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My dog is dying. It feels good to say that. We knew something was wrong for a while, but we hoped it would go away.

My dog is dying. She taught my kids responsibility. They scoop her food til the dish overflows. They fight over who gets to hold the leash. They wrinkle their noses when I mention picking up poop. She’s been a part of their entire lives. Now, they take turns feeding her pain pills buried in scoops of peanut butter. One holds the spoon while another pets her back.

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My dog is dying. I cried about it, in secret. I said I needed something from the garage. In that hot, dark emptiness, I bawled. big, loud tears. When I came back inside, she was waiting for me. …

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