Our family was determined to make the most of the time we had left with Ranger, but in the back of my mind, I knew his condition would eventually worsen. And over the coming months, it did. I watched helplessly as the cancer slowly took over my strong, active dog, turning him into a feeble version of his former self. Still, I didn't want to let him go.
Ranger was so much more than just a "pet." There were times over the last few years when it felt like our family was being ripped apart by the relentless challenges life kept throwing at us... and Ranger was there, a calming presence in our crazy home. When my marriage seemed to be hanging on by a thread and my professional life was unfocused (at best), and I was feeling so angry and low and lost that I wondered if I would ever find myself again... Ranger was there, reminding me with a wag of his tail that I was loved, and that everything would be okay. And it was. There were countless good times, so many wonderful moments of love and happiness and laughter... and Ranger was there, too, enjoying every second right along with us.
Ranger was our sweet, gentle giant. He was always there for me and I didn't want to let him go. But in the end, he was in pain. He was having trouble breathing and he was so weak he could hardly get up at times. He was dying. And he needed me to be there for him. So I let him go. It was the right thing, but it was also one of the most difficult things I've ever done.
Ranger, thank you for coming into our lives. As my husband always said, we didn't find you, you found us, and we were so very lucky that you did. We love you and we will miss you so much. RIP, sweet boy.