage the symptoms of the cancer.

On Friday, July 19, it became very apparent to me that Teddy was starting to suffer. He had stopped eating and drinking, and I couldn't entice him with the usual treats which held his medicine. It became difficult for him to breathe, and it broke my heart to watch him struggle for breath. Although we had hoped for more time with Teddy, I knew immediately that it was time to say goodbye.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. on July 19, Teddy crossed from this world into what I hope is the Rainbow Bridge. As I felt his life slip away, I knew I had done the right thing. There was no more struggle to breathe; only peace and tranquility in that tired, old body.

I kept a lock of Teddy's fur, his neckerchief from his last grooming, and his remains will be cremated and returned to us. When the time comes for me to leave my earthly body, Teddy's remains will be buried with mine.

While I miss Teddy and feel sad and raw inside, I have a sense of peace about him and our time together. It was only six short months, but we gave him the very best we could, and he loved us faithfully during that time. He went from being a lost, despondent little dog during the first few days after we adopted him, to being a glued-to-your-side, loyal, loving companion. He was loved deeply and tenderly, and he will never be forgotten. I hope someday I will see Teddy again, to look into his eyes and kiss his face and tell him again how very much we love him.

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