The happiest day of my life was the day I first looked into Leya's beautiful eyes, when I first saw her at 8 weeks old.
The saddest day was when she was 12 years old and I looked into those beautiful eyes for the final time, as she left me and this world behind.
During those years in between, I thought I was looking after her, but now that she is gone, I realize just how much she was looking after me.
Leya was my beautiful, gentle, perfect Doberman girl. When she collapsed suddenly one night and couldn't stand or walk, I thought she had suffered a stroke or something with her spine or legs. I want to tell this story so others might learn from it and maybe help their dogs before it is too late. For some reason, my vet didn't think to check her heart or do a chest x-ray, but just advised that we put her down as she was old and now couldn't walk.
I needed more information so I took her to a neurologist and he did a chest x-ray. It showed her heart was enlarged and she had fluid in her lungs. She had congestive heart failure. If we had noticed symptoms earlier we may have been able to slow down the progression of this condition. But at this point, it was so advanced that the neurologist said she was having trouble breathing and she was suffering and we should consider letting her go peacefully.
So the excruciating decision was made to euthanize her. I stayed with her, kissing and hugging her and telling her she was a good perfect girl and I loved her and then she was gone.
I am left with such grief and guilt and I miss her so much. My house and life are so empty now without her.
But I try to remember the fun we had. Every year we had a birthday party for her. She loved her birthday party, and she loved her gifts and most of all her piece of cake. I have to smile when I think of how fast she would eat that cake. Her last birthday party was just a few weeks before she collapsed. I love the pictures I have of that party and have put a few here.
Leya has left beautiful paw prints on my heart that will be there forever. I will always treasure the part of my life journey when she walked beside me.
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