“Today is a good day to die”

And so it was, September 25, 2017.

I don’t mean to be morbid or unfeeling. I am far from unfeeling, but it is a day I planned on since June 16, 2013. The day I adopted Fred. My number 2 dog. Fred, the Basset/Beagle… the Bagle. Adopted because I loved him from the moment I saw his picture on the internet. I had to have a second dog.


I had to have a second dog because too many of my friends like Ann and Steve had shared that when they lost their dog, the pain was so great they knew they could not replace their lost companion. But because of one Canine spirit I had to get a second pooch. One dog had brought me so much joy that I knew I could not let pain prevent me from living each day without a fur baby. And so many of you know who this great spirit is and was. Tank Fulton… the dog I can never replace…


September 25, 2017, a good day to die.

Tank’s final week began on Tuesday, September 18. I called it visiting day. I had seen Tank begin to slow down, though his energy would ebb and flow… He had lost his appetite…

I noticed it for real the month before when we went to Kansas City to visit Annie, and Lynn, and my sister Barb. But Tank was a trooper.. and he did well on the drive up and back, but he would never eat a great big meal again… even when I fixed him steak. But I digress… or maybe I just am remembering.

I rarely kennelled Tank. Not it 13 years. And when I had to leave him since my move to Tulsa… which I rarely did, I entrusted his care to two people. Tank loved Nancy and Beth. and so we went visiting. It was a contrast in styles… he had love for both, but his energy waned as the day lengthened… Nancy first, who saw a boy ready to take on another day, and then Beth who saw an exhausted boy ready to visit the rainbow bridge. I listened to them both… it is why I went visiting. Their love for Tank was known and their opinions are trusted.

And the week passed.

Off to the dog park to visit friends… but sadly we often missed our favorites… Tank would tire quickly. I am most sorry that we missed our special friends there and their furry companions… But we tried, we really tried…

Most of the week we just spent together, resting… the park… well the backyard of Casa Canine was park enough for Tank.

Tank was a dog of great spirit and compassion. And he had eyes that were filled with compassion and life. That is until they were no longer filled with life. And so it was on September 25, 2017

It was a good day to die

The night of September 24, 2017. Tank was restless, pacing the house. I fell asleep knowing he would come to bed… Tank always came to bed, or at the very least the bedside ottoman at the foot of my bed. We rarely slept apart.

September 25, 2017.

Tank was missing. No where in the house. I have a doggy door. So I went to look outside. Tank was in the corner of the side yard, nearly under my window. I do now know how long he had been standing there. But the moment I saw him, I knew. Everyone said I would know. There is no script. But I knew.


Today is a good day to die.

So I made THE appointment and late morning we loaded up to take our final road trip. The park, the drive around, ice cream and hot dogs from QuikTrip (he ate neither), and time alone together in the air conditioned car just remembering.

And by the end of our conversation, Tank’s gums were turning blue. He had been gasping for air for too long. It was time. It was a good day………. to die.


And it truly was time. We arrived at the vet. It was a peaceful and quiet room. We sat together. Then he was taken to get prepped for his moment… to be brought back to out quiet room… but when the injection site was prepared, Tank collapsed. He could not stand another moment… He had given me his all for his final week.

And so as he lay on the table, I carressed and held him. I whispered in his ear. I told him I loved him. I knew he was moments from being with Michelle, the woman who rescued him, the woman who married me and died way too young in 2009. And then Tank was



Fred. FRED FRED FRED…come give me a kiss please

10 thoughts on “Breathless

  1. A beautiful, heartbreaking story. I never met Tank, but I can feel the love from your words and pictures. Thanks for sharing one of the most difficult days us animal lovers will ever go through.

  2. I think you just wrote of my last days with my Gracie. I know you feel my pain, as I understand yours. She was the one who took care of me. Not a retriever in spirit, but a shepherdess. I miss her so. She always had that famous Golden Retriever smile, but in the last weeks, she lost the wag. You do know in your spirit when the day arrives. Such a price for love. I always knew Tank was your special one, as Gracie was mine. It has been a tough year, losing her Pitty brother and our grandpup in 9 months. We do our best to love them as genuinely as they love us, but we often fall so short as humans. If only everyone could love like a dog does.

  3. One of the pastors I’ve be known was asked if dogs go to heaven. He told the one interested “Why not? We don’t have certainty that dogs ever sin”.
    What if our pets are messengers from God who communicate peace and love to us?

  4. One of the pastors I’ve known was asked if dogs go to heaven. He told the one interested “Why not? We don’t have certainty that dogs ever sin”.
    What if our pets are messengers from God who communicate peace and love to us?

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