Templeton at Fifteen

Dear Templeton,

Today you turn fifteen; and for a beagle, that is an accomplishment.  You were a Christmas gift from me to Don, born November 24, 1994, due to come home in January 1995–right on the heels of our wedding, our first Christmas as a married couple .  I still remember the day we landed in Templeton, Massachusetts, at your breeder’s home.  When Don picked you from all the other puppies, she remarked with a twinkle, “He goes for the looks, doesn’t he?”  You were–and still are–a looker, keeping your puppy face despite your advanced age.

The last couple years have not been kind to you in terms of your health, and that has changed the way we are all able to  interact with you.  And though we joke that the vet has deemed you perfectly healthy despite your myriad issues, we have to acknowledge how tough this has been. 

People remark on quality of life–and there is an argument there and a strong one at that.  But right now we feel we can’t make that call.  You wake up every day for your meal and eat it with gusto, and you respond to attention in a way that makes us feel we owe you whatever time you choose to spend with us. 

The hour-long walks are a thing of the past, and moving freely throughout the house is no longer possible.  But know that you are loved.  We will watch you and listen to you with our heads and our hearts for anything you want to communicate, and we promise to honor you.

But today is your birthday . . . and we will celebrate tonight as we always do–with the biggest tomato we can find and a candle.  Happy Birthday, Templeton!  You have provided us with a lifetime of memories.

Love, Your Family

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3 thoughts on “Templeton at Fifteen

  1. There is no harder decision, and there is no greater love then when we do. I have traveled this road twice before at the fourteen year mark and I would not wish it on anyone. However I found that it is the lifetime of memories that gave me the strenght to make that decision. My heart will be with you when that time comes. Just reading your letter to him carries me back eight months ago with Cheyenne (my wolf) and the last minutes that I spent with her. A good day a sad day.

  2. Makes me cry.. i adored my pet for 17 years.. i was questioned as to my decisions in his quality of life and endings.. i don’t regret a day.. he was my baby- his last moment he spent clutched eye to eye to me.. and then i knew that he appreciated every day we gave him!

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