Isla, my constant companion for almost 8 years, died on August 12, 2020, peacefully at home in my arms. The decision to help her die was the hardest decision of my life. We adopted her when she was about 7 years old. Having wanted a dog for many years, I waited until I retired in order to be a full-time dog mum. My husband and I wanted an older dog, one that wouldn’t outlive us. And so we found Isla through a rescue agency.

What a sharp learning curve for Isla and us! We had to learn dog language fast, and she needed to learn not to attack other dogs due to her fear aggression. She was underweight as well. It didn’t take her long to realize how loved and protected she was, and she blossomed. She soon became my shadow–followed me everywhere and was always delighted to join in new experiences. Oh, what joy to have her in our life! The adventures, the holidays on Long Beach, the long walks, the doggy kisses will be in my heart forever. She loved exploring new trails and cuddling with us. We delighted in walking with her off-leash everywhere we went; she trusted us completely.

She had been steadily declining over the last year, due to stomach problems, allergies and eye problems. and then increasingly finding it difficult to walk. Many times she’d just stand and gaze into space (TIAs?). I knew she had had enough. Enough of pills stuffed down her throat, enough meds put in her eyes, and increasingly, enough food coaxed into her. I had always vowed I wouldn’t let her suffer.

She and I were soul-mates, never more so than when my husband died just 4 months before her. She was my comfort, my reason to keep going. She gave all she had: loyalty, love, companionship. I tried to be the person she thought I was.

We were fortunate to have her devotion for 8 years. We’ll meet again my Sweet Girl, my Good Girl, my Best Girl.