Saying goodbye to our pets is always gut-wrenching. And as much as it breaks our hearts, we love when we hear stories of owners who go above and beyond to make their pet's time on earth extra special.
Jordan Greene Roberts of Houston, Texas, took exactly that approach to her beloved dog's (Duke's) death. She filled Duke's last day with hamburgers, water play, and visits from his best buddies. And, she asked her friend and professional photographer Robyn Arouty to chronicle it all in a photo essay. Arouty later posted it on her blog, along with captions she created to tell the story.
See the post here:
I Died Today
By, Duke Roberts
And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.
And I laughed.
And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.
We told jokes.
We were serious.
Kristen came to see me. She’s a hoot. She’s my groomer. And my buddy.
While we were waiting for the vet to come Kristen said we were going for a walk. Then someone said, “How about a play in the water at the splash park down the street?” So off we went!
“I need you to help me watch over my family. Did you hear me? This is all I want!”
We got wet today.
We smiled today.
We broke the rules today.
I listened to the kids play off in the distance. And thought about my two babies at home. I loved protecting them.
I relaxed today.
I felt no pain. Even though the tumor grew so big.
I felt the love today.
I said goodbye to my beautiful friend Kira. She “saw” me standing over everybody before the doctor said it was time. I was excited & jumping & happy.
Well, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ’til we meet again.
God, I was lucky. Our time was short. But you both gave me a second chance & we lived it up together. You love when I look at you. I’ll never stop.
Roberts had adopted Duke, a Labrador Retriever, while she was pregnant with her first child. Shortly after settling into his new home, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. He seemed to be doing well after treatment, which included amputation of his front leg and chemotherapy. But the cancer came back. After realizing the Duke was growing increasingly uncomfortable, especially during the night, the family made the hard decision to put him down—but not until after he had the day of his life.
"With the help from our friends, Dukey had a beautiful day filled with love and happiness," Roberts wrote on Arouty's follow-up blog post. "We should all be so lucky."
All photos courtesy of Robyn Arouty. See more on her Facebook page.