It’s taken me over six weeks to finish this blog about Hugo’s passing. Every time I sat down to write this the lump in my throat would swell and my brain would turn to mush! How in the world could losing a dog make someone feel so lost?

Whenever I walk in the door I feel it most… no one there to greet me! Oh, don’t get me wrong… I have a wonderful wife of 21 years and a 10 year old daughter whom I love very much but they don’t run up to me with their tongues hanging out and then lean into me with what feels like a big hug! I miss his bark when the post man comes. I miss having my daily walks. I miss him looking at me with those doggy eyes when I’m eating my dinner. And most of all I miss his unconditional loving spirit that emitted throughout the house.

I always knew Hugo would not go on forever and when he had his tenth birthday the thought crossed my mind that he was now what they say in dog years around 70. Although you could see him starting to slow down a bit, he was still eager to go on those long walks every day and looked forward to the special walk on Saturday mornings when we would jump into the car and go down to the ravine where he could play in the river and have adventures in the forest.

In the final few months the lymphoma took over. Hugo starting losing weight quickly and it became hard for him to get up without my help. This was to be the beginning of the end. Was he going to go on his own free will, or fight it out until the decision became mine? Well, if you learned anything about Hugo from the comic strip you would know that he was very stubborn and always a proud dog. He wasn’t going to give up so easily. In fact, I believe that he knew it was his time but didn’t want to see me unhappy. He pushed himself as hard as possible but it came down to my decision. I remember calling my wife in to my art room where I write the comics, sitting her down and saying… its time. We cannot let Hugo suffer. It would be very selfish if we didn’t do the right thing. This was the hardest decision I had to make in my life. Putting him to sleep and sending him off to that rainbow bridge was the right thing to do. My wife and I took Hugo the very next morning to our vets knowing that he would not be returning with us. I needed wiper blades for my eyes the whole journey as the tears would not stop flowing. We each held onto Hugo throughout the procedure telling him how much joy he brought to our family and how much we loved him. Then there was silence.

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