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Saying good-bye to a dear friend

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Today was the day that every loving dog owner dreads to the very core of their being - the day to say good-bye to a dear companion and friend.

The end for Barlow was not a surprise...for weeks he had been fighting cancer and it was apparent this morning that the time for fighting had ended.

Cancer crept into Barlow's body like a stealthy thief, spreading quietly and dangerously beneath the radar of his adoring guardians. By the time that the senior dog showed the first sign of a problem, it was too late to provide treatment...the veterinarian only gave a sad nod of the head and uttered the words, "I'm sorry."

What cancer ultimately stole can not be erased with death - the memories of a beautiful life will always remain.

Barlow had a wonderful life...from the day that he was brought home with his fluffy fur, soulful eyes and puppy breath, to the day that the same soulful eyes closed one last time.

He was much more than a "family dog" he was family who happened to be a dog - he was a steadfast friend to his "girls," quiet reading companion and walking partner to his mom and warm, joyful presence to every member of his family.

Barlow loved people, loved food, loved walks, loved to "hold hands" with his mouth (much to his dad's distress...I admit to being the culprit as I enjoyed letting him "hold" my hand), and most of all, Barlow loved life.

Barlow's home will be far too quiet in the coming weeks and the ache of loss from his departure will burn strong for what will seem like an eternity.

Eventually the sting will subside and the warmth of his joyous life will remain - his family's life better for the time that he was a part of it.

Rest in peace sweet Barlow.

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