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    Goodbye, My Friend.

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    I've had to close the book on 4 years of memories today. We had one of our dogs "put down" this morning.

    We adopted Logan from the Indiana ASPCA in 2004. Sarah and I had moved in together in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We moved down there for her job. This was in 2003. We talked back and forth about getting a dog and really wanted to rescue one from a shelter. We finally did so on March 10, 2004, when we met Logan.

    When they brought him out, Logan was skittish around me, but warmed to Sarah pretty quickly. We both fell in love with him immediately, so we adopted him. Over the course of the next few days, he warmed to me as well. All told, he was a perfect companion for Sarah and myself. We put him through training classes, which he excelled at, taught him lots of tricks, took him for lots of walks, and just generally pampered him.

    We noticed rather quickly that Logan was absolutely petrified of basements. I can't remember when it was, but we found out that Logan had been abused pretty harshly by his previous owners. This information solidified our resolve to give him the best life we could provide. Our love for Logan ran very deep; he was our first pet, and the first addition to our family.

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    Logan loved stuffed toys that "squeak" when you squeeze them. I swear, Sarah was buying him a new "baby" every week. He had a wicker basket that was overflowing with green monkeys, purple elephants, and red giraffes. Logan would just sprawl himself across the floor and squeak his toys over and over again.

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    Logan also loved to "hug". Everyday, when I'd come home from work, one of the first things I had to do was go into the living room and drop to my knees. Logan would sit, tail wagging back and forth, and wait.

    "Logan, can I have a hug?", I'd say.

    As soon as I said "hug", Logan would hop up onto his back legs, and throw his front legs on either side of my neck. It was absolutely adorable, and it's probably one of my favorite things about him.

    Logan has always been able to "sense" when something was wrong with Sarah. Anytime she felt sad or lonely, Logan would always cuddle up next to her and keep her company. She loved petting and rubbing his soft, floppy ears. It always made Sarah feel better.

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    Unfortunately, owning a dog that had been abused has created a behavioral issue that Sarah and I have been unable to correct. Logan bites. He's bitten a few members of Sarah's family. I'm not going to rehash those memories, or the circumstances involved, because I just don't think it's necessary. About a year and a half ago, we decided that we either had to never allow him around other people, or put him down. We opted for the former.

    We knew we'd have to revisit the subject when Sarah got pregnant, but we made excuse after excuse to put off the inevitable. We got so desperate for help that I posted an ad on craigslist, and Sarah wrote to Cesar Millan. We thought we had hope when someone answered my post, saying she ran a no-kill shelter and would "love to take Logan". After a couple weeks of trading emails and voicemails, she backed out, and quit all communication. We were devastated. We still are.

    After making more excuses and putting it off, I finally called the vet yesterday.

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    Sarah took Logan for a walk this morning. Actually, she let Logan take her for a walk. She let him go whatever direction he wanted to go, let him pee on all the trees and leaf piles he wanted to, and let him stop and sniff everything. He loved it. When they got home, we let him and Delilah wrestle for a while. Then, Sarah and I cuddled with Logan and cried over him.

    Doc assured us and reassured us that we were doing the right thing. We knew we were; we'd never be able to forgive ourselves if Tyler grabbed Logan's tail and something happened. But that didn't make anything easier for us. It didn't lessen any of the pain we were feeling.

    Sarah and I held Logan in our arms as Doc gave him a shot in his front leg. Just a couple seconds later, Logan collapsed. It was, by far, one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my entire life. I immediately wanted to take it all back and start over again. I quickly removed his muzzle and started kissing his snout, telling him I was sorry, and that I loved him.

    Logan, I'm going to miss your hugs. Your rare kisses. Your companionship. Your loyalty. Most of all, I'll miss you. We already do. Goodbye, Logan. You were a great friend, a cherished protector, and a loved family member. You will always be in my heart and Sarah's heart.

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    Rest in Peace, my friend
    Logan Bouse Gearhart
    May 10, 2003 - November 14, 2008

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    hollystar said...

    that kills me dude. i'm so sorry that you guys had to do this.

    Natalie said...

    well i hadn't cried yet today. thanks for the tears. so sad, but i was the best thing to do.

    i'm glad you have good memories of logan. tyler will love hearing about him later.

    Your Mom said...

    very hard to read this ... memories of all the pets we've lost over the years come flooding back.
    I will miss this goofy dog.

    Erin & The Boys said...

    I am so sorry you had to put Logan down. It makes me cry reading your entry because we were faced with a similar situation with our English Bulldog, Dudley. He was our first "baby", too.

    You and Sarah did the right thing. Keep those special memories.

    Seriously Mama said...

    In 2000 we adopted our first Boxer from a rescue. A little fawn girl who had spent the first 18 months of her life in a basement. She was an adorably crazy, high strung, bossy little thing and we fell head over heels in love with her. The first night home she made herself quite comfortable on our pillow and expected us to deal with it. Four years later we were trying to get pregnant. I had a session with an animal communicator and Kaya (we also had 3 other Boxers) about adding a new family member to our home. Kaya told the communicator that she was the baby and she didn't want anyone else stealing her thunder. March 2005 we had our son. I spent weeks getting Kaya used to the baby when all of the other dogs were fine immediately. She never liked him but would just leave the room if he was too close to her. 15 months later I was pregnant and dealing with terrible morning sickness. Kaya was laying on the couch (not sleeping) and our 15 month old was playing on the floor. I got up thinking I was going to be sick and not 2 seconds later, my baby was screaming. Kaya bit him on the face, totally umprovoked and he nearly lost an eye. My husband and I put Kaya down the next week. We adored her and will never be over the loss but we did what we had to do to keep our son and future daughter safe.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know it's hard and you'll never get over it but you did what you had to do to keep your baby safe.

    A Free Man said...

    So sorry, Joe. I've had to do the same thing (for different reasons) and it just tears your heart to pieces. You made the right decision, one you had to, but I know that it doesn't make it any easier.

    Joanna said...

    Just imagine doggy heaven. I'm sure all our pets have gone there and are having a blast. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Joe said...

    Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate your comments. The last few days have been rough. I know things will get easier with time, but right now I'm coping with seeing his empty bed in the mornings, ya know?

    Thanks though, really.

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