Goodbye to an old friend


When we first saw you at the Animal Rescue Center it was evident you had already lived a very hard life. The volunteer told us your name was Bradlee and you had been rescued from an abusive situation. It was hard to imagine how anyone could be so cruel to such a sweet, gentle dog and over the next hour you settled in by my side as if it was meant to be. Your eyes spoke of the horrors you had endured but at the same time reflected the hope there was something better. I knew immediately you had to come home with us.

That decision proved to be a good one as you gradually realized your place in our family and came to understand that you were loved. Over the following years you never once showed any aggression to anyone, leading my wife to call you our "gentle giant". Always glad to see us, never asking for anything in return, it was always clear you were grateful for the easy life you found in our home. You handled the addition of a rambunctious puppy to the family with silence and grace, even when he constantly invaded your space and disrupted your routine. You helped us show the little dog the ropes and were always watchful that he wouldn’t get in trouble. You insisted in sleeping just outside our bedroom at night, as if to offer your protection, even though the little dog would rest in our room. You were happy keeping us safe from the night. While you were very gentle with those you met you still would silently position yourself between myself and strangers who came to our home, until you were sure they were friends.

In the past few weeks we thought old age was catching up with you as we saw you slow down. As your health problems got worse very quickly we realized something else was likely the cause and when the vet showed us the X-rays of your lungs we knew we would not have you with us much longer. Yesterday the seizures started and you were in such pain we knew the time had come to do the hardest thing we could do. We could only rest with the knowledge that we were doing the right thing as you were suffering so much.

We miss you terribly gentle giant. The home seems emptier with you gone, but we know you are now at peace. Farewell old friend. Thank you for all the memories you have given us over the years. Rest in peace.



Thanks for the kind words everyone. They mean a lot to me to hear. Life moves on but the important thing in times like these is to remember.


Very nice and touching tribute. Many of us can empathize with what you’re going through. Just remember all of the wonderful memories and remember how much happiness you brought to your gentle giant.

Tracy Hooten

Really sorry for your loss, JK. That’s the pits.

I know how hard it is to put down a good friend (or family member, as we consider our dogs). Last year the dog I grew up with from 6-18 passed away, and I cried on and off for a week.

I used to put my tribute to him out. It made me feel he had his farewell and it’s just a nice site for something like that. You can add all sorts of pictures, personality traits, quirks, how you met, etc. and, I don’t know, it just made me feel better.

Mike Cane

Very sad post, jk. One of the most awful things to have to go through.

Mike Cane

Very sad post, jk. One of the most awful things to have to go through.

Matt Smith

JK, I’m very sorry for your loss. I lost my dear friend, Asha, in early 2005. I still think about her every day. My heart goes out to you and your family.


Again, spoken very well!

Our deepest sympathy for you and your family on this great loss.

I’m going to hug my original “kids” now.


I’m sorry about your loss JK. That was a fantastic tribute to an obviously wonderful dog.

Marc Orchant

Every long-time pet owner knows the grief you are feeling right now buddy. It is one of the most difficult decisions we face – when to let them go gently. I’ve been there more than once myself and you beautiful tribute to your gentle giant brought bittersweet memories back in big way. Hang in there pal – the pain recedes and you’ll always have wonderful memories of the love and joy Bradlee brought to your family


Hey JK,

Having gone through a similar experience recently with my two girls who 16.5 and almost 17 years at death I can tell you that your tribute touched me. I know no amount of words can ease the pain and loss but know that your story is a wonderful post script to the gentle giant and helps Bradlee live on. Be well.

Dennis Rice

Having had several dogs in my life, this was a great reminder JK. I thought today of the old “friends” I too have had to let go. They are good memories, and I will make sure to give my current “friend” a hug, and take her for a nice long walk today…

Fred Beiderbecke

Our Golden is getting to the same spot. Thinking about it is very hard to handle. I never thought it would be this hard. I feel for your loss.


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